Category Archives: My DIY Wedding

my wedding dress

Before I was even engaged, I knew that I’d be making my own wedding dress. It wouldn’t really feel like my wedding if I didn’t. I have a lot of pictures to share, and a fair bit of explaining, so lets get to it!

I started as most brides do, by trawling through the Wedding category on Pinterest. This is a deep, dark, rabbit hole, and if you’re not careful, you will fall down it and never come out! I quickly found elements that I loved, a soft, layered skirt; tiny cap sleeves; lace!

Then, I saw this dress… SWOON! That soft blush-pink colour was so lovely and feminine, I knew I needed it.

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I also tried on a few RTW dresses, just to get a feel of how big I wanted the skirt. I knew there wasn’t any danger of falling in love with a RTW dress and wanting to buy it. By this stage I was 80% sure of what I wanted, and knew I’d never find it in a shop.

I sketched out a few different styles, playing with the bodice and shoulder strap design. The skirt stayed the same with each new sketch.

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Finally, I came to a decision. I would be making a boned, strapless under-bodice, a lace-bodice overlay with small cap-sleeves, and an open keyhole back. The bottom of the dress would consist of an underskirt with a small sweep, and a layered, full circle over-skirt.

With my design nutted out, I called on the help of the most talented pattern maker I know. Monica is an absolute magic-making master, and I honestly could not have created such an amazing dress without her help and guidance. Thank you, Mon, for everything you’ve taught me!

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day – Thanks Monie!

We started with the simple bits, the under-bodice, lace bodice, and underskirt. Then, we tackled the over-skirt. I really wanted something where the layers weren’t too structured, I wanted them to flow and move in unexpected ways. We worked all day on the pattern, and basically came out with something that looked like this:

I know this looks a bit like an egg, but stick with me...

I know this looks a bit like an egg, but stick with me…

We started with a basic, full length circle skirt pattern (which ended up being layer four). The next three layers were created in the same way, where layer three dipped down, I made the same point of layer two higher. A high point on layer two, made the same point on layer one lower. This would give the hem lines of each layer a really lovely flow.

With the pattern (and a series of toiles) made, it was time to go shopping for the final fabric! I bought some beautiful white, corded lace from the same shop I got the bridesmaids dress fabric from. The beautiful ivory silk (for the under-bodice and underskirt), and the white silk organza came from Elsegood Fabrics in Alexandria. The final stop was Tesutti Fabrics in Surry Hills for the dusty, blush silk organza.

With everything purchased, it was time to start cutting! I have never felt more nervous about the first snip! I cut layer one and three from the dusty pink organza, and layer two and four from the ivory organza. I also cut organza bodice pieces to layer over the ivory silk, so the overall look of the dress had a consistent colour.

I managed to sew the entire dress in seven days. I took everything to my parents house over the Christmas break and worked on the dress from 8.30am until 5.00pm, every day. I kept track of what I did each day:

Day One – Cut out base cloth for under-skirt and bodice Apply fusing to bodice Cut out tear-a-way for bodice necklines

Day Two – Sew under-skirt using French Seams Run overlocker around unfinished edges of under-skirt Sew lining bodice (including channelling) Insert boning Pin outer-skirt (pink & ivory) patterns to fabric

Day Three – Cut out all pieces of over-skirt Test French Seams on the organza Cut out organza for bodice Sew all seams of the over-skirt layers

Day Four – Sew the horsehair braid on all layers of the over-skirt

Day Five – Sew over-skirt layers together at the waistline Seam outer bodice Cut out lace bodice

Day Six – Sew underbodice, outer bodice and lace bodice together on front panel Construct the rest of the lace bodice using French seams

Day Seven – Sew all layers of skirt to bodice, leaving the lace and under-bodice free Insert zipper Hand stitch underbodice to waistline

All I had left to do now, was hem the under-skirt (I forgot to take my shoes!) and bead the lace bodice. I spent the nights on the lounge, slowly adding Swarovski beads, tiny seed beads, and chalk white sequins to the lace. It took me a few weeks, but was well worth the effort; it looked spectacular!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I couldn’t be happier with my dress, it was so comfortable, and I just loved how the sun light picked up the subtle colour differences in the skirt.

I’d also like to say a massive thank you to our photographer, James Day. He was just wonderful on the day, melting into the background to get some of these beautiful shots, but was also very personable and entertaining with our guests. I’m so glad we asked him to shoot our day, I’ll be looking back on these gorgeous pictures for the rest of my life, with a smile on my face.

Well, that’s the last of my wedding-related posts, I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have!

Mitty x

my wedding shoes

Love shoes? Find yourself searching for a specific style/height/colour, and thinking how much easier it would be if you could design your own? Let me introduce you to Shoes Of Prey.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve lost, playing around on this website. You can basically, build your perfect shoe. From flats, to heels, to wedges, to strappy, to oxfords, with bows or without, in pink leather or blue snakeskin, or red fur or gold glitter. You can pick your heel height, your heel style, round toe or pointy toe, with a toe cap, or an ankle strap. You get the picture.

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I had a few different versions floating around for a while, but I eventually decided on a 5.5cm heel in white patent leather, a pointed toe with a white snakeskin cap, and an ankle strap. The majority of the shoe was made from a printed, floral satin.

Within about 4 weeks, I had these gorgeous shoes in my hot little hands! I wore them around the house for a while to break them in, but looking back, I don’t think they really needed it.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I wore them for a solid 8 hours on the wedding day, and I must say, I have never been more comfortable in a pair of shoes. I was incredibly happy with the heel height, enough so I was a similar height to Reags, but not so much that I towered over him. The ankle strap was also a brilliant addition, it made the shoes feel so secure that I didn’t even think about them all day!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Just looking at these shoes makes me happy, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to create them. I highly recommend that you take yourself over to the SOP website and have a look around, even if it’s just to play with all the different styles and colours!

Mitty x

PS: This post has not been sponsored by Shoes Of Prey. All views expressed are my own, honest opinions. If you had a pair of these shoes, I’m sure you’d feel the same as me!

bridesmaids dresses

I asked my two very best friends to be my Bridesmaids. These girls mean so much to me, they’ve stuck by my side through the good times and the bad. All I wanted for them, was to be comfortable, but also look fabulous on my wedding day.

I decided to create different dresses for each of them, and aim for a style that I’ve seen them wear before.

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I worked through a few different variations, but I knew that Nicole would suit a two-piece, and Nyome would be best in a full dress.

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Nicole’s top would be a crop style, strapless under bodice, with a lace overlay, 3/4 sleeves, and a boat neckline. It would have an invisible zip closure at the back going through all layers, and the lace would join at the nape of the neck using a cut-out keyhole design. The skirt would be slightly gathered on a straight waistband. I was going to put pockets in the skirt, but it just wasn’t sitting right, so I tool them out.

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Nyomes dress was similar to Nicoles, as she had an under bodice with a lace overlay, except her’s didn’t have sleeves, and the neckline was a little higher. The back would be the same as the other dress, and this skirt was more of an A line. The skirt length of both dresses hit just under the knee.

Once the girls we happy with their designs, I went shopping! I found the most gorgeous burgundy lace at Van Hung Fabrics in Cabramatta. This shop is well worth the trip, the staff were very helpful, and they had some really beautiful fabrics.

Sewing the dresses was pretty straight forward, though the lace didn’t always play fair. I broke at least one needle on the corded detail, and a seam or two needed extra reinforcement. When the dresses were completed, I added a few small burgundy Swarovskii beads.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I think the dresses turned out wonderfully! Nicole and Nyome looked stunning, and I love knowing that they were both thrilled with their outfits.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Mitty x

the wedding poem

The wedding poem, by Jo Thornely

She’s graceful like a pussycat – a tiger, or a panther.

She’s the best of all who start with ‘Sam’ and finish up with ‘Mantha’.

I’ve known her for a while now, and I’ll tell you the hot take:

There’s nothing in this whole wide world that Mitty cannot make.

She’ll make your heart just swell with glee, and you know how hearts are:

It takes a lot to make them swell. And then she’ll make a bra.

She’ll make you smile with her smile, and that’s why we all adore ‘er.

She’ll triple-braid your ponytail, then crochet a fedora.

She’ll knit a scarf, she’ll craft a tie, and next – you’ll never guess.

She’ll get her old Janome out, and sew this f*cking dress!

It’s clear you’ll make a million things throughout your happy life,

But the best thing that you’ll make today is lucky Reagan’s wife.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

 Jo, you’re amazing, I love the poem so much! Thank you for being our M.C, you did such a wonderful job, and our guests were raving about you (as they should)!

Mitty x

all the other bits

I’ve gone through the majority of decor items I (and a team of people) made for my wedding in previous posts. Today, I wanted to go through the other little bits and pieces that made the day warm and fuzzy.

I have to say a massive thank you to my green-thumbed mother, who cultivated and grew 120 tiny succulents to serve as place markers, and gifts for our guests. A week before the wedding, we wrapped each little pot in some hessian. I also tied them up with scraps of silk, left over from my dress.

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Once on the tables, we stuck small paper flags on toothpicks into the pots. They looked so adorable, and were a real hit with our guests.

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Another big thank you to mum, who cooked and assembled our wonderful wedding cake! I love “naked cakes”, and I think mum’s version was simply perfect! You’ll also notice a little BB-8 perched on top of the cake.. Mum made that as a surprise for Reags, who is completely obsessed with Star Wars.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I made the “How Sweet It Is” cake topper from some paper, stamps, twine and skewers. Who doesn’t love bunting?!

I wanted to give my bridesmaids a gift that they would be able to use all the time. I decided on personalized leather make-up bags from Mon Purse. I was really impressed with the quality of the leather and zippers used, I’m going to have to get one for myself at some stage.

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If you know of our photographer, James Day, you’ll know that he has an obsessions with bow ties. I’m talking, a real, full on collecting obsession. Plenty of his clients have given him bow ties as a gift, but I decided to go a step further, and knit him a one. I knew I’d done the right thing when he opened the box and stammered “…whaaaat? What!?” and gestured me for to put it on him.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

From James Day's Instagram

From James Day’s Instagram

Yeah, I think he was pleased.

To go with the gifts we gave out on the day, I made some really basic cards from grey cardboard from the newsagents. To pretty them up, I cut rectangles out of the left over lace from my dress, and attached it using gold brads.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Going back to the flower topic, the girls and I had so much fun sitting around making the boutonnieres for the boys. One or two of them may have been a tad too big, but it didn’t matter that much.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I tried so hard to make my flower crown the day before the wedding, but my mind was on so many other things, I just didn’t have the time to sit down and concentrate on something so delicate. So, I made it the morning of the wedding, after the arch was decorated!

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

The final bit of decoration I’d like to show you, is how we presented the seating plan. Each table arrangement was printed on brown paper (with a little bit of gold foiling, which we added later), and stuck onto a huge gold framed mirror. We propped it up on an easel, and sat it on a sturdy table. Nicole then attacked it decorated with greenery.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the inside of the marquee.

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Mitty x

frames, and a gold back drop

Photo booths seem to go hand in hand with weddings these days, and although we didn’t have one, I still wanted a few simple props that people could pick up and pose with. Picture frames were the obvious choice, they are light, and didn’t take up too much room.

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We picked up these second hand frames from a shop in Alexandria. I think we got the lot for $40. Even though the majority of them aren’t the right colours, there were quite a few gold ones that we didn’t have to touch.

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A drop sheet and a bit of paint had the frames looking like they were supposed to be at our wedding.

We strung a few up between two trees, had some beside the lounge, and the rest went in the marquee.

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For the back drop, I looked a a few different ideas, but settled on this design quite quickly.

I painted a stick white, then tied on about 20 lengths of fishing line. Using a large hole punch, I punched out close to 900 gold circles from cardboard. I then strung these onto the fishing line, and secured with double sided tape. I stuck another gold dot to the back, so that when they moved around, you mostly saw gold. I did leave some white, to add a bit of a difference.

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Time consuming? Yes. Involved climbing on a ladder? Yes. Difficult to store? Yes. All those bits of backing tape annoying to remove? Yes.

Pay off? Totally worth it!

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Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

Photo by James Day

The back drop sparkled and twinkled all night! It looked so beautiful! Our photographer, James Day, fell in love with it the moment he saw it. He wanted to take it down and use it was a prop. In doing so, we got some of the most amazing pictures I’ve ever seen!

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Photo by James Day

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Photo by James Day

And here’s how he did it, with help from two of my cousins (who were obviously loving the experience!)

I have one more post on our DIY decorations (I know, there were heaps!), then we move onto the fun stuff, AKA shoes and dresses!

Mitty x

the wedding arch

Do you ever have those moments where you know exactly what you want, but no matter how hard you search, you just cannot find it? This was my situation with the wedding arch. I was looking for something nice and simple, that we could attach flowers to, and was strong enough to be moved around. After a few weeks of searching, I realized that I would have to make my own.

Now, remember when you’re looking at the pictures, when I say “make my own”, I really mean “I conned my Dad into building it for me”…

First, we started with some deadwood, stripped the bark off, and cut them to size.

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To make transportation easier, the arch would have to be able to be dismantled. After drilling some pilot holes, Dad screwed in some bolts, then chopped the top off them, so it was like a metal peg.

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 This peg slid into a corresponding hole on the crossbar. We had to cable tie across the join to keep everything secure.

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Testing out the height of the cross bar

To make the arch stand up on it’s own, we used some metal buckets, with a plastic pipe in the center, then filled around it with quick-set concrete. The bottom of the arch could slide in and out of the pipe.

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On the morning of the wedding, we assembled the arch, and got to decorating it.

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Yep, that’s me in my PJ’s…

I tied strips of white fabric to the cross bar and sides, then added the frame for the flowers. You can just see them in the picture above, I used chicken wire which was bent into an L shape. These were cable tied to the arch, then filled with flowers.

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I really went to town with this, not only because I think it looked amazing over-stuffed, but I didn’t want any of the chicken wire showing.

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The arch turned out exactly how I wanted. I’m so thankful that my Dad had the skills (and basically a workshop full of tools) to be able to bring the arch to life! It was the perfect frame for such a beautiful view.

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Photo by James Day

Mitty x