How to design your own wedding dress pattern

Written by kristie lorette
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How to design your own wedding dress pattern
Create your own unique wedding dress. (sewing image by Greg Pickens from

Brides often dream of their wedding dress years before they ever get engaged. If you have a vision in your head of the wedding dress you want but can't find it, you may have to create your own. Before you set out to make your own wedding dress, you first have to design a pattern you can follow.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Roll of brown paper
  • Pattern paper
  • Yardstick
  • Measurement marking pens/markers

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  1. 1

    Select gown styles and elements. Start by looking through bridal and dress magazines to find dress styles and design elements that you like or want to include as part of your wedding dress design.

  2. 2

    Research gown patterns. Spend some time in a pattern store learning how dress patterns are assembled. Reading patterns can help you determine design elements for your dress and also help you better understand how folds, pleats, and other design features are made.

  3. 3

    Determine the gown measurements. In order to start designing your dress pattern, you need to establish and mark down each measurement for the dress. Measurements include length, armhole measurement, width or fullness of the skirt, and the neckline. All of these measurements are used to create the wedding dress pattern.

  4. 4

    Mark gown length on the brown paper. Place a sheet of brown paper on a flat surface. Make sure that the paper is big enough to create the life-size version of the dress. Measure the length of the gown and make a mark with your pen where the top of the dress begins and where it ends. Between the two marks, sketch the shape of the dress. Proceed to draw each of the measurements on the brown paper including the armhole width, chest, waist, hips, and other measurements. In between the marks you make, sketch the shape of the sleeve, the neckline, the waist, and so forth. When you're finished, you should have a life-size sketch of your dress.

  5. 5

    Transfer measurements to the pattern paper. When you have the final sketch created on the brown paper, it's time to transfer the pattern to the pattern tissue paper. Place the pattern tissue paper over the top of the pattern you've drawn out on the brown paper. Trace the pattern onto the pattern paper.

Tips and warnings

  • Designing a dress pattern and sewing a wedding dress are two different skill sets. You may have the talent to create the pattern but not the sewing skills to pull off making the dress. Since wedding dress fabrics and materials tend to be expensive, turn the pattern over to a skilled seamstress if you aren't able to make the dress on your own.

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