Friday, September 25, 2009

Wedding Garter "Keep" and "Toss" Tutorial

Pin It Now! I honestly did not know about these things when I got hitched. They're called "Keep" and "Toss" Wedding Garters and as the name implies, the bride "keeps" one as a wedding day keepsake and the groom "tosses" the other one to the woman-hungry bachelors at the reception. If you're too embarrassed to gift kinky lingerie at the bridal shower, then this is a classy and fun alternative. Both times I've made them, I used the bride's wedding colors and embellished them with little touches that suited the personality of the bride. Of course, if you're not sure about the bride's wedding colors, white or ivory is a safe bet (and throw in a touch of blue to fulfill the "something blue" tradition.)

Ok, let's briefly talk fabric options for this project. Charmeuse satin is the way to go. It comes in silk or synthetic (polyester). Charmeuse is different than regular satin in that it's thinner and more delicate. It's the stuff they use to make lingerie, ladies. Of course real silk is nicer, but more expensive. Granted, it doesn't take a lot of fabric to make a garter, so even if you used real silk, the project cost would stay low. As for polyester charmeuse, I have come across some pretty good qualities, all from this place here. They only have a few colors listed online, but if you go to their Houston location they have over a hundred different colors of both higher quality polyester and heavenly silk charmeuse. LOVE that store.

  • 30"x5" rectangle of charmeuse for outer trim of "keep" garter
  • 30"x4" rectangle of charmeuse for outer trim of ""toss" garter
  • 2 cuts of 30"x 1 3/4" rectangle of charmeuse for center of each garter
  • * 2 pieces of 3/4" wide non-roll elastic: 15" long
  • Embellishments (bows, charms, beads, flowers, etc) - optional
*Note on sizing: a good rule of thumb on just how much elastic to use is to measure the thigh and take away one inch. You'll use TWICE that length in you charmeuse pieces. This pattern is for "one size fits most" but I wanted you to know how to calculate for customizing plus or stick figures.

For this tutorial, I'm only going to make the "keep" garter. The instructions for the "toss" are pretty much the same. I've used two different colors 1) because I love the fun contrast and 2) it's easier for ya'll to follow along in the tutorial.

Step One:
With right sides together, sew the long sides of the 30"x 5" cut of outer trim (blue) to the 30"x1 3/4" center fabric (black) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

(Note: It is important that you use a small 1/4 inch seam allowance and tiny millimeter top stitch (in below step), otherwise your elastic will not fit in its casing.)

Step Two:

Repeat for other side.

Step Three:

Turn right side out so you have a tube. Using low to medium heated iron, center the tube of charmeuse as desired. For the "keep" garter, I pressed it so the ruffle on bottom is longer than the top. For the "toss" garter, I press it dead centered.

(WARNING: polyester melts... no high heat or steaming unless you want to risk a shriveled plastic mess. Silk is a natural fiber and does not melt, but rather burns and should be pressed at a low heat as well.)

Step Four:

At one end of the tube, tuck and press in approximately 1/2 inch.

Step Five:

Top stitch about a millimeter in along each side of the center part of the tube. On the end that you tucked and pressed, DON'T top stitch.

Step Six:

Insert elastic. An easy way to do this is put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and work it through the tube. Push the charmeuse tube well into the center so you have both ends of the elastic hanging out for ease of sewing together.

Step Seven:

Sew the elastic. Make sure you don't have your elastic twisted. Overlap the elastic approximately one inch and sew a nice square and diagonal to to secure it.

Step Eight:

Tuck the raw end of the tube into the nice pressed end. Hand blind stitch closed or machine stitch close to the edge. This will be the back of the garter. Now give it a good stretch to distribute the gathers evenly.

Step Nine:

Leave as is or embellish as you see fit with a bow, flower, lace or beads. Oh, and add a "Keep" and "Toss" tag so the bride knows what the heck you're giving her. If you don't, she may just think you gave her a fancy baby headband ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Toe Test

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What is the toe test, you ask? When you're preggo, you stand up and try to peek over your belly to see your toes. I passed the toe test... this time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bridal Gifts

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I recently sent these things off as a gift for a bride. I love things that match. I'm way overdue for a tutorial, so this is just a heads up on the next one I'll be posting. It'll be my pattern and instructions for making a Wedding Garter "Keep" and "Toss" set (see pics below). Stay tuned.
Ruffle Apron in Amy Butler Sage Lacework

Microterry Kitchen Towel Set, Apron, Recipe Cards, and Potholder

Keep and Toss Wedding Garter Set

Poppy Pins

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Patriots' Day...

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And may the force be with you.

As a parent of a first-time kindergartner, I'm expected to follow the school memos to the T. So when I got the memo instructing the children to wear red, white and blue, this is the t-shirt I whipped up for Denny ;)

Later tonight, I plan on talking to my kids about our nation's truly inspired Constitution and the first ten amendments. These are good things to know and understand even at a young age (particularly in this day and age).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sweet Jane Dress

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Here's a new dress that I finally got around to posting in my etsy shop. I love pleated ruffles, don't you?

Ok, this may not seem like a big deal, but it took a lot to suck in a 17 week tummy. I'm going to need to find a new model, dangit (I liked being my own shop model mostly because it was FREE).

I get really huge when I'm pregnant... huge as in with each of my two kids I gained over 60 lbs. True story. What can I say? I love ice cream. And cream. And chocolate milk spiked with cream. Oh, and I've never been able to give up my whole milk (I honestly have tried downgrading to skim and 1% many times over the years without success.). In fact, that reminds me... when the weather cools down, I'll post my totally awesome hot cocoa recipe. It uses cream and whole milk... divine indeed. Oh great, now I'm craving hot cocoa in 90 degree weather.