I do…want to make my own wedding dress!

My partner and I are engaged! We were not in any hurry to marry, but now that we are engaged we have rushed headlong into wedding planning. After a week we had a tentative guest list, date, and budget.  (Can we just elope already? the wedding industry machine behaves sort of like a strong-arm robber! “But your guests HAVE to have a wine pour at dinner and monogrammed favors and alcohol that has been blessed by a celebrity priest!”)

One of the things in the very back of my mind when I took a sewing class last year was, “maybe someday I will be able to make my own wedding dress.” Let’s be honest, just because I was not thinking about getting engaged anytime soon does not mean I didn’t have a secret Pinterest wedding board going. As an artist, handmade objects are very important to me. Generally speaking, when you buy handmade you are supporting an artist and their talents, you are getting a quality item and it speaks to your unique personality. That said, I am not looking down on my IKEA furniture because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to store your shoes.

Wedding-dress-bolero1
It’s great if you love this look! It’s just not for me. :)

Plus size wedding dress clothing options can be limited. That’s just a fact, and it seems to me that my plus size wedding dress options are strapless white dresses or strapless white dresses with lacy boleros. As a fat woman, I am getting mighty sick of boleros. I get it and I own my fair share of the things. The reason I own them is because it is damn hard to find dresses with sleeves! If you like sleeveless, more power to you, but I like sleeves. Nothing against my wiggly upper arms, but I just prefer to wear sleeves. For wedding dresses it seems like the bolero is almost always an after-thought and they rarely match the dress itself.

But I digress…So while trying to find dresses that are more my style, I stumbled upon two brides with AMAZING, GORGEOUS, UNIQUE, WHIMSICAL, INPSIRING dresses. First up is Nicolette Mason in a Christian Siriano custom dress. I want tulle and sparkles for days, please! Hello, sleeves that were part of the dress-making process! I can tell you right now I would wear this dress all damn day!

nicolette-mason-wedding-dress

The second one is Lindy West is in a custom dress by Mark Mitchell. It is so rainbowy and gorgeous and it goes along with this amazing body positive article called, “Lindy West: I Hope Every Fat Girl in the World Reads This.” This is a great read it if you have ever felt like you couldn’t wear something because of how your body might be perceived, by you or other people. (Also there is a good Nikki Gloudeman piece on Huff Post.)  Look at the detail work! It feels totally Mae West, “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” Hand sewn details are a common theme in the dresses I have liked so far.

Now I’m not nearly nutty enough to think I have the skills required for dresses like these right now. They are just really pretty inspiration dresses to help me brainstorm. I have to say the reception to my mentioning that I would like to sew my own dress has been mixed. There have been flat-out “No’s” to “you’re going to be so stressed anyway” all the way to “do it, I wish I would have made my own dress.”

The factors are:

  • I have less than a year of sewing under my belt.
  • I have over a year to make it.
  • I have realistic ideas of the costs of me-made and RTW.
  • Sewing doesn’t stress me out…
  • but I have also never planned a wedding before.
  • I REALLY want to make my own dress, but I really don’t want everyone to stress about whether or not it is going to come together.

So should I even be contemplating making my own wedding dress? (I’m already contemplating, honestly.)

 

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22 thoughts on “I do…want to make my own wedding dress!

  1. Why not? Start early, give it a whirl! If you didn’t want to do it from scratch there’s other options like modifying a bought one. Good luck and congratulations on getting engaged. 😁

  2. I agree with MrsCraft there is no reason not to.
    Start early and before you cut out and stitch your fashion fabric practice, practice, practice.
    Congratulations on getting engaged

    • Thanks! I have not been making muslins because the patterns I have been using have been fairly simple. I think I could definitely get a few muslins made and then go on to fancy fabric!

  3. Go for it! (And maybe have a back up in mind just in case). Sounds like you have plenty of time to perfect it though! I think you’ll be fine!

  4. Why not sew your own!! My suggestion would be to maybe have a go at making a slightly structured formal cocktail – type dress – useful in your wardrobe but would give you some experience making that sort of garment?

      • Do you think you would make a traditional gown? What wedding style do you like? I think white or pale pink satin, empire waist, maybe some tulle illusion at the neckline, and bridesmaids in matching color is ideal! No veil but flowers or pearls in the hair.

      • I don’t know yet. I tend to be drawn to 50’s tea-length style dresses. I’ve never been one for long dresses but this is definitely a different occasion. I’m going to try on dresses with my mother and mother-in-law to just see what looks good on me but I am pretty sure I will not want a strapless ball gown or a veil. We’ll see how it goes! I have heard mixed reviews on the wedding dress try-on experience!

  5. Congrats! And I’d echo what everyone else is saying. Start early and give it a go. Why not make a 50’s tea-length style dress (or whatever you decide after your tryings on) in an inexpensive fabric for day wear first. Then you’ll be confident about the construction so you won’t have to worry about anything going wrong with expensive fabrics and you can focus on whatever embellishments and customisations you’d like. Goo luck :)

  6. Hello! :) As i find articles about making my own wedding dress, your article caught me :) You go for it! We’ve sharing similar dream. I really do want also to wear my own wedding dress. And I am working on it now :) even though i just graduated from college, not yet engaged haha and doesn’t even have a boyfriend. But I am really passionate about making my own wedding dress, so here i am starting it fresh :)

  7. Saw your post and had to comment! Hope it’s not too late! I’m just like you too with a dream of making my own wedding dress! The only difference is that I actually did. And I still made adjustments on my wedding eve. Tot it won’t come out nice but everyone cldnt believe I made it myself. It came out beautiful. I would av attached a picture but I don’t think I can attach pics with comment. Making a wedding gown for urself is achievable if you put ur heart to it..

    • Thank you! I would love to see your handmade dress. I think that is so special! I did happen to find a dress on clearance that is almost exactly like the pattern I had picked out. So I decided to buy it! I just finished a dress for engagement photos and I have ideas for a rehearsal dinner dress, so I think I bought myself a little extra time for other sewing jobs!

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