Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve sewn anything, but I am just getting over a bad cold and I had a lot of time to discover some inspiring sewing blogs and break out the sewing machine. Earlier this week, I started the Ceylon dress by Colette Patterns. I finished it last night just in time for a lovely lunch out with some friends today and a short trip out of the city to take a look at a potential wedding venue, which is where the above photo was taken.
This dress seemed very intimidating to me at first. The last time I tried gathering fabric to create a ruffled look, it was very difficult (because I did it incorrectly). This dress has a lot of that, but it was a lot easier this time around (because I did it correctly). As well, I learned how to make buttonholes. I ended up making fourteen of them; the pattern calls for sixteen but I shortened the dress considerably so that it would be knee-length on me.
I bought the material so long ago that I unfortunately don’t know what it’s made out of. I’m going to venture that it’s a polyester blend. It’s quite a comfortable medium-weight, not too heavy but not too light either. I wanted red buttons to contrast the dress and I think it looks rather nice. I might try to find a thin white belt to finish off the outfit.
This was definitely a successful pattern. It wasn’t difficult and I managed to learn a few new skills too. I even did a few French seams thanks to a tutorial from Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing, as this dress does not have a lining and I wanted some of my seams to be neater (such as the sleeves and the back skirt).
The wedding venue was, by the way, beautiful and affordable. We’ll continue thinking about it before we decide to put down a deposit since we’re also considering some other options, but I loved it.
So these are the wedding bands we chose:
We contacted a metalsmith on Etsy to have them custom-made to our size, in palladium with this hammered texture. Her Etsy shop is singleBbeautiful. We originally wanted to go with a set that had an engagement ring and wedding bands, but then we didn’t want to have an engagement ring for me and nothing for Corey. As well, it was extremely important to us both that if there was a stone involved, it would have to be conflict-free – so to keep the cost down and stick to our values, the decision was made to scrap the idea of an engagement ring. We decided to contact a local jewellery store in Ottawa and the quote they gave us for white gold rings was just too high, especially for 14k white gold. The rings we ended up getting from this Etsy shop were less than half the price and made of the metal we wanted. Plus, I really like what she writes about using recyclable metals. So we’ve put them on chains and will be wearing them around our necks until the wedding, and that way we both have something to show off for our engagement.
In other news, I have actually been semi-knitting. I started work on this a long time ago, but it’s still a work-in-progress and I love the colours:
Simple Yet Effective Shawl by Laura Chau
I’m using Noro Kureyon Sock, and the colour changes are so delightful. I will be having a knitting night this Friday evening with a friend while our male counterparts play video games – so hopefully that will get me back into actual knitting instead of picking up a row here and there every few weeks. Maybe this yarn diet thing is really getting to me. I want to start a new project so badly, but I know I have so many projects to finish off (my Manu has been sitting with a half-made sleeve for approximately six months). So I’m in a self-imposed limbo where I want to knit, but I don’t, because I know that starting a new project is not a good idea right now and I have lost interest in old projects. I just need to rekindle that interest!
Oh, and two books I have recently read and enjoyed are:
The Passage by Justin Cronin, a futuristic, apocalpytic vampire story that is more sci-fi than it is fantasy. These are “vampires” created by the U.S. military by accident, not descendants of mythology. It is very gripping and suspenseful. It is the first in a trilogy, the next part to be released in 2012.
Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, the fifth in her Sevenwaters series. Originally, the first three books were thought to be a trilogy, but all of a sudden (at least, to her readers), Juliet Marillier began writing more. These are fantasy novels but have more of a folklore fantasy feel to them, not Tolkien. I enjoy her female characters, their adventures, and her settings, usually Irish landscapes. The stories are usually based around Irish mythology. Basically, if Juliet Marillier wrote it, I’ll read it. She’s recently expanded into YA fantasy, and those books are equally fun and exciting.
This past weekend, Corey and I drove up to Quebec City to celebrate our three year anniversary… and came home engaged! It was all planned and we decided to propose to each other. It was very important to me that we ask each other, and that he has something to show for the engagement as well. We’ve decided not to go with an engagement ring, so we got our wedding bands in advance and will wear them on chains around our necks until we are actually married. I’ll post photos of the bands soon, as I absolutely love them.
Quebec City was very beautiful. It is said to be the most European city in Canada, and I think that is certainly true. We stayed in Vieux Quebec, with cobblestone streets and gorgeous old stone buildings and little alleyways. Example:
We went to the Museum of Civilization, saw some interesting exhibits, walked around town, and took the funicular. We ate crepes after our long morning, and for dinner we went to a restaurant called 1640:
The food was great, dinner was lovely, and we got back to the hotel in time for Corey’s proposal to me – an inundation of text messages on my phone from various family and friends asking me to marry Corey. I’m quite glad he took care of all the announcing, as it takes some of the pressure off having to tell all your loved ones in person or on the phone. And it made me absolutely beam with joy to receive so many texts (over thirty at once!) from so many people around the world – Ottawa, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Portland, Seattle, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Even my parents texted from Thailand. And we had a couple stragglers, which made it even more fun. (“Gemini, will you marry Corey 20 minutes ago?”)
I am very giddy – although it doesn’t show well, because I also seem to be getting a cold. But there is giddiness beneath my pallid exterior.