Saturday, July 2, 2011

DIY Bridal Sash Project

I haven't written much this week because I've been busy working on my new DIY wedding project every night after work.  Let's just say I've been arts 'n crafts inspired.  My dress doesn't require a sash or anything, but my "bridesmaids" will.  Ok I say bridesmaids in quotes because I told my friends to wear whatever they want, and I'll just tie a sash around them to make it look more uniform.  I just don't want people to have to go buy matching dresses and go through all the hassle just because I decide to have a wedding.  I told them they can wear any solid colored rich jewel toned dress that they already have.  So far 2 of them have decided on their dresses - one is royal blue, and another is burgundy.  So I hope the other 2 (or maybe 1) wear like a rich jade color, and a color of another family so they can be completely different.  How great would that look in pictures??  I don't have a wedding color because I can't be bothered, so I decided to go for a neutral color as the sash - I chose champagne.  I think it will go with pretty much any color dress they get.

So at first I thought of just getting them a simple sash.  But then I thought why not put a little bit of decoration on the sash.  I looked on etsy and there's tons of different bridal sashes out there that people can make for you in different colors with some flowers or jewels on it.  But they kind of cost a lot - the absolute cheapest I found that wasn't butt ugly was $60.  And they don't even look that complicated to make on my own!  So I said F it, let me just take a stab at it myself.  After all, I just finished making my bouquet and it wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be!

I thought getting the right materials for the sash would be hard, but it was actually really really easy.  I just took a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts and they had everything I could possibly need!  I got champagne colored organza for the flowers, and the exact same shade of satin ribbon (I got 2 inches wide, but 1.5 would probably work too) and thread.  I also got some shiny buttons for the center of the flowers, as well as some good scissors and I was good to go!  I was in and out of there within 20 minutes.  For all the material that I got, which was way more than I needed, it cost me $30.  Compare that to over $200 to pay someone to make me 4 sashes!  Ha!  I feel smart.  Lol.

Here are the 2 finished photos of what I made.  I will lay out the steps I used to make my flowers in case anyone is interested!  The first one I did on my own by trial and error (I basically tried to figure out how to make these flowers by staring intensely at some organza flowers I found on etsy).  The second one, I watched some YouTube videos which were helpful.  There are tons out there.  YouTube is a freaking life saver.  I can't believe so many nice people take the time to video tape, well, everything!

Ok, there they are!  The following are steps to making them, they are very very simple.  So read on if you are interested!

First one:

I cut a strip of my organza roughly about 4 inches wide.  Then I cut the strip into 4 X 4 squares like this:

Then I cut flower shapes out of the squares.  The petals can be any shape of course.  But I just opted for a simple regular flower petal for my guinea pig trial run.  I hand cut them, but I suppose to make them more uniform, you could draw a shape first then cut.  But I figure that natural flowers aren't perfect anyway, that's what gives them character! As you can see below, my shapes are kind of really not that pretty looking on their own.  Also, I tried to cut some bigger and some smaller ones, so that the finished product will look more natural.

Ok then you just keep cutting shapes and layering them.  I cut about 10-12 per flower, but if you want a fuller flower, just cut more!  You can stack the squares and cut a few at a time.  I cut one at a time at first and it took way too long!

Keep stacking and stacking...

See, even though the shapes are not perfect on their own, they look pretty good when they are all layered!

Then I just took out my needle and thread, and sewed the organza sheets together, including a shiny button on top as the center of the flower.

And there it is!  Done!  All I had to do next was sew it onto the ribbon.  I cut the ribbon to be about 2 meters long to give it enough room to tie around the waist.  If they end up being too long, I can just cut them.

I actually took a hot glue gun and glued some of the bottom layer - the one closest to the satin ribbon, onto the ribbon so that the flower doesn't droop when you put it on.  The organza sheets are very light, so if you don't do that, gravity will for sure pull them down.  

I made 2 of these flowers, and sewed the other one slightly above the first onto the ribbon.  Of course they could be even leveled and that would look great too.  I just wanted to try something different.  The placement of the 2nd flower was actually the hardest part for me.  I had to re-do it 3 times.  The first time I put it on the wrong side, and then 2nd time I put it too far away from the first flower and you could see some ribbon between the 2 flowers.  I didn't like that.  But 3rd time was a charm!  Here's what it looks like on me!  Not half bad for the first attempt, huh?  =)

After I made the first one, I decided it would be cool to make each sash a little different.  So everyone can be unique and it looks more modern.  This time I got smart and watched YouTube for tips before staring more at pictures on etsy.

Second sash:

The beginning is very similar to the first one - I cut out strips from the organza and cut them into 4 X 4 squares.  Then I cut flower shapes out of them.  Again, they don't have to be perfect at all.  I used about 12-15 sheets per flower this time.  I don't have any pins, so I put my needle through the stacks of organza to keep them in place while cutting.  See the stack on the right.

And then I layered the 2 stacks I cut out, and ran my needle and thread through the center.

Then I twisted around the different layers of organza with the thread through, so that they are not perfectly stacked.  And then I folded it into half and gave it a few stitches:

Then, I folded it perpendicularly to the first fold, and gave another few stitches.  The whole point of this is to sort of scrunch up the organza sheets from the bottom so that the petals will stand up and become more 3D.

I actually then repeated some more stitches on the other side, whatever you want, as long as it looks good when flipped over.  Here's what mine looks like!  Just be sure to play with the petals and make sure their placement looks natural and effortless.

So I just repeated the steps and made a 2nd flower just like this.  Then I sewed them onto the satin ribbon.  I also used my hot glue gun and glued the bottom of the flowers onto the ribbon.  This flower doesn't have a flat bottom like the first one, since I had scrunched it and sewn the bottom so it formed a point.  That's why it was more important to glue it to make sure it doesn't fall to one side.

This is what the finished product looks like on me.  This time I made sure I paid closely attention to the placement of the 2nd flower so that it was the same level and close enough to the first one.  I only had to sew it on once!  Score!

So I really like my sashes!  I hope my friends will too.  If they don't, then they can forget about being my bridesmaids in quotes.  Hahaha.  But seriously, this was so easy to do and saves so much money.  I will have lots of organza and ribbon left over, so I will be making more flowers during holidays/birthdays as decorations for presents!  It's a nice touch.  I love my new found love for arts and crafts!  Oh, maybe I'll start selling sashes and bouquets on etsy too.  Undercut others by $5-10 and probably can sell a few.  That's still a huge profit margin.  LOL!  

I also think I can make more flowers for myself as hair accessory for the wedding as well.  I like the look of the flowers on the 2nd sash for hair.  They look just like some hair fascinators I have seen that cost over $100 retail.  I love the soft and romantic feel.  All I have to do is glue a clip to the back of the flower and put it in my hair for less than $1.  There's so many different ways to make them and use them, the possibilities are endless.  

I will cut out different shaped petals for my next 2 sashes, and hopefully create different looks!  Maybe I'll attempt to create roses (they look a little harder per YouTube tutorials).  I will post more then.  


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