Slits are beautiful, sexy, and they can make you feel like a red-carpet celebrity. Today I'm going explain to you the different types of slits, how to get one, and a few things you might want to consider when looking for a dress.
The first thing to consider is just buying a gown with a slit. When you're shopping, tell the stylist exactly what you're looking for. Most bridal shops will have a range of gowns that either have slits, or can be special ordered with one. This is the simplest way to get a slit and the best option. But sometimes you fall in love with the perfect gown and, sadly, it does have a slit...yet!
Since I'm a seamstress and alterations are my business, most of the focus here is going to be on how to add a slit to a wedding dress that doesn't have one. To be clear, this is not a tutorial or a DIY. Please only have a professional cut your gown. Trust me, I've seen and heard too many horror stories...
Let's start with the classic princess seam slit...
The princess seams are the two that run from the apex of the bust to the floor. Generally gowns with princess seams are more fitted throughout and don't have a waist seam. These are the easiest gowns to add a slit into and nearly any seamstress is capable of it. The only time a seamstress may turn you away with this alteration is if the gown is heavily beaded across that seam. Also, if there is a lot of lace applique over the seam, it may cost you extra. Otherwise, this is the simplest of slits and should be easy enough to get put in.
Now, onto the more complicated stuff...Let's talk about the center slit.
Front slits are here for the shoe lovers! Whether you're rocking a pair of glittery heels, leather cowboy boots, or some bedazzled sneakers, these slits make your feet the star of the show. Unfortunately they are a little trickier to put in. Because there is no center seam on most gowns, the slit will have to be cut into the material and there is no going back!
I'm not trying to scare you off from these, just trying to make the reader aware of the irreversibility of this type of slit.
Center slits tend to be more noticeable as there is a lack of fabric for it to fold into. Side slits can often not be too noticeable or disappear into the folds of the gown. These slits are quick literally the front and center and a statement in and of themselves. One cool thing about these slits is that they can be as narrow or as wide as you'd like, so if you want more of an opening than a slit it can often actually be easier for the seamstress. I could see a wider slit perfectly fitting into a country barn wedding with some cowboy boots...
Ballgown and A-line slits are best bought as part of the gown. I unfortunately struggled to find photos for this part, but for another example check out this link to David's bridal.
I can't give you concrete advice about this type of slit, except to consult your tailor. Every gown is different and it takes a creative eye to come up with a solution. These are definitely going to be the most expensive slits and will take the most time. Depending on the skirt style, your seamstress may highly discourage you from adding a slit but, if you're willing to pay and have enough time, they will most likely do it for you. Consider this in the category of a re-design, however. It's definitely the most invasive operation of the bunch.
Now that you're educated on slits, I encourage you to do a little research and look at different styles. There are so many gowns out there with beautiful slits and if you know what you want it'll be easier to find or create what you're looking for.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Capes...love or hate?
I first came across the cape trend about two years ago when I was just getting into learning about bridal trends and styles. I can't say I was immediately obsessed with them or anything. I like the look, but I'm not sure I could ever be convinced to give up my favorite, the classic veil. However, whether you like it or not, capes are here and they aren't going away just yet. So thought today we could get into some of the styles, pros, and cons of cape wearing today.
There is one area in which capes win over veils, and that is you can really find capes in every style imaginable. In fact, it's a little overwhelming how many options there are! I'm going to go over just a few here and also explain how to find one that matches your dress and your style.
Capes are most popularly paired with clean dresses (meaning plain, simple, one fabric throughout) and are a way to add detail to a simple gown. A clean gown can be accessorized in a million different ways and almost any style of cape will pair nicely. Consider lace capes especially with clean gowns for more of a classic bridal look, like the one pictured above.
If you decide to go with a solid cape (like the one below) on top of a clean gown, make sure that the fabrics match. If you're working with a seamstress or designer you can swatch the material before you purchase it. There are many different tones of white and ivory in bridal gowns, and you don't want your dress and cape to be starkly mismatched!
If your gown is lace, look for a tulle or clean solid cape. Finding matching lace can be hard unless the shop you buy from is able to order from the designer. If you know you want a matching accessory, ask them before the dress is ordered so they can buy some extra material. Otherwise, look for other fabrics that are more versatile. If want a statement piece that isn't lace, consider pearl or sparkly tulle, or a color!
Tulle capes are truly the most versatile and a modern alternative to a veil. There are a bunch of different styles including ones that cover the shoulders and ones that don't. Ones that cover the shoulders typically fasten around the neck, vs. clipping to the gown itself. You can also buy them as two separate pieces that attach to each shoulder, which gives you a similar look to the cape pictured above. Tulle or net capes can be paired with nearly every style of gown out there. They are light and breezy, so perfect for any weather and season! And you can also find these with lace, pearls, glitter, stars, embroidery, you name it!
Finally, my biggest reason why I like capes is that I think it would be a great way to repurpose a vintage or family gown for your wedding day! By using the beads or a scrap of lace, or even the fabric from a family gown, you can wear you mother's dress for your wedding without compromising your unique style.
If you're looking for more bridal cape styles check out this article: https://ruffledblog.com/bridal-capes-wedding-trend/
And if you're looking for a custom cape (or veil!) to wear on your wedding day, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time!
I absolutely love shoes, but I'm especially attracted to vintage and western style shoes. One of my guilty pleasures is online shopping for shoes that I know I'll never buy. I'm slowly working on building up my shoe collection and finding small, independent shoe companies to buy from. I thought I'd share with you all a list of vintage style shoe companies. I'll try to update this post as I come across new companies, but I hope you enjoy!
This company gets first mention because I actually own a pair of their shoes and know how well made they are!
- 18th century - 1940s
- Real leather!
- Mid price range
I am in love with these boots, and they are next on my list of shoes to purchase.
- 1900 - 1950
- Real leather and cotton!
- Mid-High price range
This company has the best retro-western boots. I'm serious, I want them ALL.
- 1940 - 1970
- Low price range
This company has some of the best flats, but they also carry some pretty cute boots including a collection inspired by the movie Frozen!
- Mid 20th century
- Leather and vegan!
- Mid price range
Cute shoes and boots, including some beautiful western and winter boots!
- 1940 - modern
- Faux leather
- Low price range
A nice, wide range of pumps and heels. Definitely more costume-y than any others on this list.
- 1940 - 1960(ish)
- Mid price range
I grew up in a very body-positive household. My mother is a ballet teacher who spent a lot of time thinking about these things and in turn, how she would talk about them to us.
My first experience working wardrobe for a ballet company I was a twelve year old intern. I had teenage girls with eating disorders asking me to tighten their costumes until the hooks and eyes strained. I saw that it didn’t matter what the ballet company put in its mission statement, these girls were still getting the message they should hate their bodies.
I was hired at a bridal shop when I was sixteen. The business carried a huge range of sizes, had plus-size models and mannequins, and made every effort to be accepting. However, similar to ballet, everyone comes with their own ideas of how they should look and feel and I could see how body shaming culture effected each person.
I heard all sorts of “innocent” suggestions to lose ten pounds here or there (even to a fifteen year old prom girl). People would talk about hating their arms, their tummy, or their back fat. I had brides who cried because their dress didn’t fit perfectly at the first fitting. I even had a bride’s mother suggest a tummy tuck because the bride didn’t fit into the gown she bought eight years ago, before two kids.
When it comes to your wedding, every emotion is heightened. If you are someone who already struggles with body-positivity, this might mean you have to work extra hard to fight those feelings.
If you are my client and you struggle with body image issues, I am here to support you. I want to reassure you that it’s my job to make your dress fit you and create the design and shape you desire. I hope you’ll be open and honest with me about where you are in your journey. I don’t expect you to be 100% confident all the time, but I want to help you get there.
To finish off on a happy note, one of my favorite experiences was with a bride who chose a HUGE ball gown. The skirt was layers upon layers of fluff and it was gorgeous on her. She was one of the most outwardly confident people I’d met and upon seeing herself in her newly altered gown she exclaimed in joy “Oh, I look like I cream puff!.” Her happiness and absolute love for her gown is what inspires me to work in a field that is known for bridezillas and body-shaming.
I hope we can work together to create your Cream Puff moment. You deserve to feel amazing in your dream gown. If you're interested in more blog posts on how to approach body-confidence during wedding planning, comment below!
I highly recommend this article about one bride's experience with body-insecurity:
These are also good tips from The Knot:
NOTE: I don’t recommend buying your dress online (support small businesses!) but I do think that calling or emailing a bridal shop ahead of time to see what they carry in your size, is a good idea! You’ll get a sense of whether or not they will be supportive of you during your appointment.
Long time no post, I know! My apologies! I've been preoccupied with figuring out "adulting" as some like to call it. In reality I dislike that word a lot, but that's for another post.
Today I'm just going to write about why I haven't written lately! Does that make sense? It's been several months since I wrote a blog post and during that time I was pondering what projects I wanted to do. I started a blog last year that eventually fell through. It was super hard to keep up with, as my life was changing constantly. First I was living in Virginia, then the holidays, then I was studying all the time, and finally I got a job and graduated. Now my life has settled into a pattern again, and I want a project!
Blogging is great, but can feel a bit obsolete. Few people in my age range actually follow and read blogs anymore, myself included!
I've been working on a podcast with my friend for the past six months, and I've fallen in love with that format. (Quick plug for READ IT AGAIN RADIO SHOW) I started to think about starting my own podcast, and that's when I came up against these three questions. I realized that these are the questions that have been keeping me from investing in my Instagram, my blog, a podcast, etc.
What do I have to share? This is a hard one, because I have a lot of opinions. I think I have lots to share on a person-to-person, conversational level. But when it comes to putting myself out there I run into the big issue of "WHY?" Why should people listen to me? Am I actually doing something unique? What's the point?
What am I willing to share? This question is the hardest. Again, personally I am pretty open about my opinions. But generally, I don't love everyone knowing what I think/believe on a particular subject. I feel like in a place and time where people are judged very much on political beliefs rather than morals or character, it is vulnerable to put yourself out there. I try to live and let live, and I don't want someone to feel called out or accused because I say something publicly.
How much am I willing to invest/commit? All these projects are a lot of work, there is no way around that. None of them are fun all the time and when its something like a blog, where nobody is holding me accountable but myself, it can be very difficult to keep up with it.
So, yeah. Thats what's holding me back from keeping up with my blog, or starting a new project. Now that that's out there, I'm going to keep working on moving forward and starting that next big project. I wish you all luck in life and in all your creative endeavors!
I love me some peach pie! What's more summery than a fresh peach pie with cream? Well, lots of things. Ice tea, swimming, picnics, sunshine...But if you've been craving peach pie as much as I have, this one's for you.
Peaches and Cream Pie
-4 or 5 fresh peaches
-1/4 cup flour
-1tsp fresh lemon zest
-1/4 cup sugar
Slice your peaches and remove the skins and pits. Prepare your bottom crust in a regular 9inch pie pan. Stir in your flour, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, ginger, and sugar. Mix well and pour into your crust, smoothing out the top so that it is flat. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until crust is browned and filling bubbles. Cool pie on counter and then in fridge.
Whip 1/2 pint of cream with a 1tbs of sugar and top the pie (now cold!) with it. Chill for a few minutes before serving.
I want more already!
If you want to be extra thrifty you can use the skins and pits to make peach ice tea, but that's a recipe for another day.
Hope your summer is sweet!
So the other day I found myself in one of those army surplus stores with some friends. I was keeping myself busy, rummaging through clearance, when I came across a pair of slacks. Think like, officer slacks but TINY. They were a super itchy polyester fabric, but they fit me perfectly! I didn't get a photo with them on, but you'll have to take my word for it.
I was really into how simple they were. I'd been searching all the stores for the past two months for a pair of slacks with no luck. Old Navy, Marshalls, Target, Salvation Army, Goodwill, NOTHING FIT!!!! I considered making some but I was dreading buying a pattern and having to make a mockup. Then in a stroke of luck, I walked into the army surplus store and found slacks that felt like they were made for me.
The other amazing thing about these pants is how adjustable they are. They were made to be altered!
The more people I talk to people the more I realize that department store clothes really don't fit anyone. They are poorly made and nobody ever seems to be comfortable in them. These pants were anything but that. I was intrigued by the construction of them, so I decided to tear them apart to find out more and create a pattern out of them.
I started by taking the crotch seam apart. I'd never made slacks before, but any time I've made pants I sew them like this:
- Side seam
The slacks were sewn in this order:
-Left pant leg inseam/outseam
-Right pant leg inseam/outseam
All the seams were left open and raw edges were serged. The construction was so simple I could probably whip up a pair of these in two hours.
Once I took them apart, I ironed all the pieces flat. Now I can use them any time I want to make new pants. I'm super excited to make a new pair of slacks! Do you think more clothes should be made simply, like these? I know I'm a big fan!
Last Saturday I spent five hours in the kitchen.
It was a warm day and I'd been promising my boyfriend sticky buns for several weeks. It was a warm day, everyone in the house was busy, the sun shone, and I felt very peaceful. Whenever I am baking or cooking for other people I always feel happy. With an apron on, wrist deep in soft, warm dough. The smell of cinnamon and yeast was in the air, mixed with the scent of the mint my little brother was picking and stuffing into his pockets for later. It was a lovely picture.
Recently I've been getting into cookbooks. I don't really enjoy following recipes, but I love stories about food. They are such vivid memories that paint bright, colorful pictures. The stories are relatable, mouth-watering, and inspiring. I like to read them and think about all the things I am going to bake in the future.
But anyway, the real reason I decided to sit down and write a blog post is because I love memories and I love sharing memories. So today I have a short memory for you.
On Sweet Dog Farm (where I lived as a little kid) we had two beautiful flowering cherry trees outside our house. Our favorite was right next to the house, outside my bedroom window. In the springtime the trees had the softest blossoms I've ever felt. They were pink like cherry blossoms, full as peonies, and soft as down. The blossoms were delicate and the petals would fall with the slightest breeze, creating a carpet of soft pink beneath it's branches.
We called it the Swinging Tree because of one sturdy branch which held a simple stick swing. The first swing was created from an old dog leash and a narrow branch. After that it went through many iterations. It was made from ropes, yarn (that didn't last long!), even old extension cords.
I used to sit on that swing for hours, all times of year. I'd be in my own little world, spinning the swing around and around until whatever rope was holding me up finally snapped. A few times I was so distracted by my imagination and my constant spinning that I smacked my head right into the tree trunk.
That one tree held our dreams and our imaginative play. It patiently carried our weight as we grew and it could tell stories of all the arguments we had and the games we created. It stood there through the years as its bark was worn smooth like polished mahogany. I remember running my hand over that smooth place, in awe of how soft and shiny it had become.
These days I see the soft pink blossoms or the pale, wrinkled leaves of a flowering cherry tree and I am brought right back to a place and time when things were much, much simpler.
Until next time!
A lot has happened recently and I figured since I've been getting more traffic on this blog I'd better give an update!
First of all, many of you will be disappointed to hear that I've put an indefinite pause on my Laura Ingalls Wilder project. Being able to work on this project was a huge blessing and I've enjoyed every moment. But after putting on several performances I found I didn't really want to put my energy into it anymore. It took me a little while to admit because I worked so hard on it, but my heart wasn't really in it anymore.
Who knows, maybe I'll come back to this project someday! But for now, my Laura Ingalls obsession will just be a hobby. However, I want to thank everyone who was so incredibly excited and supportive of me during the process. I was overwhelmed with the positive response I received along the way. Thank you!
Now, onto new business! I'm so excited to share that I will be interning at Old Sturbridge Village next summer AND doing seamstress work professionally. Between both of these things, I should be sufficiently busy! I will try to keep my blog updated with history, sewing, and other random moments, but I encourage you to follow my Instagram (@what.rosalie.sews) if you are looking for more frequent updates.
Until next time,
If you are unfamiliar with this issue here is what the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) put on their website: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/clla
After several weeks of online discussion, I've decided to address this here on my blog. It is hotly debated in the Laura Ingalls Wilder (LIW) communities and I have remained teetering on the edge since I first heard about it. As a long time Laura fan, her books bring a lot of nostalgia for me. I felt conflicted because I wouldn't want to see parents and teachers banning these books. They are beautiful books and they truly are a product of the time they were written in. Stories about self-reliance, hard work, the importance of family, and yes, unfortunately, colonization. But we can love and adore the Little House books while addressing the many problematic parts of them.
Taking LIW's name off of the award does not erase the history. This is the slippery slope argument: "If we take LIW's name off of a literary award are we blemishing her legacy and erasing her work from history? What's next?" LIW is a beloved author of many, many Americans. Taking her name off of one award isn't banning us from reading them. It isn't banning us from loving them just as we always do. It's reminding us that those are dated ideas and we should not be turning a blind eye to the fact that they existed and continued to exist. If we ignore them it allows for them to be perpetuated.
The ALSC says:
"We acknowledge that Wilder’s books not only hold a significant place in the history of children’s literature and continue to be read today, but that they have been and continue to be deeply meaningful to many readers on a personal level. We also acknowledge that they have been deeply painful to many readers, and have been across decades alongside their popularity. Both of these things are true. Neither the option to rename the award nor the option to sunset the award and establish a new award demands that anyone change their personal relationship with or feelings about Wilder’s books."
The award itself is a stamp of recognition. It is impossible to print a disclaimer on every book which holds the stamp. While taking LIW's name off of it gives many of us a knee-jerk reaction it's also the beginning of a conversation. From here we can discuss how to present them to children going forward. The books should serve as a platform for conversation as well as a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read.
I recently found THIS clip about dealing with racism in the books we love. Grace Lin says that we should treat these books like a racist relative. They aren't right, but we still love them. She says we should be keeping an ear out so that we can address the racism when it comes up, with children and with ourselves. I encourage you to watch the video yourself. She puts it clearly and beautifully in an easily approachable way.
I am sad to see Laura's name removed from the award. I love her dearly and it's hard to think about the complexities of something I love so much. That being said, I don't think it is wrong. As scholars of LIW we must step back and be willing to see the big picture. An 80+ year old book is going to be dated. Just look around and see how far we've come in science, law, and technology since the 1930s. The world has changed immensely, so it makes sense that the common idea of what is right and wrong has changed as well. We can still love and appreciate LIW's stories without ignoring the fact that they are racist.