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Topic: Sew my own wedding dress? Am I crazy? NEW MUSLIN on page 8!  (Read 43529 times)
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« on: August 04, 2008 09:50:22 AM »

OK, I'm not sure if I am crazy for considering this... Lots of people have been saying I should make my own wedding dress. I'm glad they have confidence in my sewing skills (maybe more than I do!). I'm considering it though, as a means to save money, and to be able to customize to get what I want (very picky, me).
I was kind of keeping it in the back of my mind, mulling it over, talking myself out of it, and then back into it again.

Today, I get an email that Vogue patterns are on sale... So I look around their site and see a very nice wedding dress pattern (http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V2788.htm) that doesn't require boning (which I'm terrified of!), that has sleeves or straps (I don't want strapless), and that I am now thinking of ordering and attempting.

Am I crazy? Has anyone used this pattern? Any snippets of advice? or does anyone want to talk me in or out of it? I figure if I make a mockup on a cheap fabric first and it doesn't work out, I won't have wasted too much money, and if it does work out, I can save a bundle, which is important since I'm on a budget.

I appreciate anything anyone has to say on the matter! Smiley

« Last Edit: February 23, 2009 07:15:59 PM by mirthgoddess » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008 09:58:25 AM »

I see shows where dresses are thousands of dollars and I literally gasp at the price.  I think your idea of a mock version first is worth a shot.  I made mine several, several years ago and I was excited to wear it and show off.  I say go for it!  Be bold!!   Grin

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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008 09:59:44 AM »

Go for it! Your wedding dress is something you'll cherish forever and you can pass down along the generations. It will be so much more special knowing you MADE it!

How long do you have until the wedding? Is this going to add major stress to an already stressful time? Are you okay with throwing in the towel if it's not working and buy a dress?


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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008 10:20:05 AM »

If you're really picky about what you want, and this pattern is exactly what you want, and you've been pleased with the fit on things you've made before, I don't see any reason not to make it yourself.

If you don't have a lot of time to spend on it, want something with nice lace, or don't think you can get the fit just right, I highly recommend not doing it. The kind of lace they used on bridal dresses is generally very expensive (anywhere from $25-$200/yard, someone told me), and generally requires detailed piecing in order to make sure that the lace pattern doesn't get distorted).

Your time is going to be worth quite a bit to you while you're planning your wedding. If you figure your costs as what you paid for the materials *plus* how many hours you spent on making it (say, multiplied by your hourly wage, to give you an idea of how much money you could make at your job if you worked those hours instead of making your dress), you'll find that the lower priced wedding dresses are actually cheaper to buy than to make (depending on materials, of course).   Personally, I bought a dress off the rack for $300 for my wedding (15 years ago), but all I was looking for was a dress that would fit with minimal alterations, and I found somewhat attractive.

If I haven't convinced you not to make it, you want to be sure when you choose a fabric for a mock up that it's fairly close in weight and drape to the fabric you're intending to use.  For example, if you're planning on making your dress out of velvet (doesn't look like it, but anything's possible), you can't do the mockup out of  taffeta, because the fabric doesn't drape the same at all. What would hold its shape in taffeta is going to be dragged down by the weight of the velvet (just as an example).

Ordinarily, I'd sent you to patternreview.com for suggestions for the pattern, but they don't seem to have any reviews of it.

I hope that helps some!  Congratulations!


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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008 10:25:28 AM »

DO IT! Or atleast try! Especially if you have the time! Plus you'll get to spend money that you would've spent on a dress on something else!

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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2008 10:26:03 AM »

Might as well try.


How long do you have to make this dress?
How much do you stress out about stuff?
Do you REALLY like the dress?
Do you have all the proper sewing tools and notions?
What have you made in the past?
I saw that the pattern is "average" difficulty. Have you made other similar skill level things before?
Do you have a friend or relative with sewing skills? To help you, fit you etc...

If it is going to add too much stress don't do it. Making a mock up is a good idea, generally when I make mock ups it is just the very basic shapes and structure of the garment, but it you are concerned make the mock up exactly following the pattern instructions (OK you don't have to sew all those buttons down the back) If you feel comfortable with that you should be good for the real thing! Also keep track of how long it took you so you don't underestimate the time needed. If you have a sewing friend that is even better, since you have a mock up you can make alterations, if you don't I have read in some books about hiring a professional to mark the alterations and then you can sew it yourself. That way you are not hiring somebody to make your entire dress, but I know, I have tried, fitting yourself isn't something you should do.  

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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008 10:48:53 AM »

I am getting married also. I have seen the prices of dresses and thought about making my own but like you, am scared! Like the other comments said, it would be special and I could pass it down to my daughters. A practice dress sounds good. Try it and post it so I can decide what to do! Good luck with it.

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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2008 10:58:46 AM »

If you have the time, I say go for it!

I am also making my dress (out of a combo of two Vogue patterns) and I have only started to put together my mock up, but it is going really well! My mom/FMIL have been invaluable with their tips and tricks and I would highly recommend having some people in mind to use as a resource while you work on it. My best pal/MOH will also come over and we'll work on our dresses together, so that makes it more fun/less stressful if that option is open to you.

The budget thing is obviously really important and, although I'm only using satin so I can't speak to lace prices, I kept my eyes out for sales and picked up my fabric and notions for the dress and a couple of mockups for less than $125.

I don't know if that helps, but I just wanted to let you know it isn't quite as scary as it seems!
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008 11:32:05 AM »

My mother and I made my wedding dress together.  I was able to get exactly what I wanted, it fit beautifully, and I saved a ridiculous amount of money.  I love that we made it together.  If you have any friends who can even sew on a button, I would suggest having them help.  I also agree that making it out of muslin and then fitting it is the way to go.  Making the dress yourself makes it a another special memory of your wedding.  What's better than that!   Wink
I love the dress you picked.  It's classic and can be customized with your personality so easily.

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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008 11:41:46 AM »

First of all, thanks for your input, everyone.

I went ahead and ordered the pattern. Still not sure if I'm going to do it, but I figured even if I get the pattern and do nothing else, I'm only out $5.99. Smiley

Now, to answer some questions:
How long do you have to make this dress?
My wedding is Oct. 3, 2009, so I have about 14 months, which should be enough time to either make a mockup, make necessary revisions, and complete a dress, or, if things don't go well or I decide it's too nutty, enough time to abandon ship and buy a dress.

What have you made in the past?
I saw that the pattern is "average" difficulty. Have you made other similar skill level things before?
Things I have made before include: casual dresses, tops, skirts, bags, stuffed animals, pillows, and a few RenFaire/Halloween costumes (capes, tops, skirts, baggy pirate pants) so I would say I have average/moderate sewing skills.

Is this going to add major stress to an already stressful time? Are you okay with throwing in the towel if it's not working and buy a dress?
I don't think it's going to *add* any stress, not if I get started early enough anyway. And yes, I'm totally ok with throwing in the towel and buying one.
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