By Valerie Owens of The DIY Coordinator
Today’s DIY Thursday post is about DIY wedding dresses. If you haven’t searched for wedding dress patterns yet, allow me to provide some direction. I’ve included my top 3 websites for wedding dress patterns. Additionally, I have some great finds for a semi-DIY approach to wedding fashion. Read on for the scoop!
Top 3 Wedding Dress Pattern Websites
1. Simplicity – these patterns are known for being, well, simple! A quick search for vintage wedding dress patterns delivered a great resource for vintage simplicity patterns called SoVintagePatterns.com. I found this beautiful pattern perfect for a fifties wedding theme and a DIY Bride!
2. Heavens to Betsy Vintage – This website has patterns from the 1930s through the 1980s from several manufacturers. While you may not find exactly what you need under “wedding dress patterns” you may find something worth modifying like this Parade dress pattern below.
3. Vogue – Vogue patterns are on the cutting edge of style. Check out this modern twist on a vintage shape for a dress coat. This coat would pair perfectly with a classic 1950s style wedding dress! Also, check out Vintage Vogue for out-of-print patterns you will love. Also, if you didn’t know this already, Vogue is part of McCall’s, which also owns Butterick.
When it comes to making your own wedding dress, you can rely completely on a pattern or modify the pattern to be your dream dress. Change the material, change the neckline, change the length. The possibilities are limitless, especially if you have a talented seamstress in your family or circle of crafty friends.
The challenges to making your own wedding dress are easily the fittings. You will need to make countless adjustments and the time may come where you have to start all over. When estimating the cost of a DIY wedding dress project, add at least 20% extra for mistakes. Always buy more than enough material and above all – be flexible!
If you’re hoping to re-create a dress you’ve seen online, don’t expect your final product to be an exact replica. Honestly, you shouldn’t want it to be exact. It should be custom designed how you want it. If you don’t think you’ll be happy with anything less than an exact match to a dress you have found online, then just buy the dress online.
You can always modify a pre-made dress to make it yours. I call this a semi-handmade wedding dress. The easiest way to customize a store bought dress is to add embellishments. A fabric flower or brooch can be added on the hip or shoulder. Add sleeves or remove straps – that can have a big impact too. The always lovely blog at Elizabeth Ann Designs has a fabulous tutorial about designing organza flowers for headbands, flower pins, and more. As always, Martha Stewart has a beautiful example of how to customize a plain wedding dress, shown below.
Fabric rose and peony tutorial (© Martha Stewart)
If you’re a high-end luxury bride, you may be willing to pay top dollar for a custom designed wedding dress. Custom Couture Bridal has several options but they cost a pretty penny. You simply pick your design and the company makes the dress for you. Consider this another version of semi-DIY wedding fashion.
For more on this topic, see my blog, The DIY Coordinator.