My Easy Travel Wedding Dress

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.

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Skyline thinks I laid out the patterns for him to sleep on…

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!

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Front view of dress 108

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Back view of dress 108 with the overskirt

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).

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Muslin Bodice

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Muslin Dress with Boffi supervising

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Muslin Train

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.

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Here’s the finished dress without the overskirt

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.

Lace trim, swarovski crystals and pearl beads

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Details of the skirt hem

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.

Lace trim waistband for the overskirt

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.

The beading that took forever

A once in a lifetime opportunity for keen sewist!

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.

DIY bouquet by Jennifer

28 thoughts on “My Easy Travel Wedding Dress

  1. I have just seen this on Burda Style and had to come over for a closer look. I am really so impressed with your work, you have made an absolutely stunning dress. I recently got engaged and am seriously contemplating making my own wedding dress too – you have inspired me even more now!

    • Hi Suzie, You should definitely give it a go! I was hesitant at the beginning because I’ve never done something of this scale before. The whole process of designing and making up is really enjoyable.

      • Hi Veanna, Suzie here again (nearly a year later!). It turned out that I’m not making my wedding dress, but I am working on maybe making a dress for my reception. I want to make a fun dress that is easy to dance in and I am thinking about using the bodice from the burda pattern you used (and then attatching it to a short pleated skirt). I was wondering if you could tell me what you did for support for your bodice? Did you underline your satin? Did you use any sort of padding to get the lovely smooth look over the bust? And I’m guessing you used Regiliene boning – was this attached to the underlining or the lining?
        Sorry for all the questions but your dress just turned out so beautiful I would love to know all about it!!!
        If you have time I would be so so greatful if you could maybe drop me an email and tell me all about it!
        Thank you so much!!!!

      • Hi Suzie! Sorry for the late reply as I was travelling for work. My wedding dress’ satin fabric was fully underlined with silk organza and the bodice has cotton flannel underlining in addition to the silk organza. I used regilene boning and it was sewn to the lining which has a coutil underling. In my blog post ‘the bustier before the gown’ I showed a pink dress using this method. I also showed photos of another bustier which I used metal boning. Maybe that post will give you some ideas? I’m happy to discuss more about the construction. Hope to hear more from you!

  2. Pingback: The Bustiers Before The Gown | sosewlovely

  3. Congratulations! The dress is beautiful and I wish you great success and love in your marriage. I panic at the thought of ever sewing a wedding dress. So, I applaud you :)

      • Well…..you could consider making other’s wedding dresses for money. You certainly do good enough work to charge!

      • thanks! I still have much to learn specially on fittings. I can’t imagine what the pressure would be if i have to make it for someone else *o*”

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  6. “The whole process of designing and making up is really enjoyable.” I completely agree! Your wedding outfit is absolutely beautiful.VERY professional work.

  7. I keep coming back. This is so beautiful. The best wedding dress I’ve ever seen. The time/love/details. This is absolutely priceless. <3<3<3<3, LOVE this dress.

  8. Pingback: Would you sew… your own Wedding Dress? « poppykettle

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