Tag Archives: buttons

More Mini-Monsters

30 Oct

Now that the marital dust has settled, I can get back to focusing on some serious monstering. I’ve been really enjoying the mini-monsters, it’s a great way of using up scraps of interesting fabrics, and gives more instant gratification than the bigger projects. Initially I found working small to be really challenging but I feel like I’m mastering it now and I’m excited to start making some christmassy ones for the upcoming festive season.

Now that I am getting better at working on a small scale I’m planning to start adding more of my usual character to the mini-monsters, so expect to see them coming thick and fast over the coming weeks! Here’s what I came up with today.

‘The Dress’

18 Oct

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for. The tale of my attempt to create my own wedding dress.

When we first started planning the wedding I couldn’t imagine myself in a bridal gown. I was never one of these girls who dreams of  her big day or walks around in her mum’s high heels with a pillowcase veil pretending to be a bride. It’s just not me, so I had to do it my way. I relished the idea of turning my wedding dress into a work of art so I could walk down the aisle with pride. Originally I had planned to make it from scratch but I’m soooooo glad that I abandoned that foolish idea before I started!

To get the ball rolling I went to try on a few off-the-peg dresses. Having never worn anything like a wedding dress, it was impossible to know what I wanted. I had a vague idea of a prom style dress but didn’t want to rule anything out. I nearly fell for this gorgeous little number…

…but after flouncing around like a princess for a good half-hour, I had to relinquish the gown as it would not have mixed well with roller skates and bowling. Instead I had a go with the prom style dress I had imagined, and I was sold.

I did learn from dress number one that I love a bit of bling, and armed with that information I set about finding a base at which to throw as much sparkle as I could muster.

I found what I was looking for at Honeypie Boutique, an online wedding dress supplier with a healthy selection of vintage inspired dresses, all with glamorous names like Audrey, Lauren and Greta. I chose Grace, a simple satin bodice with sweetheart neckline atop layer upon layer of tulle skirts. I was a little worried as there were very few reviews I could find on wedding forums but I took a chance, placed my order, and was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dress for the price. This was it in its virgin state.

Not bad on its own, but a perfect blank canvas for a crafty bride-to-be. As it turns out, a little too blank. The endless possibilities proved a little daunting and I needed some inspiration. A great excuse to recruit Mummy Monster and pop to London for the day. The dress collection at the V&A and the gorgeous fabric shops of Berwick street left us positively drooling with excitement. On the train home I sketched idea after idea, eventually deciding that sometimes less is more and settled on something like this

With my love of buttons and the wealth of pretty buttony goodness available on the internet, I couldn’t resist taking a little pearly queen turn with the project. Mr Monster began to get a little suspicious as packets of buttons kept dropping into our post box. I wanted to give the skirt a bit of sparkle so set about sewing them onto the skirts. What I hadn’t anticipated though was that they would all have to be sewn on individually to prevent the thread showing through the tulle. I wish I had counted how many I used, but I reckon it was a couple of hundred, all tied on and tied off individually by hand. And so the embellishment began…
As with all projects, naturally I got to that point where I stood back and thought “I don’t like it”. I think the enormity of the importance of the project started to get to me as well as a touch of crafters self-doubt. Thanks to the patience and support of a few friends, and of course my mum, I was able to bounce ideas around and eventually feel a bit happier about what I’d done. It all came together one evening when I was playing around with the idea of using some vintage lace around the waist. I needed my hands free to do something else so hung the length of lace around my neck briefly, caught sight of it in the mirror, and BAM! The lace halter-neck was born! Funny how things work out sometimes. All it needed to top it off was a waistband with a cute feature bow, and of course a few more buttons.

By the time I was finished (less than a week before the wedding, last-minute-Larry indeed), I was in love with my dress and felt like a fairy princess when I tried it on for the first time. What’s more, when Mr Monster saw me coming down the aisle, he loved it too. Mission accomplished.

So without further ado, let’s have a look at my dress in detail, starting with a shot from the day which gives you a glimpse of my handmade felt bouquet.

And a few of the dress in all it’s glory.

Happiness is…..

17 Jul


Fabric Heaven

9 Jul

I’ve had a little trip to London today with mummsy, and what a lovely but exhausting day it’s been. As it turns out, Berwick Street; one of the side streets tucked away from the bustle of Oxford Street, is a fabric lover’s paradise. Eight shops selling silks, satins, buttons and braids, all in one tiny stretch. With window displays like this one, who could resist?

I’ve come away with a few samples of fabrics which I have in mind for the forthcoming embellishment of ‘The Dress’. We squeezed in a little visit to the V&A for the newly refurbished dress collection and the special Ballgown exhibition which is on at the moment. It was simply stunning, and I came away with sketch after sketch of bits and pieces which inspired me. A fruitful trip, and with our imminent house move in mind, I have come up with a design which will hopefully not take too much time to execute, just in case I find myself without enough hours in the day what with the next three months promising to be rather busy.

Ooooo, one more thing. We made a quick stop at the Serpentine Gallery in the picturesque surroundings of Hyde Park. There was a Yoko Ono exhibition on which I must say on the whole, I didn’t  find particularly inspiring, with the exception of these wishing trees outside the main entrance.

Ms Ono invites visitors to take a tag, and inscribe a wish to tie to the tree. Mother monster and I both made wishes, and I couldn’t resist posting some of my favourites here, starting with the lovely wishes of my mum.


Buttons, Buttons, Lovely Buttons

11 Jun

I love buttons. Like, seriously. To the point of it becoming a problem. One thing I’m loving about my new mini-monsters is that it gives me a chance to raid my button stash in its many jars, tins, and drawers, to find the perfect little embellishments for them. Today when I was tidying up the craft room a bit, I unearthed from beneath a pile of felt, an old Turkish Delight tin my Nan gave me full of buttons she had collected up over the years.

The greatest and most drool-worthy little collection of vintage beauties. After a bit of a root through and a fair bit of girlish squealing, I selected some of my favourites and set about turning them into something monsterous.

Plenty more where that came from!