Archives

Louise’s Yellow and Lace Tea-Length Wedding Dress

Louise dress on bookshelf_small

Photo © iluvphoto

Concept

Louise came to us looking for something unique and a little bit funky that would nevertheless say “This is the bride!” She wanted something tea-length with a full-skirt and sleeves – and she didn’t want it to be white. That would be a pretty tall order in your average bridal shop, which is why she came to us!

An artist and crafter herself, she was excited to collaborate with us to create something new and special – and so were we. We came up with a couple ideas for her, including the option of designing our own printed fabric for the dress! When we met to go over the designs, she came with her own sketch too, and between the three of us, we settled on a yellow dress with a full lace overlay.

Work-in-Progress & Challenges

We tried a new technique with the mockup and lining on this dress and it proved to be much more effort than it was worth. So, although it turned out well in the end, we will not be repeating that one. Lace always has its own challenges – since it can be quite expensive, we wanted to get the fit absolutely perfect before buying or cutting it. Louise was a great sport through several fittings as we made sure everything was in its proper place, and that those tricky sleeves fit just right!

Somewhere along the way, the groom got so jealous of the custom garment process that he decided to go out and have a custom suit made for himself too!!

Finished Garment

During one of our later fittings, Louise asked us to incorporate some material from her grandmother’s wedding gown into her dress somehow, and left us free reign as to how exactly that should be accomplished. We’d been talking about her hand-crafted wedding details, and she showed us a photo of the custom silk screen she’d made for her welcome bags – an outline of the state of Illinois with their names and wedding date in the middle. We decided to mirror that with an embroidered version (in blue thread, for that ubiquitous  “something”) inside the lining of her skirt. We all got pretty emotional at the reveal.

A patch of her grandmother's wedding dress, hand-embroidered with blue thread

A patch of her grandmother’s wedding dress, hand-embroidered with blue thread. Photo © iluvphoto

We were also able to incorporate some of her grandmother’s dress as the ivory leaves behind the flower on her custom birdcage veil; along with her yellow dress, she planned to wear teal shoes and this headpiece brings all those colors together.

Louise's veil, complete with fabric from her grandmother's dress

Louise’s veil, complete with fabric from her grandmother’s dress

As is often the case, we were glad to have finished this project, but also rather sad to see it leave our shop. In the end, though, we were so happy to see Louise beaming as she wore it on her wedding day!

Photo © iluvphoto

Photo © iluvphoto

Congratulations Louise & Michael! It was truly our pleasure making this dress with you!!

Photo © iluvphoto

Photo © iluvphoto

Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are used with permission. They are not available for reposting or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Alison’s Custom Beaded Blue Silk Dupioni Mother-of-the-Bride Dress

Let’s just say this post is a throwback Thursday deal, since we made this dress nearly two years ago…

Alison wanted something lovely to wear to her daughter’s wedding, and she wanted it to be in a similar style to Hayley’s 50’s-inspired wedding dress. She wanted something that would suit the mother-of-the-bride but also be wearable for other special events. We settled on a retro-style dress with 3/4-length sleeves, a v-neck, and a true tea-length hem.

Concept sketch for Alison's dress

Concept sketch for Alison’s dress

Though Alison was initially leaning towards a color in the red family, when we spotted this beautiful blue beaded silk dupioni, we just knew in our guts that it was exactly what she wanted – and it was!

Alison and daughter Hayley, whose dress we also made, at her wedding

Alison and her daughter, whose wedding dress we also made

We are happy to report that we ran into Alison a year after the wedding – wearing her beautiful dress at the 2013 Jeff Awards!

Alison with a friend at the 2013 Jeff Awards

Alison with a friend at the 2013 Jeff Awards

We couldn’t be more pleased with how this dress turned out!

Alison twirling in her full skirt at Hayley & Scott's wedding

Alison twirling in her full skirt at Hayley & Scott’s wedding

Photos courtesy of Alison Vesely. Used with permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Crafty Broads is one of the Top 10 Wedding Planners in Chicago!

Chicago's Top 10 Wedding Planners according to Yelp includes Crafty Broads!

 

On Friday morning, we awoke to the very exciting news that we’d been named to Yelp‘s list of the Top 10 Wedding Planners in Chicago! We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, and we’re always happy to read reviews that tell us we are doing well, but it is amazing to be recognized like this in a city full of so many wonderful wedding vendors!!

This photo was from a recent wedding with a Pixar theme - so much fun! Julia got to be the remote control operator for WALL-E, the ring bearer!

This photo was from a recent wedding with a Pixar theme – so much fun! Julia got to be the remote control operator for WALL-E, the ring bearer, who rolled up the aisle and danced at the front!

We’d like to give a shout out to our clients – getting to know you and be a part of your big life moments is so amazing, and it’s why we do this job! We absolutely love meeting each of you, hearing all about your lives and your plans, and we sure like to think we are friends at the end of it! So THANK YOU!!

(And please keep spreading the word so we can stick around!)

And the Winners Are…

Thanks for joining us at the Finally Forever Wedding Expo!

Without further ado, we’d like  to announce the giveaway winners:

Congratulations to Samuel Green! He and his future spouse have won their choice of a Budget Strategy Session, registration for two to our Wedding Planning 101 Workshop, or having the design fee waived on a Custom Wedding Garment. They’ve also won free admission to The Planning Party on April 1st.

Three additional couples have won admission to The Planning Party – Congratulations to:
Angela & Nicole Bolding
Stephen Lutes
Maribel Arroyo

We had a wonderful time meeting all of you, and we hope you got some great ideas and resources to plan a fantastic wedding! Don’t forget about our Marriage Equality Discount, valid for all wedding planning services booked by March 31st for weddings taking place in 2014.

What is this Planning Party thing?

If you are stressed out with wedding planning and you need a little bit of expert help and/or a big glass of wine, then it might be just the party for you! The Planning Party is a casual get together where couples are invited to ask us absolutely anything about planning their weddings. We’ll be featuring a different vendor each month to talk about their specialty and answer questions as well. At our inaugural Party on Tuesday April 1st, our guest will be Emilia Schobeiri of Emilia Jane Photography. (You may remember her lovely photos of Sarah’s wedding dress and winter coat or James and Liz’s wedding.) And, of course, refreshments will be provided. Follow the link above to register or get more information.

Kate | Custom Pink Silk Dupioni Wedding Gown

Concept

When you’re over 6′ tall, it can be pretty difficult to find anything that fits off the rack. If you’re on the hunt for a wedding gown, you’d like to have straps, you don’t want a pouffy princess ballgown, and you don’t even want it to be white, it’s damn near impossible. And that’s why Kate came to see us.

She was looking for something classy and fitted through the torso with a trumpet flare at the bottom. She wanted her dress to have lots of texture to it. Of the design options we presented, Kate’s top choice was our “starburst” design, featuring seamed panels of fabric angling outwards in all directions from a central point of the dress.

Concept Sketch for Kate's Wedding Dress © Crafty Broads

Concept Sketch for Kate’s Wedding Dress © Crafty Broads

Work-in-Progress & Challenges

We often use padding to make a dress form into the same shape as a client so that we can drape our design on it; however there are some limitations. While you can add material to make a dress form wider, there’s no good way to make one taller in any area except the legs. And though many tall people are tall because they have super long legs, Kate is tall in every aspect – long legs, long torso, she is even long from shoulder to bustline. So for this project we chose to use a flat-patterning method – taking Kate’s exact measurements and using a computer and a lot of very specific math to create a paper patter that we could work from. It worked out very well and needed surprisingly little adjustment at our mockup fitting.

Seamed bodice in progress, as seen on a not-quite-proportional dress form! Photo © Crafty Broads

Seamed bodice in progress, as seen on a not-quite-proportional dress form! Photo © Crafty Broads

Finished Garment

We selected silk dupioni for the seamed portion of the dress from the knees up, and a 4-ply silk crepe to create a flowing skirt on the bottom, both in a blushy pink shade. This was our first time working with the silk crepe, and it was delightful to cut and sew. It has a nice medium weight to it, which made the whole garment hang nicely. The seamed dupioni portion of the dress created a lot of visual texture, and turned out beautifully!

Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. They are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Join us at the Finally Forever wedding expo!

We are thrilled that marriage equality has finally come to Illinois, and even more so that a recent ruling has put the new law into immediate effect.

Finally Forever wedding expo

Please join us in celebrating and get started planning your wedding at the Finally Forever wedding show this Sunday, March 9th! The Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is bringing together all kinds of vendors, including us, to help you get started on planning your big day. DJs will be spinning, caterers will be giving out samples, and we’re told the wine will be flowing! Over at the Crafty Broads table, we’ll be giving away a free budget strategy session to one lucky couple – so stop by and chat with us!

This event is FREE and open to ALL couples, because equality is for everyone. Click here to register.

Hayley | Custom 1950s-Style Wedding Dress

Concept

Hayley came to us in search of a full-skirted, fifties-style knee-length dress, and we pretty quickly settle on idea of a structured dress in silk dupioni with a shelf bust in glossy silk charmeuse.

Concept sketch for Hayley's 1950s-style wedding dress

Concept sketch for Hayley’s 1950s-style wedding dress

Work-in-Progress & Challenges

This was our first time making a shelf bust, and we really had a learning curve on it. The charmeuse was fussy and didn’t like to be pleated. We went through a good bit of trial and error to get it just right. Other than that, it was a fairly straightforward garment. Silk dupioni is a dream to work with, and we found a lovely lightweight silk to line it with too!

Final version of the bust shelf! Photo © Crafty Broads

Final version of the bust shelf! Photo © Crafty Broads

Finished Garment

Hayley decided on a gorgeous color for her dress – somewhere in between gold an ivory. The difference in texture between the dupioni (main body of the dress) and the charmeuse (in the ruched bust section) creates a striking contrast, even though the two fabrics are the same color.

Doesn’t Hayley look stunning? We absolutely loved how her dress turned out! Congratulations Hayley and Scott!

Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are used with permission. They are not available for reposting or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Two New Wedding Planning Services from Crafty Broads

Wedding season is upon us once again, and this year we are pleased to roll out some brand new services! Without further ado, here’s what we’ve cooked up for you:

Wedding Planning 101

Did you recently get engaged, and have no idea where to start when it comes to wedding planning? Stop stressing out, and come get the basics figured out with us. In this 2-hour workshop, we will help you determine your wedding priorities and create your wedding mission statement; establish an overall wedding budget and get a handle on typical wedding costs; and get started planning a celebration that truly reflects the two of you! Couples will take away their own planning binder, including Crafty Broads’ wedding to do list, sample wedding budgets and timelines, and our list of the best wedding vendors in town.

Day-of-Coordination (DOC) Bootcamp

No room in your budget for a professional day-of-coordinator? Get all your wedding ducks in a row with our DOC Bootcamp! At this session, we’ll go over your plans and contracts, and provide you with the organizational documents we personally use for each wedding we coordinate. We’ll make sure you’ve the right amount of time for each part of the big day, and identify places where you may need additional help. We’ll also train your volunteer day-of-coordinator on how to run your wedding smoothly, including dealing with the most common situations that arise at weddings. Bring all your questions, and we’ll give you our secrets!

Please see our website for details and current pricing.

Dear Thugs Who Shot My Car:

You owe me $500. Plus whatever it will cost to get my city sticker replaced. Not to mention the time I’ll spend dealing with it. And I’m pretty sure Allstate would like to be reimbursed for the tow truck, the rental car, and all the repairs. I’m guessing it isn’t going to be cheap, since you unloaded four separate bullets into my vehicle.

I have to say, it took me a minute to register what had happened. When I went out to my car for a quick post office run, I found this note attached to my drivers’ side window:

I thought, oh, must have been some kind of fender bender or something. Nice of the police to leave me a note. I walked around my car, inspecting the bumpers. They looked fine – nothing more than the usual I-park-in-the-city wear and tear. So I got into the car to make sure it still worked. As I reached to put my mail on the passenger seat, I saw it. The entire seat was covered with shards of glass. I looked up and saw these:

With the glare of the morning sun, I hadn’t noticed them when I briefly inspected my car. Still thinking that – as the notice indicated – it had been an accident, I wondered what kind of flying debris or tree branches had smacked my windshield in such an odd pattern. Resigning myself to having to replace my windshield later, I trekked to the post office on foot. I thought about the car the entire time.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought those holes looked like bullets. So when I got back home, I looked at the car really carefully. Walked all the way around, twice. The cops told me you ran away afterwards, so I’m willing to bet you didn’t get a good look at what you did. Lucky for you, I’ve documented your artwork for posterity’s sake. (Uh, and maybe also for evidence and insurance claims.)

Bullet #1: Windshield, driver’s side
This was the least scary looking one. It must not have been a direct hit, because it didn’t leave an actual hole, just an impact shatter. Guess it bounced off.

Bullet #2: Windshield, passenger side.

This is the one that made me think bullet hole as I was walking, and is also the cause of all the glass shards on the passenger seat.

Bullet #3: Rear door frame, passenger side. On the left, you can see the entry hole. To the right, you can see the actual bullet still lodged in the door frame, which I found when I opened the back door to start taking my stuff out of the car. I tried valiantly, but could not get the bullet out. I wanted to keep it. Or at least hold it. I know, I’m weird.

Bullet #4: Through the roof. Literally. On the left, a nice big gash in the roof. On the right, the exit wound in the interior ceiling.

Interior Damage: At first I thought this was caused by the bullet that came in through the roof, but retrospectively I think the trajectory lines up with that big hole in the windshield. Regardless of its origin, one bullet went through the shoulder of the passenger seat (shown on the left) and into the rear seat cushion (to the right), where I am fairly certain it is still lodged.

Oh, yeah, and as far as I know no one was hurt. Witnesses saw the shooters fleeing the scene. I called the police to see if they needed my car for evidence and the officer I talked to was really nice. He looked up the case for me, told me that two other cars had been shot, and that they had all the evidence they needed from the shell casings found on the scene. Allstate has been swift in dealing with the insurance claim. They hooked me up with a rental car within an hour of my phone call and got my car towed to their body shop for repairs. Minus the aforementioned $500 deductible, it’s all covered.

Ah, city living.

What I Love About Chicago

(Hint: It’s not Navy Pier or the Mag Mile.)

Oops, I blinked and missed it – my guest post has been up on Sarah’s blog since Tuesday! Go check it out if you want to know what we love about Chicago.

I’ll be back soon to tell you all about the belated anniversary dinner we had at Chalkboard on Friday night, and some of the drool-worthy meals my lovely wife has cooked for me on my vacation this week. (Which is sadly ending today.)