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Sewing a wedding dress….am I crazy?

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    juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    So, I’m giving some serious consideration to sewing my oldest daughter’s wedding dress. We have no date, no location, no idea of what she likes. But, nonetheless, I’m giving it some serious though.

    I don’t think she’d like super frilly, super embellished. So, more of a simple dress.

    Have any of you all done this? Would I be nuts?

    Mama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles

    I have been thinking about this lately with my nephew just getting married and my niece getting married at the end of summer this year. I was thinking (just because it happened to be the pattern I was sewing at the time) that the Colette Chantilly dress pattern I think would make a lovely modern wedding gown. I really am going to try it out one day when I have extra money and time on my hands. (haha) I was thinking I would hand sew on some beads onto the front was band piece and use a silver sash coming of the front waist band pattern piece tying in the back into a very lovely bow. Something simple but very lovely but this is just me thinking. I sure you could make a dress even more beautiful than I ever could! I say go for it!

    Nicole @motherof5

    I made my best friends and it was far less stressful then the wedding dress shopping trip we went on.

    AND she was pregnant and her boobs kept changing (early pregnant). On the day I had to hand sew the front of the bodice to her bra!

    I used a Vogue pattern for a classic Empire line dress. She choose embroidered cotton and I lined it in voile (Garden wedding) it was completely perfect.

    The only stressful thing was it being so long and being white I had a terrible time keeping cat hair off it.

    Do it!

    Tamara @justsewit

    I have no idea how much the wedding industry costs just for the dress in you neck of the woods but I do know that my dream dress would have cost me close to $2000! And that was from a designer and some fourteen years ago when I first started looking. We ended up (we meaning my mum decided while I was the one paying) having an acquaintance make a dress – not my dream dress – and it cost not much less!

    I would consider it a huge honour to sew my daughter’s wedding dress. So I encourage you to take it up and run with it.

    There is all sorts of inspiration to draw from. If she is a sporty type of girl or not really really girly (as some ladies aren’t) then a simple style will suit her personality.

    I would fish through some wedding magazines and Pinterest and then maybe do a bit of style trialling at some boutiques to gain some idea.

    When you think about it most of us are told to start hunting 12 months before the wedding. If there is no set date then still get going and then at least you will be off and running and not in a total panic. My sil got married 3 months after getting engaged and it was more than a rush – we had fifteen months – so get started even if the date is not yet set.

    It’s very exciting! You must be one of the first of us to be travelling this road. So I wish you all the best Janice and enjoy!

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    You definitely have the skills to do it. If you can settle on a simple silhouette and you feel confident on the practice run as far as fitting, then you can splurge on the fabric and let the texture/material do the talking. Is she looking for satin (can be slippery and hard to handle) or lace (relatively speaking easy to sew)? Do you know yet?

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Also, does it sound like a nervewrecker to you, or like a fun special thing to do for/with your daughter? Sometimes you’re not paying for the dress, you’re paying so you don’t have to think about it.

    Nicole @motherof5

    A quick thought, and I am sure it wouldn’t be a problem for you, but I didn’t actually like my dress but as my mum was sewing it I didn’t have the heart to say so.

    If you have a good relationship with your daughter and good communication it would be a lot smoother. I certainly didn’t let it spoil my day but I still giggle at the HUGE puffed sleeves.

    And my wedding dress is in the dress up box.

    juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    Thanks for all the encouragement! I was actually thinking of asking my mother for her wedding dress. I was thinking of assessing it for any possible pieces I could use and maybe a bit of an up-cycle.

    My daughter is only 5’1″, and has the figure of a gymnast. So, I think the fitting may go ok.

    Tamara – I haven’t even priced them, but I know $5,000 – $10,000 is about the range. Which is out of my range, and certainly out of my kid’s range! Her fiance got out of the Marines about 6 months ago, and is enrolled in a school to be a mechanic. So, they’re not rich kids by any stretch!

    Sharon – I’m showing that pattern to her tonight; how sweet would that be!

    Good point, Nicole, about the communication. My daughter is a quiet, easy going kid, but has always been really picky about her clothes. This would have to be her design on the pattern, fabric choice, everything from start to finish. Which, could be great fun!

    And, Sarvi, yeah, I think it would be a fun thing. I was actually thinking since the wedding wouldn’t be before fall of 2015, if I made something, and it sucked, then she could go buy one!

    I ran across some patterns in my on-line search (somewhere, I forget) – I think they may have been French – but they were like $150 for the pattern, and they were the pieces only; no instructions! At least I’m smart enough to know that’s out of my league!

    You guys are so encouraging!! You’re really the only sewing people I know, so I appreciate the advice!

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi

    Having just sewn a wedding cape for a friend, I only said yeas because I knew she was very easy going about her wedding. Even then I made two muslins before I made the final version!

    Another couple of options for cheaper dresses is prom season. I picked up my wedding dress at a ladies chain store when they had ball (prom) dresses out. It’s funny this chain only had prom dresses for a couple of years but for me it was the right timing 🙂

    A couple of friends of mine have ordered off the Internet with great results and for 5 to 10% of the price they would have paid here.

    Even if you don’t make the wedding dress there’s also veils, capes and other things. I made both my veil and full length cape for my own wedding 🙂

    needlewoman @needlewoman

    Tough decision, J. I’d echo all of the above re. the relationship issues- both positive and negative, and about whether it’s important to you. On the seriously plus side, as your daughter is small and slim, it will take much less fabric, and Vogue patterns are very stylish (in my opinion, especially for simple, A line frocks). I love the idea of a cape, myself, especially as you don’t know when/where wedding to be held. See if there is a pattern that makes you both happy, and go from there. If you can’t find one/agree; review the situation. Good luck, mama.

    Tamara @justsewit

    I still say go for it! Use wedding dress shopping as a final decision maker for style only even though they are likely to be hawks going for prey. I would avoid it if you are definitely decided. I heard someone (famous) paid some astronomical amount of dollars for their whole wedding – pity they weren’t anthropological enough to share! Sorry for the sarcasm, not aimed at you. I just find it frustrating how the rich seem to flaunt their money around while the rest of us struggle.

    The chantilly dress would be perfect. You don’t need some balloon to be a gown – besides it will probably drown her if she is tiny. Go simple style. It will be perfect.

    What about your dress? Is there anything special you could selvage from it? As a feature perhaps? My mum made her own gown (for both weddings) and the first was a two piece – princess line style top and a slight a line skirt and she is slightly taller at 5’6″.

    Remember the old, new,borrowed,blue thing. But communication is key. She is the bride,she has to wear it and look at photos on her wall for the next 60 odd years so make sure she has the final say on style etc.

    If she was taller, I would have sent mine over for you to rehash!

    mkhs @mkhs

    I sewed mine in 2007. I used McCall’s 4714


    I made a full muslin and took it to a local woman who sews high-end custom wedding dresses for a fitting– she charged me $50 for that. It was a good move, and she gave me lots of tips for working with slippery fabrics (like, use shears designed for them which have very tiny serrated edges, and when you’re cutting, lay down a flannel sheet on your cutting table to keep the fabric from shifting). I used Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques as a reference and it all went smoothly. I used a burn-out silk and rayon velvet with a silk charmeuse underlayer, silk organza underlining in the bodice, and silk crepe lining.

    I found it helpful to try on my favorite dresses and identify what I liked about them/what looked good on me, and then to look for a pattern that had those elements.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Those are great tips, mkhs.

    Masha Richart

    That dress (the cap-sleeve version) looks very much like my wedding dress! Which I bought on eBay, ha. I love that tip about the flannel sheet on the cutting mat – I am so doing that in the future.

    Janice, I think you could absolutely do it if you and she decide that is what you want. How exciting!

    meleliza @meleliza

    Did you make any decisions on the wedding dress, @juliasmom? I’d love to know how it went/is going.

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