Showing posts with label Tessuti linen lace awards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tessuti linen lace awards. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 February 2012

A wedding dress of sorts


Robin liked it, so he put a ring on it.

Yes it's true ladies and gents, Miss JuliaBobbin officially became a Mrs. RobinBobbin when she said 'Heck yes' on October 15, 2011.

We got married at the beautiful Werribee Park Mansion in front of our wonderful family and friends ... and a few random passer-bys (bless their curious eyes).


Robin and I first locket eyes and limbs (not in a scandalous way I assure you!) in a Salsa dance class at the Night Cat 3 years ago. Robin was basically Patrick Swayze with an Australian accent and I was 'baby in the corner' ... but right at the start of the movie when she can't dance... Needless to say after a lot of excessive eye-lid fluttering and spins on the dance floor, we fell (triple spun) in love and made our sacred vows.

So as you can imagine, it's common knowledge amongst our friends and family that we dance salsa and so guess what dance they expected us to do for our wedding dance ... salsa (regardless of how totally ACE we are dancing to MC Hammer, it just wasn't wedding appropriate). Ok Salsa it is.
One problem. My wedding dress was big enough to fit a medium size family under and was not in any way Salsa friendly.
Solution: make me a dress for the salsa dance!


This actually ended up being a blessing. I had purchased my wedding dress back in January 2011 when I had really only been sewing for just over a year and was not up to the epic task of sewing my own wedding dress. By the time we had decided to do a salsa dance I had had a bit more experience and wanted to make a separate dress for the dance. This would feel in some way that I'd made a wedding dress of sorts for my wedding day, just without the 'vomit-every-morning' sort of pressure. Just to wedding it up, I made it in white silk dupion, french lace and lace motifs.

The dress was easy to put together, seeing as I imitated my previous design with the Tessuti Awards dress so I'd already had practice.


I made a half circle skirt for twirling comfort and added three flat folds of silk dupion on the hem to give the skirt a bit of detail without overbalancing the lace bodice. I cut these strips on the bias to give extra flexibility.


I used for the bodice beautiful French Chantilly lace that I bought on sale from Clegs a few moons ago. I interlined the front of the bodice with dupion to stop it from being see-through.




The style of this dress with the full loose skirt made for very comfortable dancing. I ended up keeping this dress on for the rest of the reception after our dance. We had an amazing band who played old-school RNB, funk and reggae with some latin grooves, so there was no way I was sitting like a doily all night while people danced away! Even though I do love my wedding dress!

I teamed the dress with a stunning hand-made floral head piece made of silk and feathers from the ridiculously talented Twigs and Honey Seriously, I start hyperventilating every time I go onto their site; their stuff is painfully beautiful!



I hand stitched lace motifs onto the skirt of the dress and blended them into the bodice. This took a million freaking years. I wanted to make sure you couldn't see any of the hand stitching. I did however find this process quite relaxing; the repitition and back-to-basic-ness of it all.



Can you see the stitching? No? Exactly.

I was very happy how this dress turned out and that I got to wear something on the day that I had made. There won't be too many occasions in the future where I will have the chance to wear a white dupion and lace dress again (wedding vow renewals perhaps?!) but I love it just the same.



Our first dance was a traditional slow dance in my actual wedding dress. We danced to the song that my husband wrote, recorded and proposed to me with. It is such an amazing song and I still get goosebumps when I hear it. It has to be one of the most romantic things I have ever experienced.

For our choreographed salsa dance we rocked out to a Michael Jackson Latin remix of 'Rock my world' and once the music started my nerves went away and we had an absolute blast!

Here's a few pictures of me in my actual wedding dress if you're curious ...



Very simple and clean. My salsa dress had all the bling on it! We haven't got our professional shots back yet so these ones are curtesy of my wonderful dad and a few friends on facebook! (God bless facebook).

 Me and my ridiculously handsome husband. Isn't he dreamy?!

Me wearing my dress with my two good friends Teuila and Bryce 

 From left: Cousin Josh, Brothers Daniel and Genaaron and cousin Elizabeth. Did I mention that my family is full of talented musicians?! I was so lucky to have my family play at our wedding ceremony.

Me and the first man I ever loved (and still do) my wonderful dad; Michelangelo (no he is not a ninja turtle).

We had such an amazing night and my dress was a success. But the best part? I got to marry me the love of my life. I know I sound cheesy, but I finally found a man who is my sort of crazy and gives me the warm and fuzzies.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Granny Smith


I made this dress in a hurry two days before the wedding. I had purchased the fabric and the lace a few months back and ideas for what I could do with it had been brewing in my subconscious for a while. Once a defined idea popped into my head, no pending wedding could hold me down; I had to make it!

The dress is made with green cotton that I purchased from The Fabric Store and trimmed with some lovely delicate white lace which makes the dress, well, pretty! I added the lace around the neckline and arm holes which I top stitched into place, and I also featured it on the pleats at the bottom of the skirt.




You can see echoes of the Tessuti Awards dress in this number, which evidently I haven't yet got out of my system. There are just so many glorious things you can do with pleats! Just like my Tessuti Awards dress I made a long row of pleats, but instead of making five rows on the skirt I kept it simple and sweet with just one row along the hem of the skirt.




I sewed down one long strip of the lace just above the hem of the pleat fabric before I made the pleats. I really like how it turned out! The lace is such a pretty little detail, and the white really works with the green.

From these photos you'll notice two new things that I brought back with me from my honey moon in Hawaii; these gorgeous heels which are my new favourites, and ... wait for it ... a tan! My skin has taken on vampire-like qualities since I was practically an infant and I no longer look like just two eyes balls and hair when I stand in front of a white wall.




This dress is perfect for spring/summer, and the colour makes me think of fresh green granny smith apples! I think this dress is going to get a work out this season!

Hen's night in Blue

One beautiful wedding and a relaxing two week honeymoon in Hawaii later, I am back in Melbourne and ready to sew! One of the first things I did after hobbling, jet-lagged and snotty (I have a cold dammit!) into my house, was walk into my sewing room and sit amongst my piles (mountains) of fabric. It's good to be home!

Now I may not have blogged in the frantic weeks before the wedding, but I was not idle; Janome and I were busy. Ok maybe sewing clothes when I was up to my eye-balls in last minute wedding plans was not the smartest, but I actually found it relaxed me and gave me a bit of Julia time.

So here is one of the three dresses that I made right before the wedding; the dress I wore to my hen's night, or Bachelorette night as it's known in some parts!


This dress was put together using a metre of some sort of polyester fabric that I had in my stash right from when I had first started sewing. One of my very first projects was made using this fabric, and unfortunately it bombed. I had kept the left over fabric from it hoping that I could use it for another outfit one day as I really loved the print.

I lined the dress with black silk dupion to give it extra firmness and to stop my 'jelly' from jiggling too much. God was eating pears when he made me.


If you're feeling a bit of deja vu you're not wrong! I used the same silhouette for this dress as I used for my Tessuti Awards creation, just minus the pleats. Don't you love how different two dresses can look just by using a different fabric and adding a subtle feature!

The feature for this dress was a wave of folds on one shoulder, which gives the dress just that little bit extra and hopefully pulls it out of the boring category. This feature was made from one long piece of fabric. I made large folds in random spots at different angles, starting from the bottom all the way to the top, and then stitched the folds down.



My fabulous and incredibly generous bridesmaids spoilt me rotten on my hen's night and I had an absolute ball! We had a high tea with friends in the afternoon (my new favourite thing!) and then hit the d-floor late in the evening/morning where things got a bit messy (in a good way). I'm a very lucky girl to have such good friends!

Here's me wearing the dress on the hen's night, complete with veil, oversized flashing-light engagement ring (naturally) Bride-to-be sash, flowers and a photo of my fiance (now husband) dressed as woman around my neck. Look out!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Tessuti Awards 2011

Start spreading the news ...
Oh my goodness ladies and gentleman, the impossible has happened! Blow me down, I won the 2011 Tessuti Awards!
The excitement and happiness I feel is ridiculous. I'm almost certain that I've permanently damaged by vocal chords after screaming compulsively until my fiance starting smothering me with a pillow so that the neighbours didn't think I was being murdered (ah the irony).

The winners were to be announced on the Tessuti website on Wednesday the 28th of September at an undisclosed time, so I sat like a crazy lady in front of my (work's) computer all day pressing the refresh button every ten minutes, which continued at home in the evening until the winners were announced just after 6:15pm. I had dinner cooking on the stove when I refreshed the page to see my dress slap me in the face on the screen with the amazing title 1st place!


I screamed so much that I almost vomited. I ran to my fiance Robin, and after screeching a string of unintelligible words, I managed to articulate to Robin that I had won, which was followed by a lot of screeching from Robin as we jumped around, me looking less like a Fashionista and more like Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

I then made him come and look at the screen so I could be sure that my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. It was such a thrill seeing such a beautiful model wearing the dress that I'd put so much work into. My head is still spinning looking at those pictures!

Robin had the sense then to turn off the stove (dinner was ruined but who cared!) and we celebrated by jumping around the lounge room listening to Jay-Z's 'Empire State of Mind' (did I mention first prize is a trip for two to New York?) and drinking an expensive bottle of champagne.


This years competition was Linen and Lace where everything old is new again. The brief was simple, fresh and pretty and follows one of the trend forecasts for next Spring/Summer. Design a dress in any length using a combination of Linen and Lace in Neutrals, Whites or a combination of both tones together.

I used the stunning Corded Bianca Griege from the Tessuti online shop and a heck of a lot of Ivory zin linen.

I knew that pleats were going to be big in the spring forecast and so I decided to take the pleats to an extreme and make a skirt out of it.



Each pleat was individually sewn down, and finished with bias binding. Each row of pleats took over two and a half hours to sew, and that's with out sewing them onto the skirt! All up the skirt part of the dress took over 12 and a half hours to sew and over 20 metres in length!

I interlined the lace bodice fron with the linen for extra structure and modesty. I lined the skirt of the dress and finished the hem of the lining with a lace trim. I love knowing that there's a pretty little detail on the inside that's just for me.
The seams on the inside of the bodice have been finished with a Hong-Kong binding technique and the dress is closed together with an invisible zip.

The Corded Bianca Griege had such a stunning scalloped edge which made the designing ideas come easily. I featured the scalloped edge by creating a low V shaped back and letting the fabric speak for itself.
You can see my Tessuti Awards entry here

I am just so grateful to Tessuti Fabrics for creating such a wonderful opportunity for sewists to put their skills and imaginations to the test, and I was constantly inspired every day seeing all the new entrants in the competition and I marveled at how talented Australia is.

I entered this competition to set myself a challenge and to push my own expectations of myself and I am over the moon how it turned out. Entering the competition encouraged discipline in myself to take the time to use couture sewing techniques and develop my skills and I have therefore come out the other side of the competition a better seamstress.

I can't wait for my trip to New York. Thank you Tessuti!!