I know, I know, I was going to make my own dress. So here’s what happened…
My grandmother was in town recently and I decided to take her wedding dress shopping. Her only other granddaughter, my cousin, was married in a beautiful, quiet, minimalist, at-home wedding in a white sweater and plaid wool skirt. It completely reflects her and her husband’s way of life and I think that is beautiful and so perfect for them! But, I know my grandmother would have liked to have gone through the rigmarole of wedding dress shopping. So I made an appointment at David’s Bridal with expectations that we would just have a fun day of shopping and laughing. And we did! My ulterior motive was to try on a dress that was similar to a pattern (M7320) that I had my heart set on.
While we were wandering through the dresses I happened over to clearance and found a dress in my size with lace sleeves. SCORE! As you may know, I sorely wanted a dress with sleeves. I figured I would try it on and see if it looked like THE pattern. It did! I actually preferred the neckline and decided I would alter the neckline on the pattern to reflect this dress. The longer I was in this dress, the more I loved it.
I can’t show you a picture, since I don’t want my fiance to see it, but I can tell you I look like a bridal Morticia Addams; sexy and curvy, but in white! Morticia Addams NEVER wore a strapless dress!
I peeked at the clearance price tag and it was below what I had budgeted for a wedding dress, purchased or me-made. Woah! Now I had some thinking to do. How important is it that I make my wedding dress? The reason I really wanted to make a dress was so that I could have a dress that looked like me and had sleeves. A bolero would not do! We dragged my Mom back to the store after work and she also loved the dress. Tears and everything! I truly believe that I could have made this dress but I decided to buy this one instead. I have to say I have not had any regrets yet. It really is exactly what I was looking to make and now I don’t have the pressure of worrying about whether or not it will be done, or fit correctly. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
For the last few months I have spent quite a bit of time scouring the interwebs for wedding dress patterns and other DY wedding dresses resources. I am not going to let all that research go to waste, instead I will share some of the patterns I purchased and the resources I came across.
First of all I researched a wide range of patterns that could be turned into wedding dresses. Here are some of my favorite options:
- McCall’s M7320 Trumpet Dress – This is actually the closest to my RTW dress. I bought this pattern after I tried on a trumpet dress and could not believe how much I liked it on me!
2. Vogue V2903: a 1957 Vintage Reissue – I will be making this dress someday! I was really drawn to tea length dresses and I love the flare of the skirt.
3. Vogue V2788 – Empire Waist A-Line Dress – There are not very many bridal patterns to choose from in any of the big 4. This one seemed like it would be good for my shape. I’m pretty much an apple so empire waists are my friend! The line art is so simple that I thought this would be easy to embellish with fabric choices and applique.
4. Butterick B5603: 1956 Vintage Reissue – I saw quite a few people make this, and it is gorgeous, but it seems to have a really tight straight torso below the bow, I wasn’t sure I could get away with it. I was pretty sure I could easily add cap sleeves without destroying the design.
5. McCall’s M7321 – I love the illusion sleeves and sweetheart top on this. If I were to use this pattern I was going to combine the bodice with a floor-length fuller skirt from another pattern. I may still put this together with the short 2-tiered skirt for something else someday!
DIY WEDDING DRESSES
I also found several very inspiring hand-made dresses. Some of them are wedding dresses and some of them are special occasion dresses, but all of them are worth peeking at! Here they are in no particular order:
Melanie at Poppy Kettle actually gets two credits! First I found this extremely detailed and unbelievably gorgeous Marfy special occasion dress. The second inspirational post is her very unique, floral wedding dress. She also includes some great resources!
Lucinda at Sew Wrong made her own wedding dress and she takes you through the entire journey through several blog posts. She is really detailed and the end product is so wonderful. Do yourself a favor and do some clicking on her site!
Over at Cotton Creek Sewing there is a wedding dress that is sweet, vintage, and also sentimental. She used the same pattern that her grandmother used to make her mother’s wedding dress!
Do you want honesty with your sewing advice? APW (A Practical Wedding) is an online wedding guide that focuses on feminist and laid-back weddings. It is a really interesting site but this post by Stacey Kigner about making her own dress will let you know you are not alone!
Grace from Restless Grace posted her hand-made wedding dress and has an overall great blog. I love this dress so much and her easy to read advice list is a real must!
Have you wanted to see a two-piece wedding dress? Me too! Morgan at Crab and Bee let us see the dress she made for her sister and WOW! I need a sister like her! She also lists good resources.
Melissa at Mint Green Sewing Machine has a love of all things vintage and you can really see that in her wedding dress. I would love to have a dress like this, especially with a pink petticoat!
If you are looking for an in-depth description of wedding dress making, Suzannah at Create/Enjoy wrote multiple posts about the process and thank goodness! The finished dress is so dreamy!
I really did spend quite a bit of time on the search, and I learned a lot, anyway. I hope this helps someone else out!