Making my own wedding cake

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Neil and I got married two weeks ago, and it was perfect. I never imagined everything could go so smoothly and the house and garden look so much better than I could have imagined.

I have had to keep off the blog for a while, as any cooking or crafting I was doing was ALL wedding related, and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for any guests… But now, as all the secrets are out be prepared to be spammed by cake, dress (yes I made my own dress, and it was as stressful as that sounds…), invites and bunting galore!

_DSF3406This cake was actually quite easy to make, I used Frances Quinn from the Bake Off’s recipe in her book ‘Quinntessential Baking’, and it’s a lemon, mascarpone and raspberry cake (well technically eight of them) layered with some impressive structural engineering… (I got my brother to help place the rods in as he actually is an engineer.

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The picture above shows my genuine amazement that it stood up! (and did so for the entire afternoon!)

Everyone was really pleased with the cake, and as was I! I have never made anything higher than a Victoria sponge before. I made the sponges in my Aunt’s new high tech super oven (it has a touch screen and beeps!) on the Thursday morning, wrapped them up in loads of cling-film and then assembled it with mscarpone icing, home (aunt) made lemon curd and fresh raspberries. I added home grown lavender around the edges and dried flowers on top.

I’m rather proud of it.

 

Making my own wedding dress: Part 1 – Planning!

 

Call me foolish – I’m not much beyond a beginner sewer and here I am deciding to make my own wedding dress!

I’ve started getting bits and pieces ready – I’ve now got my silk, lace and pattern –

I’m torn between the Kim bodice and the Elisalex bodice from the lovely ladies at By Hand London, I’ve made a couple of Elisalexs before see the flamingo one, and the green silk one, and I’m currently making a Kim dress – which is on hold as my machine is in Janome hospital.

I’ve decided on a full circle skirt, and guipure lace overlay on the top half (from Truro fabrics) and the silk from the Silk Route – which I’ve NO IDEA how to do…

I’ve been taking inspiration from the amazing dresses over Chotronette as well. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with my progress!

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You shall go to the ball *in an Elisalex

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I am super proud of this dress – it’s taken quite a while to make as I’ve been so picky and careful about all of my finishes. I made it to wear to my cousin’s wedding on Saturday and everyone had a wonderful time – Congratulations Mr and Mrs B!

I’m normally a bit slapdash with finishing dresses off, just wanting them to be done and wearing them straight away. But with this gem I took my time learning loads of new techniques in the process and I think the end result is absolutely beautiful (also the shoes were pretty perfect too).

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Apologies for the windswept look, I wanted to get a picture by the lovely lake at the wedding but it was a bit blowy! This is a sort of practice run for my wedding dress, which will be made out of the same silk dupion (in ivory this time). I’ll keep the sleeveless Elisalex bodice (from the amazingly talented ladies at By Hand London), attach a full circle skirt, make a tule petticoat and then create a French guipure lace overlay for the bodice (which I’m terrified about).

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But I’ll be talking more about that dress later. Let me show this one off first – My princess seams and inverse box pleats all line up on the front, my invisible zip is the best I’ve ever done, the bodice is fully lined and hand finished around the waist and zip, all my seams are finished a la Hong Kong style, bound with black binding and I hemmed it by hand with a herringbone stitch.

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Fabric for wedding dresses – where to start?

No pressure: I’m trying to choose the fabric to use to make my wedding dress…

I’m telling myself we’re only having a small family wedding in my parents’ garden – so it doesn’t really matter if my dress isn’t perfect… But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try my best!

I’ve ordered some samples of ivory handwoven (which has the thicker more uneaten texture), ivory ‘power woven’ (smoother dupion) and a natural smooth silk. I think I’m going to go with the ivory handwoven as I love the texture – sorry if the pictures don’t show it off well!!

I’m going to take the whole process very slowly as I’m not exactly used to either dealing whith expensive fabrics or finishing my sewing projects to the highest levels – I know there are different camps out there, and sadly I fall firmly into the – well if you can’t see the seam why does it have to be neat camp!?

But my wedding dress – that’s a whole different story – this beauty (I hope) is going to be perfect(ish) inside and out!

I sent off for some fabric samples this week – I’m thinking of going along the silk dupion route (my mum calls it raw silk, and I’m not sure if there’s a difference?).  I like the ivory – not white white, but not too yellow, and use some French Guipure lace to cover the bodice and add sleeves with an invisible zip running down the back.

The colour silk is for me to make a full version of the dress before for practice, in the same fabric but in a different colour – then I get practice and something to wear to my cousin’s wedding in February! I ordered a few different samples but I think I’m going to the teal (in the middle).

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