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Topic: Trying to find a pattern for a bridesmaids dress  (Read 824 times)
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Meilan Firaga
« on: October 29, 2012 02:43:13 PM »

My brother and his girlfriend are finally talking wedding plans. However, the dress she really likes for her bridesmaids a.) is ridiculously expensive and b.) doesn't come in either of her wedding colors. So, being the one in the bridal party that knows how to sew, I'm trying to see if I can find a way to make them instead. The dress she wants can be found here.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012 11:51:12 AM »

That poor URL Tongue

Sweetheart chiffon bridesmaid dress with empire waist

I feel like I've seen a pattern for a similar dress... Hmm, all I found was this out of print Vogue pattern that you'd have to order off the website.

So, because you're specifically asking for advice, here's my fifty-two cents.

There are 28 colours available so I'm not certain how "hers" aren't on the list. Also, $100 isn't that expensive for a dress that is automatically tailored to custom measurements with the added insurance of large seam allowances for further adjustment upon receipt of the dresses (which you or a local seamstress could do). Even using cheap fabrics, the minimum cost per dress would still be around $40, never mind your time and effort tracing each size you need from the pattern, making a muslin for each bridesmaid (which adds another fabric cost) and/or tweaking each dress for fit, plus all that time sewing with a persnickety set of fabrics (satin AND chiffon).

Sorry if I sound rude, but I'm not seeing a way to do this "cheap" considering the dress she wants is already inexpensive. There are other places she can save money if she's picking up the tab for the dresses, such as in decorating the venue herself, using locally sourced flowers, acquiring the equivalent of an LLBO license so she can purchase all her own liquor for the occasion instead of hiring a catered bar, selecting a simple menu for the reception provided by a local eatery, using a non-white cocktail dress as her wedding "gown" so that she can use it again, etc, etc.

If she's not paying for the dresses, she needs to have much more flexibility in what she will "allow" for her bridesmaids so that a style and price point can be individualized for each woman while still staying within guidelines appropriate for the wedding's colours and theme. After all, the single most important aspect of that celebration will be the fact that two people who love each other are proclaiming their permanent commitment to one another.

In closing, I can understand how happy you are for your brother and your desire to make their special day go smoothly, but be prepared to say no to unreasonable requests. Unless you make occasion dresses for a living, this just might be such a one.

« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012 12:03:54 PM »

I made my bridesmaids dresses for my wedding 21 years ago.  So I am speaking from personal experience.

If you're making more than two dresses, it's a LOT of sewing. You will NOT save much time by making multiple copies of the same dress in the same fabric. If they are all the same size, you might be able to lay out the fabric in stacks and use a wheel to cut multiple pieces. But, if every person is a different size, each must be cut separately. With one person and a home sewing machine, there is NO way to significantly reduce the amount of actual sewing time per dress by making multiples. In other words, if it takes 6 hours to make one dress from start to finish, it's going to take 6 hours for each additional dress.

I have to agree with Alexus1325, unless there is a significant unknown factor (a very odd size person, free fabric, you will be doing this for a reality TV show, etc). This is a HUGE time commitment, and you won't save a whole lot of $$. Finally, consider your space and equipment. I had a HUGE 25 ft sq finished basement room to work in, and a top of the line (at the time) sewing machine. A cheap sewing machine may not be up to the job. What will you do if it dies in the middle of the project? I had a back up machine, my Grandmother's ancient Sears Roebuck.

What would tip the scales the other way? If you're making only one or two dresses AND you LOVE to sew. If one of the bridesmaids has serious fitting issues (even then you might be better off ordering a dress in a standard size and altering it for her). If you can get fabric ridiculously cheap ($1/yd) or free. If you can get the other girls to help, maybe by holding a "cutting party" where each girl cuts out her pieces under your supervision, and each girl is responsible for any hand sewing needed. If a reality TV producer is paying you to take on this crazy challenge, go for it and let us know when it airs! LOL!!

BTW, in my case, all the girls helped at least a little, and I was able to put two patterns together to replicate a $300+ dress, and was able to buy satin for 51 cents/yd and lining for $1.25/yd, bringing the cost of each dress to just about $40, which was a substantial savings.
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