I never thought I would make my own wedding dress. Looking at it one way, it’s such an important outfit so if I got it wrong, it could go super pear shape. I don’t know what came to me last summer but I suddenly decided that I might as well make my own wedding dress. As a hobby sewist, it’s a once in a lifetime chance for me to splurge on getting the sewing equipment I need (at least I thought I needed all those tools!), exploring lace and various techniques on making boned bodice.
I went into a bridal sewing pattern overdrive and bought a lot of commercial wedding dress patterns.
After almost 1 month of consideration and deliberation, I decided to go for wedding dress 108 in Burda magazine’s March 2010 issue. I chose it because it provides 2 looks, with or without the tulle overskirt and there’s a bit of room for personisation. I also need to fit the wedding dress into my suitcase to take to Hong Kong, a slim line dress with a small train is ideal!
Before I start making the dress, I read Susan Khalje’s Bridal Couture book at least twice if not three times . I read Kenneth D King’s Birth of the Bustier book which shows different technique for providing supports to the bodice. I also took Gretchen Hirsch’s Bombshell Dress online class on Craftsy which was really informative.
I made a muslin following Susan’s method for thread tracing and made the skirt wider (otherwise I would have problem walking).
Having spent quite a bit of money on my silk So Floaty Red Gown for the reception, I decided to spend less on this one and used polyester duchess satin from Platinum Bridal Fabrics rather than the silk duchess satin I originally wanted. I also got some corded lace trim from them which will be used to finish the edge of the skirt and form the waistband of the tulle overskirt. For the lining, I used silk habotai so it’s easier to slip on and it’s also more comfortable.
For the lace trim, I measured the length of the trim required for the skirt hem and beaded a mixture of Swarovski pearl beads, and clear bicone crystals onto the trim with matching colour silk thread. When the whole trim is beaded, I attached it onto the skirt with prickstitching stitches again using matching colour silk thread. A bit of clipping to the trim was required to make sure that the trim laid flat.
For the overskirt waistband, I used grosgrain ribbon as reinforcement inside the satin casing. The lace trim was done in a similar fashion to the skirt trim but with larger crystals and different beads arrangement. A flat bar and hook was sew to the back of the waistband.
I also made my veil, the peony headpiece and the ring pillow with the left over materials. You can see how I made the veil in my Money Saving Wedding Veil article. I guess making your own wedding dress is not for the faint hearted but it’s definitely an unforgettable process which I treasure.
I’d also like to thank my sister in law Jennifer who made the bouquet for me on the day! She’s so talented! You can also see the practice garments I made prior to this wedding DIY journey on my The Bustiers before the Gown post which I compare the use of metal spiral boning and Rigilene boning.