Summer Wedding Bonanza

It’s October so I figured it was time to recap the summer wedding season and all the ways we crafted our caring instead of diving into consumerism. First, I made my sister her garter using a very old pattern which doesn’t seem to be available anymore. If you’re on Ravelry, here’s the project link including my modifications.

We also made their wedding gifts and forgot to photograph them, so I had to wait for my sister to get around to it!

The coasters are from a fantastic tutorial that is easy once you figure it out and yields beautiful results! We made eight coasters so they would have plenty when friends come around. Here’s a larger photo of the table runner on my flickr account. Missing from the picture are two crocheted mesh cotton shopping bags and fair trade Oxfam incense.

After failing at two attempts to make an octagonal potholder from the Tightwad Gazette (The batting wasn’t thick enough and the final product ended up strangely curled as a result of my beginner quilting skills) I made this oven mitt pattern up. Taking a large piece of newspaper I traced a very large oven mitt and cut four pieces from some thick cotton fabric (the zip-off bottoms of trousers that were never worn as much as the shorts) and two sets of batting (wadding in the UK). I then sandwiched the batting between two pieces of fabric, right sides out, and crisscrossed with the machine to quilt them together. After doing the same for the other half, I pinned everything wrong side together, sewed closely to the edge and popped in a hanging tab, turned it right side out and viola! It ended up smaller than I thought it would and next time I’ll make the template even larger, but it is still usable!

My sister was also amazingly crafty for her wedding- making beautiful fan style programs, painting her own aisle runner, sewing men’s ties for all the groomsmen, (machine) embroidering gift bags, bridesmaids gifts and tons of other beautiful looking things! She also made the earrings for the bridesmaids to wear during the ceremony!

My bridesmaid dress was such delicate material that it quickly gained water and birch-beer stains throughout the reception and needed to be dry cleaned, so I left it in the U.S. with my parents.

After seeing photos of my sister’s wedding, friends in Scotland almost demanded that I wore that dress to our friend’s wedding in August. I told them were it remained and wondered if I could wear a black dress I had received in a freecycle bag a while back. At first, it seemed as though black would be fine for the reception and I searched for colourful shoes at the charity shops to colorize the outfit. I found two pairs for £1 each and was going to build the colour scheme around them- either borrowing or making necklaces and crocheting a shawl. The shoes I picked up were blue and pink pairs and I was working through how to accessorise stylishly yet without buying anything new (aside from £1 shoes that is!).

I then got nervous about wearing black to the wedding after seeing how touchy my sister got about white and off-white being mentioned prior to her wedding so I decided to play it safe. I priced fabric for making the infinity dress but only saw one colour that I sort-of liked and it was £8 a metre…That night, I went through town on the way home to top-up my phone and saw a beautiful colour dress in a charity shop window! Hoping, I waited at the door for the shop to open at 9am Saturday. Incidentally, it is the same shop I stood waiting to open when I bought the Arcopal dish set! When I tried it on, I was a bit disappointed that I would have to alter it in some way- I was looking for an easy fix. Then, I reminded myself that I can only learn if I try and, I bought the dress.

I had planned on simply taking the shoulders up, but realised that the armpit space would be too tight and that I would have to raise the shoulders half way as well as take the fabric in at the sides. The upper two photos show the unaltered dress and what I planned to do, the image on the right is after alteration (more fitted bust and waist area, and the lower picture was taken at the hostel before we left for the reception (they got married at the registry earlier that day). In a bit of a panic the week before the wedding, I realised that we only had a little black bag in the house- obviously rejected since the black dress was vetoed. I went, once more, to the charity shops looking at every one in town searching in vain for an appropriate colour, style and size (to fit a camera, dancing shoes and an epi-pen!). Finally, I had a very “duh!” moment and just grabbed a blue men’s shirt, came home and made a bag! This is the tutorial I used for the bag and definitely want to make more. I embroidered a beaded flower/plant and lined it with a white shirt in my stash to give a bit of a contrast. The lining also helped it match my shawl and shoes. The shawl I wore was started in June, ignored when I was in the U.S. and then used to tie my white shoes into the outfit. The shawl pattern is from this site.


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