Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Mom: Jess, can you make a chuppah?

Me: Yeah, I could probably figure it out.

Mom: Well, will you make one for my wedding?

That is how my mother told me she was getting married.  By roping me in for a huge project!

The wedding party and guests during the ceremony.
If there ever was a labor of love, this chuppah is surely it.  Never having made one before, I didn't know what I was getting into when I agreed to make it, but I like a challenge...  I began by scouring the internet for photos and pretty quickly settled on a lattice design. Though the wedding ending up taking place in a synagogue, it was originally supposed to be outdoors, so I thought the spaces in the lattice would be nice to allow the sun to come through.

AGF Pure Elements in Appletini, Light Grey, and Fresh Water
I wanted fabric that draped nicely, so we chose Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Elements. We debated using some of the other elements, but decided that simple solids would be best.  I did the math for this thing so many times, it's unbelievable. In the end, I used 12 yards of fabric for this project!

Maneuvering 4 yard strips in my tiny apartment was the most challenging part!
To create the lattice, I cut 4 yard by 4 inch strips of each fabric (thanks to the DCMQG for your cutting advice!), then folded them in half, sewed the raw edge shut, then turned them right side out and ironed them flat, like you would do for a bag handle. I originally tried to use my rolled hem foot to turn the edges under and keep the strips wide, but it was not working. I was practically in tears before I decided to jump ship and revise my approach.

To finish it off, I wove all the strips into the lattice, working one side at a time and securing each strip with two lines of stitching to only the outside edge (the gray strips at the top of both of the above photos). The entire inside is loose. This was quite a feat because there was no space where I could fully stretch the strips out, so I was having to construct it rolled and folded which affected the measurements and evenness a little bit, but not so much that you would notice. Thankfully everything still turned out pretty straight and lined up.

Mr. T, Mom, and I hung the chuppah about 1.5 hours before the wedding, right after Mom and I had finished our nail appointment! We were rushing around like crazy trying to get it up so that we could get back to the B&B and change. It ended up being the perfect size (somewhere between 80-86 inches square, I'd say) and looked beautiful draped over the frame.

The fam, post vows.
The next step is to turn it into a quilt so Mom and Eddie can actually use their chuppah, rather than just shoving all my hard work into a closet for no one to see!  Hopefully I'll have that done by their 5th wedding anniversary...

Me and Mr. T, looking fancy.

This finish counts towards FAL 2013 Q4!

All above photos located in the synagogue with the completed chuppah are courtesy of Holli Lauren Photography.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Date Night Envelope Clutch

Last week, for the first night of Hanukkah, Mr. T and I went on a fancy date. Even though we don't have kids, etc., date night is a relatively rare occasion for us. We're both home bodies at heart, so we often prefer a delicious home-cooked meal (Mr. T is an amazing cook - I really lucked out!) and a movie on Netflix. But since it was Hanukkah and the day before Thanksgiving, we went all out!  He treated me to a fancy and fantastic meal (if you're local or visiting DC, try Cedar. So good! And the service was outstanding) and I took him to the theater to see one of my favorite shows, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum (the lead we so good. We were practically rolling on the floor laughing at some scenes. If you've never seen this show, go! Or find the movie with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Also amazing).

My clutch supply is in dire straits - it really only consists of this one I made over the summer - so I whipped out my Noodlehead pattern again and got to work. This time I made the smaller size and left out the credit card slots. I used Robert Kauffman Yarn Dyed Essex in Black for the exterior and Sarah Watson's Menagerie from her Indian Summer collection for AGF for the lining. 

I added a pop of red with the zipper and pocket lining. I also embellished the flap with some simple embroidery using a silver metallic thread.

As with the first clutch, this one came together really easily.  Mr. T's company holiday party is this weekend at a shnazzy restaurant, so this clutch will be making another appearance, as will the dress I wore to my mother's wedding!