August 16, 2017

Something Old, Something New - and Something Green!

May your troubles be less, your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!

Champagne satin, sage green silk & ivory pearls.

Last October, one of my dearest, best friend and beautiful bride, Ariana, married her life-long friend and loving husband, Caleb.  It was a great honor and privilege to share in their happy occasion as a bridesmaid and wish them and their family all the best.

With her permission, today I am finally blogging about one of my favorite memories from the year for the CoBloWriMo (Costume Blog Writing Month).  Combining challenge number 7 - made for someone else with number 16 - a small project, these prompts provide the perfect opportunity to share the hand-beaded bridal veil and rosettes for the bridal party, respectively, that I made as the wedding gift.

Prompt 7 - Made for Someone Else

In this case, the "someone else" was my friend and colleague, Ariana, fondly nicknamed the "museum twin."  When news of the engagement first came out, I could not have been more excited for the couple.  It's a running joke among costumers that unemployed designers go into bridal couture, but never did I actually image I'd be making my first foray into bridal attire, and doing so for such a near and dear friend could not have been a greater privilege.

A hand beaded bridal veil of ivory tulle and glass pearls.

When we first discussed the project, Ariana asked for a fingertip length veil with a beaded edge.  After finding the perfect shade of ivory tulle and dozens of matching 4mm glass pearls, I set out on what would be a 40 hour project, thinking of Ariana and Caleb with each stitch.  

Construction:  This project had a bit of learning curve.  I didn't have much experience with tulle, beyond a few past theatrical projects, at the time, but enjoyed the challenge of rolling a hem so small.  After taking her measurements, I drafted and cut a shape that resembled a rounded semicircle.  To create the "pencil edge," I rolled the tulle with a vintage, size 20, single-strand floss from France, and added a glass pearl every inch or so. 

I was amazed at how tiny I could get the edge to be as I wanted it to appear as though the pearls were floating. 

Once the beading was done, I gathered the veil at the top and stitched it to the comb.  Then, using 1/8" satin ribbon, I bound the top and a ribbon loop for hanging.  It took me all three seasons of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix to complete the veil.  

The result ended up being more of a waltz or ballet length veil as I added a little too much length in the pattern drafting and cutting.  She, however, was very gracious about it and was an absolutely gorgeous fall bride in her "champagne colored satin underdress with an ivory net overlay embroidered with antique silver floral vines."  The dress was edgy, elegant, and very much Ariana.  In fact, it reminded me of an Edwardian evening gown with its stunning cut and swooping train.  

Completed Project Shots: 

And one on the bride, again with her permission, courtesy of Facebook

Exchanging their vows.

Bonus:  Since the prompt is "made for someone else," I'd also like to include a few pictures from the Edwardian inspired bridal shower we (Sarah, twin sister of bride and matron of honor, and bridesmaids Allison, Rebecca, sister of the bridegroom, and I) threw for Ariana.

Set for high tea with homemade rhubarb and peach maids of honor
and Earl Grey shortbread cookies with lemon glaze.

One of my favorite details was the ice cubes with edible flowers!
We used both ice cube trays and a mini cupcake pan to freeze these.

Antiques, candles and soft lights set the ambiance.

For that autumn touch, mini apple crisps made the perfect party favors!

Prompt 16 - Small Project

For the second part of this post, I have a mini-tutorial for the bridesmaids' rosettes, which were also made as part of my wedding gift for the couple.  In addition to matching shoes, Ariana was looking for a way to unify the wedding party and tie in her sage green color scheme.  The result ended up being four, hand stitched rosettes made to match the groomsmen's ties, as well as a special, surprise one for the bride with the swatch from her dress and veil tulle.  The centers were finished with the same ivory pearls as her veil.

From Tie to Rosette Tutorial

Step One:  Starting with a standard tie, carefully unstitch and press the fabric flat.

Step Two:  From the tie's fabric, cut a 1.75" by 26.5" rectangle for the outer piece, and a 2.25" by 5.5" piece for the inner piece.  Each tie should yield two finished rosettes.  Also cut a circle with a 1.5" diameter for the backing.  I recommend choosing a sturdy fabric like craft felt.

Step Three:  Gather the longer, outer rectangle by machine or hand, and gather as tightly as possible.  Knot the threads to secure the gathers.

Step Four:  This is the fussy part.  Arrange the gathers in a pleasing way, pining them in place with the raw edges folded under.  Hand tack the gathers in place with a row of small running stitches.

Step Five:  Stitch the outer piece from step four to the felt backing.

Step Six:  To prepare the smaller, inner piece, run a row of running stitches down the center.  Gather the fabric as tightly as possible, wrapping the threads around several times to secure this piece in the shape of a bow.

Step Seven:  Stitch the inner piece from step six to the center of the felt backing.

Step Eight:  Hand tack both layers of fabric to achieve the desired look.  Ever the perfectionist, this is probably where I spent most of my time!

Step Nine:  Embellish.  I chose to bead the centers of the rosettes with some of the left over pearls from the veil.

Step Ten:  Add a pin to the back of the felt square to create a brooch if desired.  The rosette would also look nice attached to a belt or headpiece.  Now it's ready to wear!

These steps, of course, can be modified in any number of ways to achieve your desired design.  For instance, my bridal rosette featured three layers - one from the sage silk tie, another from the champagne satin dress, and then the ivory tulle veil.  Each rosette took me two hours to construct.

Completed Project Shots:

A bouquet of silk rosettes.


  1. The veil is gorgeous! You did such a nice job. I know how hard you worked on this project, and I'm happy to see that your effort paid off.

  2. Wow! The veil is so lovely. Your friend must be very happy to have such a talented good friend.

    1. Thank you! I think the same of her - talented and a good friend!


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