As announced on Sunday I’ll show you every garment I wore on my wedding in a separate post. I thought about not starting with the dress… but who am I kidding. I have been waiting for month to get a chance to show this dress off to you, so here we go! It really took me a while constructing this dress. Most of the time I spend planning it, I was unsure about everything and for a short instance I envied those girls who do exactly know what kind of dress they want for their wedding. I’m not quite sure if those girls really exist…
I read that other women who make their own wedding dress go to shops to try on some dresses to see what they like. I did think about that but I didn’t feel good about going in a store trying on dresses with the intention of not to buy anything. Seems wrong to me. And so I searched the Internet. Oh did I search the Internet! And I found a lot. Most of the dresses you can find are made to be worn in summer and so I was looking for something different. At some point I found this dress. I didn’t fall in love with it at first sight but as time passed by I liked it better. My dress now is the same style as the dress I found, it is kind of similar only better as I could add and change things that I liked or didn’t.
Fabric shopping was difficult this time. I went to a lot of stores without finding anything. The main problem was that I had this idea of a lace fabric in my mind and nothing fit that idea. In the end I found that fabric and it cost me 52 €/m, but I think it is gorgeous.
The main fabric is a silk sateen that I also ordered online. At first I didn’t want silk, why buy expensive silk for a dress that you only wear one day? But after testing and petting some fabrics I had to admit that silk does look nicer. It has this light shine and it is so drapey. So I went with silk. I used rayon lining for the dress.
While I was looking for fabric I put together a pattern for the dress. I decided to pair the BHL Flora Dress skirt with the Colette Hawthorn Bodice.
I did some major changes to all of the pattern pieces. I lengthened the skirt and used gathers instead of pleats and I altered the neckline of the bodice so that it was higher and so I that I wouldn’t need additional darts at the neck. I think that worked out okay. There were some wrinkles at the back of the dress, but I can live wit that.
It took some courage but I managed to really cut into the silk! I how I dreaded working with silk. But it turned out that that wasn’t so bad. Much worse was working with the rayon fabric. Ugh! How it shifted. But I managed to get it under control.
I used bias binding that I cut from the silk fabric to finish the raw edges of the lace bodice. I sewed those by hand! For the button loops I used small straps of the silk fabric, sewed them together, turned them, cut them into pieces and sewed them on together with the bias binding at the center back.
I also hand sewed the hem of the dress. Took me 2 hours or so and I hope I never have this idea again :D I machine hemmed the lining.
All in all the sewing process wasn’t hard. I made some mistakes and had to rip things apart but in my defense I didn’t have an instruction and sometimes I was so afraid to do something wrong and thought too much about it so that in the end I did it wrong. I hand basted the silk dress to the lace at the upper edge and I had to redo that 3 times because the silk dress was so shifty and the neckline shape looked peculiar.
I french seamed everywhere I could. I left the lace seams raw and used the scalloped edge of the lace as sleeve hem :)
I drafted the back of the silk dress only slightly higher than I wear my bra,s thank god I thought of that! I also thought about sewing a corsage with boning and everything, but well, I liked it better this way. More comfortable!
I also sewed a petticoat with help of the BHL Tutorial. At this point of time I was really annoyed by hemming and so I simply serged the hem of the petticoat lining.
The waist band matches Marvin’s Tie! Ha! That’s because I made him the tie ;) But it really took some time to find a fabric that had the color I liked. In the end my Mother In law found this light pink silk in a store.
All in all the whole process of making this dress was fun! What wasn’t so much fun was finding fabrics and fitting the pattern. It took me 10 muslins to get there. Usually I have my perfectionism under control. It usually doesn’t control me anymore. I like making mistakes and making imperfect things. But sewing this dress it was so hard to hold it back. I got frustrated looking for fabrics. And I usually love that. So a some point I stopped myself, took a deep breathe, made a break and just ordered and let the 10th muslin as it was. And so I ended up with this dress. It isn’t perfect, the colors did not totally match my jackets and shoes, There are some wrinkles especially at the hem and back but nevertheless I am absolutely pleased with how it turned out. Plus I learned another lesson about perfectionism and I love that this dress represents that! You know, in the end a perfect dress won’t make your wedding any better and a crappy one won’t ruin it. Better take the time a savor it instead of being frustrated that you aren’t perfect. Because you aren’t, no one is and this is the one true good thing about being human :)
And in the end I was fine with the crappy weather. With how my dress looked after it had been exposed to my jacket’s zipper, to rain and dirt. I was happy about everything that went wrong, everything that went fine and everything else that made this day special. Oh and btw I wouldn’t have needed silk for that. Silk seems to me to be more of an indoors fabric…
I think I spent about 200 € on this dress. That’s okay I guess. I’m glad I spent this money. I did really feel great! :)
I now think that sewing a wedding dress isn’t any harder than sewing a regular dress. And that isn’t that hard if you just have the courage to try. And sewing your own wedding dress is so rewarding and totally fun if you manage to keep your perfectionism out the way:)
I have more to show off ;) So thanks for reading and hope to see you soon :)
BTW: pictures of me and Marvin were taken and edited by Markus Nobis. Pictures of the dress alone were taken by me.
Gorgeous, Gorgeous, Gorgeous! The Dress and You! I am so glad you began with this post as I’ve been so wanting to read all about The Dress ever since I read your last post. What really strikes me is how you embraced the whole process and kept everything in perspective. As you wrote about struggling with perfectionism, it resonated with me too, as one perfectionist to another. Imperfections? I don’t see any imperfections here…. I see a beautiful, super happy, glowing bride in a simply gorgeous dress that personifies ‘you’. My grandmother and great-grandmother made my mother’s wedding dress in 1954, and my mother, who is now in heaven, saved it all these years, unbeknownst to any of us. Recently we found it and I cannot tell you my joy in touching the fabric, looking at how these women lovingly stitched every seam and wondered what they were thinking as they stitched. Your beautiful dress will be so remembered some day. Thank you so much for sharing with us your special day and your thoughts along the way. And btw, I really like the way you attached the lace to the silk bodice/skirt, with the buttons over the zipper like that. Your dress is truly beautiful in every way. :)
Thanks Lisa! :) For your kind comment and the emotional story, I hope someone will have that much joy with the dress I made.
Wow. It looks amazing. I love how it looks beautiful but not over the top or too fussy. I love your lace details and it’s cute how your boots match. Glad you were able to enjoy the process.
I love this dress & love this post. When I first make anything all I see are the errors – by the time it has been through the wash once I’ve forgotten whatever it was that had worried me so.
Congratulations on your gorgeous dress & happy news!
I know exactly what you’re talking about! Thanks for the kind comment and congrats!
Well, of course you look absolutely beautiful and are glowing! Thank you so much for sharing your day, and the process of your dress. I’m so glad you went with silk and with the lace you really loved, of course you do not regret it, it’s your wedding dress!! You should have exactly what you want, and you did. The lace is quite enchanting, and the little buttons up the back are a delightful detail. And I love that you had a pale pink sash, and that it matched your husband’s tie! Such a sweet thing to tie you together visually too. And, I just have to say it, even though you have not mentioned it; I LOVE that you are wearing pink ugg boots!! SO warm and cosy and practical, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bride in ugg boots before, and I live in Australia home of the Ugg!!, and yet they look fantastic. And I can’t wait to read about the rest of your ensemble too!
Thank you Carolyn! Oh yes, I totally forgot to mention my boots! It was so hard to find them. They’re not Uggs though, but Emus and they’re Australian too! Wearing them was kind of a funny thought at the beginning, but in the end it was o col that I was soo glad to have them! :)
Gorgeous! I am enjoyed this post and thank you for sharing with us. You and your dress are so beautiful :) Love every details of the dress and you did a great work. Congratulations!
Also congratulations on your wedding dress! It’s absolutely beautiful!
Wonderful details! Love the button back, really unique and pretty. I can totally relate to needing to let perfectionism go in order to enjoy life. A gorgeous dress and a life lesson? Best parts of sewing. ?
Congratulations! I just have to tell you how beautiful I think you look in your dress. You really have an inner glow. And this dress is such a sweet thing! I love the lace and the button closure in the back which I believe is very romantic and brings out your slim neck and the transparent upper bodice. Also I think that the pink boots make your outfit special. They are like a twinkle in the eye but at the same time a fantastic topping to your winter wedding outfit.
I’m looking forward to read about the other details of your outfit.
Thanks for the kind words Kathrin!
I echo everyone else; What a gorgeous wedding ensemble. I think your various shades of pink blend together very nicely, and maybe even more so than if the shades were all the same. Sort of an ombre’ look with gradations in pink shaces. The fashion look you created is a beautiful and contemporary wedding creation. I just got married in December and had similar colors for my wedding creation, light silver and light mauve. I haven’t posted my wedding collection yet.
I meant to type “shades”
Thanks Carolyn! :) I’m looking forward to seeing your collection :)