Monday, September 8, 2014

Making My Wedding Dress: Part I

Just like most little girls, I started dreaming about my wedding dress long before I met the man I now call my husband. Even before Ryan proposed, I had ideas strewn about my secret "wedding" board on Pinterest. Always having an eye for the unconventional, I knew my wedding dress had to be a little bit different too.

One great thing about having sewing skills and knowledge about pattern making and alterations, is that I could find the perfect wedding dress and figure out how to make it myself.  I searched the internet and wedding magazines for ideas and inspirations.  One inspiration was not far away...


These are a couple of my grandparent's wedding pictures from the mid 50's.  My grandmother made her dress (as so many women did). She used dotted swiss which was very popular back then. How cute is her tea length skirt?

Using her dress as an inspiration, I decided on using dotted swiss as the material for mine. Now on to styles...

I found this beautiful dress while browsing online: Ivy & Astor "Sweet Pea"

I loved the sweet simple style of the dress, the sweetheart neckline, bustline rouching and soft drape of the swiss dot material. Could I actually try and make something like this? 

For help, I googled "homemade/handmade wedding dress" and didn't find a whole lot, but did come across this blog: Wow this girl knew what she was doing! I actually ended up already having the patterns she used and once I had a starting point and a little bit of reference there was no stopping me.

In Simplicity 2959 I liked the bustline rouching and small train but I knew I wanted a gathered skirt. I decided to use Simplicity 4070 which gave me an idea where to appropriately separate the bodice from the skirt. Soooo...with my patterns in hand, I began to alter my pattern...

This is where I used S2959's front bodice/skirt pattern pieces, marked where the waist seam line would be and doubled the width so it could be gathered.

By this time I decided to go ahead and start a muslin to see what the bodice looked like.

At this point, I was already starting to become displeased with my poor pleating skills...

Just checking the fit...eek, a little snug!

Too pointy...

Just right...

Now I said earlier that I really didn't love my pleats, so there's a simple fix for that...gathers! Much more forgiving, I made the side pleats into gathers instead. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the alteration process, but here's where I was finally satisfied with the (FIFTH) muslin. 

I also added part of the skirt to check that the gathers were full enough

Ok now I was happy with the style, fit and overall look, so time for fabric searching! Because there are so many pictures overall, I decided to split the posts into a couple of them. Stay tuned for the construction, details and finally the finished dress :)


  1. Samantha I really love your blog! You make it look like fun and may spur me on to try clothes again. It is a great idea to use muslin first. Does your mannequin adjust in size?
    I'm with you. I cannot sit without some sewing in hand. My love though is quilts. I am making a cathedral window quilt for my bed right now!
    I look forward to more sewing tips!
    Auntie Beth

    1. Auntie Beth,
      Yah my dress form adjusts in size...although nothing is a better fit test than actually trying it on :)

      I suggest you start a blog too! Why not? Im sure you've got a lot of quilting knowledge to impart...others might be able to learn from you too!