When my husband proposed to me last March, the only thing I knew for sure (other than the fact I wanted to marry him, of course!) was that I *had* to make my own dress. Being crafty people, we ended up doing most everything ourselves (you can see the full rundown here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=95443.0
), but the biggest project by far was the dress. I spent a lot of time looking at patterns, dresses, pictures of dresses, etc, and when I saw this one, I knew I had found my dress:
Once I had this in mind, finding a pattern that I could modify wasn't too hard. Vogue 2803 (see it here: http://store.sewingtoday.com/cgi-bin/voguepatterns/shop.cgi?s.item.V2803=x&M=cart-login
) was perfect in the front, and the back wasn't to hard to modify.
I raised the back, added grommets and corset-style lacing, and made the bow functional rather than decorative. The band was done in red rather than the pattern's white, and extended around the back to a hook-and-eye closure. I sewed a red band to the bottom of the lining layer, and voila! The dress of my dreams.
Even though the fabric I used for this dress wasn't terribly expensive (the whole thing, including the lining fabric, boning, grommet kits, and crinoline cost about $100), I wanted to make a muslin for fitting purposes. Here's me all excited to have the muslin finished and fitting properly (please excuse the bra straps):
Somehow, nobody was interested in my back while I was in the dress, so this is the only shot I have of it. It's in the middle of being ironed, so it probably isn't the best shot, but you can see the lacing and the pieces that will eventually be the bow.
The wedding party. I'm the same height as my husband, so I must have been doing some hardcore slouching in this photo. O.o
Walking down the aisle with my dads. If I wasn't standing perfectly straight (like in this pic, when I was walking down the stairs), the dress would bunch around the waist, which was a little annoying. I also lost about half an inch in my bust measurement between the muslin fitting and the wedding day, which probably accounts for a little of that looseness as well. That's what the stress of a wedding will do to you, I guess!
And one more, because it's one of my favorite pictures from the entire wedding:
The hardest part of this dress was definitely the boning. Tedious handsewing was not exactly what I wanted to be doing when I felt so stressed, but it was totally worth it. There is also something to be said for making your own wedding dress as part of the psychological process of geting married. I was really into this book, The Conscious Bride
, which talks about the psychology of such a major life change, and it felt really primal to have my fabric all spread out on the floor, scissors in hand.
Thanks for looking!