V2801 is drafted incorrectly, FYI. They show the pleats facing up in the instructions and the pictures, but they're drafted so they work if you face them down. It's also got terrible instructions. But if you can get past that, it's a great dress! Haven't made 2802...no occassion...but I do have the pattern.
Wow, I just found this section of Craftster. My dress was linked earlier in this thread. A few tips...a muslin is a MUST! You don't want to stress out with your dress material. This way you can fine tune the fit, make any changes you want, and then make the dress knowing that it'll work. I didn't have a duct tape dummy, but I did have a very anal maid of honor who was able to help me with fitting issues. Also, make sure you use the right needle and thread for your fabric or else you could end up with seam issues. The book Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje had a ton of great tips and advice. My experience with Vogue patterns tells me that any inner construction is included, so you don't have to worry about it with them, but if you're using Simplicity, Butterick, or McCalls, you could end up with pull lines from where the weight of the skirt can tug on the bodice.
I pulled my design out of my head, but I already had slopers that fit perfectly and they were a dream to work with. If you have the time to develop one, do it! It's time well spent. I used a book by Helen Joseph Armstrong to make my slopers and use them to create my own patterns.
You want to talk Bridezilla? I made 4 or 5 muslins of the bodice. Mine was fitted and strapless and I had to figure out D-ring and boning placement. Everytime I made a change to the pattern, I made up a new muslin because I didn't want my top falling down in the middle of the ceremony! The skirt, luckily, was very easy.
When I got engaged, I told everybody I was making my dress. My MOH knew it already, as did my fiance. My mom should have known I would, but she flipped out anyway and wanted me to spend $1000 on a back up dress "just in case". I told her that with $1000, I could mess up my dress 5 times, so we were fine, because I wouldn't mess up that much. My MIL was excited that I was making my dress. She lives in the same city that we do and she went dress "shopping" with me. I tried on different styles to make sure what I liked was what looked good on me.
Thanks for all the compliments! I LOVE my dresses and I'm so happy with how they turned out. There was a lot of frustration involved. I will probably never make another one again (and I have 3 sisters who think I will when the time comes...HAH!) I've been sewing for 14 years now (had my sewing lessons when I was 12), so the while the idea of making a wedding dress was intimidating, I was pretty confident that I could pull it off. I've made other formal gowns before and a wedding dress is just a white formal gown, if you think about it. I had my lessons for 2 years, but really, it's just a matter of experience. You try different patterns and learn as you go. Always make a muslin to check the fit and get practice on the construction. My mom thinks those sewing lessons were a great investment.
Here's a pic of the petticoat. It's unfinished in that picture, but my maid of honor was joking about how the petticoat looked good enough to serve as the skirt of my dress, so she was wearing it around. I used a McCalls pattern, but instead of using a zipper to close it, I added a casing for a drawstring (I plan on loaning my petticoat to any friends and family who need one, that way it'll pretty much fit anybody I know). It's got a lining, then 2 layers of tulle (each layer consists of 3 gathered rows of tulle), then satin on the outside. It gave a nice A-line shape. A hint for the gathering...use clear elastic. I tried gathering it the "proper" way with 2 rows of basting and I tried using my gathering foot, but clear elastic was the quickest and most accurate method.
Thanks everybody!!! I had a little hesitation about cutting into the fabric too...100% silk satin, I got it at the LA Garment District for $30/yard (haggled it down from $40). Ouch! Luckily I'm small, so I only needed 5 yards, and that gave me some extra fabric too. Over the course of the night, I wore 3 dresses total and my maid of honor and I figured out that for EVERYTHING I needed (3 dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, gloves, veil, tiara), I spent about $1000. Most of the dresses I liked when we went dress shopping to see what styles suited me cost anywhere from $1000-$3000. So yes, I definitely saved money. Total spent on wedding dress fabric (including lining, boning, underlining): $200, rhinestones and beads: $130, veil, tiara and shoes: $50. I also made my petticoat, and that cost me around $20 to make. In addition to saving money, I also got the exact dress that I wanted, no compromises anywhere. That was my favorite part.
I just got married on October 3rd and spent every Saturday from February til August designing and making my wedding dress. It's silk satin with Swarovski crystal banding on the hem of the skirt and bodice and Swarovski crystals and beads on the top of the bodice. I used metal D-rings for the loops in back and 2 layers of silk chiffon for the lacing, with more crystals at the base.
I also made this Vogue dress as another dress for the reception. Just a warning...the instructions are terrible and the pattern is drafted incorrectly, so it took a LOT longer than expected! I think it was worth it though. http://members.cox.net/lleung/6.JPG
I've taken a fashion design class at my local community college. Before I took the class, I had my mom get me this book as a Christmas gift. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321034236/qid=1095789813/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/104-3687673-5985552 It's pricey, but it IS a textbook and it happened to be the exact book we used for the class. You could use the book without the class because the class just basically went through the book and had us following that to make our own slopers. Once you have a well fitting sloper, you can make anything you want.
Invest in some clear elastic. Cut the elastic to the size you want, then pin it to the tulle, stretching the elastic as you go. Zig zag the elastic to the tulle and you should end up with perfect, QUICK gathers. That's what I did for my petticoat and it was way better than the old fashioned way.
Very cute!! A little hint I picked up about gathers...invest in some clear elastic. You'll want to stretch it out a few times first, but after that, it should always bounce back to its original length. Cut a piece long enough for what you want you FINISHED gathered piece to be (ie. cut it to the length of the bottom of your bodice). Pin the elastic to either end of the piece to be gathered (which would be the skirt, in this case), and stretch it. I usually will add a few more pins just to make sure the gathers are even. Zig zag the elastic to the fabric while stretching the elastic. When you're done, you should have an evenly gathered piece that'll fit perfectly to the piece you want to match it up to. I have a ruffler foot too, but when I made my petticoat, the clear elastic was my best friend.