Showing posts with label Wedding. Show all posts

Tulle-ing Around

If you've been a Bean In Love reader for awhile, you might remember when my sis and I made her mantilla veil.  On the blog front, that post has actually been one of the most popular.  Recently, I received a request asking to detail the "step-by-complicated-step" process on how we cut the tulle.  So, there's no time like the present to write a post about it and no time like now considering I probably should have explained myself awhile ago.  Anywho, meet my subject:

A piece of computer paper stepping in for a piece of tulle today.  This is actually how the seamstress at the bridal shop we inquired at instructed us to cut the tulle - a little piece of processed tree.  :)  If you are cutting your own tulle following this tutorial, I'd recommend practicing on a piece of paper first, that way, you'll have a guide of your own.

When you arrive at home with your tulle and lay it out - preferably on a large, flat, clean surface (we used the floor), it should just look like a big rectangle.  Before you start cutting out the rounded shape that will be your veil, you need to cut the tulle to your desired length.  For example, my sister is about 5'6", so we cut hers at 8 feet.  Tip:  Put your wedding dress on and hold the top of the tulle to the desired place on the top of your head, then make a mark on the tulle at the point you'd like it cut - my sister wanted hers a couple of feet longer than her dress' train.  So, after this step, you should once again have a large rectangle.  Side notes:  1)  If you had it cut at your desired length at the fabric store, there's no need for this step and 2)  we left the tulle the width it came, if you'd like it narrower, you'll also have to cut down the long way.

And now we get to the possibly complicated part...I'll try my best to show you exactly how to cut.  First, fold the tulle/paper in half longways (along the dotted line) like so:

Then, fold it again (along the dotted line) so that the bottom meets perfectly with the side (you should now have a triangle):

(Realized after posting this pic that my wedding ring is still sitting in the tray by my sink after I took it off to paint yesterday...oops!)

Now comes the critical part - cutting.  To get a perfectly rounded bottom, you'll need to cut a slight curve from the top right edge of the triangle to a point about 1/4 of the way up the left (angled) side of the paper/tulle.

The hard part is over!  Unfold your tulle/paper and you should have this goin' on:

The reason I emphasize cutting a slight curve is because if you cut anymore than that, you'll get this shape at the bottom of your veil:

Cute shape, not so cute for a veil.

However, if you don't cut enough of a curve, you'll get sharp edges and a rounded square, in which case, just go back and cut a little more. 

Unfortunately it's hard to give approximate measurements on how far up you should cut since I don't have an actual piece of veil tulle in front of me nor did my sister and I measure.  The best advice I can give is to cut a little and then cut more if, after unfolding your cut veil, you'd like more of a curve (in which case you'd need to go through the folding process again, no biggie though).

So, after following those steps, you should have a rounded bottom.  Now we move up to the top rectangle.  In order to get that cascading look down the front, you'll need to round the upper two corners so...

First, fold in half (longways again):

Then cut off those corners:

If you've stuck with it and followed these steps and your tulle/paper looks like this, then well done!

Onto attaching the comb.  For my sister's veil, we gathered a small section of tulle at the top in order to attach the comb.  The red pen shows what I mean:

On my veil, the entire top width was gathered (using a basting stitch - which is just a very wide, straight stitch - usually temporary but in this case, permanent) and then attached to the comb.  For a mantilla veil, you want part of the top edge of the veil to fall on each side of the face and upper body, then flow into the rounded corners, and cascade down.  Make sense?  I hope so...

So, after you've attached the tulle to your comb (we just hand stitched that baby on there with strong, clear thread), it's time to attach the lace.  My only recommendation regarding the lace is to have the ends meet in an inconspicuous spot, like the side of the veil where it cascades, and therefore 'hides' the ends. 

 As far as attaching the lace, we simply used a basting stitch and clear thread and it worked like a glue required.

If you've got the time (and good family/friends to help), it's so worth trying to make your own veil.  The mantilla veil my sister wanted at a bridal shop was priced at $750 (not including tax!) and for under $100 (85 beans to be exact) we made our own and, in my own honest opinion, it looked just as good and is fully loaded with lots of love, sisterly bonding, and great memories.  I hope this tutorial helps anyone who's up for the well-worth-it challenge.  Of course, feel free to email me at with any questions and/or pictures of your creations!  Happy cutting, sewing, and wedding planning! 

Farrah and Patrick's wedding pictures were taken by the incredible Sean Lata.  :)

Playing Florist for a Day

That's right, we acted like we were florists and put together hydrangea bouquets just like the pros...only it was our night-before-the-wedding-girls-only party. 

Farrah and Patrick ordered hydrangeas in bulk from Costco, saving lots of money. 
 Actually, they spent only a quarter of what we spent on our flowers, and we thought we got a good deal AND were on a budget!  Wowsers!  

When the time came to work floral wonders, we went with a simple look using bunches of the hydrangeas to create small bouquets for the bridesmaids, a larger one for Farrah, some simple boutonnieres, and cute corsages for the women in the family.  The best thing about making your own floral creations in a wedding or other event is that you can totally customize anything by ordering different kinds of flowers and any color you want...all for a price that will make your bank account smile.

First up:  The bouquets.  Each bouquet was comprised of three stems of hydrangeas, except the flower girl's, whose had one stem.  We arranged the stems so that they'd form a round bouquet and added some leaves around the edges, then we secured them with green floral tape.  Ribbon, beads, more leaves, twine, excess fabric, or anything else you can think up can be wrapped around the stems over the tape to add even more detail.

For Farrah's bouquet, we used five stems and added pieces of a vine that grew outside of her apartment (her idea and FREE).
 Farrah securing a rosary to her bouquet.  Mama Mary, pray for us.

Next:  Boutonnieres.  Our great friend, Megan, was a boutonniere-making machine.  She whipped those babies up in no time, and considering we had about 15 of them to make, time was of the essence.  While she formed boutonniere art, we searched among the leftover hydrangeas to find small bits of flowers and leaves that would work for her.  We also added some of the vine to them to snazzy them up a little.  Patrick's boutonniere stood out against the others when we used a white rose instead of a hydrangea to adorn him.  (A boutonniere tip:  Place the finished boutonnieres in a cool place close to an air conditioning register rather than in the refrigerator.  The first five boutonnieres we made wilted within 20 minutes after we placed them on a cookie sheet in the fridge.  Oops!  Placed next to a cool air flow, they survived the night and looked great for the wedding.)

The corsages were made with pieces of a bouquet of pink alstromeria that Farrah already had along with more hydrangea, vine, and back by a hydrangea leaf.

The "organized" mess we made.  :)

So that's that for our florist experience.  All credit for this post and inspiration to play florist goes to my good friend, Lizzie.  For her wedding a couple of years ago, all of the bridesmaids sat down and whipped up bouquets while praying a rosary.  I wouldn't have known making bouquets was so easy and fun if it wasn't for her inspiration!  She used bunches of red roses and wrapped the stems with black ribbon to match the bridesmaid's dresses and they looked fabulous!

Any other faux-florists out there?  Show and do tell!

Please Take a Number

My sister and her hubby had assigned tables at their wedding so another "loose end" we had to tie was printing off table numbers to be placed on each table.  Farrah had the idea of somehow using the extra invitations her and Patrick had made and printed out themselves.  So after some brain-storming and googling table numbers, we came up with our idea.  (Note:  We found the basic idea online but tweaked it a little.  So thank you to the online source, that I can't remember, that gave us the inspiration for her numbers!) 

So, first we printed out large numbers on the left-over invitations in a font that they had used on their invitations.
Sometimes it took a few times to get the placement right but it took us about 10 minutes from start to finish.
We used a section of the invitations that had a printed design to add a little character to the number cards instead of just leaving them plain...because there is nothing "plain" about Farrah and Patrick.  :)

Farrah had some used wine corks lying around, some with sweet memories attached to them and others just existing.  So, we used them as 'stands' to hold up the numbers.  We simply cut small slit in one side of the cork (the other side being the flattest which would stand straight when placed on a table).  The number cards were slid in and wala...FREE, trendy table numbers in less than 15 minutes!
Some guests even sat a tables where their 'corks' held special meaning to them.  For example, our grandparent's and family signed the cork that came from the champagne bottle they used to toast Farrah and Patrick during their engagement.  We made sure that cork held their number.  :)

Adding to the delight of having free, cute numbers, the rest of what made up their centerpieces (candles, pieces of round tree stumps, small ferns, lanterns, and some other small details) were borrowed to them..some by a bride married the previous weekend, some by the reception hall owners, and the rest by a local plant nursery.  They looked great even though the best centerpieces of all were Farrah and Patrick themselves!  :) 

Tulle, Lace, and Two Sisters

My Irish twin sister (we were born in the same year, 10 months apart) got hitched to her main man, Patrick, a few weeks ago.  It was a grand 'ole time, even with the rain that just poured out more blessings from above.  It's funny to me that one day can encompass a whole year's worth (in this case) of planning.  I flew in a week early to help Farrah tie up some loose ends and boy were there lots of them.  Following in the footsteps of her smart, older sister...that's me...Peach and Pat, as they're loving known, went the D.I.Y. route which saved them lots of moolah and still surrounded their day with personalized beauty.  My next few posts will be on their wedding, sharing some of their money-saving tips with other money-saving fiends like us out there.

First things first - the veil.  Farrah had her heart set on a gorgeous, cathedral length mantilla veil...until she saw the $750 price tag.  Seriously?!  It's that much for a bunch of tulle and some lace?!  Well, after showing me the beauty and being the "think outside of the box" girls we are, we couldn't help but try to make it ourselves.  We have basic sewing skills so it should be pretty easy, right? on.

So off we went to work searching for the lace.  Mantilla veils are edged with lace, alencon lace being very popular but expensive because it's so intricate and detailed. 
  I scoured fabric stores all around me but there was no alencon lace to be found. I was told numerous times it's hard to find but very expensive when it is found.  Then Farrah hit the jackpot while she was searching for a bridal bolero jacket when she ran across the Rohm etsy shop, where the owner specialized in alencon lace bridal ensembles.  She excitedly ordered her custom, alencon lace jacket and the owner kindly sold her around 5 yards of extra lace so she could make her veil.

So onto the day I arrived in the blushing, to-be bride's presence.  Our first priority was getting this veil made and the minute we sat down with the yards of tulle and lace, the task looked a little daunting.
First we had to cut the tulle.  Farrah's inquiries to the seamstress at a bridal shop provided us with a step-by-complicated-step process on cutting out a veil.  Fold here, cut here, make sure this is a rounded, not squared edge, and it should 'cascade' down the front filled our thoughts and words.  Who knew you couldn't just trace and cut?  Not us!
Update:  I finally wrote a post on that 'step-by-complicated-step' cutting process.  Click here to read!
But we did it...halfway done with the veil...nope, not even close.  Next we attached two combs to the top of the veil using clear thread.  We used two combs because the combs we had weren't very wide so we overlapped them about an inch or so, creating one larger comb that would hold the veil in place better. 

Next up:  the lace.  Before we could start sewing it to the veil, we had to 'cut it out'.  This part required a good bit of patience and detail.  We had to cut as close to the detailing on the lace as we could without cutting too much.

After the lace was prepped and all the cutting done, we started the most satisfying yet most time-consuming part of the whole process - sewing the lace around the entire edge of the veil.  We had originally planned to each start at an edge and just start sewing but with each of us having to continually thread needles while holding the lace in place we found that way wouldn't work.  So, I guided the lace and threaded Farrah's needle while she sewed on the lace...which with clear thread that's hard to see, wasn't an easy task.  We knew halfway through this process why the mantilla veil in the bridal shop was $750 bucks!  :)  Lots of time and patience is involved!
Four hours later, Farrah's mantilla veil was assembled and she stepped into her wedding day for two seconds as she tried it on for size.  Uh-oh...the tips of the scalloping in the lace needed to each be stitched onto the tulle so it didn't look like she had spikes hanging off her veil.  With a few sighs of "well, we thought we were done", we went to bed dreaming of more veil work the next day.

Next Day:

After three more hours of individually stitching scalloped edges to the tulle we had created a masterpiece...for 85 DOLLARS (including lace, tulle, combs, and clear thread) and seven hours of sisterly love and bonding time.  Was it worth it?  Every penny and minute!
Her homemade mantilla veil looked store-bought and complimented her already existing 'gorgeousness'!  It was definitely a project that tops my "Things I've Made" list and I think I can speak for both Farrah and I on that.  Not only did she look incredible under her veil but now it's a keepsake that holds sisterly memories that we'll each cherish forever.  :)

Farrah's Shower Invitation Project

I recently got back from a little vacay in Florida where I visited my sister, Farrah...a.k.a. "Peach".  I went there mainly to help her get some things off her to-do list before her big day in October and also to throw her a surprise wedding shower! 
Since most of our family lives 1000 miles away or more, it wasn't really possible for everyone to fly down for a weekend shower when they'd be coming in a couple of months.  So, Farrah's fiance's sister had the idea to throw a "mail-in" shower where we could send invitations out that asked people to send her a gift.  Since I wanted to surprise Farrah, I had everyone send the gifts to my house and then I carted them on over to Florida.  More on the shower itself another day.  The invitations are on the menu today.

If you've read about our wedding, you know that we found and made invitations ourselves for a steal.  Well, we had about 50 invitations and reply cards leftover so I saved them knowing that one day they could come in handy.  Well, the one day came along and I went to work on about 25 reply cards, transforming them into shower invitations fit for a Peach. 
Farrah and Patrick's colors are coral and navy blue so I tied in those colors and used some cute fonts I found online to spice them up.  The company that makes the invitations has a website where you can download the format needed to create them in Word so I downloaded it (I had deleted it since I used it for our wedding invitations) and went to work.  Then, just to appease my perfectionist self, I created a document to print out all of the envelopes with addresses in matching colors and fonts.  All I had to do was adjust the "page size" in Word and my printer printed them perfectly.

Lastly, I added a little more flair by punching out one corner with my corner-punch and nipping off the other corners with a plain 'ole scissors.  

  So there you have it!  Cute invitations costing a few cents in ink and an hour of time!  Peachy keen if you ask me!