As I mentioned in my last post, last year was a busy one – and one of the main reasons was our wedding. Jon proposed in late January 2014, shortly before he left for Afghanistan for four months. His timing was a stroke of genius – we just had time to choose our date, venue and other important details before he left. And with the wedding set for three weeks after he came home, it meant I had all the fun stuff to plan while he was away – my dress, flowers, favours, hair, accessories etc. It was the perfect distraction for a difficult time and gave us both so much to look forward to when he got home.
Me being me, the wedding was always going to be a crafty affair… the prospect of making my own dress was never on the cards, but I knew there was plenty I could do in the way of accessories and decoration. The first thing I had to do was teach myself to crochet lace. Gone were the 4mm hooks I was using before, and in came the 0.75mm steel hook (and other assorted tiny sizes). It took some practice but I loved producing crochet that was so delicate and pretty. One of the brilliant things about crochet is its versatility – with the same set of skills you can create giant chunky scarves, cute hard-wearing toys for toddlers, and beautiful classic lace on a tiny scale.
It started with doilies – the wedding was small, only 20 guests, and I set about making five doilies to sit underneath the flowers on the dinner table. This one was the centrepiece:
Before long, I’d chosen my wedding dress. It was by the brilliant Catherine Deane, and I had a fantastic day out in London with my mum and sister-in-law trying on different designs at the studio in Metropolitan Wharf, Wapping. The Brits among you might recognise the name Metropolitan Wharf as the building where the Great British Sewing Bee is filmed. The dress had a distinctly floral theme, so that set me thinking about crocheting flowers for accessories.
So I started crocheting flowers, including daisy chains – so simple and so effective. The first thing I did was use them to embellish handkerchiefs for my mum and mother-in-law. By this point I’d also chosen a colour theme of pale turquoise and peach, so I bought Amazonite beads to use too (which also came in handy for bracelets for me and my bridesmaid).
The next project was to make a headpiece to match my dress and somehow work into my hairstyle for the big day. I started out using only crochet, but eventually realised I needed to add some details that were even more delicate to really make it into what I wanted. So I bought myself a tatting shuttle and learnt how to make tatted lace. That way, I could use tatted flowers in the headpiece too. It took two attempts and a lot of time, but in the end, I was really pleased with it:
Once I’d learnt to tat, I started to really enjoy it. With just a tiny tatting shuttle and a ball of thread, it seemed even more portable and easy to carry around than crochet. So I decided to make one of the table doilies a tatted one:
After all the lace-making, there was one final craft project to complete. My four-year-old nephew was going to be our ring-bearer on the day and he and I share a love of Thunderbirds (the original Thunderbirds, strings and all!). For his benefit (and mine!) I wanted to make a ring cushion with a difference – so with the help of some vintage fabric I found online, salvaged from a former duvet cover, I made one. I tried to keep it in the wedding theme with a bit of turquoise and peach ribbon, but I don’t think my nephew cared too much about that:
Anyway – enough talking about the making of everything – here are some pictures from the day itself (with a big thank you to our talented wedding photographer – and my cousin – Mark Wallis):
Once Jon got home we had the fun job of putting the finishing touches to the favours for the table, and a few other associated craft projects. But I’ll save those for the next post.