DIY Wedding Dress Part 2: He Made Me Do It

It was not my idea to make my own dress for my November 2016 wedding.

In fact, I had been engaged once before, and I had decided that I was NOT going to put myself through the high stress situation of planning a wedding and making the dress for the occasion.

But life will change you and give you a new fiance sometimes. And Pab is the type of man to persuade a young pattern maker like me to make her own wedding dress.

“It'll be fun,” he said.

DIY Wedding Dress Step 1: Get Inspired

Fashion school teaches you a lot of things: how to sew and design are at the forefront, and each project starts with planning and finding your inspiration.

I collected dress inspiration from a number of sources--bridal magazines, Pinterest, and I had even tried on gowns at a bridal boutique in the past. This research helped me plan my design.

Wedding Dress Inspiration from my Pinterest account

DIY Wedding Dress Step 2: Make a Plan

When I was planning my dress design, I knew that I didn't want a large, voluminous ballgown. I'm 5’3” and the style wasn't “me”, and I wanted the ease of mingling with our wedding guests without worrying about tripping over my dress (I'm kind of clumsy) or wading through yards of tulle to hug people.

I decided to make a tea-length gown with a full skirt and a strapless sweetheart bodice. At this point, I did not have fabrics selected, but this is ok - the first step for creating a complex piece like a wedding dress is not to immediately attack your final fabric. Especially while creating your own design, you want to do mock-ups (also called toiles or muslins) to test the look and fit of your design.

Concept Sketch

Concept Sketch

Note: You do NOT have to be a master artist or fashion designer! This is where the inspiration photos from Pinterest, magazines, etc. come in. Collect design details you like and create a rough sketch of what you want your dress to look like. The next step will involve deciding: Option A) Can you make your own pattern (I did not, not really) OR Option B) Can you find a commercial pattern (McCall, Butterick, etc) that is close to your design which you can adapt?

Tune in for next time...

So I will leave you here. In the next part of my DIY Wedding Dress series, I will explain the my process of developing an existing pattern to my design and creating the mock-up.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned!


For more reading....

To read Part 1 of DIY Wedding Dress, please click here.

To read more about Janelle of [dear daydream sewing & design], please click here.

If you are new to sewing, consider a sewing class with Janelle, or read blog posts related to learning to sew.


  1. This is so awesome, thankyou. I'm getting married soon, and while I don't have any sewing skills whatsoever, it is really inspiring. :)

    1. Jenni, congrats on the upcoming marriage! It's such an exciting time. Are you planning to make your dress? Even if you're not, these principles apply if you're having any custom work done on your dress (altering an heirloom or vintage dress for example). It's such a special thing to be able to put your special mark on such an important dress ☺️


Post a Comment

Popular Posts