How to Make a Homemade Wedding Dress

Written by liz fendley
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How to Make a Homemade Wedding Dress
A homemade dress may be the perfect one for you. (bride image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

Wearing a homemade wedding dress is a great way for a bride to express her individual style. She can create the dress of her dreams with some planning and detailed work. A homemade dress allows a bride to choose a design that flatters her figure, and because it is sewn for a specific person, it can be sized perfectly. Whether a bride does the sewing herself or has someone help her, a homemade dress can be a beautiful choice.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wedding dress pattern
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing notions
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Decide if you will sew the dress yourself or have an experienced seamstress help you. If you are a novice seamstress, having a more experienced helper can be a boon. If you choose to have a professional seamstress make your dress or plan to ask someone to help you, confirm that she will have plenty of time for your project. If you choose to go solo, schedule time on your calendar for browsing, shopping and sewing.

  2. 2

    Choose a dress pattern that will flatter the bride's figure and will be appropriate for the formality and locale of the wedding. A skinny bride getting married at an intimate, outdoor service in July will need a different dress than a curvy bride getting married in a church with 500 guests in December. Make sure that the dress design calls attention to the best features of the bride and detracts attention from problem areas. An A-line skirt flatters most figures.

  3. 3

    Choose the fabric and notions that are recommended for the dress pattern. These will be listed on the back of the pattern envelope. Keep comfort in mind too. A heavy satin wedding dress with a petticoat may not be the best option for a summer wedding unless the venues will be air conditioned. Always buy extra fabric.

  4. 4

    Take the bride's measurements. If she is between sizes, alter the pattern accordingly. If she plans to lose weight before the wedding, be careful to make the dress for her current size and then alter it accordingly. Fabric can always be removed, but it can be difficult and almost impossible to add. If the bride is pregnant, make sure to cut the dress to her expected size on the wedding date plus one additional dress size to ensure it can be fitted properly.

  5. 5

    Lay the fabric out and arrange the pattern pieces on it as shown in the pattern instructions. Double check that all fabric is smooth and placed correctly. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut them out one by one using sharp sewing shears.

  6. 6

    Sew the dress using the step by step instructions in the dress pattern and iron the pieces as instructed. Make sure to read each step thoroughly before sewing. Be sure to follow them in order. Do not skip around as pattern instructions build upon each other. If the instructions use terms that are unfamiliar to you, double check with a more experienced seamstress or a sewing book. Most sewing mistakes can be corrected by gently ripping out a seam with a seam ripper, adjusting the fabric as necessary and then sewing it again.

  7. 7

    When the dress is constructed, but not hemmed, iron it again and then fit it on the bride. Have the bride wear the shoes she will be wearing on the wedding day when measuring the hem on the skirt. Decide on any final changes to the dress, pin the dress accordingly, and write down notes about changes to be made.

  8. 8

    Complete final alterations and press the dress. Fit it on the bride again to make sure it is perfect. Store the dress carefully until the big day.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to allot plenty of time to sew the dress. An experienced seamstress may be able to whip out a simple wedding dress over a weekend, but a novice seamstress may need much more time. Schedule sewing time on your calendar and plan to have the dress completed a month in advance of the wedding.
  • Make sure that small children and pets are not allowed near the sewing area. Some sewing notions are choking hazards and wedding dress materials are delicate.

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