life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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from paper to fabric

I designed my wedding entourage’s attire. (only the design not the execution) -if only I knew how to sew. 

Our inspiration/motif was a sunset.

photo from google

photo from google

That means blue, purple/plums, pinks, peach with the accent of gold and silver. So we created a color palette and some fabric swatches.

 

my fabric swatches!

my fabric swatches!

Then I went on to sketch my designs for each of females on my entourage. Floor length gowns for the maids of honors and cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids.

yes, I sketched those.

yes, I sketched those.

On my mind all the bridesmaids wear peach with gold accents. The maid of honor –my sister and my best friend get different colors. For my sister it was to be blush pink accented with silver (her skintone is on the cool side), on my best friend it is going to be peach and gold accents (my bestfriend has a warm skintone). I was so excited I even brought beads to be used for their dresses!

*I also designed all of their dresses according to their body type. -I also got their approval before I finalized my sketch and placed in their bridesmaids kit.

I also designed our flower girls’ gown! – I actually created this close to the real thing! -photo of the gown I had in mind using photoshop. I felt the need to illustrate the color shifting of the skirt. This is the peg I gave.

princess-y and poofy!

princess-y and poofy!

– For all the males we picked out colors we liked them to wear then went to look for polos and ties in that color. *easy because theirs was rtw.* The little boys had theirs made to order from another seamstress. -We did however pick out their colors to match their partners.

We got Bonaobra Couture to make the entourage gowns. Their shop fairly simple (divisoria area) but it is accessible to the majority of our entourage. -this is the main reason why we chose them. (we do however have two of our entourage that lives in the south) *I also believe that their gowns look better than the others within the same vicinity.-they are also priced a bit higher*

We went to give them my sketches, the beads to be used and fabric swatches. Paid the down payment and told them to start.

So we got them to make the sketches to reality. Which they sort of did. 

the final output- the gowns in action

the final output- the gowns in action

But not without difficulty as there are some made a bit tight (this was easily remedied), one that was made in a different color than I expected (surprise! surprise!) and one completely off from the design- that was modified. The flowergirls dresses are almost perfect save for the 3d flower applique issue that I slaved over.

what the kids wore

what the kids wore – actual dresses and the suit for the little boys

Two of my bridesmaids had their dresses loosened by an inch. easy enough.

What they had major issues on were the gowns of my sister and my bestfriend. My two maids of honor.

See my sister’s (the only one in pomelo pink from the photo above) gown is supposed to be blush pink- probably due to miscommunication from shop to the sewers it turned out to be pomelo pink, that was really my mother’s chosen color for her own dress. *I wanted it like a ombre of colors-the mature set wears deep colors and the younger set wears lighter colors.* -My mother and Kei’s mother also had their gowns made at Bonaobra. But I wont be posting it-they are a bit shy. For the record their gowns are beautiful.  

My best friend’s gown presented another problem in the waist drape detail. They totally failed this one. (see the long peach gown from the photo above)

*Which I never knew until I asked Jo about her gown the week of the wedding. She thinks there is something wrong with the gown but she does not want me to worry about her or her gown that she kept silent. After much prodding… and self blame.

explain to us what happened

Photo taken inside the shop. -please explain to us what happened. 

She went on to send me this photo that she took when she tried out the dress, before claiming it. (this photo was taken Sunday afternoon) I got to talk to my bestfriend – Tuesday night. two days has passed!!!

I was so sorry that my best friend blames herself about the dress. I was furious. It was not the way I designed it to be! The draping was supposed to hug her thighs to show her curves, but there it was all the draping design placed on the waist. Maximum failure.

So a plan was hatched that we get her gown the very next day and get it altered by (Wednesday) afternoon. 

I was so shocked and sorry with what I saw that I went full on bridezilla mode and called Bonaobra Couture to demand that they fix that feaking skirt pronto. *maldita mode 100%* I told them I don’t care what they are going to do, if they were going to go with the original design or come up with something else I want it fixed!

They were forgiven for the wrong color on my sister’s gown – I will mark this ok because they owned up to their mistake and apologized profusely, and also for the flowergirls’ appliqués – That I ended up doing but I don’t blame them that much for that because maybe that was all that they could find given that its hard to match ready made appliques to fabric color.

But this was the third. With me, three strikes and hell breaks loose. You know me, I wont judge easily and always give a benefit of the doubt.  

*Funny thing was for every fitting of our entourage we pay them upfront so they would have any doubts about us. Most of the female entourage’s dresses was already claimed, save for three dresses –the two maid of honor gowns and my mother’s gown. We only have one more payment with them and we are all cleared.

We demanded that they fix my best friend’s skirt first before they get the final payment. That means they only have 1 day (Thursday) to fix the skirt. *by Friday afternoon we are all going to the hotel for the wedding on Saturday afternoon. This was a very tight schedule.*

Good thing that they were able to pull it off. I don’t know what would happen if they did not.

3 of 5So what is the verdict? I give them 3.

They owed up to their fault. Heard us out and acted on our complaints to try to make it a bit better. Its not perfect, sure. But in a way it did console us a bit. Their stitching looks clean even if it was re-altered. Despite all the trouble we encountered they managed to pull through and fixed the situation.

 


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alternative to the getting ready (bath) robes?-updated

*updated to include the photos of the actual getting ready dress I used on the day of the wedding.

Brides mostly wear robes while getting ready because robes don’t need to be pulled over the head, so that it does not mess up the perfectly styled hair. Button up shirts is also favored for the same reason.

Sure, I get why. But no bath robe for me. I don’t want to have pictures taken that I am wearing a bath robe. Why? Because as much as I love the comfy terrycloth bathrobe, they would look horrid in pictures. Like I just used the hotel supplied robes.

a terry cloth robe and linen robe -photos from the internet

a terry cloth robe (left) and linen robe (right) – photos from the internet

I also like those linen robes, but those usually come in drab colors, like white or grey. Cotton voile robes are hard to find, or has a dowdy print. Silk and satin robes are not really what I am looking for. Shiny fabrics are not my thing.

And lately there are those custom made (robes) shiny lace-y ones that are all the rage right now, are absolutely a no for my wallet! Sure I like that they can be customized, they look really pretty and all but, I don’t think I would wear it again after the wedding. With the money I need to shell out for a custom made robe, I’d rather get a dress I love that I can wear again and again.

Speaking of the dress I would love to have… 

If I only have a ton of money, this Alexis Mabille dress Lea Seydoux wore will be my getting ready dress. I wish. 

I love it!

I love  it and I wouldn’t change a thing! Photo from RCFA

But, I don’t (have a ton of money). And even if I love the hemline, it will not be practical.

So, I will just have to get the inspiration. I have always liked trench coat inspired dress so this is the chance to get myself one! I searched specifically for white ones to look more bride appropriate. 

trench coat inspired!

trench coat inspired dresses! photos from the internet.

These fit the bill as it is a dress that wouldn’t mess my hair. I just wanted to make it look a bit more trench coat looking, with the double breasted buttons.  I also wanted it to be knee length with pockets on the sides.

My inspiration is a classic trench coat. Its timeless. They are simple, stylish and always look classy.

So after a bit of doodling… this will be my getting ready dress!

A sleeveless, trench inspired number. That is perfect for our warm weather. I could use and re-use and reuse this.

Pure linen would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny!

I based the design from the classic trench. 

Pure linen fabric would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny! 

For this my Mum accompanied me to look for fabric in Tabora, Divisoria. (walking under the intense heat and rows upon rows of street peddlers selling their wares, a crowd of shoppers… not really a walk in the park) Fabric shopping ain’t pretty. And pure linen have a very limited color choices! (I did not expect that it would be pricey! So, I was a bit surprised with the price of the fabric. Me and my penchant for the finer things in life… sigh) 

Initially, I wanted my dress to be white or blush pink but there is no blush pink linen fabric to be found. The options only include white (I did not get white in the end as it would be difficult to maintain), grey, dark grey, blue, navy blue, brown, khaki, rust (my Mum likes this one), fuchsia and teal (my pick).

the color picks

the color we picked out- rust to the left and teal to the right

After much deliberation, I went with teal as it is a bright happy color. Plus it really works with my skin tone. The rust made my skin look a bit darker.

And off to the seamstress I go! Woot! 

*so here is the updated part.

I personalized my getting ready dress. It had personalized embroidery on the sash! It would be there but not really too obvious.

Since I am taking Kei’s last name when I get married I got the embroidery to be ‘Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’. On second thought I wanted it to be ‘THE Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’! For added impact! hahaha! 

Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

Here I am wearing the actual getting ready trench inspired dress on the day of the wedding. Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

My trench dress in action!

My trench dress in action!

-My cousin wore a simple gown on the morning of her wedding, another cousin wore a silk robe, a friend I know wore a button down polo. I have also seen other brides (to-be) don a simple dress. I am just curious… what did you wear/planning to wear as your “getting ready outfit” on the morning of your wedding? 


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signed, sealed, delivered – we have our primary sponsors!

When it comes to the wedding preparation and practices you probably noticed that we are kind of different. We came from traditional Chinese families yet we are non-traditional thinkers with a hint of modern style. This makes our families say that we think like Westerners. We take that as a compliment.

I would like to say that it is not like we disregard tradition, it is just that we are practical.

So, when it comes to the daunting task of getting the principal sponsors or the ninongs and ninangs, we still made it non-traditional. Rebellious moves on our end, as most of our peers have gone through this the traditional way.

principal

We have 8 pairs of principal sponsors. While to some that may be too many. But to us with a huge family that was the exact number. It even complies with the traditional Chinese thinking that 8 is a lucky number.  Split into two, that means four pairs from the groom’s side and four pairs from the bride’s side.

That being said, imagine visiting and giving each of the pairs these “required items”- pork leg, misua (very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour), fruits, sweets and more importantly fabric/s to be made into a suit/ to be made into a gown.

Kei already had his prospects for his principal sponsors; I on the other hand only had two. The other two was chosen by my parents. Most of our prospective sponsors have been sponsors before. Meaning they have been through this stuff already. Most of the males own more than one suit; the ladies have had lots of gowns made for them too. We also doubt if they really enjoy eating misua?! I can imagine them saying misua again?!

Meaty Vegetable Misua - Photo from Knorr Philippines

Meaty Vegetable Misua – Photo from Knorr Philippines

And one of our couples is Pinoy! So how do we explain to them the Chinese tradition of getting primary sponsors? I don’t think they would know what to do if we gave them the pork leg and misua stuff…etc. They even called us up to ask what our motif is so that they could buy their suit and gown! Woah! Hold it right there! Because as per Filipino tradition, they pay for their own attire.

Kei and I decided on going with our own version of the tradition. A modern and practical solution for everyone involved. We are going to give out our very own: Principal Sponsor Kit. (Much like what I did with the bridesmaids kits, but for another purpose. See my bridesmaids’ kits here)

the principal sponsor kits

our principal sponsor kits

For the the males a nice long sleeved polo shirt with tie – they get to wear their own suit without having to get another suit made, for the ladies it will still be the standard fabric – only twist is that we not only gave out the fabric of our chosen color, we also gave them lace. As an added bonus, we also gave out details regarding the wedding along with our love story. How is that for being organized? hahahaha!

inside the box of the female sponsor's kit

inside the box of the female sponsor’s kit

We also traded the misua for most of the couples; it was replaced with us inviting the couple out to eat, like a double date. In the process getting to know them better and getting comfortable with them. Although we have 2 chosen sponsor couples are really traditionalist, we gave them the staple fare: pork leg, fruit, sweets and misua.

So far, the result of our rebellion has been positive. 

The males are happy that they get to save money by wearing what they have/or their favorite suit and getting a nice polo + tie to boot. The ladies are excited to get another gown made without scrimping on the budget this time! (The ladies have no competition as the males will not have to get another suit made thus nothing to worry about!) Three couples even called us up to say that we were very thoughtful for giving them a hassle free solution to preparing their attire for the wedding. Practicality wins again! 

 

*as of the moment all our kits are sent out save for one.