Sewing My Own Wedding Dress

I know, I know, I said I wouldn’t just write about weddings. But this will be it for a little while, I promise. And I did warn you at the end of my last post. This falls into the remit of sewing anyway, because…

Why I'm going to sew my own wedding dress!

I’m Going To Sew My Own Wedding Dress!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I’ve lost my mind, or taken on far too much. I’ve had the same thoughts, but I knew about 5 minutes after Andy proposed that I would sew my own wedding dress.

My Grandma used to make a lot of wedding dresses. Sewing for others was what she did for a living and her services were very much in demand when it came to weddings. I have no idea how many hours I would have spent in her sewing room. Just watching her sew all of these beautiful, intricate and fairly puffy (we are talking eighties/nineties here) dresses. She used to spend forever sewing on beads and sequins, and telling me off for messing with them!

I’ve never spent any time thinking about what my wedding would be like, but I always figured that my Grandma would make my dress. Sadly, she passed away in 2000. Part of me wants to sew my own wedding dress in tribute to her and I know she’d be fairly impressed. Not more so than because I couldn’t even thread a needle back then!

Who Doesn’t Love A Challenge?

I have worried a little bit that I’m taking on a bit too much. I can obviously sew and I’ve made dresses for myself, but nothing more complex than a Sewaholic Cambie. However, I do like a challenge, especially one with a deadline!

Rather than looking at it as a massive project, I’m going to split it up into more manageable chucks and just sew it bit by bit. I’ve done a bit of obsessive googling and reading about others’ trials and tribulations with wedding dress construction. It seems that having 14 months is plenty long enough, as long as I stay on task!

My aim is to draft and fit within the next couple of months, with a wearable muslin of the bodice (slightly modified with a different skirt attached) finished for November. I have an awards night to go to, so I thought the deadline would help.

I love the belt on this wedding dress!

I tried this on and loved the belt. Do I need a belt?!

Eco Friendly and Ethical

Another big reason that I’d like to sew my own wedding dress is so that, as far as possible, I can choose eco-friendly and ethical fabrics and supplies. I’ve already already some fabric samples from Ray Stitch which I love. My next task is to research lace and other bits and pieces. If anyone knows any ethical suppliers of lace, give me a shout in the comments!

Beautiful tulle wedding dress with lace detail

I tried this on and loved the lace on the hemline

First Things First

Of course the first thing I need to do is decide on what I want my wedding dress to look like. I was 99% sure that I wanted a tea length dress, with three quarter lace sleeves and lace over the bodice. Of course, it will have pockets! If you look at my Pinterest board you’ll see what I mean. Then I went to try on some dresses with one of my best friends who is also getting married and ended up trying on all sorts of different styles. I’m still definite about wanting sleeves and lace though.

What a gorgeous wedding dress!

I tried this on and fell in love with the beaded lace!

I’m going to spend a bit more time looking at bridal sewing patterns next. Also I’m going to look at other dress patterns too; I’m happy to do a bit of hacking and re-drafting where needed. So… watch this space!

Toria

P.S. If you’re going to sew your own wedding dress, here are a few blogs I enjoyed reading about the process:

Tanya Sews

The Curious Kiwi

Queen of Darts

A Practical Wedding

Create/Enjoy

 

4 Comments

  1. Charlotte Forcer
    28th February 2018 / 4:29 pm

    I was open to all sorts of styles when I was preparing my wedding, but when i tried my dress on it was just THE dress!
    For your ethical dress, how about re-using some ‘antique’ lace? You might be lucky in a vintage, antiques, or charity shop? Or online? I have no idea really, just a thought.
    Good luck making the dress. I can’t wait to see how you’re getting on.

    • Toria
      Author
      1st March 2018 / 11:56 am

      That’s a great idea, I don’t know why I didn’t think of looking for lace in charity shops!

  2. Jane
    31st March 2018 / 9:50 am

    Hi Toria

    There is a list of fabric and notions suppliers on The Maker’s Atalier blog, and it might be worth contacting Francis who runs it to ask for her advice about lace suppliers. I’m looking forward to seeing your dress, I’m sure it will be lovely.

    Jane.

    • Toria
      Author
      31st March 2018 / 10:04 am

      Thank you Jane, that’s really helpful 🙂 I’ll check it out!

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