wedding dress pattern
How to personalise a pattern for your wedding dress

How I made this wedding dress – part 1 custom made wedding dress pattern

So, as most of you know I made my sister in law (to-be at the time) wedding dress. I have shared with you before my 15 top hints on how to make you own wedding dress and you can check that out here –

But today I’m going to explain how I went from old 90’s bridesmaids dress pattern to vintage inspired gorgeousness!

Base dress pattern
The pattern I altered to create Jess’s stunning dress

I am not a professional seamstress but this is how I made that pattern become this amazing dress it was on the day! You will need a rough pattern of what you would like your dress to turn out like, but differences can be made such as lowering a back or adding sleeves. I also used cheap cotton to make toile (basic rough draft of dress), traditionally calico is used but I used poly cotton because it was cheaper, even cutting up a sheet would do if you needed to cut costs!
1. First of all measure yourself, you want to make sure you are accurate! Write down your measurements, as you may need them later.
2. Cut out your pattern, cut out your largest size. So for example if you bust is a size 10 but hips a size 14, you will want to at this stage cut out a size 14.
3. Sew together your toile following you pattern instructions. You don’t need to overlock or edge anything, you will be ripping this apart. You also don’t need to hem or finish anything properly so make it easy on yourself and sew it together as basically as you can, at this point leave out putting a zip in or however it will be fastened.
4. Try on the dress, this is the first of many so get use to it!
5. While you have your dress on, this is the time to work out what you would like to change. Hopefully if you measured yourself correctly it should fit or be too big for you. Preferably on the seam lines or at darts, pin fabric in to fit. If the only other person around is the groom, grab yourself a lead pencil and draw on your dress where your seams or darts should be. I find drawing on yourself also makes it easier if you need to make adjustments where your zip should be, instead of trying to get out of a pinned up dress.
6. Repeat 4 & 5 until you are happy with fit of the dress.
7. Try dress on, armed with your pencil, start drawing on any alterations such as lowering neck lines or changing sleeves.
For me I had to add length onto the bottom of the bodice so it was higher cut, I also had to take a lot in under the bodice so it was firm fitting because Jess is teeny tiny (lucky thing!). We also cut the straps down to make them thinner.
8. Once you have drawn on these alterations start cutting down your pattern, make sure you still leave enough for a seam allowance. Once happy pin down all around the neck and sleeves to give yourself the look of how it will be once finished.
9. Try it on again! Just to make sure that your alterations are what you want! Take a photo front and back of dress just in case you need it for reference when sewing.
10. Once again write on each piece of dress, such as back middle etc. What ever as long as you know where it will go on your dress, this is important especially if your intending to put lace over your dress. I also wrote “top” on my dress pieces so once again I knew which was was up, which is important again if your doing a lace overlay.
11. Once your happy, unpick all your hard work! Yep all of it! You now have yourself a custom pattern for your own wedding dress!!!
When starting this process, please don’t try to alter a strapless dress to backless as well, think logically! (ie how are you going to keep up your dress). Also keep in mind your sewing experience. If you can find a pattern close to your dream dress as possible, that will only make your life easier! I buy a lot (some may say too many) of patterns on eBay. You can get bulk patterns that old ladies have cleaned out their cupboards for cheap prices. This is how I found this pattern, and I think it cost me less that $1! For the adventurous ones you could also put together a top of one pattern and a bottom of another, but once again start with the same size pattern and make sure the patterns have similar seem lines where you are going to join the two together. Stay tuned for the next two parts of making your own wedding dress! xx

The other 2 steps are now here

Step 2

Step 3


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