Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. You are, in effect, starting life as a new person; part of a couple. Every bride wants to be her most confident, and feel her most beautiful on her wedding day. The dress is a big part of that. Some brides have dreamed since girlhood about the dress they will get married in.
The dress must be flattering, beautiful, and express the personality of the bride. It also has to be unique. One way to make your dress one-of-a-kind and a true expression of your creativity is to design and make it yourself. Here’s how:
What you will need
Basic materials are: Bridal and fashion magazines for design ideas; a measuring tape; the pattern; cotton muslin fabric; a rotary tracing wheel; transfer paper; pattern-drafting paper and a steamer. For the actual dress: the fabric, lining and trims of your choice.
Design your dress
Begin by going through bridal and fashion magazines until you find the dress you want or something close to it. Keep the picture for inspiration and as a guide.
Next, visit your fabric store and find a pattern that matches the picture, or can be adapted to match it. Focus on the basic pattern. The details can be added later. The structure of the dress is what is important.
Create a mock dress
Have a friend take your measurements. You need to have very accurate measurements for a project of this magnitude.
Make a mock dress in cotton muslin. This will give you a chance to adjust your patterns, see how the dress will look and fit, and make any changes you want before you start cutting the expensive fabric for the real dress.
Make sure the seam lines near the bust are fitted perfectly. This is critical to ensure the center back seam is straight on the grain of the fabric. Don’t add any details such as zippers, hems, or fasteners to the mock dress.
And now ‘The Dress’
Once the mock dress is finished, carefully unstitch it. You want to make sure that you can see the stitching lines.
Transfer the pattern of the mock dress to the fabric you will be using for the actual wedding dress. You can do this with transfer paper and a rotary wheel. Or transfer it to paper first to make a new pattern, and then to the fabric.
Cut the pattern out, leaving plenty of seam allowance.
Sew the dress according to the instructions in the pattern. If you’ve made changes, the mock dress should have highlighted any potential pitfalls.
Try on the dress, and while wearing it have a friend help you with the final measurements and adjustments, such as the hem length. Don’t apply any trim or details before this step. Make sure no wrinkling interferes with accurate measurements.
Once it’s done
Have the dress professionally pressed before the big day. It’s very hard to properly press a wedding dress at home. Once pressed, a steamer can take care of any last minute wrinkles.