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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Product of the Week (13)

Wednesday
Mar282012

{Product of the Week} Pleated Pill Box Hat

So I found this gorgeous little white pleated hat MONTHS ago. I’ve been sitting and staring at it for that long. It’s been perched on different versions of head forms I have and it’s taken a while for the its’ new vision to appear. The fanned out pleats are simply divine and with what I’m going to add to this sucker? It’s going to be a lovely little vintage upcycle to die for.

The Thirty-Something Bride_TruLu Couture_HatVeil2

I’ll add some Russian tulle to the hat, across the front. I want it to fall across the face, about nose length. It will be able to be lifted up and worn that way too.

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I’m going to add some feathers too, it’ll add a little height. Not sure about these feathers, though. Still thinking it through.

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I think this little vintage rhinestone number will be involved too. I love the little dangly rhinestone bits on this one.

I can’t wait to finally figure out the rest of this hat. I imagine it on a bride who will wear a dress like this:

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or maybe like this:

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or these:

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Right??

Wednesday
Feb222012

{Product of the Week} Crowns, Tatting and Flowers

Right before Christmas, I got a call from one of my aunts. It’s not an aunt I normally talk to on the phone, so I was super surprised when I saw her number flashing on my phone. She called to let me know that she was bringing a bag of old lace to my mom to bring to me when she saw me over the holidays.

Old lace? Hello? You have my attention! When I asked about where it had come from, she told me lots of it her grandmother had made. MADE. Lace. Her grandmother. Like, super old shit. We’re not talking vintage, we’re talking honest-to-goodness antique.

What I got was a giant bag full of all kinds of lace, edging from old fabric, trim – truly a mixed bag. Lots of it was tangled, held onto old postcards with steel needles, some rusted through the fabric (insert extremely unhappy face here), assorted doilies. I went through the majority of it with my mom, ooohing and aaahing over certain pieces, wondering if other pieces could be cleaned. I knew it would be a huge under-taking and I attacked it when I got back from the holidays. I’m still not 100% finished sorting and cleaning it all, but I’m pretty close.

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Holy gorgeous silk embroidery!

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There’s a lot of tatting in the bag. Do you know what tatting is? It’s a kind of lace made by hand, back in the day. It’s almost like super-duper-mini crochet. Patterns can be incredibly detailed and the lengths I have are stunning. I’ve been able to clean just about every piece back to its original beauty.

Soooooo, some pieces are too short to do much with, but there is enough of one style. Lookie:

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And do you remember this vintage goodie I found that was a total mess? It's a beaded cotton crown from the 1930's.

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Oh my God, you guys? It totally got all pretty-fied.

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Can you believe it? It’s such a beautiful little crown! Every single bead is in tact. I added a new buckram underlining and lined it in a pretty slub-weave silk. I’ve turned it into a headband that ties on with ribbon versus the original elastic thing. Now that’s I’ve got the length of tatting cleaned, I think the two will look perfect together! I do believe I have enough to make a 75” cathedral length veil. Dudes! First of all, I’m probably freakin’ nuts. That’s 12.5 FEET of hand sewing teeny tiny tatting onto tulle. Just shoot me right now. But you know what? It will totally be freakin’ worth it when it’s done!!! I can't wait!

And the flowers? Oh, the flowers. I found this amazing resource…..an old silk flower factory out of New York. It’s long been shut down, however, they have gobs of silk petals in pristine condition, meant to be made into gorgeous flowers, but never got there. And now I have them! What fun! I also found some other flowers that are soooooo pretty.

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I simply cannot decide which thing/color/style is my favorite. So many pretty things, so little time!

Tuesday
Jan102012

{Product of the Week} Upcycled Mink Capelet....Oh Wait. Nevermind.

*I wrote this post yesterday just after I listed it for sale. Read all the way to the end for the clincher.

Dudes. DUDES! It turned out SO PRETTY.

OK, remember how it looked back in November when I stumbled across this chunk of fur?

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I think we can all remember that a reader got her panties in a twist over my use of fur. If you’re new, a member of the ASPCA and want to lash out, first go read this as well as the comments and you’ll have a better understanding of my personal stance on fur. If you still want to lash out, go ahead. I can take it.

But back to the pretty shit! OH MY GOD, this turned out way better than expected. Once I got the fur all clean up and ready to upcycle, there were a few reservations as to how I was going to make this all come together. Working with vintage goodies is a ton of fun, but it can also have its…um…challenges.

Recently I was making this really sweet little shrug with this really loosely woven vintage material, thinking it would all come together. Hoping, is a more accurate word.  Long story short, the collar basically came off in my hand after I’d been ever so delicately sewing on it for at least a day. “GAH!” was the word of the day after that.

ANYWAY, after this was all cleaned up, I lined the sucker with some felt batting for softness and warmth. And then I lined it with silk that has a cute little cubed pattern. I love it!

Instead of using a vintage rhinestone closure like I did on my last fur piece, I made this one with some 3” wide double-faced 100% silk ribbon that has been DYING to be something, for like, ever. Seriously, this ribbon is so dreamy.

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I totally love the back. How those little swoops of fur make the pretty design? I’d love to take cred for that, but no. It was part of the original piece and I just played into it. I’m so pleased it’s done now so that it can (hopefully) make some winter bride happy and warm!

It’s for sale on Etsy and on Cargoh. The last fur piece I did sold in a nano-second. Hope this one will too!

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Oh wait. Nevermind. It's totally not for sale anymore. BECAUSE IT SOLD!

Yeah! How excited am I? TOTALLY FUCKING EXCITED! I listed this yesterday and it SOLD within THREE HOURS! I'm a little sad that I won't be able to look at it and drool for a little longer, but THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! Now, if only everything I made sold that fast!

Thursday
Jan052012

{Product of the Week} Winter Cape…FINALLY!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen the final product already (when a seller finishes uploading a product, both Etsy and Cargoh have a Tweet option. It rocks!), but I had to write about this one! Please indulge me.

OK, this sucker took me a lot longer than I thought it would. The cape with it’s GORGEOUS lining wasn’t  hard to manage at all. However, what I decided to embellish it with took on a whole freakin’ life of its own.

See, I thought that when I first made the cape that I’d have a fancy-pants closure at the neck and call it a day. I got the whole thing done, except for some finishing of hems and such and decided that it was MUCH too plain, even with the fancy-pants closure. That’s when I started playing around with the embellishments. The first go ‘round looked something like this:

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I have the world’s messiest studio, I swear.

It’s an applique I had on hand and I paired it with some pretty crocheted flowers my mom made for me. I liked it and thought the idea was a good one, but it wasn’t “talking” to me like some of my other projects do. I sent these pictures to my mom, my aunt and an old work colleague to get some feedback. The group effort is something I REALLY miss in the development process.

Anyway, they all said the same thing: the shoulder thing looked okay but more importantly, the whole piece needed balance, meaning more applique stuff on bottom opposite edge of the cape. I had one of those V8-slap-your-forehead moments and realized they were right. The only problem was that I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have any more of the applique on hand.

This is one of the problems with finding really cool, one of a kind, and/or vintage pieces. There’s only so much of it.

So I did something I don’t normally do. I went to the fabric store. There is an AMAZING fabric store here on the outskirts of Charlotte called Mary Jo’s Cloth Store. I remember going there with my mom when my parents lived in Charlotte back in the 90’s and being completely dumbfounded. It’s 32,000 square feet of amazing. I hear that tour groups travel from all around the south to visit Mary Jo’s. True fabric stores really are a thing of a past. And no, JoAnn’s does NOT count as a fabric store.  

I don’t often go to Mary Jo’s because it’s one of the few places where I lose…control. One can never have enough fabric. Or thread. Or lace. Or trim. Or sewing gadgets. Since TruLu Couture is barely scraping by, it’s not a place I can afford to visit with any sort of regularity. However, they do have really cool scrap boxes with pieces of appliques that I wanted to dig through.

I didn’t end up getting scraps. I bought new. In yardage. GAH! I just hope this sucker sells so I can afford what I spent on it!

So I scrapped the original appliques. The last time I updated y’all it looked like this:

 

I have three different kinds of appliques mixed in together with some velvet ribbon fans I made. Now, normally sewing all this one would be a little time consuming, but not all that hard. But since I’d already sewed on the lining, it was a BITCH to do. I almost lost my mind and it took much longer to complete than anticipated. Serves me right for not having a plan when I went into the project. But you know, shit happens and the best laid plans sometimes aren’t the right plans. I mean, you guys watch Project Runway, right? You know how sometimes they have to scrap shit and start all over again. That happens not-on-reality-shows too.

Anyway, I got all the appliques sewed on and it still wasn’t right. While I was at the beach over Christmas, my mom was making me more crocheted flowers and she made me these beautiful, teeny tiny ones. So I beaded a few of those and added them to the mix for texture. It still wasn’t done. So then I added in some applique over the shoulder and trailing down the back. Not done. So then I went through and hand-beaded on some vintage sequins and pearl beads and mercury glass beads in and around the appliques. THEN it was done.

 

 

 

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OMG, I LOVE THE LINING FABRIC SO MUCH! They look like ribbon bouquets!

So, it’s finally done and up for sale on Etsy and Cargoh. So now I’m going to go work on that other cape, the fur one. I have a feeling that one is going to make me want to claw my eyes out too. Fur is a bitch to work with. Stay tuned!

So what do you think? Like?

Wednesday
Dec212011

{Product of the Week} Winter Cape

I decided to make this Winter Wonderland Cape because I feel horrible for brides who freeze their way through their winter weddings with very little in the way of coat selection. I hate those Mrs. Claus looking things with the fake fur trim. You know what I’m talking about.

So excited about this piece. First of all and for the record, the cape design itself  isn’t mine. Since I try to incorporate some sort of vintage, reduce, reuse, recycle or upcycle component in my pieces, this one has the pattern! It’s a cape design, circa 1962. It might be McCall’s or Butterick, I can’t remember. All I know is that I LOVE the old paper they made the patterns with. So much better than today’s crap.

Anyway, it’s a simple cape pattern, but I’ve taken to embellishing it to make it something a little more special. Here’s what I’ve got so far. Like my last POW item, I still haven’t figured out the white balance on my camera yet. My studio has horrid light in the evenings, which is when I find the time to snappy snappy.

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All the little pins sticking out her look like she’s getting bridal acupuncture!

Och, these are terrible pictures, but I think you can get an idea of what it will look like. The outside material is a really pretty woven blend with a gorgeous drape to it. What I didn’t take a picture of (you’ll have to wait for it!) is the GORGEOUS lining fabric. It’s a stunning lightweight ivory on ivory brocade. Oy, so pretty!

The embellishments are three different kinds of appliques beaded with pearls and iridescent goodies. I’m also adding in little hand-sewn fans of white silk velvet ribbon, scattered here and there. I might add in a few little crocheted flowers as well as some extra pearl beads, but will figure that out later.  I’ve got the applique over the left shoulder, trialing just a tiny bit down the back and then on the bottom front right to balance it out. I was going to have a front swag closure at the neck, but I think that will be too much. I think I’ll just make it a hook and eye and call it a day.

So what do you think so far? Do tell! I love feedback!