Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Finding Sanity Amidst Wedding Planning Craziness

A colleague of mine is getting married soon, and I volunteered to do something off of her to-do list in an attempt to help reduce her stress. She asked me to sew 10 gift bags for her guests. 

With any DIY project, the prospect of doing it seemed much easier than the reality. At the beginning of the project, I texted her and asked, "If I have leftover fabric, do you want me to make more than 10?" Thank goodness she said no. The project was so hard! 

She wanted the bags to be lined, which complicated the process. Also, I ran out of fabric when I was trying to make 20 straps, so we had to take a strip of leftover fabric to the store and hunt around for the same fabric. 

Then there was the part where I couldn't find a safety pin and had to get creative about how to turn 20 straps inside out. 

Then there was the fact that I wasn't following a pattern so when I got to the very last part I found myself trying to sew through things that were too thick. So I broke my sewing needle. Twice. And then the safety function kept engaging, which required me to use a screwdriver to pull apart my machine and put it back together. Every.Single.Time.

The experience reminded me of a couple sections from my wedding book: taking shortcuts on things that don't really matter and crossing off non-essential items from the to-do list. I went back to read them and found them helpful. I shared them above in case you or anyone in your life is going through the stress of wedding planning and needs a little dose of sanity. 

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Kristy said...

Such a good tip! Even outside of wedding planning!

Nora said...

For sewing projects, it's probably a good idea to keep plans modest. That said, sewing projects like this can be a fun chance to hone skills. For others attempting a similar project:
1) Most of the work happens before you turn on the sewing machine.
2) Use a pattern or tutorial. 10 minutes glancing at how someone else made it can save hours of work (lined bags are a classic example).
3) Buy more than enough fabric.
4) Lay out every single piece before you make any cuts into the fabric. Measure again, even if you are SURE.
5) Make a mock-up in scrap fabric. I've noticed that really experienced sewists do this, and I think it's because they learned through experience the pain of having problems later on down the line.
6) Use new machine needles, and buy the appropriate needle for your fabric weight.
Sewing itself can be fun and meaningful, so in that sense I think weddings can be a perfect time to make something.

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