Three-Way Gold Lace Wedding Dress

gold lace wedding dress

I love the idea of a wedding dress that can be worn in multiple ways. You put so much time and money into your dress, why not wear it more than once? I got to wear mine twice since I had weddings in both Japan and the U.S., but since then the dress has been abandoned in the back of my closet.

I worked with a bride this summer to make a dress that can be worn in three different ways. The first one is the simple strapless mini dress. The bride had in mind that she would be wearing this to go to weddings or events in the future. Then for her actual wedding, we came up with the idea of making a tulle skirt that can be worn on top of the mini dress. To change it up for reception, I also made a peplum top in matching sheer lace fabric.inspiration and sketch

The above is the inspiration image for the dress. It is in peach color but since we found this gorgeous gold lace fabric, we decided to go with it. They sell it in white and black as well. The fabric is very delicate and pretty. I was scared to put the shears through for fear of cutting a wrong piece or the tip of the shears poking through the lace. gold lace wedding dress2gold lace dress inside frontThis is what it looks like inside before the lining was attached. Instead of using fusible interface, I used muslin fabric as the interface. This is my favorite method for wedding dresses, as you can use the muslin for the fitting, which is thread traced for the sewing lines. I stitch the muslin on satin each one by hand. This takes a long time! Also the bra cups are catch stitched, neckline is reinforced with twill tape and all the seam allowances are pressed and catch stitched to the muslin fabric. gold lace dress inside backWe decided to go with laced up back instead of zipper or fabric covered button since the bride just had a baby and her sizes were changing. I am happy with our decision since it is less stressful for both of us not to have to worry about the small size changes. Also this way, she can wear the dress for other occasions in the future.

When you see the ready-to-wear wedding dresses or rental wedding dresses in Japan, they usually use big white bra hooks looking things to lace up the back. I went to Okadaya in Shinjyuku and asked if they have the same notion, but they did not have it. They recommended using metal eyelet, but they are silver and did not look right on delicate gold lace. I decided to buy the bra hook and eye set and just use the eye part (talked about it in this video). I used 13 in total. It worked well since the satin ribbon I used for the lace up was thin. The eyes don’t really show in the right side of the fabric, and I was pleased with the result. front and back inside of the gold dress

Lots of hand sewing involved!

bridal sashThe bridal sash was ordered at Garter Queen on etsy. I ordered the color which look the closest to the dress, but the one that arrived look slightly different from the satin ribbon I used for the lace up back. So I ended up making a trip back to Okadaya and picked up the wide width satin ribbon that matched perfectly, and glued the pearl and crystal part to the ribbon.

Check out this page to see the bride’s wedding pictures!
gold lace dress back


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MADE | Ballet Leotard

little girls lace leotard w caption

Kiko recently started taking ballet lessons. She loves it. She gets to run around with other girls and she is enamored by all the girl clothes, and the little girl’s tutu leotard was no exception. I am a bit surprised by how much she is into tulle, dresses and pink since she spends a lot of time with Andy, who is all about boxing, weight lifting and other sorts of sweaty activity.

We went to her lessons a few times with just leggings and t-shirts, but all the other girls were dressed in pretty ballerina attire so I decided to make one for her. First thing I had in mind was to use up the fabric leftover I used to make jazz dance costume. I had a lot of white spandex fabric left over but I could not find it…I must have thrown them away during the move last year. So the only acceptable fabric for this project was the ivory stretch lace from this dress. It was an easy project and I am pleased with how it turned out. I like how it is a bit different from regular solid spandex leotard and I got to reduce the amount of ever growing fabric stash. girl leotard pattern drafting1

As for patterns, I started from Kiko’s bathing suit. I roughly traced the front and back of the bathing suit and added about an inch to the torso for length.

girl leotard pattern draftingHere are all the pattern pieces cut. There are only three: front, back and straps. Very simple! I can use this to make a bigger leotard by adjusting the base pattern when she grows out of this.girls leotard sewingThe leotard is fully lined with a skin color jersey. I first sewed the crotch for both fashion fabric and lining, then right sides facing, I sewed the leg hole (?) area. Before turning them inside out, I added the elastic bands in the seam allowances. I cut them an inch shorter than the length of the leg hole measurement, and stretched them a bit as I sewed. attaching tutu skirt to leotardI had some soft tulle left over from making this veil, so I cut them in long rectangle, gathered the top and attach it to the waist line. I still don’t like cutting and sewing tulle fabric. I get the urge to pull all my hair out whenever I have to deal with this fabric. It drives me crazy that there is no grain line and the fact that it rips so easily. little girls lace leotard4 little girls lace leotard1

This made me want to make Nettie bodysuit by Closet Case. I had seen Sonja and Inna made them and they look great on them. That is going to be the next project after I finish the silk Archer button up!lace leotard娘が最近バレエを始めたので、レッスン用のレオタードを作りました。
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Three Baby Shower Gift Ideas

three baby shower gift ideas

There is a baby boom happening around me lately. It seems like everyone is having a baby! As much as the time allows , I try to make some handmade gifts for them. It is more time consuming, but there is also something special about staying late at night, using my hands to create for your friends. For baby shower gifts, I try to avoid baby clothes because when you get a ton of new born clothes which won’t last for a long time because baby grows so quick. It might not be as fun but I like to give practical gifts like diapers and nursing pads because you will definitely need them. Here are some of my ideas to pretify the rather boring gifts:

1. Diaper cakeantonia29

This one is fun to make and you can be creative with the toppings. My friend made me one when I was having baby and I appreciated having extra diapers around when I forgot to buy some.diper cake how to1 diper cake how to2 diper cake how to3

I used one pack of diapers (about 80 diapers). I separated them in three, rolled them up (put in a toilet paper core in the middle for the biggest roll), and tie with an elastic band. To connect three diaper cake rolls together, I used disposable chopsticks, just stick a few of them in the middle.diper cake how to4 diper cake how to5Since my friend was having a baby boy, I used some fabric left overs in sky blue (from this dress) and trims. To secure the end, I stapled them together. Perhaps you can use hot glue gun to do the same. I added a cardboard cut in the same size circle of the bottom diaper roll, covered in the same blue fabric for the very bottom for extra security.antonia31 mini cars

Now the fun part: toppings! I found these tiny paper cars and trains at Okashi Tengoku (お菓子天国). It literally means Snack Heaven. They have all kinds of Japanese snacks. The one I went was in the second floor of Toyosu Viva Home. To attach the toppings, I used tooth picks. It wasn’t the most secure way to put them on, but they stood ok.

2. Embroidered card

baby shower card3While I was in Philadelphia, I took some embroidery project with me. I worked on it while I sat on the couch and chatted with grandma. One of my favorite stitches I learned is the chain stitch. I looks pretty when you use a thick thread, like 6 thread embroidery strand. There are many tutorials on how to do chain stitch on the internet so I won’t go into the detail here. This tutorial is easy to follow.

To make the card, I stole a colored paper from Kiko’s craft drawer and drew the letter, “BOY”. Then using 6 embroidery together, chain stitch along the letter drawn with a pencil. baby shower card1 baby shower card2 baby shower card4baby shower gift

Guess what’s inside the tulle wrapping? It is nursing pads! Well, they were specifically requested by the mom-to-be. You need a lot of those for the first few months. I made myself some washable nursing pads, but by the end of breast feeding, I was tired of washing them after each use. Disposable ones would have come very handy.

3. Initial embroidered cloth washable wipesbaby cloth initial embroidery

The idea is the same as the gift idea #2. I bought a plain white cloth wipes and embroider the baby’s last name initial using chain stitch. baby cloth initial embroidery1 baby cloth initial embroidery2

Hope you like my ideas!



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