Find the Perfect
Design it Yourself...
months (or years) of looking at bridal magazines and online wedding sites, you
have created an idea that is your dream wedding dress. The sleeves from one, the
bodice from another, the line of a third. You know just the color and material,
how the material will drape when you put it on and the way you will feel when
you see yourself in THE DRESS!
gather your best friends or maybe your Mom and your sisters to hit the shops and
set out to find the perfection you know is waiting in the bridal boutique. You
may be lucky and see the dress you want, but more often what you find is the same
pieces of perfection scattered around in different dresses. Everyone gushes about
how wonderful you look, but you look at your reflection and just know that you
haven't found the dress that will fit the occasion.
you caught yourself wishing that you could take each of these bridal gowns and
combine them into your perfect wedding dress? You are not alone.
Brides today have more choices than ever before when they are picking a
wedding dress. Many of the old rules have been tossed out. For example, gowns
aren’t always white, they’re not always big and poufy, and they don’t have to
include trains that go on for miles. Vintage dresses are just as modern as the
latest designer offerings. Wedding dresses are not always gowns and some brides
are stunning in very stylish minis. A bride can feel free to choose a wedding
dress that fits her body type and personality. The number of options makes picking
the right dress more difficult than ever for today's brides.
Are you looking for romantic or racy? Will your gown be out of a fairy tale or
a fashion magazine? Are you thinking white, off-white or a stunning dark color?
Will your gown be long, short, mini or have a detachable skirt to let you dance
the night away at your reception?
Make Your Own Gown
To truly have a gown that is yours and yours alone, consider making your wedding
dress yourself. According to couture seamstress JoAnn Musso, brides should not
be intimidated by the thought of making their wedding dress. “The skills needed
to make a wedding dress are all ones a home sewer has used before,” she says.
“Set in sleeves are set in sleeves. Don’t let the fact that they’re on a wedding
dress make them seem more difficult than they are,” she says.
Musso, who lives and work in Dallas, makes custom wedding dresses as part of her
couture business. While she firmly believes every bride should have the dress
of her dreams, Musso feels it is also her duty to help a bride select a dress
that will be flattering. “The bride will have this dress for the rest of her life
to remember her wedding day,” she says.
Dress silhouettes break down into four basic shapes
which is narrower at the top, flaring gently wider toward the bottom, works well
on most figure types, and is good for disguising bottom-heavy figures.
sheath dress features a figure-hugging silhouette with a defined waist, and
flatters well-toned bodies.
The mermaid dress is close fitting through
the bodice, down through the hips and to about mid or lower calf where the skirt
flares out; it is not an easy style to wear or to move in.
is fitted at the bodice; with a very full skirt, which can hide many figure flaws
a bridal shop and try on different styles of gowns.
This will help you
determine what looks best on you and will give you a feel for the latest trends.
Maybe you like the bodice of one gown, the embroidery on another and the fabric
on a third dress. The beauty of making your own dress means you can pick and choose
exactly the elements you want to include in your perfect gown.
with the right sewing machine is important.
“Today’s computerized sewing
and embroidery systems make even a project like a wedding dress much easier than
it used to be,” says Gayle Hillert, vice president of education at Bernina of
America, a premiere sewing machine company. “For example, Bernina accessory feet
make sewing fine fabrics easy and there are a variety available, like hemming,
pintucking and edgestitching feet that enable home sewers to add couture elements
quickly and successfully.
the right fabric
Many fabric stores have bridal or special occasion sections
with appropriate fabrics and notions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for
locally, there is a wealth of fabric resources on the Internet. Musso reminds
brides that natural fabrics like silk (a popular bridal gown choice) wrinkle easily.
If that’s a concern for you, consider looking at manmade fabrics or blends.
a test version
for wedding dresses are expensive. You may want to make a trial version of your
dress with a less expensive fabric for fitting purposes. Muslin is often a good
choice, but look for a material that behaves the same way your dress fabric will
so you can get an idea of the look and how it drapes on your body before you go
on to the final product. This also gives you a chance to do a “dry run” on the
sewing. If you have questions about the construction of the dress, you can work
that out on the muslin, too. There are many books available on sewing your own
gown that can answer questions and provide tips and “tricks of the trade” as you
go through the process.
details make the dress
The variety of embellishments available to provide
the finishing touch for your wedding gown is almost unlimited. Beads, crystals,
feathers, lace, screen prints and embroidery are just some of the options you
can use to add a personal touch to your masterpiece. Embroidery is especially
popular this season, and with the right sewing machine, it can be easy to add
this special touch to your wedding gown.
most important piece of advice that Musso has for a bride who is making her own
dress is to start early! “If you don’t give yourself enough time, it can cause
a great deal of anxiety and pressure.”
goal is to wind up with the perfect dress and a happy bride. With all the other
details you’ll be dealing with, making your own gown can become overwhelming.
Don't be shy about asking a
professional with a bit more experience if you start to feel overwhelmed.
luck and congratulations!