Organza and Satin Ribbon Bridal Sash

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My super crafty and creative friend recently got married and although making a bridal sash is totally something she would nail, her to-do list for the wedding was pretty long… like, clear a patch of land in the woods for the ceremony, cut down trees to make the benches, and break her arm in the process long. So she asked me if I would look after it, and I gladly obliged!

You may remember that I made my own sash(es) for my wedding out of rolled dupioni silk roses and pearl beads. My friend wanted me to “copy” one from the bridal shop where she tried on her dress, which had a large silk flower along with feathers and other pretty bits. While I was doing some research on DIY silk flowers, I stumbled on this great blog post from Reese Dixon that describes how to make flowers out of organza.

Reese Dixon Organza flowers

www.reesedixon.com

Aren’t they gorgeous? After a few quick stops to Fabricland and Michael’s I had everything I needed.

First, I made a large white flower out of some beautiful shimmery organza and 2 small rolled satin ribbon roses using the same tutorial I used for my dupioni silk flower wedding sash, except with 2″ ribbon instead of silk. I am happy to report that although I started off making rolled flowers with hot glue because I was too scared to hand-stitch, after all the practice I got for the whale and fish baby mobiles I made, I can (semi) confidently hand-stitch without (much) tangling/swearing! I made a good chunk of this sash with needle and thread, instead of relying on the all-too-easy-and-sometimes-disastrous hot glue.

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Once the flowers were done, I figured out how I wanted to have them arranged on the ribbon, and set to work making the backing.

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For the backing, I cut an oval of felt to size and cut circles out of tulle. I pinched the tulle circles in the middle and rolled/tucked until they looked pretty, then tied the ends off.

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The next steps I didn’t take photos of because I was too focused on getting it to look right! Once I knew where the flowers were going, I filled in the gaps between them with the folded bits of tulle by hand-stitching them to the felt at the knotted end. Then I added feathers pointing in all directions behind and between where the flowers would go by hand-stitching them 2-3 at a time (they came stuck to a fabric circle that I cut them off of in groupings, then sewed on to the felt). I made sure to attach more feathers than I thought I would want, because it’s hard to get them to lie right- that way, I could cut off any ones that looked odd. Having a bit extra also helped when I accidentally dripped hot glue on part of it and had to cut some of it away…

Once I was happy with the placement of the tulle and the feathers, it was time to attach the flowers. I relied on hot glue for this part since the flowers would have been pretty thick to sew through. The roses were pretty straight forward, I just hot glued them to the felt. But I had to be careful with the organza flower; hot glue pretty much melts anything it comes in contact with, and I was pretty sure the organza was not heat resistant. To make sure the hot glue wouldn’t melt right through it,  I sewed a circle of felt on to the back of the organza flower by stitching through all except the topmost layers (to hide the stitches),  then glued the circle to the felt backing. I forgot to take a picture of sewing the pearl beads to the organza flower, which I did before attaching the felt circle.

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I left the tails of the ribbon pretty long so my friend could just tie it on to her dress, but the back of her dress had really pretty button detailing that she didn’t want to hide. I needed to find a way to join the two ends so that they would meet in the middle of her back like a belt. I could have used a button or a set of hooks and eyes, but then I had a brain wave: I bought a bra extender clip from Fabricland and hot glued the ends of the ribbon to either side of the clip so it was exactly the width of her waist. I managed to hide the clip with a fold of ribbon so you could only see two edges of ribbon meeting.

Want to see it in action? Sure you do!

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Beautiful! Congrats to our lovely friends D&D, it was such a great day and so special to be a part of.

This could have easily been made entirely with hot glue, but I am pretty proud of myself for growing in my craft skill set and improving my hand stitching skills, and I think the end result is a lot nicer than it would have been otherwise! How about you, have you tried your luck at a handmade bridal sash or put on your big girl pants and exchanged the hot glue for a needle and thread?

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Our Wedding: Sash(es) and Fascinator

That’s right, I made two sashes to wear with my wedding dress! Don’t judge me, I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just found a couple designs online that I wanted to try and when I liked them both equally, I thought why not wear them both?

When I first started wedding planning, I thought I was being so original. I was really drawn to sort of vintage-y and rustic items, like the antique blue mason jars I collected for our centrepieces. I wanted our wedding to be unique, and I thought I could achieve this by avoiding what I thought were stereotypical wedding items. But it turns out a lot of people felt that way, and variations of the indie/vintage/antique/rustic theme have gotten really popular. At first I thought, oh crap now EVERYONE is going to have the same wedding as me. But then I realized that my wedding was going to be special to me no matter what, so who cares if someone else has some of the same ideas? I wouldn’t abandon something just because no one else thought it was cool, so I’m certainly not going to do the opposite!

One of my favourite websites for quote-unquote original stuff is Etsy, and I bought a ton of things for our wedding there. However, I do think that some of the stuff on there is overpriced, and you can bet that anything with the label “Bridal/Wedding” has a markup because of the emotional attachment people have with purchasing stuff for their wedding. Damn you, consumerism! I was pretty shocked by how expensive some of the options were for bridal sashes. I didn’t save money on an inexpensive wedding gown just so I could blow my budget on 2 feet of “Swarovski crystal and pearl hand-stitched” satin ribbon! Plus who is going to notice if those crystals are actually just glass beads?

For the first sash I made, I wanted something similar to this one that I found on Pinterest and absolutely fell in love with:

Pinterest sash

(unfortunately I have no idea what the original sources is, so I cannot give credit where credit is due)

I found a tutorial on how to make flowers out of strips of fabric, bought some beautiful dupioni silk from Fabricland with my Fabricland membership discount ($40/meter regular price, no thank you very much), and gave it a go! Dupioni silk is so beautiful. The pictures don’t do it justice… it has this multi-dimensional quality, where it almost changes colour depending on how you look at it. I made a few flowers that were different sizes, using some darker grey cotton as well as the grey dupioni silk. Then I arranged them the way I wanted and glued them to a grey grosgrain ribbon. I probably should have stitched on the pearl beads before gluing it all together, because it was really hard to get the needle through all the fabric.

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

My second sash was a little bit more ambitious, and a lot more time consuming. To make it, I bought pearl beads in different sizes and shades of white and grey, as well as beading cord and white satin ribbon, and I set to work stitching the beads to the ribbon. Rookie mistake: I didn’t use a fabric stabilizer behind the ribbon, so the edges started to curl in with the weight of all the beads. But I was able to hot glue the stabilizer once the beads were attached anyway, so it turned out right in the end. The back of it certainly didn’t look pretty though!

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

I wore the pearl beaded sash for the ceremony since it had more of a classic look, and saved the dupioni silk flower one for the reception and dance. I’m really glad I wore both of them… it gave me a chance to mix up my look a bit, and I loved them both.

In addition to the sashes, I also made my fascinator. In one of my previous posts I mentioned how I didn’t want to wear a veil; I think they’re beautiful, but a veil struck me as just too fussy for a small cottage wedding. If it hadn’t been pouring with rain we would have been outside for the ceremony, and I didn’t want the breeze off the lake whipping a veil around my face. I liked the idea of having something small and cute in my hair, without worrying about getting tangled up in bunch of tulle. I could have gone the blusher veil route, but I decided that just a bit of veiling with some silk flowers on a hair clip was what I wanted. I made the flowers using the tutorial above with some white dupioni silk, and decided how I wanted the flowers to lie. Then I cut a piece of felt in that shape for the backing. I stitched the veiling on to the felt first, then hot glued feathers and then the flowers on top of all that. I attached the back of the felt to a metal alligator hair clip so that it would go easily in my hair without ruining my hairstyle if I wanted to adjust it.

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(photo credit LilyCreek Photography & Art Studio)

Well, that brings my series of wedding posts to a close. It’s been nice looking back on all of our pictures and remembering how special it was. Thanks for reading!

-C

DISCLAIMER: many fingers were harmed in the making of these items. Hot glue is aptly named.