Sewing dresses... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-26-2003, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the wedding dress I want.

I have medium sewing ability and often can manage as long as I have a pattern. How difficult does this pattern look?

Am I nuts to think I could sew my own wedding dress?

What type of fabric is that drapey white skirt?

I was thinking of doing a light blue crushed velour (panne) on top and a skirt in a lighter ice blue? What fabric would be easiest to work with, though - that isn't too 'slippery' yk?

I just pray I can actually *do* it!!
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#2 of 9 Old 08-26-2003, 11:19 AM
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it's beautiful!! I think the skirt is probably some sort of silk or satin, but the back of the pattern should say for sure. Silka dn satin are a b*&^h to sew with, as is velvet and velor. Why not buy the pattern and fab and find a seamstress to sew it up for you so you know it will be perfect?
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#3 of 9 Old 08-27-2003, 01:39 AM
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I was going to sew my wedding dress too -I even went as far as to make a muslin mock-up. Too stressful for me to actually cut into the fabric though (I wanted to merge a few patterns). Getting a seamstress was awesome. There was so much else I was doing it was great not to worry about it. I also got to hang out with her and get some sewing tips.

If you want to do it and have the time, sew a "dummy" dress first (your kids will love it for dress-up). You'll work out the kinks and know if you want to have a go at it yourself.

My dress was Irish linen and it was so comfy and fell so nice. I ordered it from Ireland from Ulster Weavers ($10 a yard, not too bad). Linen is great and easy to sew, except you need to finish the edges. You could use a polyester for that pattern and get the shimmery, soft fall look. You could use duponi silk which will not be sheer or totally smooth, but will be shimmery and is very easy to sew with.

It is a beautiful dress though!!

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#4 of 9 Old 08-28-2003, 08:04 PM
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some folks dont care about keeping their dress

if thats teh case with you, i konw for fact they can easily be rented

also ren clothes are huge on ebay; maybe take a gander there and they are even in plus sizes if needed by anyone
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#5 of 9 Old 08-29-2003, 09:49 PM
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I have a couple of these dresses for faire season, and I can assure you, it's a pretty easy dress. The hardest part is the gathering, so be patient, very patient and do it exactly the way the instructions tell you to, no short cuts. Dealing with that much fabric is a bit of a challenge too.
I used a jaquard for the top, and a heavy satin for the bottom which had a nice drape. Satin, velvet, velour, and silk are all really difficult fabrics to deal with, so if you haven't done that before, I would suggest trying something else.
Linen would be nice! Mmm, nice and cool....
I got my mom to sew my wedding dress, but I made the bridesmaids dresses out of satin and gabardine. Not so fun, but they did look good. The reason i got my mom to sew my dress is that if I had done it myself, I would have known where every mistake is, and it would have driven me nuts. I used a different Simplicity renn pattern, a bit more condusive to nursing Seb (who was 4 months old) and hiding my post-pregnancy belly.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-30-2003, 11:55 PM
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I sewed my wedding dress myself seven years ago, and the biggest thing was to follow the directions exactly!! The other thing was to not do too much at one time. Two or three hours at most (I did work on mine every day). That way you won't get too tired, or frustrated.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-31-2003, 01:43 AM
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I grew up in India, so I wanted to get married in an Indian sari, but I also wanted a western wedding dress. I ended up making my dress out of an Indian wedding sari. The sari was silk with embroidery, and then I lined it with a silk charmeuse. I was reading Anna Karenina at the time, so it was very much inspired by that, oddly enough (I noticed it only in retrospect).

At any rate, I think that it would be easy enough to sew that pattern as long as you're patient. I had to be very patient. I did get sick of working on it, though, with finishing touches at the end!

I personally do not think that your fabric choices are difficult. Panne is a lot lighter weight than normal velvet and has less of the nap for linting/fraying/whatever you call that where pieces come off. My sister assures me that if an item is lined, the edges needn't be finished (even if normally it'd fray, because the lining prevents a lot of friction which would normally cause the fraying).

I also made a mock-up with muslin.

As for your fabric choices, I personally believe in bringing attention and brightness to the face with lighter fabrics on top, but obviously in that pattern they made the opposite choice, so aesthetic is obviously a personal choice. I personally think that synthetics (e.g. poly) are more slippery than natural fabrics of the same type (e.g., poly satin vs. silk satin).

Good luck! It does make it more meaningful, I think, to do it yourself.
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#8 of 9 Old 04-18-2005, 09:44 AM
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Almost 10 years ago I designed and made my wedding dress. I hugely modified a McCall's pattern that mostly had what I wanted. I was only working 40 hours/week, no kids, and I had four months to make it. I finished in 3 months. I also did a muslin mock-up--twice, b/c I had significant bodice adjustments to make. What the other moms said, and just to add that my dress was made of a polyester imitation of dupioni silk--much cheaper per yard. It turned out perfectly. The hard-to-work-with fabrics often have the drape that you want, and if you want the bodice to be panne you may want something lighter for the skirt (crepe?). Go to a really good fabric store (G street where I live) and just look at everything and imagine. I can't imagine what a linen WD would look like ... beautiful I assume, just less drapey and more tailored. Have fun.
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#9 of 9 Old 04-18-2005, 10:37 AM
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I have made wedding dresses and rennaissance dresses of the style you are looking at. Since you are a beginner/novice sewer, the biggest thing is to give yourself a lot of time. You do not wish to be rushed at the last minute.

The most difficult pieces will be the zipper and the finishings. Give yourself enough time. Follow the advice of one of the previous posters and work on it at most a couple times a day.

I have worked with the crushed velour for figure skating dresses and have found it to be difficult to work with because it is so light. I actually find a high quality stretch velvet is easier to work with. It just has more weight and drape and does not have as much mind of its own.

Have fun! This is a very doable project!
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