Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Wednesdays: Our Wedding Invitations and Cakes

Hi everyone! Yesterday I posted some fun pictures from Kevin and I's wedding- if you missed it, here it is. Today I wanted to share some details on a fun cake motif that is a fun way to incorporate fabric into your big day.
I really like that this cake inspired the tone for our invitations and ultimately set the tone for our wedding.  I made several versions before I came up with this appliqued and machine embroidered cake. The red and turquoise color pallet originally started out of necessity because our reception site was floor to ceiling RED, bright red, and I really wanted a colorful wedding and I wasn't sure how to work everything in.  

Honestly with the distance I was a super weird bride and didn't look at my reception site in person until the day before my wedding. I think everyone warning me just in case it would be a problem got me to think the red was an overly big deal... but it was minimal in hindsight. 

I am glad I got worked up about it though because number one in my planning became what to do about the red. Red is one of my least favorite colors- but for my family of die hard NC State Fans they were stoked to wear their favorite color to our wedding.  My Grandpa was so happy that after working at NC State for next to forever he had his favorite red dress outfit that he could wear.  Come to think of it the fashion at my wedding made an impact on my deep subconscious because up until our wedding blue in any shade wasn't really my thing either.  It really was these fabric cakes that started my obsession thinking back on everything. Wow! Thanks little fabric cakes and all of my girlfriends in their super cute turquoise dresses- I dunno what I would do without my turquoise now!

Here is a a highlight of the process that I took to make these little cakes for the invitations.  The cakes don't have to only be for invites- I could see large numbers over them for table numbers and could be stitched or glued onto almost anything.

First, I just created a box the size I wanted to final size of the card to be to be and played around with layouts and fonts for the inside of the invite. I am pretty sure these cards are made to fit envelopes that were 4.75" x 6.5" so the card was 9" x 13" and I added small corner markings to know where to cut and fold.  One of the benefits to printing and making the cards was we were  putting very basic information on the invitation and it seemed crazy for someone else to make the cards. You can see at the very bottom of the postwhat the text inside the invite looked like. Here are amazing examples on how you could word your invitation. Usually too there is a sample in one of the many bridal magazines your reading that you can work off also. 

I printed of 95 cards on my home printer. Folded each one with a bone folder. Then cropped them with a craft paper trimmer to size. 

I drew by hand a cake that I liked and cut apart all of the pieces after numbering them.  There is a top piece of cake (1), a middle piece of cake (2), a bottom piece of cake (3), and a plate (4).  You could do as minimum as 2 different pattern and/or colors of fabric but I chose 4 all together.  Once you cut and number these pieces you can either use them as a template and trace around them on the paper side of the heating bond (which is what we did) or you could print out a sheet of paper where you have laid out the pieces on it in as many times as can fit and stick it to it to the back off the heat and bond.  Heck, now a days printers might could just print on the paper side of the heat and bond possibly now.

To make things easier for myself I took ~1/4 yard of fabric and ironed heat and bond to the backside of the fabrics I wanted for each layer of the cakes. This is a must for time cutting because doing it other ways (cutting individual cake layers of heat and bond and then ironing to the underside of the fabric, or cutting each little piece of fabric and heat and bond then layering together) just adds time and decreases accuracy in both the shape of the cake piece as well as the smoothness of the fabric once finished.

Cut out the cake layers out with these scissors or this one. The are a must to get this project done close and accurate.

The block piece or square base I started with was left over white cotton from college that I actually realized I made the blocks too big in hindsight.  It worked out very nicely that I cut around the cakes and made them more like a patch than a quilt block. At first I thought the whole card front would be the fabric stitched to paper and that I needed a bigger piece to work with in case I chose this option.  It wasn't too bright to cut 40+ squares over sized, but that was poor planing on my part.  If you wanted to do this project out of scraps and make everything on a square just larger than the cakes it would be a smart way to cut down fabric waste. 

Since I was doing a plain white background and I wanted the cake to look more realistic than not, I found a small print, white background calico fabric to give a different color value while reading as white. Other than that note, I say just test the colors together in various combinations.  I cut out around 6 cakes and changed around the color and locations before I picked this one we went with.

Note: the glue below was used for testing some cakes with glitter and beads.  
I did not use Fabri-Tac in this project.
For each cake I layered the pieces together in order on the middle of the pre-cut square and ironed them down according to manufactures directions.
I tried several different stitches on my Bernina to both hold the fabric in place as an applique that would look like cake decorations and not be too big on the cakes. Since it has been 3 years I am glad that I saved these notes because writing this post has made me totally want to come back to this project.  The first number is the stitch number I used on my Bernina Activia 240 and the second number after the @ is the stitch length I decided was the perfect length for the embroidery.

Before I cut every cake I made sure to scan one still on the fabric- which is  the image on the top of the page.  After I scanned this image of the cake I had someone print off reply post cards with the printed image of the cake on front and the recipients RSVP and details on the back.  If you want to include a solid color post card that works nicely too.
After you stitch the cakes, this is when you attach by hand what ever topper you'd like.  Here I used the little ribbon roses that just seem to make me smile.  These little ribbon roses are basically the most girly thing I like- I would put on anything if I had the time and patience to loose myself in hand stitching for hours.  I definitely had my two best meticulous girlfriends help me cut and fold everything.  For adding the roses and cutting the cakes out just around the applique I was really blessed to have a new friend Laura who she and I would sit for hours and I would test her patience.  Getting together with her and us slaving a way on these little cakes was such a good time.  Working on this project with her when I first got to LA was basically the only thing that kept me sane!   Anyway, these little guys are time consuming, and Laura of FlauraDesign and I are patient crafters- just a heads up!
Okay by this step I had all the cards printed and folded as well as all the cakes stitched and cut. At this step you can stamp the back or mark it to show that its hand made or any other type of symbol you may have for yourself. You could vary this with stickers too I suppose...  It  Maybe you make a cool bar code looking picture with your wedding date as the numbers- Pretty much anything you want prints much better with out the cakes so stamp the back sides of them and let all the stamps dry before stacking or laying anything on top of the printed areas.

Glue the cakes down to the front of each invitation carefully making sure you commit and don't beat yourself up if it is slightly off center.  A lot of your guest will never see or know if a cake is more to the top of the card or bottom, heck maybe you want it to be because you wanna add a font to the front- that could be cool too. Just my point is it isn't worth your sanity, time, or waiting materials to o things over sometimes... Just go with it! It is liberating :)
My shop that I made things under in college was PeachyKeen- funny in hindsight because I don't think the name would embody or describe my work at all... Kevin's pet name for me is Peaches since we met in Georgia and I guess I was such a smitten kitten I had to try and figure out a name to go under to incorporate it and it was what resonated.  I had the stamp made for me at a stamp making shop in Savannah, GA just buy bringing a reversed image of what I wanted the stamp to be.  If you don't know of anyone in your area grab a stamp from a fine seller on Etsy here. The printing on the back was fitting too because it was before my name change-crazy!

My grandparents good friends framed one of our invites for our wedding present. (shown right) It has a back that is sealed up or I would have taken a better picture of what the full invite looked like.  

(The two elements to our invitations that I realized sadly I don't have pictures for is I created a velum overlay with a ribbon that covered all of the cake but the little flower stuck out all cute.  The wrapped invite then went into a red envelope that I embossed "KC & KEVIN" with an embosser I received from one of those wedding catalogs)  

It's funny that once we established a cake look for the invites how much it would carry over into all of our cakes :)
We enjoyed this 'lil cake for our wedding shower hosted by Kevin's family in Texas.  His aunt created the inspiration for the cake based off the invitations and I really liked the polka dot motif on the cake above and decided to carry the dots on our main wedding cake. 
I liked adding the flowers on the cake and in-between the layers to bring in more colors.  Best part if you decide to go floral too- it is a nice way to stretch a budget.
Well, hope you enjoy! XOXO, KC

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