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Inspired to create by the color Tiffany Blue & my Wedding…

18 Oct

So yesterday was my one year wedding anniversary. I probably should have written about my wedding dress before now but life has been a whirlwind of changes & adjustments.

I met Craig a long time ago. At this point it would be around ten years now. There aren’t many people who know the story of how we met, or how he came into my life much like a knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress…but he really did in a sense & even fought off some dragons for me.

Because this blog centers around my creating, I am not going to tell that story though. What I know is that I we are together for a reason.

When we were dating & talking about getting married there were a lot of things we weren’t sure we could reconcile between work schedules, economic pressures, exes & some family member’s, so that we could have a traditional marriage…at least not without loads of stress & drama we really didn’t need.

We discussed eloping the last few years of our courtship & while this sort of dashed this Romantic Libra’s vision of a beautiful ceremony with everyone together…I realized that it was really going to be the best option for us. It solved more of the issues than it didn’t.

On Valentines Day 2015 (during the time I was dangling on a scaffolding painting the turret in my previous post) he surprised me by taking me ring shopping. Honestly, I didn’t even see it coming. I was busier than I had ever been & super focused on my job & my design work. I was barely getting by & even taking care of myself had gone by the wayside for a time.

The ring is from Ryan’s Diamonds. A local company which was something I had told Craig years ago. I wanted to get my ring there to support a local business & he had remembered.



This engagement was to be a secret though. You can’t elope & tell everyone. I was determined not to ruin our plans…plus I still didn’t know exactly when either. He told me it would happen & it would happen fast.

Although I hadn’t made a wedding dress for a few years I had wanted to make my own all along…then suddenly the knowing he could spring it on me at any time made that seem ridiculous to even try. Here is the link to the last Wedding Dress I designed & created for my friend Nicole a few years back.

So in the back of my mind & without much urgency I started trying to figure out how to get what I wanted with very little effort. What I knew I wanted was a Tiffany Blue Wedding Dress covered with white lace. I had a modified version in my head of one I had sketched years ago.

The color choice was inspired by a Couture Wedding Dress that I saw over six years ago & unfortunately because of a computer crash, I have not been able to find it’s source or the photograph. This was really before pinterest was around but now you can find a lot of examples of this color range thanks to my favorite app.


This Wedding Dress by Aimee Atelier is very close to the first blue dress I saw & loved. Apparently wearing a blue wedding dress is also an Irish Tradition.


I always loved the blue Wedding Dress when I was watching Brigadoon as a child. Maybe that is why it just jumped out at me?

PImage EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND: Actor Keira Knightley poses for a portrait shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Lorenzo Agius/Exclusive by Getty Images)

PImage EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND: Actor Keira Knightley poses for a portrait shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Lorenzo Agius/Exclusive by Getty Images)

When I saw Keira Knightley in this Blue Dress I died. So beautiful. I love this tone against her peaches & cream complexion.  I am aware that this style is quite youthful & works better on a slender body than a more curvaceous one like my own but I was inspired just the same.

The reason I modified my original design. It  was partly because of my age & also my weight at the time. There are some dresses that are just made for a size six (or less) & some just aren’t. I also knew that even if I made it back into a size six before we got married (rather unlikely) I looked like a marshmallow in all white…besides the fact it was a second marriage so no one would question a color, right? Plus I wanted something different & original. Then there is the age factor. While I am not really about rules when it comes to clothing I still have a few…after forty if its line doesn’t flatter you then just don’t go there. That meant no big fluffy skirts for me.

That being said I was willing to buy a dress that was what I wanted. I had even found one that could have the Tiffany Blue color put-under the lace…except I waited to long to act & it was going to take at least six months.

It was April or May by now & I was panicking. He was dropping hints at this point & it hit me that it was probably me he was waiting for? I ordered a dress at Nordstrom that I thought I could embellish with lace…only to have the problem I always have with dresses…it was loose on the top & tight on the bottom.

At that point I resigned myself to make my own Wedding dress & I thought I had a really good plan. I bought the fabric cut it out…begin sewing it in Craig’s basement…only to find out that I was still gaining weight because of stress & in between my first measure & cutting it out I had gained even more weight. I had to really do a lot of troubleshooting at that point to make it work, without starting over completely. Can you believe it. It was also a stretch satin! Which means it wasn’t stretching enough.


You see the truth is, & am I going to be very real here…I am one of those woman who can go between four sizes in as little as a month. That is if I am not diligently working on my health…even when I am on the ball, it can still happen. I struggle with intense anxiety & stress sometimes sky-rocketing my cortisol levels through the roof. I try to use healthy coping methods for this, but sometimes I don’t had time for even that.

I really believe my lacking a good foundation for health when I was young set me up for this & I have a lot of regrets. I was sickly as a child, anorexic as a teen. After my first successful pregnancy I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia…then in my thirties I began dealing with Autoimmune disorders. I have since found a lot of ways to manage my health but when you work two jobs, are a mom, have a man in your life & are constantly trying to carve out time for creating…sometimes it is a lot to juggle.


So here is what I had. A body that wasn’t cooperating, a dress that was cut out & barely fitting. I was working out nearly everyday for at least 20 minutes because I knew I had to fit in this darn dress. Unfortunately I am one of those people who gain weight for a while before I lose weight, when I first start working out. It seemed like I took more time modifying the dress than designing it. I even bought a girdle. Geez…it was insane. It was an awesome girdle though & I got it at Endless Indulgence Retro Wear in Ogden. Where I also indulged in a really cute vintage sheath dress. It was a great place to shop. I felt pretty good about my curves that day.

What I imagined to be simple, ended up being a near nightmare…I spent a ton of time hand-sewing lace & having my daughter help me try it on in-between adjustments. It was turning out beautiful but I couldn’t sit down in it.

My goal was to get it done before Vegas Summer Market 2015, but it didn’t happen. Craig told me I needed a break & to just go have fun. I bought the hair clip from a street vendor while I was in Vegas. I still had the upcoming wedding on my mind & got right back into the project as soon as I was home.


I went back & forth on the earrings. I work part time as a window covering specialist for JcPenney, so I stalked the jewelry counter for a few weeks till I narrowed it down to the perfect pair in silver & aquamarine, with the help of my manager Jennifer.

After it was done I have to admit it was just as I imagined. I decided that I needed a shrug of sorts to hide some shoulder surgery scars & my less than taunt forty year old arms. Maybe it was insecure on my part, but I didn’t want a ton of skin showing…although in a few of my bridals it shows the dress without it.


I had originally wanted cap sleeves but as soon as I saw my weight fluctuation was going to be an issue & I knew it could keep me out of that dress at the last minute…it was not a risk I wanted to take.


The shoes where  from Dessy Group, still available…I so love their website.  These Satin Peep Toe Shoes were perfect because my honey is my height when I wear heels & with all the lace I needed something simple.

Dessy Group Shoes


After it was done I distracted myself getting my nails done at Wild Orchid Nails & bridals taken. This felt like a gutsy move because we still didn’t have a date.


I used my darling friend & talented photographer Shantel for the photos because she is just so …well awesome at Photography.


We did the first photo shoot at JcPenney’s Portrait Studio where Shantel works full time. I also had my dear friend Melissa was there for support & to help me get into the dress & out of it after. It was a good thing too because I was on the verge of an anxiety attack when I got there. She’s my Doctors wife so she was effective in helping calm my nerves.


The flowers were put together by a local florist Sunshine Creation Floral on 10302 S. 1300 W in South Jordan. It was really important to me to use a local business. I admit there was a small misunderstanding & it wasn’t the color I  had asked for & I was a little emotional about it, but they handled it professionally & in a pinch it was really the best option.


The flowers ended up looking beautiful for the photo-shoot & I had this realization that planning a wedding, even with anticipating an elopement felt quite lonely. I had been doing this all by myself without even a date. It was at that point it hit me for the first time & I admit it was overwhelming.


Melissa my friend had suggested it during the first photo session that we go outside & get some pictures in my cowgirl boots…just for Craig. I apologize that I can’t remember where & when I got the boots. I just know I got them for his Nephews Wedding.


Shantel did the second photo session in one of the Canyons behind Herriman City, with my children assisting me. Herriman is where I lived for a while & where I meet Craig & where we call home.


I am so glad that I got these photos in the Canyons that Craig had introduced me to. We have been on a lot of drives looking for wildlife on this road.


Craig is a total country boy & even this city girl couldn’t deny that it was a really fun idea. It was the end of September around my Birthday just after the Sage had turned yellow.


The flowers for this photo session I just bought at the grocery store. My guess would be Whole Foods. It was a fun shoot, with the exception of having to change outside with my kids holding up a tarp by the side of the road. Yes. Whatever it takes people…plus remember I couldn’t sit down in it.


There were a few roosters that decided to hang out near us while we were shooting. It was a nice touch for some rustic bridals. We tired to get them in a few more photos but they had a mind of their own. Go figure.

april2So now I was ready. I had my dress & everything was ready. He was right. When it happened, it happened fast.  We were married at the Chapel of the Flowers in Vegas on October 17th. It was perfect. Craig couldn’t take much time off so we drove down on a Friday, Got Married Saturday afternoon & drove home Monday. I wish we had stayed longer but it was Fall break for my children & we were basically sneaking away to get married while they were with my ex.


It was funny because by the time we did get married the dress was a little loose on top & the shrug was a little on the big side. I still couldn’t sit down in it, but walking was easier. They wanted to send a Limo for us but my husband wasn’t excited about walking through the Hotel in a “Monkey Suit” & the thought of having to lay across the seat & possibly not be able to get up…well I wasn’t taking any chances. The dress may have not gone smoothly but everything else sure did.


Right before I started the dress, Craig did ask me why I was making it? Why didn’t I do something easy? I answered that I never do anything the easy way…oh, boy! I had no idea what I was getting myself into with that dress. Luckily marriage has been a whole lot smoother but obviously I did have a lot of determination going into it.

What I did find out about eloping, is that it made the experience of getting married emotionally intimate in a way that I don’t think it could have been, if we had gone the traditional route. There was no risk of Drama or anyone trying to take the joy out of it. It was an experience just between us & for us, which isn’t that what being romantic partners is all about?






Inspired to create a wedding dress by a ruffled cake…

13 Jul

I have no doubt if you follow my blog that you have been waiting with bated breath to find out the outcome of the wedding dress project…or if I am being realistic you’ve probably forgotten actually about it.

As many design projects go & what seems to elude most of the public…designing is a long-planned out process, Nothing is created in a half an hour to an hour segment. Despite what the media wants you to think there is rarely any instant gratification in the design world.

The itself dress started out as a conversation in April. Nicole (if I had, had another daughter I would have named her Nicole, love the name) has known me since 2004 when I worked as the Interior Design Director for a large home builder. She was the sassy little receptionist who kept everyone on their toes with her playful sarcasm & quick wit.

Things have long since changed & we are both in different places in our lives…the builder is no longer around…but as facebook friends we have made sure to keep tabs on each other.

According to her I told her way back when that I would be happy to make her wedding dress when she had asked me. Other than the costumes I made on  Halloween’s for my children I am not sure how she knew that I had a thing for needle & thread.

Okay I don’t…not exactly. Needles & thread are really a means to an end. What I love it designing. I have been sewing since I was five. I started out by designing dresses for my Barbie’s. I really never played with them I just sewed & designed clothes for them. I was very common to find my naked doll with her feet stuck in the bottom of a large spool of thread so she would be held upright, acting as a dress form.

The truth is my plan was to be a fashion designer first…others things happened though. I am essentially self-taught & during my teens I would devour every book on clothing construction I could find & back then it wasn’t easy to find such publications. Most of the instructional books were from the 40’s & 50’s.

So there is a little History for you. Nicole & I discussed the dress & she came to visit a couple of times to go over things. I encouraged her to go look around at prices & styles before she made the decision to have me make it. I wanted her to be completely committed to the process because it is a huge commitment on my part as well & because she lives in Vegas & I live in Utah she would have to arrange to come here for fittings.

After a few rather discouraging shopping trips & going over photos with me of what she loved & didn’t she decided to give me a shot. Kudos to her for faith because she hadn’t seen what I could do yet. All she knew is that I can sew.

I pulled together some concepts to help her narrow down the look she wanted based off her preferences & emailed them to her & waited to hear back. It cracks me up now thinking about it but I think it is an important part of the process. This is something I encourage my clients to do in the most appropriate manner, & that is communicate.

No matter what we are designing we don’t read minds & we need your considerate feed back. We also need you to be present in the process. “April” she said, “I love these but I was wondering if you can add a ruffle?” She was so nervous when she said this, uncertain of my response. She had tried on a dress with crumb catchers…huge ruffles on the bodice that drowned her but she got emotional when this happened because it reminded her of a cake she loved…this is the key. The emotion. We designers want results that get to the heart of your dreams & desires…the emotion is a clue to which direction we should take.

I was so happy that we had hit that deeper level. I asked her to please send me a picture of the cake & that became my inspiration for the dress.


This was a 400+ hour process. Between concept drawings, creating the pattern & a mock-up dress out of muslin first to making the actual dress it is a big job. We were able to coordinate everything smoothly with her visits from Vegas for fittings which had me more that a bit nervous. Designing & making a custom dress for someone who lives nearby is one thing, but one who lives in another State is different story.

I am happy to say that she is thrilled & she looks amazing in it. It is perfect for her…made just for her. I also have a new love for ruffles…as long as they are done correctly. I affectionately call them Fruffles now.

If you follow me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram you may be so lucky as to see the bride in the dress since I plan to take pictures tomorrow night at the reception.


Also I ask my  friends & sister Heather in Arizona for forgiveness from with holding photographs until now.

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