Sewing my wedding dress. . . the beginning

8 Nov

For some reason which no one can explain, Alex decided that he liked me and wanted to stick around. . . so he proposed!  Which means that eventually. . . there will be a wedding to plan.  Yay!  We’ve decided that we don’t want anything huge, and I want it to feel genuine. . . I don’t want to get caught up in all of the trappings.  If I have my way, it will be very small, include chicken salad sandwiches, boudin, my grandma’s pineapple cake and a Venezuelan wedding cake – because who doesn’t LOVE fruitcake?  And everyone will leave with little jars of persimmon preserves.  (Really, I’m just scared of how many jars of preserves I will have with all of the fruit that Elizabeth gave me.)

Let me backtrack a little. . . I grew up knowing that my mom had sewn her own wedding gown and veil, and I have always LOVED the way she looked on my parents’ wedding day.  Aren’t they beautiful???

So, I grew up with the idea that weddings can be beautiful and simple all at the same time (because what really matters is that you get to spend eternity with this awesome person).  And, I always knew in the back of my head that I wanted to sew my own wedding dress too.  Recently, Mom and I were discussing wedding dresses, and I asked what motivated her to sew her dress.  She told me, “I used to sew all of my clothes.” 

Well, I can’t say that I sew all of my clothes, and I don’t even come close really, but I have been sewing for all of my life.  (At least that’s what it feels like.)  Technically, I started sewing in fourth grade. . . . for 4-H.  Mom taught me.  Yep.  Good times.  Please ignore the bad perm.  It was the ’80s.

This moment in time began my inevitable love/hate relationship with sewing machines.  I’ve never been GREAT at sewing, but I can usually get the job done.  For years, when anyone asked, I admitted that I knew how to sew, but I despised doing it.  But then, a couple of years ago, something changed.  I can’t remember which project it was, but I got the bug.  I’ve been making quilts for one baby after the next, repairing old quilts, and even attempting buttonholes.  Well, technically I haven’t attempted the buttonholes yet.  I’m still working up the courage.  I’ve also been sewing more clothing and even making up my own shirt pattern. . . which is really only passable. 

All of this is to say that I am confident that I COULD sew my own wedding dress, and I was fully intending to. . . until my mom offered to sew it for me.  God Bless Her.  Ha ha ha ha. . . Even though I am getting out of doing the real thing, I am the one working on muslins, deciding what works and what doesn’t, and mailing her photos to see if she agrees with me.  And that’s where it all started.  Since I haven’t been able to find many accounts online of women who’ve sewn their own wedding dresses, I thought that I would detail the steps here. . . sort of a how I did it / am doing it. . .

Today, I’ll just go over the first muslin. . . you may remember when I posted about this hideously awful fabric that mom and I picked out?  Well, we were out shopping at a fabric store, and I mentioned that I wanted to glance at the selection of lace. . . just to see what I could get my hands on. . . you know, if I needed to some day.  Teresa, bless her soul, had the brilliant idea that I should sew a sparkly Christmas Party dress, using one of the patterns that I was considering for a wedding dress, you know, if I needed to sew one some day.  So, we snatched up the glittery fabric and Simplicity 2692.  I decided to start with a sleeveless, knee length version. . . after all, it was going to be a party dress.  I was actually imagining that it would look something like the photo on Simplicity 3503. . . which kind of makes you wonder why we didn’t BUY S3503.

In a word?  It was pretty horrible.  I joked with Crissy that it looks like a Marilyn Monroe dress gone SO VERY BAD.  I almost considered not even including a photo.  I warn you. . . it is bad. . .

But, it did help me realize a couple of things. . .  A)  I didn’t like the midriff panel at all and B) Gathers on the bottom were not my friend.  So, with that in mind, I went back to the fabric store and scouted out a dress pattern with an empire waist. . . and that’s when I brought home Simplicity 2580

P.S.  Aren’t my hands WRINKLY?  I am getting so OLD! 

P.P.S.  I finally gave up and realized that I am not running out and getting a manicure to take a pretty ring picture. . . so, complain all you want. . . I’m just not that into what my fingernails look like.

P.P.P.S.  I know you’re wondering how that 4-H project turned out, right?  Do you want to see it in action?  I take heart in the fact that I wasn’t the only one walking around with skirt/biking short combos back then. . .


7 Responses to “Sewing my wedding dress. . . the beginning”

  1. hippiepoints November 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    CONGRATS!!! It’s so much fun. I’m making my own wedding dress too! Hooray! I’m not the only crazy woman out there!
    Here’s a good youtube video that gave me some strength and confidence.

    also, has good wedding bridal fabrics really cheap and they’ll send you swatches if you need it.

    • Like A Broken Umbrella November 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

      I’ll have to keep that in mind about I just wish that there was somewhere that I could shop where I could touch and feel the fabric, hug bolts of fabric. . . that kind of thing. . .

      So are you going to post progress pictures of your dress AFTER your wedding? Have you had problems trying to keep the dress secret from your fiancé?

  2. hippiepoints November 9, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    A little bit, and because I have to take it out after he goes to work, and put it away before he comes home, it’s been not worked on several times.
    How are you doing with the future hubby? it’s really exciting times! hooray!

  3. Maria @ Living, Learning, Loving November 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Your ring is gorgeous!!

  4. Conception Endres December 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    lol found your website when searching for different floor tiles, dont know how that happened!


  1. Wedding Dress Muslin – the second attempt « Like A Broken Umbrella - November 15, 2011

    […] the gold monstrosity, I realized that it would do little good to pretend that I am sewing anything other than a practice […]

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