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Topic: Wedding dress DIY : making your own  (Read 821 times)
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« on: April 07, 2009 05:37:18 AM »

Hi there,

I am getting married in November this year (wooo!) and I've always wanted to make my own dress. My mum thinks I'm nuts and that I should just cough up and buy one. There are some OK dresses around, but they all seem to cost in excess of 1000! Where as I'm sure I could make my *perfect dress* for under 200. For me the maths adds up to make my own, plus the fact it will be unique and I can have exactly what I want on it. But I think mum is scared that I will make a hash of it, and end up with something that doesnt fit properly or just looks naff. I'm a semi experienced dress maker, but definately not to professional standard. I am 5ft 7, and have more or less slim hourglass proportions - I'm not sure what would suit me.

Have any of you wonderful and wise craftsters made your own? How did it go? What snags did you hit? Do you have any recommended patterns?

Thanks for your help guys!

Rainbow Han xx
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009 08:39:00 AM »

I made a wedding dress last October for a friend of mine.  She wanted something specific, no embellishments, and that's just not the current style.  So, she showed me what she wanted and I found 2 patterns to put together to make it.  I'd say if you know exactly what you want, and you are positive you can make it much more cheaply than if you bought it, then go for it. 
With my own wedding last May, I was split between a dress from the bridal shop and a Vogue pattern I really liked.  I priced out the DIY one, and it would have cost as much to buy the fabric and such as the bridal shop one cost.  So I chose the shop one, simply because I couldn't justify the time and money to make something I would most likely only wear once. 
As far as making your own, are you comfortable with patterns, or are you going to "wing it" or use the draping method?  If you are looking for a pattern and don't find exactly what you want, you can combine patterns.  However, you'll need to check a few things to make sure you don't walk into a crisis later.  For instance, the 2 patterns I used for my friend's dress (top part of a dress from one and a skirt from another), had the zippers in the same place (they both zipped up the back).  They were also both formalwear patterns, so they called for the same sort of materials (estimating the fabric needed was a little bit tricky though).  Little things like that do make a big difference, especially when you are dealing with slippery fabrics, etc.
Anyway, I think you could do it.  Good luck!

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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009 08:59:56 AM »

I made my own wedding dress about 4 years ago.  If you are thinking of doing it, start now!  I made 4 mock-ups plus the final dress (over the course of 4 months). The dress was not perfect, but did come out nicely, and it was even done about 1 week before the wedding date.  I was also doing just about everything else myself too, like the rings, flowers, invites, etc. so it was a busy time, but I loved every minute!

it's all jewelry all the time!
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009 05:33:17 PM »

It's a very wise idea to make a 'test' one first.  I have made lots of wedding and bridesmaid dresses in the past (not done one for many a year now) I use curtain lining for making a test version of anything I'm unsure of or I think might be tricky (I still do this).  That way you can alter the size and propotions to fit exactly; patterns don't always fit your measurements anyway and you often have to adapt them. 

A bonus to using curtain lining is that depending on the fabric you want to use eventually you can get a good idea of how it will look and handle (curtain lining comes in all sorts of grades and finishes now) and you can write and draw on it, so you can get someone to mark out exactly where you want to add bits, cut bits off, add in darts or pleats etc.

When I was at college, many many many years ago a fellow student made her wedding dress out of top end cream curtain lining, that looked like an expensive fabric, and covered it with handmade ribbon rose buds.  It looked absolutely fantastic, and didn't look like curtain lining at all.

Hope this helps


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