Friday, November 19, 2010

My personal couture seamstress

Yes, I have a personal Couture seamstress to sew me party dresses that fit perfectly! She is also known as my awesome mom, Connie Akers. My mom is just too good to me. When she moves away to the Hill Country I'll be going through withdrawals. I have mentioned before that I do love to sew, but I can't make fitted things for myself. Perhaps if I had a dress form I could, but mom just makes it look so easy. She knows where to take things up to make them fit just right.

My bridesmaid dress for Robin and Chases' wedding is one of those custom fit items. We used Vogue 8494 (purchased for $3.99 at a Joann sale, of course!) and made a wearable muslin. I did do the sewing on the muslin version, with mom helping me to fit it perfectly. We didn't take the muslin apart, but transferred the changes to the pattern pieces directly from the dress. That part was a bit tricky, but worked out in the end. In my opinion, this pattern is too complex for a casual sundress, but does fit like a glove and is quite flattering. On this version I had cut a larger skirt to accommodate my curves and we put some pleats in to easily fit it to the bodice.

Here is my muslin in a striped Seersucker.
It looks much better now that it is ironed and hemmed.
vogue 8494 in striped seersucker

The dress for the wedding needed to be Navy and I found some great fabrics at Golden D'or in Dallas. They have an annual summer sale and I got my fabrics during that. I got a Linen Weave Silk for the main fabric, Silk Dupioni for the contrast bands and Silk Organza for the pleated ruffle (my addition to the pattern).

I was so nervous to cut into the fabrics because they were so nice.

As I mentioned before, my seamstress (mom) did the sewing on this one. I was just too worried about messing something up and the dress had to be perfect for the wedding!

Here is the completed dress. I love the weight of the Linen Weave Silk, I think it would be considered a suiting weight. It really has a nice structure to it without being uncomfortable, and fits so well. We did view B with the contrast bands and added the organza pleated ruffle to the bottom. For the ruffle we doubled the organza and used a pleating board to make the pleats. We ironed it really well, took it out of the pleating board and stitched the pleats down to keep them in place.

Navy bridesmaid dress

Ruffle detail
Navy bridesmaid dress detail

Dad and I in front of the paper moon at the wedding.
This is a good view of how the dress fit me.
dad and I at Robin and Chases wedding

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! On Saturday Frank and I went to the Japanese Gardens here in Fort Worth and the weather was just perfect. We try to make it at least once every fall to see all the amazing colors while the leaves are changing. I may be biased, but our Japanese Gardens are fabulous. Frank and I visited the one in Golden Gate Park in San Fransisco and were underwhelmed after being spoiled by ours. I always find the Japanese Garden here to be a magical place, no matter what time of year we visit.

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

Japanese Maple

Koi in the Japanese Garden

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

Fort Worth Japanese Garden

My birthday weekend

Saturday evening we celebrated with some of my favorite people and had an impromptu outing. We were able to see Jeff Bridges perform songs from the Crazy Heart soundtrack with T Bone Burnett. I was right up front with my friend Penny and it was a great show.

Jeff Bridges!!!

We continued celebrating on Sunday at my Mother in Law's house. She generously cooked for us, making her fabulous homemade Salsa, Chicken Caldo and Spanish Rice. Yum!
I didn't get pictures as I was too excited to eat my soup. I will have to make it at home soon and share the recipe with you.

Thanks for all the birthday love! Though I do feel older, need an eye exam and some serious wrinkle cream, I couldn't feel more loved.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My sweet baby and constant companion

I had a great Birthday weekend and will share pictures soon. In the meantime, today is my sweet old lady Malta's Birthday! Malta is 15 today, and I have had her since she was two months old. Malta and I have been all over the Western US together on road trips, and she is the best dog I could ever wish for. She follows me around the house and stands next to me to get scratches (she's doing that right now). She's a little grumpy and can't go for very long walks anymore, but we are lucky that she is in great health overall.

Here she is not too long after we got her.

Here she is more recently. She hates the camera and this is a rare clear shot of her.
Aw, my Malty

Love you old girl!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My honey

I was out of town on mine and Franks' six year wedding anniversary. When I got home week before last he had these flowers, a card, and this photo framed for me. I took the picture on my iphone with the Hipstamatic and texted it to him from California. He had it printed for me and it turned out great! He read tips online that said to tell the photo printing people that you don't want any color correction on your Hipstamatic prints. This one is black and white so it didn't matter, but I will keep that in mind for future prints.

This is the image that he had printed.
landscape with buster

As soon as I got back in town I was planning my friend Robin's bachelorette party and doing wedding errands and crafts with her.
I haven't figured out what to give Frank for a belated anniversary gift.

Here we are on our honeymoon in Belize. I think we look so happy!
(and I had a tan!)
By the way, that was the best and cheapest meal of our trip.
We had the lobster burrito at this hole in the wall spot, and it was so delicious.
Lobster Burritos

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Flowers

A bonus to helping out with a wedding is bringing home some beautiful flowers! I have these all over my house and am afraid I'm getting spoiled.

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Flowers in my house!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wedding Week


One of my bestest friends tied the knot this past weekend and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. I spent the past week and a half celebrating, running pre-wedding errands and helping out with the decorations. The bride, another bridesmaid, myself, my mom and the brides' aunt and cousin did the flower arrangements for the wedding on Saturday. Mom made our bouquets and all of us worked on the table arrangements. They turned out gorgeous and I had so much fun with the whole flower arranging process.


Flowers ready to go to the chapel

tissue paper poms

Our sparkly shoes
our shoes

My husband Frank played guitar for two songs in the ceremony and he was looking mighty handsome in his wedding outfit.
Ash and Frank

The bride painted this birdcage gold for guests to put well wishes in.
I made the silk birds for the top of the cage.
I made those birds

The brides' bouquet, isn't it gorgeous?!
The brides' bouquet

The brides' bouquet

Half of the tables had succulent planters for centerpieces.
succulent centerpiece

A wonderful friend of the bride and groom made the desserts and the dessert table was super cute. I'm going to have to beg Dee for some of these recipes!
dessert table

Mmmmm, strawberry rhubarb pie

The bridesmaids, including myself, waiting for the ceremony to start.
Miranda, Ash and Sloan

Another friend made this moon for guests to take pictures with.
I love this one of me and Frank with my parents.
My family

My parents and the bride
mom, dad and Robin

Congratulations Robin and Chase!
We love you guys so much and are so happy to have been a part of your special day.