upcycled wedding gown, part two

Meet Toes, wearing a gown refashioned from a 1957 donation to the Great Wedding Gown Recycling Project of 2012.  Saucy got a friendly response from a lovely lady who has carried this gown with her to seventeen homes over the past fifty five years of marriage and decided she'd like to see something done with it... now that she and her husband are downsizing.

Saucy apologizes for the iPhone photos... she's not trying to make it look worse, intentionally photographing the makeover subject looking all sad and dejected before the new hair and makeup.  This isn't the Today show.  This was legitimately a tired old dress.  The sleeves were torn and worn out, and the sequins on the bodice had yellowed with age.  Some of the beading turned a funny shade of grey.

The skirt was immaculate, though.  It had a nice, swishy, fifties vibe that Saucy decided to capitalize on.  Generally, the shape of the dress was classic and timeless (she really loved the boatneck neckline with mesh and wanted to work off that, but it was just too crooked to keep).

Enter the complete makeover of the bodice.  It's now a halter top... and a bit of a daring one at that.

It took some bravery to cut that bodice away.  Bravery on the part of Toes, who allowed herself to be a human mannequin as Saucy took the scissors to the dress while it was on her person.

Bravery for Saucy because, it could have gone really wrong for the dress.  It might not have kept its structure.  It might have been too daring... it might have caused a wardrobe malfunction.  Saucy just cannot have that if she's taking photos of Cheerios.

It's a good thing that as a flyer for The Cheerios, Toes has no fear and she's up for anything.  Like having Saucy snip those shears right next to her skin, and then jumping right up to the top of a tree for photos.

No, Toes doesn't have a tattoo.  Saucy drew it with some of Kat Von D's tattoo liner and they called it a day.  It sort of rounded out the entire hippy, bohemian thing going on.

That's one cute bohemian hippie, don't you think?

The butterfly bouquet... the tutorial for it is on the post below.  It's just sweet and fresh and light.  Kind of like Toes.

Oh, and Saucy actually sewed a whole new neckline for this dress, using some of the lace pieces from the discarded sleeves as trim.  From straight-across boat neck to somewhat plunging sweetheart style.

 Down at the riverbank, Toes took a dip in the cool water.

Saucy picked off every one of the old yellowed sequins and grey beads.  It took one pair of magnifying glasses, a pair of tiny scissors, one viewing of The Wedding Singer and half of The Help.  It was so worth it.

The dress?  Still wearable, ultimately.  But there are few girls in this world as petite as Toes or the sweet original owner of the dress who Saucy hopes enjoys the result.  Saucy may re-invent the skirt in yet another form, depending on her mood.  It is a pretty fabulous skirt.

Proving... yet again... that you can look fabulous without spending a fortune on a wedding gown.

Would you say yes to this dress?

butterfly bouquet

Saucy didn't want to fuss too much with real flowers for some of the photo shoots for the wedding dress upcycle challenge. She enjoys cutting and arranging little bouquets, but if the weather turns sour before shoot time and she has to cancel, she's stuck with fresh flowers and these days, it might be a while before she can reschedule.

Enter the butterfly bouquet.  It's not new.  It's been floating around the Internet for a few years, a version was even featured on the cover of Martha Stewart Weddings.  It makes a handy little bouquet for this upcycling project because Saucy had bunches of these feather butterflies on hand from other crafts over the years.  Like, literally years.  In the depths and recesses of the craft supplies.

Also, these aren't the really nice quality butterflies that can be found at Michaels or a reputable florist supply.  These bad boys are from Dollarama... of course.

As you can see, they're totally adequate.  However, you will have to prep them for use in a bouquet, lest they fall apart and litter painted feathery bits everywhere.  

Most of these feather butterflies arrive on flimsy wire.  You can wrap the flimsy wire with white florist tape... but as Saucy found, the wire is so weak and already a little twisted, it doesn't cover as nicely as it should.  Eventually, Saucy cut a heavier gauge craft wire to pieces about eight inches long and prepped them for use by rolling them with the florist's tape.

Then, use some hot glue or a super-glue to tack the covered wire pieces into the foam body of the butterfly (underside).  Now is a good time, while the glue is out and the butterflies are upside down, to hit key spots under the wings where you can see the feather edges.  Go ahead and reinforce with a good clear glue.

Lay them all out to dry, careful that they don't touch.

Saucy used about sixty butterflies for this bouquet.  They come six on a card at the dollar store so, ten dollars.  That's the math.  This would be a very affordable option for flower girls or bridesmaids to carry at a wedding.

It's piddly, picky work to cover the wires with the tape.  It made Saucy's arthritic fingers sore.  It only took about two hours to do all of the prep work, but the way she bitched and complained about it is supposed to make you think twice before attempting it, but don't.  It was actually super easy, just fiddly and moderately time-consuming.

When the wires are dry and secure in the bodies of the butterflies, begin twisting pairs and trios of varying sizes together.

Eventually, you'll gather the pairs and trios together into a pleasing shape.  Keep it random... or, it might be cute to do a bouquet completely of monarchs or one colour of butterfly.

Anyway, get out the craft pliers you picked up at the dollar store and make sure you pinch those wires together, forming a handle as you go.  It's very pliable and workable.  Tuck the ends underneath at the bottom so no sharp bits poke out anywhere.

The florist's tape makes the wire super sticky and easy to work with.  It kind of wants to stick to itself... voila!

When you're satisfied with the shape and size of the bouquet, cover the stem you created with several layers of the florist tape.  You can continue to bend and manipulate the handle as you go.

To finish, cover the handle with some pretty ribbon and tie with a bow or secure it, ends down, with florist pins.   Saucy decided to fashion this bouquet sans bow.

Saucy thought the little ball of butterflies was amusing and it inspired her for a woodland-theme shoot.

This was a drastic wedding dress upcycle.  Incredible, really.  Saucy is going through the pictures now... if you want to see the results, tune in on Wednesday.

Because if Saucy bitched and whined about taping sixty feather butterflies, what do you think she had to say about picking a million and a half sequins off the bodice of a 1957 wedding gown?

fun girlies

Fun, girly shoots are... fun!  Saucy just gets a kick out of them.  When the girls are cute and game to try anything, it's even better.

Because man, look at those eyes!  Those eyes won't quit.  Loopy claims they hypnotized her while she was editing.

Saucy thinks it would be hypnotizing to painstakingly change the colour of each and every brick on a wall to coordinate with outfits, but that's Loopy's part of this gig.

To ask your opinion... do you prefer the iPod photo with the girls leaning against each other or whispering to each other?  It's a toss-up for Saucy.

These giant flower props were a cool find.  What else could they possibly be used for than for photos?

The best prop for this shoot... came from Saucy's craft room...

No, they didn't tag the walls.  That's Loopy working her magic again.  But the graffiti below, that was real.  It just so happened to match the girls' outfits... yay!

Saucy is hard-core searching and keeping her eyes peeled for cute props.  She doesn't want too much repetition between photo shoots, but some will be inevitable.  She's now on the lookout for: cute umbrellas, empty frames and small birdcages, and any appropriate container in which to place a newborn baby.  She will beg, borrow and steal.


photoshop six

Saucy is just checking in to say the summer is still quite busy and hectic, with a ton of photoshoots in the works.  Last night, Uncle Bug helped by installing Photoshop 6 on Saucy's computer and giving her some tips and instruction.

She had a few minutes to play with some recent shots of Loopy, applying some actions and generally mucking around.

So much Photoshop... so little time.  So many tutorials.  So much to learn.

Saucy officially cannot wait to tear apart another wedding gown, refashion it and shoot it.  She now has over ten donations.  Apparently people don't like old wedding gowns kicking around and want to see them in a new light.  

Oh, and we're landscaping.  And who forgot to take "before" pictures of the yard?  This chick.