May 12, 2010

My Next Major Project & A Winner...

You know about me making my mum's wedding gown recently, but before I started my blog, I also made this wedding gown.

In the spring of 2008, my eldest niece (and goddaughter) Jennifer, told me that she and her fiance', Kip were planning an October, 2008 wedding. She asked me to make her wedding gown.
Approximately three hundred fifty hours after I began (and only one fitting in a fully constructed muslin "practice gown"), this was her finished wedding gown. We called Jen "The Princess Bride". I also made the attendants' dresses for her sister and future sister-in-law, and the cummerbunds for her husband and her then-stepson (now adopted son), Carter.

When everything was complete, Handsome and I loaded up our vehicle and drove all the gowns and "extras" to Minnesota for the wedding. It was quite an honor for me, as she also asked me to dress her for her special day. (You can click on this link to see the photo album of the entire process - right through her wedding day.)
This is the fabric I used to make her duppioni, Oscar de la Renta brocade (which was reversible), and beaded silk duppioni. I purchased extra fabric, because I'm one of those people who embraces tradition and family ties. I knew that some day, there would be a baby that would wear a christening gown, and rather than cut up her wedding gown, I planned for enough fabric left over to make her family's next heirloom.

I made Jennifer's christening gown when she was a baby, and have made gowns for nearly every child (or at least one for each of my sibling's families) since then. I've also made the christening gowns for our three grandchildren.
This was the gown I made for our youngest son and his wife's daughters. Both of them have worn it. This is the basic style I'll use for Jennifer's son, Liam. (You may have noticed on my birthday greetings for April, I welcomed little Liam into our family.) I'll modify it so that it has features that are reminiscent of her wedding gown, too.

So, this is my next big project. The christening is scheduled for July, but I'm attending a cousin's wedding in Wisconsin in June, so I'll make the gown early and hand deliver it to Jennifer and Kip. (Won't it be much more fun to see their reaction, than to ship it to them and settle for a phone call?)

Oh, golly! You're waiting to find out who the winner of one of my Hearts' Desire hearts is, aren't you? (giggling). I had to wait until midnight. Then, I went over to the Random Number Generator to get the winning number. Handsome is already fast asleep. Otherwise, I'd be asking for an official drumroll. So, without the drumroll this evening...
Congratulations to Connie of She Dreams Big!

Connie: Please email me your address so that I can mail your heart to
you as soon as I finish it. I'll be making yours in the pink silk rose design!

I really appreciate the sweet comments that each of you left. I realized from some of your comments that, unless you've already received one of these hearts, I've never told you what size they are. These hearts measure approximately 5" x 6" .

I decided (also from reading your comments) that I'll also be making them in a larger "throw" pillow size to sell. Thanks so much for helping me realize that I should make the larger size so that people will have the option of a large sachet size, or one to put in a chair or on their bed.
Thanks again!

23 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Elsina said...

you are so talented! That dress is just awesome!!!

Createology said...

Beautiful wedding gown and christening gowns. Your seamstress abilities are truly superb. Very thoughtful of you to think ahead and have extra fabrics for the next generations. Heirlooms is what you create.
Congratulations to Connie.

ann said...

That is the most beautiful Wedding

Lady Farmer said...

I'm sure Jennifer absolutely treasures that wedding gown! How special to have her auntie sew it for her (and all the other things, too!)
Congratulations to Connie! I'm sure she will treasure her gift, too!
Be Blessed!

Tracy Suzanne said...

OMG darlin'! I am just so in awe of your talent! That wedding gown is just breathtaking as well as the christening gown. What luxurious fabric and so many hours of talented work. What a lucky family you have. You're so generous.

I have a giveaway starting tomorrow morning. I hope you'll come by and enter. It's not pretty but it's definitely something you can use. I just wrote and scheduled it. Thanks for writing me to let me know I didn't miss the drawing. I know Connie's going to be thrilled with it.

xoxo's....Tracy :)

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Both the wedding gown AND the christening gown are gorgeous!! You do such lovely work!

Congrats to Connie on winning!!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Chacoy said...

Donna, Donna, Donna! Oh how I wish I had the talent you have in your pinky;}

Diva Kreszl said...

darling you do the most amazing work! what a wonderful seamstress you are. Your family undoubtedly knows what a tresure you are :)

Denise Marie said...

gorgeous post...elegant fabrics.

Nancy said...

Donna: Anyone would feel like a princess wearing that beautiful wedding gown. Congrats to Connie.

Simple Southern Happiness said...

What an amazing seamstress you are, so professional in everyway. I looked at your album, both weddings. What memories you have, creating your mother's dress and your niece. What an honor to create all the outfits and accessories, those are memories that will last forever.

Meri Wiley said...

Hi Donna,

Wow, congratulations to Connie, lucky lady. Donna, it's amazing to see that dress you made, as it's almost exactly like the one I was going to make for myself when I got married for the second time in 2002. My current husband and I were planning all these neat situations, as I'd never had a proper wedding before, and so we had a minister, a beautiful ranch location, room and board for all the family, a lovely flautist for the ceremony, etc., and I was going to make my midieval wedding dress. Alas, none of this happened, as I had to have an emergency knee and back surgery, so the whole thing got called off due to lack of funds. We got married in the local courthouse. The most important thing was.....we got married, but I never got to make my beautiful dress. Yours brought back memories, and yours is stunning. Thanks for sharing.


Linda said...

That looks lovely and so very special to do for your family. What a wonderful lady you are!

Michele's Treasures, Teacups, and Tumbling Rose Cottage said...

That dress is breathtaking! ; )

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Congratulations to the lucky winner! I am sure she will love the heart, no matter what size it is! And that wedding dress is absolutely astounding. It is very princess-like! :) Theresa

Michelle May said...

That gown really does look so incredibly magical and then the christening gowns...beautiful. The fabrics...hello fabulous! I've said it before, I'll say it are amaze me with all the things you can do.
Congratulations to Connie. I know she will love her prize!

Debby said...

Absolutely gorgeous and congrats to Connie.

Sue said...

what a beautiful gown

Jan said...

Beautiful gown, and I love the idea of incorporating the same fabric into the christening gown. I adore christening gowns, and believe they are a tradition that should still be cherished. Can't wait to see what you create!

Lisa Leggett said...

Hello Mz. Donna~
I just had a chance to go back and look through the wedding photos over on your flickr account. That dress is BEYOND stunning. Wow. Wow. I already knew your talent is incredible, but I have a whole new respect.
Have a great weekend dear!

Beedeebabee said...

It's so easy for mouth to just fall open when I come visiting here! Oh gosh, is this gown gorgeous, and the Christening gown too...and reading about all the other gowns you've done...good grief Donna, you are soooo talented and so inspiring! I left a comment about you and a little busy bee being so alike...that was an understatement! I think you could possibly take on a whole coloney... and win! xoxo Paulette

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Hi Donna! I just spent some time looking thru your photo album of the dress and the process! What an exquisite gown you made and I loved the touch of the crochet hook in the cummerbund - creative and thoughtful! You are amazing and I know that gown is a treasure that will be loved for generations! Every detail - the monogram, the dust ruffle, the hand sewn beads were all just perfect. What an incredible labour of love!

Margie said...

Beautiful, beautiful gowns but more precious are the loving memories you are helping create !


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