Making your own wedding dress - feeling brave!

Hi,

I got engaged in March this year and have always felt that I wanted to make my own wedding dress, but feel worried I might not quite have the sewing skills for this. Our aim is to create a wedding personal to us, the ceremony will be in the woods with a rustic feel, home grown flowers, tent set up, festival vibe. This will be an informal style which both our parents are struggling to comprehend, and at times this has made things a little stressful. I was talked out of making my dress a few weeks ago but after reading a recent blog, I'm back to feeling like I would like to create a dress to add to the personal feel of the day.

Has anybody ever made their own wedding dress? What did you do to plan and organise this? I mainly sew my own basic clothes at home and often my finish isn't 100%, do you think I should access a class or dress making course?

Kristy x

I made my dress, and I

I made my dress, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. Actually, your wedding sounds a lot like ours was!

I would recommend that you choose a fairly simple style, something not too out of line with what you would normally sew. It doesn't sound like you are going for the strapless-dress-with-a-million-pearls kind of thing anyway! I used a princess-line dress with narrow straps.

If you're using a pattern that's new to you, definitely make a sample of your dress in an inexpensive fabric first, and test any fitting issues or alterations you want to make.

When you've got your pattern the way you want it, pick a fabric you really love, but something that's not going to make you tear your hair out working with it (ie not the slipperiest silk ever if you're not used to sewing that kind of thing). I used a fine cream-colored wool with the daintiest woven-in texture, which was a good match for our climate and the time we had the wedding, plus I loved loved loved it!

Taking a class might be a good way to get it done and get some good advice where you need it. Of course there's also lots of info online and in the library to help you. If you choose a pattern from one of the popular independent companies (maybe Colette or Sewaholic) chances are that a lot of sewing bloggers have already made it, and there might be a sew-along with detailed pictures of construction that you can check out.

Anyway (obviously!) I say go for it! Good luck!

I also write a blog with lots of tips for beginner sewists at tashamillergriffith.com

You can do it, just be

You can do it, just be sensible. Choose a relatively simple pattern and make one or two practice models. Use similar fabric and embellishments. This should give you the confidence to make your own. I made mine some 40 years ago, and am so glad I did. No one else had my dress because I made it myself. Best part, I didn't spend an obscene amount on it either. Good luck.

Making a dress is fine as

Making a dress is fine as long as you are realistic about what you can also accomplish. It's easy when you're getting married to want to make EVERYTHING and there are all these lovely pictures of beautiful things and it all seems so do-able. Don't try to do it all. I came home to a roommate sitting on the floor surrounded by all the little parts of her beautiful hand-made invitations sobbing because she was totally overwhelmed by all the things she had planned to do. Not to put you off it at all, but please don't take on too much and remember it's most important to enjoy yourself.

My mother-in-law made my wedding dress. She carefully picked the lace collar and yoke off my mother's 1970s wedding dress and sewed it onto a simple duponi silk dress we cobbled together from two different patterns. It was absolutely perfect.

Sounds like a fab idea - and

Sounds like a fab idea - and completely doable although I'd second MarieC's advice about not doing it all on your own.

I helped a bride's mother upcycle a wedding dress (for a hand fasting ceremony in a wood) last year. The idea was for the wedding to be a sustainable celebration.

The bride made lots of things, and for the skills she didn't personally have, she recruited the help of family and friends. Eg invitations which were sent out with sunflower seeds for people to grow the table decorations. Everyone got involved in the food by contributing a dish on the day. The music and entertainment was all home grown too.

It was the best wedding I've been to in a very long while - and I heard several people say the same thing. I think it was because we all contributed, it really felt as though we were all joining together to celebrate the start of their married life.

If you want to make the dress just make sure you farm out some of the other things - maybe it would help your parents to understand if they could be involved in contributing time and skills in some way?

Best of luck with it - and please keep us updated with your progress.

Hi Kirsty, ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

Hi Kirsty,
ABSOLUTELY YES!!! If you already make some of your own clothing then a long as you give yourself plenty of time and not make it too complicated it is something that I can highly recommend you do. I made mine as a 17year old bride back in 1980!! It was so special and definitely made me feel so super special on my big day. All these years later it is still one (if not THE) most special sewing memory I have. If you feel that you want more experience I can suggest you sign up to one of the Craftsy.com courses - the couture dress is amazingly well done and you will learn so much - not just for now, but for all your future projects as well.
Definitely make a toile either way and this will ensure the fit is perfect.
Good luck - and don't let anyone talk you out of doing what you feel is right for you! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you don't want to regret not doing it.
Kind regards
Michele :-)

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