family sewing

Wedding Planning!

August 7, 2017

My dear friend is getting married!

It is a Celtic themed wedding, complete with tartan and bagpipes.
My husband is officiating. He’s not a minister, but it is a civil ceremony. Pennsylvania allows self-appointing unions (part of our Quaker roots). He is more of an emcee in reality. He got the job because he can project his voice and owns his kilt.

My husband is a serious Scot, and he dragged me all over Edinburgh buying his kilt, jacket, sporran, socks…the entire kit. That was back in 2006 when I just come home from Iraq the second time, and we only had one child. My sons have kilts as well.

kurk and boys

My job was to use the Bethlehem tartan my girlfriend had purchased and cut it into table squares for the reception. The tablecloths will be navy blue, and the tartan will sit on top of it with a bouquet and a lit lantern. Since the reception will be in a colonial inn, the iron lamp on top of the square will be beautiful.

I’ve never worked with tartan before, and as soon as I cut it, I realized how unravelly (a made up word, but you get what I mean) it is. We had originally planned to sew just a line on each side of the square to keep it from unraveling further and leaving the edges in a fringe. It did not work. At all. I then tried the cover stitch on the tartan, and that was a fail as well. We sent my friend (the bride) home with a promise that we would figure it out. She was looking particularly pained after hours of fiddling with a sewing machine and ripping out stitches.

In a moment of desperation, I tried the serger. I own a Babylock and had never tried a rolled hem before. My husband came to help, and we tried a few tests before achieving a look that we liked. I had some red maxi lock stretch thread in a variety of shades that blended beautifully (a tip I learned from my favorite sewing group the Self-sewn wardrobe). I did learn that a rolled hem uses a lot of thread, something I had not considered but we were able to make it work.

I was thrilled to deliver the squares today. The wedding is not for awhile, but it was one less thing for the bride to coordinate. I’m very pleased with the result. My take away lesson for this project is

  1. Do not be afraid to try new things
  2. When working with a new material, try to find a similar item to see how it was constructed. A check of my husband’s kilt shows serging.
  3. Never give up!


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4 Comments on "Wedding Planning!"

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That is nice you were able to do the sewing for your friend. What will she do with them after? How many did you need to sew ( I am guessing you made one per table) ?


Well, you could always piece them back together and make a table cloth. 5 squares by 3 squares. ?

I actually googled the name of the tartan and that was interesting, all the colors standing for something. It would probably look nice on a table at Christmas.

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