Category Archives: wedding

Looking Tall on The Wedding Day (at least, for the photos)

I was just looking through some photos by my awesome photographers (our two good friends took all the good photos, and one of them + my husband is processing them) and I realized — I looked really good and really TALL for the wedding! I mean, I still looked petite if my husband is right next to me, but the proportions are all nice and long and made me look very slim, and I didn’t even wear a very high heel (less than 3 inches! That was funny because I actually had leg/feet cramps half way through the wedding and had to change into a flat flipflop to walk around and dance). And analyzing my dress, these are the few things that I think helped me look tall, slim, and proportionate:

  • I bought a Petite size! You can hem a dress all you want, it still wont look good if the waist is 3 inches lower than where your waist is. (Or really, make your own! 😉 )
  • the dress had a train — from the back, it make you look soooo much taller! It created an illusion that my leg is thaaaaaat long
  • the dress had straps — originally my dress was strapless, and it made me look a little shorter since the height of white fabric from top to bottom was cut short. By adding straps, the eyes are reminded of the portion above my chest/back and hence made me seem slimmer (especially from the backside!) If I had more time or if my husband didnt love straps so much, I would had added laces to cover my upper back and chest to see if that made me look even taller!
  • well fitted dress — I took in a little, but not too much from the side, so that the dress fit snuggly but not tight enough to show any bulges — creating a straight un-disrupted curve and made me look slimmer
  • strategically hemmed hemline — I hemmed it so that it just touches the ground when I am on my heels. This way it doesnt look like I was on my heels and again, made me look taller! But dont hem it too long such that the skirt folds near the ground, a dead giveaway! (I think mine could had been half an inch shorter).
  • A-line and empire waist dress — every where I looked, advice says that A-line and waist dress makes you look taller. I guess its true! My dress is a very slim A-line and fitted near the hips and flare out gently — slightly mermaid-y but not really, because I know I look very short in mermaid dresses!
  • great photographers and wide-angled lens – this has nothing to do with my dress, but it did help greatly. The two photographers shot from great angles (down to up) that flattered me, and one of them used wide-angled lens, which elongates my body when it was shot with my face/upper body in the center and my train/feet area at the edge of the photo. Think of all those tricky mirrors that made you look slightly slimmer in store just because of the way they were placed on the floor (faced upwards a little).

One thing I would advice all the short brides — bring some safety pins to your wedding and a flat comfy shoe! If your feet cannot take it due to lack of sleep, excitement, or whatever reasons, you can always use safety pins to bustle all around the skirt to make it shorter. My big snap buttons did not hold too well, so safety pins would have helped! Practice bustling with a girlfriend so that she can help you out during the wedding, and mark the points you want to bustled so that you dont take too long figuring it all out!

P.S. Our friends and my husband ARE available as wedding photographers in Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area. If anyone wants to consider hire them (they would charge much less than normal since they are just starting out, $$ is just used to cover travel expenses, equipment and slight motivation for the massive amount of time spent on post processing), feel free to leave me a comment and I will provide their contact info!

Totally Married!

Woohoo! I am now officially married! No updates or sewing the the past week due to wedding craziness. We had the most wonderous wedding surrounded by lots of loving family and friends. And we were so lucky to have friends who were our officiant, our photographers, our decorators, our children activity coordinator, our MC, our muscle and just our fun maker. Many of them traveled very far to come to our wedding. I am constantly amazed on how talented and awesome our friends are. More pictures to post later, especially on how awesome my wedding dress turned out to be. For now, just a post wedding picture taking at UC Berkeley (only picture released by the photographer team!) . I love how the veil turned out flowy and glowy just like how I envisioned!

Semi-DIY wedding: Ring Pillows

I made a ring pillow yesterday! It seems like wedding crafts never ends! I keep on finding stuff I could do. This time I decided to make a ring pillow out of stuff I had around my sewing room (last minute sewing). So some scrapes from my white Maui dress, a random button, and a red ribbon later, I got a ring pillow!

You can imagine how easy it is to make — sew a square together, leave about an inch or two so that you can turn the square over. Stuff it with cotton or poly-fill. Then use a thick thread (or multiple threads together in a big needle) to sew a button and the ribbons in place in the center of the pillow. Tada! It took me less than 2 hours!

This is how the back looks like:

I really like how mine looks — not shiny, very organic and light. My almost-husband loves it, he thinks we are more like “peasants”, so this is perfect! 😛

Of course, there are much more pretty pillows out there, check etsy for inspirations:

Surprisingly, they are all sold at a very reasonable price! Definitely beats the one for 20 bucks from Michaels!

Semi-DIY wedding: The Program

I wanted to incorporate some sewing-flavor into my wedding besides what I am going to wear. It wont really be a Jue-be-Dex wedding if there are no threads and fabric involved, right?

For our wedding program, I bought papers from paper and more, an awesome place for bulk and cheap stock paper. I bought three colors of the linen (duh!) paper: black, red, and natural. The service was awesome and quality is SUPURB — they even have cutting service for a reasonable price, so that I dont have to do any cutting!

I originally wanted to wrap fabric around one side 0f our program (like our invitation, which will be posted later with a how-to). But our program had 7 pieces of the cards together, adding fabric made it way too hard to stitch. So I decided to just stitch them together with plain stitches and thick threads. Unfortunately, I did not have white thick threads around, but selfish seamstresses’ rant about double straight stitch totally saved me a trip to the store and 3 dollars. I actually had a triple straight stitch on my little sewing machine, and that seems to do a pretty good job.

(excuse the obvious photoshop to blurb out our last names and dates! 2003 is the year we started going out 🙂 )

Some tricks when I was stitching the program together:

  • I used a size 11 needle –if the needle is too thin and it will break; if it is too thick,  it has a hard time penetrating the papers. I stitched through 40 programs, and only broke 1 needle!
  • Go at a medium speed, at least for my sewing machine. If I go too fast it will skip stitches, and if I go too slow the motor doesnt seem to have the momentum to penetrate the paper
  • I taped a straight block on the sewing machine to help me making a straight and parallel stitch with equal distance for all the programs!

Tada! it took a few hours to do all 40, but its done! 🙂 What do you think? Any other ideas for a sewing-incorporated wedding program?

On a related note. I wanted some card stands to display instructions during our wedding, but I could not find a good looking one anywhere! So my awesome fiance made a bunch of this for me from a tree we cut down in our backyard last year:

sewing wife and wood-working husband…  🙂  I am loving it already!

Semi-DIY wedding — Short = Awesome

It looks like I wont be doing real sewing for a while, so bear with me while I rant about my wedding (do I sound slightly bridezilla? Im practicing 🙂 ).  I am finally done with altering my dress! I took off a whole 2 inches off this petite wedding gown, and now it just touched the floor a tiny bit when I am on my heels. I also took out lots of room around the hips — I always thought I have a decent-sized butt, but apparently the normal butt’s even bigger!

Anyway, I had a long strip of fabric cut from the dress hemming, so I made shoulder strap (my fiancee  LOVES spaghetti straps and he was slightly sad when I told him my dress is strapeless)  and fabric-covered buttons from it and attached it to the dress. Isn’t it AWESOME being short? You get all these extra fabric to play with! I also did a three-point dress bustle using sewn-on snaps (shown on photo below)  for the train so that I can dance in it! It was great having  a dress-form to hang the dress in while I worked the tuck and buttons — I felt like a designer!

Now I can look so very beautiful on my wedding day:

Semi-DIY Wedding – Veil

Have you ever wondered why veils are so expensive? I was looking through Davids Bridal’s veil selection — they are mostly made from polyester tulle that I can buy from Joanns for 2 dollars a yard with some crystals or beads or ribbons glued/sewn on them. The non-barebone options cost 70 dollars and up!

The thought of spending 70 dollars on a piece of slightly decorated polyster just drove my little chinese (read:cheap) brain nuts. I decided that I should make my own veil – how hard can that be, right? For 70 dollars, I can get a nice silk veil, no problem! So I set out to make my own veil.

First step, material. I wanted to find silk tulle, but the rumor on the street is that it is extremely expensive, and it is hard to find. I dont really like bulky veil either, so English netting is out. I bought a few yards of natural silk chiffon from Exotic Silk in Los Altos(best silk fabric store ever!), but when I got home, I decided that it is not transparent enough for me. I started searching randomly for silk online and came upon this: Dharma trading’s silk gauze. It seemed perfect for the job — light, flowy, transparent, and cheap! Can you believe that their silk is less than 3 dollar a yard?! I bought 7 yards of the 3mm and 45″ silk gauze.

I know that I would like the veil to be finished with  some kind of hemming, but rolling the tissue-y fabric and stitch it up presented with  much difficulties (you can all imagine, right?)  So I experimented around with different stitches on my machine to just sort of “serger” up the edge (imagine zig-zagging the edge of the veil) with the thinnest needle i can find (it turned out that number 11 (see left) on my machine worked out the best for this material). Because the fabric is so thin, the threads pull the fabric in to form a nice line at the edge. It also creates some nice waves  at the biased edge and the little fraying makes it seem to soft and airy.

I wanted a floor length veil at first, with a blusher. The width of the fabric is 45″, so I had to basically draw a long big oval and cut it out (see design 1). However, that means the sides of the oval is not on a bias cut, and it doesnt create the cute waves (though much easier to stitch), and the overall look was just, weird.  But I am glad I did it — because I had lots of practice with stitching the edge, and the transition from the biased edge to the straight grain stitch was a little tricky!

Finally, I decided to make another one without the blusher and just finger tip length. This time, I made a half circle with the straight line along one of the side of the fabric (pattern shown in design 2) and  I did a much better job with the stitching. and at the end I just gathered  the straight edge together onto a white plastic comb I had lying around. Tada!

I feel really beautiful in my veil! Its so soft and I feel like its glowing under the sun 🙂 That fabric made me really wish that I sewed my own wedding dress! Though it took much longer than I thought it would, and all the hours of monotonous edge stitching (you have to go really slow on the machine) wasn’t much fun, I think it is well worth it! I now have something *handmade* for my wedding (yes, I am adding that to the list of old, new, borrowed, and blue!).

Hope that this howto would help some brides out there! Let me know if you have any questions. Readers, did any of you also made your own veil?

p.s. right before this photo shoot, i had my hair highlighted and done as a mock up for the wedding at my hair lady, and then I was heading out for some  shopping with my awesome friend Ngoc. But somehow my fiancée tricked me into wearing the white silk dress (in photo) and I showed up to a surprise  Hawaiian bridal shower with lot of my  favorite  girlfriends!! 😀 I had sooooo much fun. ❤ maybe when the photos come, I will show them off here!  ❤ Ngoc(+ her awesome husband)! ❤ let-sister! ❤ all my friends!

Semi-DIY wedding: Rose Bouquet

This is somewhat un-related to sewing, but I like to talk about anyway! For my wedding, I decided to do my own floral arrangements. My friend Ngoc  and I  did a mock up decoration last Friday and we made the cutest bridal bouquet ourselves! 🙂 It was super easy — cut flowers to about 8inches on the stem, hold a few flowers without leaves in hand, slowly adding flowers to the hand. Put flowers with leaves on the outside. when done, rubber band the flowers together, cut the stems again to make sure they are even. roll ribbons tightly around the stem; and at the end, use your sewing pin with white heads and pin the ribbons to place!

Isnt it such an adorable bouquet? And its probably 1/4 the price of a bouquet bought from the stores! With a few river stones to balance cute vases, it looks like a cute center piece as well!

Material :
24 costco flowers
rubber band
hair pins
and an awesome friend!

Wedding Dress Alteration

For as long as I had been in the sewing world, I have had a fiance. Finally, he would be my official husband (he’s my sort-of-husband right now, since we are really legally married) this May, when we finally have our wedding ceremony. The second most important part of being a bride is having a beautiful and fitted dress to wear on her wedding! (The most important part is to be surrounded by people she loves!) I sold out and bought a dress last year instead of sewing my own — it just seemed too intimidating to sew my own! (However, I am still itching to sew up a last minute wedding dress… we will see!)

Of course, the dress does not fit me perfectly — even though its a bridal size 0 (and they say that bridal sizes are smaller than street size!) and a petite (still 5 inches too long with heels!). Being a cheapo (and more because I deem myself as a decent seamstress), I decided to alter it myself instead of sending it to a pro, and oh boy, look at this explosion on my sewing desk:

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