As the big wedding day looms before me, I find myself getting more excited about it–in a good way. Belle Fille, despite having normal pre-wedding anxiety, seems very content and happy. Master Bliss is rolling with things and trying not to over-react when a receipt flies under his nose. I picked up my newly tailored vintage wiggle dress yesterday–it fits great and I can’t wait to wear it with all my fine accessories. How many mothers-of-the-bride would dare to wear all vintage (with the exception of shoes…and if I could have found a pair…) on their daughter’s big day? I have visions of the ancient fabric giving way during a pivotal moment…you know, like during “Twist and Shout” or something. It would be horrifying…yet terribly funny at the same time. Maybe I will pack a back-up dress just in case.
And during all this normal wedding prep I decided to get a little crafty. While perusing books on Etsy one day I found a seller who had made purses out of old books. Loved it! I Googled tutorials on the internet until I found one that looked simple enough to do. I made my first proto-type and was rather pleased with the results–despite the fact it was the first time in years I had sewn anything. I showed it to Belle Fille and she loved it. She asked if I could make her one and that lead to my deciding to make one for her and her bridesmaids. I thought they would be nice “thank you” gifts and something they could use for the wedding if they wanted to but certainly don’t have to.
At first I was really determined to make them special. I asked Belle Fille to find out each girl’s favorite book of all time. With that knowledge I tried to find copies of these books so I could make the purses extra special. That proved to be much harder than anticipated–and very time-consuming. I wanted to use older books and to find them in the titles requested (Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, and Pride and Prejudice) meant I was going to be spending way too much money on a good, older copy just to tear it up. I gave up that dream and instead found a set of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books on Etsy. They are a nice size and when you get into volumes from the 50s and 60s, they were very prettily bound. So I started with these:
I made Belle Fille’s first. I found some fabric at a local store that actually had the music to the “Wedding March” on it. Perfect. I bought ribbon to match her wedding colors and I knew I had a plethora of buttons and vintage jewelry I could pull from for embellishing. Inside Belle Fille’s I used the Wedding March fabric with a floral pocket. Inside the bridesmaids’, I did the opposite.
Of course, as I was in my little happy crafting world, just starting to get comfortable with what I was doing, my sewing machine malfunctioned. I think it can be repaired but I didn’t have time to mess with that now (if anyone can tell me why my needle will no longer pull up the bobbin thread before I start to sew I would appreciate it). I borrowed my MIL’s even older Singer Sewing machine (1952) and it worked like a dream. I finished sewing the purses this past Saturday.
The rather stinky part of the whole process is using E6000 glue to adhere the fabric to the books and do the embellishing. I guess it is the mother of all glue but it has been known to “cause cancer in California”. Well, I live in Michigan so I am safe, right? It is very strong-smelling and despite working in well ventilated room, it would get to me. I don’t like it. Does anyone have other glue suggestions? But it does bond well, I will give it that.
So here are the finished products:
Belle Fille’s is the upper left hand one.
I used these little shells from a necklace to put the girls’ initials on the books…keeping with the beach wedding theme. The other embellishments included buttons, ribbon, vintage earrings and pieces from a bracelet. All the books have the shells and a pink flower to make them “match”.
It was a fun project and a great way to re-introduce myself to sewing. After the wedding I plan to make more and maybe, if my skills improve enough, I can add them to my Etsy store. I think there are all kinds of fun things they could become…eReader holders, organizers, etc.
Do you have a favorite craft you like to do?
P.S. I would like to thank Viveka from “My Guilty Pleasures” and Wendy from “Chez Chloe” who have recently nominated me for a couple of blogging awards (the Kreativ Award and the 7×7 Link Award respectively). I truly appreciate being nominated by these talented ladies. Please visit their wonderful blogs to see why I enjoy them so.