Category Archives: wedding

Rebecca’s Home Garden Wedding

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

With all the upcoming June weddings, I thought you might enjoy our family’s adventures preparing for our daughter’s nuptials, as well as all the sewing I did for this important event.

11 years ago Rebecca and her Louisiana-born fiance traveled each corner of the county exploring venue options for their Cajun themed wedding. After checking out virtually every possible location, the groom-to-be said he would like to be married at our home. (dab, dab, dab my leaky eyes!)

We had almost 10 months advance notice so my husband and I went into high gear to spruce up the house and garden, get the preacher and musicians on board, hire a photographer, rent a tent, etc. etc. Stetson University’s string quartet set the mood for a joyous but solemn occasion.

It was perfect until just before the bride marched down the aisle with her father, the musicians broke into Darth Vadar’s Death March!!!! That surprise was the work of my new son-in-law. It certainly lightened the mood.

Meanwhile, the bride and groom-to-be were living and working across the state where they met.

For months we sweated in the yard by day

garden xx

and I sewed in the house all night. I sewed and sewed and loved every minute of it.

Table toppers were made for the cocktail hour before the vows were read. Guests sat around the pool and at the side garden enjoying hors d’oeuves.

seating in the side garden

Seating in the side garden. Under the floral square is a pink twill square, much brighter than shown here.

The edges were simply serged. That’s no big deal but, trust me, with 15 pink twill and 15 pink floral toppers, each 60″ square, that’s a lot of serging mileage. And there were more to be done. The color added by the gold, solid pink and pink floral squares was a pretty addition.

guests seated around the pool

guests seated around the pool

For the reception dinner tables, 14 gold toppers were made, not to mention those made for the serving tables. More miles of serging!

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

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Weddings~it’s always that time of year



Who doesn’t love a wedding?  For those of us who sew, it’s one welcome opportunity to make special gifts.  Sandee, my sorority sister (a neat discovery made through this blog!),   has used a fabric I covet to make some wonderful items for newlyweds.

When she sent these gorgeous pictures to me, I just had to ask permission to share them with you.  Can you imagine how pleased the young couples must have been?



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Monogrammed Wedding Gift

Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility. Anne Hathaway

twelve dinner napkins like this one

The wedding gift includes twelve linen, hemstitched dinner napkins like this one.  And in case the bride or groom read this post, please note that nothing else in the picture is part of the gift 😉


These napkins were stitched for a couple who embrace both life and possibility.  They seem to know that

“In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.” —Janos Arnay

And for them, one of those possibilities is a great deal of entertaining.

The gift includes 12 hemstitched linen dinner napkins monogrammed with designs from JuJu’s Adorn Trio Ornamental Monogram. This set comes in 4 sizes and is now marked down from $20 to $5!  I love this collection and Juju’s other designs.  Note: I have no affiliation with JuJu except as a satisfied customer.

Along with the dinner napkins, there are 12 monogrammed cocktail napkins, too many to include in the photo. Continue reading

Vintage Wedding Napkins

F35~06brideor 37 years now the 8 women who make up PlayGroup Mamas have served as a sisterhood/support system that has enriched each of our lives.  The group also hosts bridal and baby showers for each of our 23 children and does the heavy lifting for their weddings.

Sweet Melissa, the youngest of the PlayGroup Kids, is getting married this weekend.



PGM's host a baby shower for my daughter-in-law Shelly, the young one in the center with the long hair

Here we are, minus one who was out of town.  PGM’s hosted a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, Shelly, the young lady in the center with the long hair. The group includes a university media specialist, veterinary assistant (to her husband), assistant manager of a major airport, four teachers and one passionate needleworker (that’s me).

The troops have been called up to active duty, having already pulled threads for  24 burlap table runners and worked on centerpieces.  Friday and Saturday we will gather at the reception site to set up.

My major responsibility is decorating and I always start with the table settings. As you may already know, I love, love, love textiles and have an extensive “resource center” of household items.

The past few days, many hours have been spent ironing 150 napkins and once again enjoying the beauty and workmanship of these vintage treasures. Some are family pieces, though most were purchased but never bought new.  Each had served on many a  table before it moved to my house.   And of course, they do not all match.  I think that is an advantage as the variety adds interest and elegance to the overall appearance of the dining room.

I spent a lot of my ironing time speculating and daydreaming a biography for them.  Here are a few of my favorite napkins and a bit of their histories, some true and some not.


wed nap set


These lovelies just scream WEDDING!!!  to me.  Each measures only 17″, a tad short of the average dinner napkin size of 20″.  But I don’t care.  I always use them for weddings. Continue reading

Wedding or Holiday Chair Backs

 Another wedding repost.  Quick and easy to make, these chair covers could be embroidered for birthdays, Christmas or other holidays.  Any event that calls for a guest’s special recognition is a good reason to whip up a few.

The BRIDE and GROOM chair backs lived with the trunk show samples I displayed when I taught classes.  At every event, they got a lot of positive attention, with students measuring and making notes on the construction.  

Have you ever made chair covers?  Please share pictures.




Sewing for a wedding is just about as much fun as sewing for babies.   It’s like the prelude to grandchildren. Continue reading

Wedding Aprons



A wedding is not a marriage. A wedding is only the beginning of an undertaking that may or may not, someday, develop into a marriage. What the couple have on their wedding day is not the key to a beautiful garden, but just a vacant lot and a few gardening tools. (David and Vera Mace)

Because it’s June, the favored month for weddings, I will re-run some earlier posts about my daughter’s wedding.  Sure,  a lot of sentimental fluff is included but that’s because I’m a sentimental gal.  There are also some useful ideas for wedding sewing.

This month, my fabulous husband and I will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. I wish every couple could have this much happiness.



1968. Because we wanted to be married in Florida, where we would start our life together, fewer than 30 guests attended. But we didn’t care.  My mother made my dress.


Rebecca’s garden wedding for 130 guests at our home was a hands-on affair, orchestrated almost entirely by family and friends. Only the photographer, ceremony string quartet, reception Cajun band and wait staff were hired.

As soon as Rebecca and Harvey’s engagement was announced, my dear friend Susanna presented me with her own well-used tote bag.   It was embellished with the text MOTB–Mother Of The Bride. She had used this bag extensively while planning her own daughter’s fairy tale wedding.

Susanna graciously offered to serve as wedding coordinator and was promptly engaged in that volunteer capacity. From that time on, in our conversations and planning sessions, familial relationships were designated by letters–MOTG (mother of the groom), AOTB (aunt of the bride), Grandmother of the Groom (GMOTG) etc. It was fun.


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Wedding Veil and Flower Girl Dress


Judy Day continues to dazzle all who see her flawless, elegant sewing projects. Recently, she made a wedding veil for a bride for whom Judy’s granddaughter was the flower girl. Her creative approach to design and problem solving are inspiring.




In Judy’s words: Continue reading

DIY Heirloom Upgrade

dress XX



I did not make this dress but I did upgrade it. I think of it as Strasburg Children ver.1.1. , Laurel’s flower girl dress.

Though there are for sale many really lovely ready-to-wear smocked and heirloom garments, for both children and adults, invariably, everything in my price range falls short of my standard of excellence.


Lwalks back

Laurel took two steps and then stood like a deer in the headlights. This is the only photo that shows forward progress.


Laurel was to be the flower girl at our daughter’s wedding, which took place at our home in 2006. I would love to have made Laurel’s  dress, but I was nearly overwhelmed by the task of getting the house ready. Having sustained major damage from two hurricanes in 2004, the repairs were finished just 2 months prior to the big event. Continue reading

Special Occasion Tablecloths

wedding side yard tables


Making special occasion tablecloths is one of the easiest, most satisfying and cost effective projects you can undertake.   For weddings, birthdays or showers, you can make tablecloths for a very reasonable price and in less time than it would take to locate just what you want, if ever you could.  The splash of color and coordination with the decorations or color theme makes the affair seem a bit nicer.

The use of a serger certainly streamlines the process, but with a sewing machine and a little more time, you can still achieve the same satisfactory, economical results. Continue reading

Wedding Cruise Hats

For the 50+ out of town guests for our daughter’s wedding, we planned a Saturday afternoon cruise down the St.Johns River.

In our area, the wedding pre-ceremony activity is most often a guest golf tournament, usually for the men, with balls or some other minor golf equipment for favors.

Our out-of-town  guests ranged from the groom’s 85 year old grandmother to young mothers with 6 month old babies.  We wanted something they all could enjoy before the 6 p.m. wedding ceremony.

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