I finished sewing Sara’s short version of her wedding dress (which is actually a dress she can wear later) and it turned out great, if I do so say so myself.  The real test was when I took it up to Virginia for her to try it on.  I had not hemmed it and it still needed a button on the overlay but when she tried it on and I saw her expression, I knew it was a hit with her as well.  Have I mentioned I love sewing dresses when this is the reaction I get.

Now that we had the bodice pattern figured out, we set out to get the rest of the fabric.  We ended up ordering the overlay and having it shipped but got the rest of the dress fabric during my trip.  The next post will be about getting started on the real deal.


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Now that the holidays have passed and all the company has come and gone it is time to focus my attention on Sara’s simple wedding dress.  She was able to make it down for New Years weekend and we were able to do more collaborating and get in a little shopping at the fabric store.  We even managed to make a body double of her out of duct tape the night before she was leaving.  This was the first time I had actually tried to do make one and I guess I wrapped her a little too tight.  Her measurements were off by about an inch from her actual measurements.  Unfortunately since they were only here for the weekend we didn’t have time to fix it, so this one will have to do for now.

Since I don’t have a pattern for the exact dress Sara wants and will have to do some improvising, I decided to make a short version of the dress out of some cute fabric we picked up with a semi-sheer overlay on top to make sure what I come up with is what Sara wants.  We are going to make the overlay for her wedding dress removable so that she will be able to take it off during her reception and move around.  For the short version, I will make the overlay the same length as the dress.  This simple wedding dress seems to be getting more complicated every time we talk about it.  I wonder if everyone who makes wedding dresses goes through this.  Anyway, wish me luck on the short version of her dress, it’s time to get my head around all the changes and put it all together and hopefully be one step closer to making Sara’s simple wedding dress.  I’ll post pictures of the finished short version when I finish it.

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With the holidays quickly approaching Sara’s simple wedding dress planning has taken a back burner for the next few weeks.  We still need to make it to the bridal store to check out the dress Sara really liked and to the fabric store to look at wedding dress patterns.  But with the holidays comes lots of sales and I found a sale I could not pass up.  At Sewingpatterns.com I took the opportunity to buy 5 patterns that should help me piece together a fabulous, if not simple, wedding dress for Sara all for about $30 including shipping.  I must admit I got a little carried away and bought a couple just to read the directions and to use as a guide.  But I figured that the 4 patterns I got for $2.99 each made it worth saving myself a little time in figuring out how to piece this “Simple” wedding dress together.  By the time all the patterns get here, the holidays will be over, or almost over and it will be time to start piecing all the ideas together.

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Just a quick update on the status of Sara’s simple wedding dress.  Sara made a second trip to the bridal store to try on a dress I found online.  This dress had the sheer overlay for the split front skirt that Sara had mentioned she had in mind.  After trying on the dress, she decided she did not want the sheer overlay.  She liked the cap sleeves but they did not stay up on her shoulders when she tried on this dress.  She decided she wants the cap sleeves that stay up on the shoulder but made out of the satin with the embroidery on them.  Here is a picture of simple wedding dress 5 (David’s Bridal Style V9010).

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Sara and Maria (Sara’s Maid of Honor) called and we set up a video conference using Skype to discuss the style of Sara’s simple wedding dress.  If you’ve never heard of Skype, it is a program you download and then you are able to chat, call or video call other people that also have Skype for free.  (You can learn more about it here.)  It was so easy to do, it made me wonder why we don’t communicate through these video conferences more often.  Okay, enough about the wonders of technology, on with the show.

We talked about what she liked about each of the three dresses she sent the pictures of.  If you missed the post with the pictures, you can find it here.  Dress number 1 has the most features of the dress she wants.  She loves the embroidery on it, which I’m not sure I will be able to master before making her dress, especially since I don’t even own an embroidery sewing machine yet.  But we decided that either I will be able to do it when the times comes or we will hire that part out.  She also liked the overall style of the dress especially the split front skirt. 

Dress number 2 she like the sheer fabric overlay but is not sure about the front split skirt is part.  She does not want the train made of sheer fabric and is concerned that it would look funny to have the front sheer and the back not. 

Dress number 3 has sleeves and she tells me what she really wants are caplet sleeves or maybe even small straps instead of the dress being strapless. 

While we are still on the call, we found a couple more dresses online and sent the links back and forth so we could see what we were talking about.  The other thing Sara wants as part of her simple wedding dress is for the back to lace up instead of having a zipper or buttons, similar to a corset.  We found the back of dress number 4 similar to what she wants, although she does not want the fabric to gather in the back.  We discuss just leaving out the zipper and adding fabric to overlap enough for her to get it on and still lay flat. Here is dress number 4.


Now that I have an idea of what she wants, the next step will be sewing a dress or a muslin sample of the top part of the dress.  This will make sure the features Sara wants will work and she can see those features to make sure we are on the same page with exactly how she wants the top part.  As the seamstress, I will be going to David’s Bridal to look at dress number 1 and then to find a pattern I can use as a base for Sara’s simple wedding dress.


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Step number one to making a simple wedding dress is for the bride to find a style she likes.  Sara and her bride’s maid, Maria, went in search for the style of dress that looks best on her.  They went to David’s Bridal and tried on a few dresses.  They photographed Sara in the dresses she liked and emailed them to me.  They are, of course, all beautiful but she wants to combine the things she likes about each one into one dress.  We are planning a video conference call so she can explain in detail what she has in mind.  I can’t wait to hear what she has in mind for her “simple wedding dress”. I’m sure glad I like to sew dresses because it looks like I may have to get creative to pull this off.  Here are the dresses she liked.


Can you tell from her expression, this is pretty much the dress she wants?  It has embroidery on the bodice, on the overlay and at the bottom.  I guess that means I will need to get that embroidery sewing machine I have been wanting.

This is dress number 2.

This is dress number 3.

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Yes, it’s true, my daughter, Sara, asked me to make her a simple wedding dress.  I am thrilled and honored that she wants me to make it for her and that she has that much confidence in my sewing abilities.  Now, I consider my sewing skills to be somewhat advanced and I even made my own wedding dress back in the late 1970s (which truly was a simple wedding dress, by the way).  However, this will probably be the most challenging and most important sewing project I have ever done.  You see, by a simple wedding dress, I think she means that it is not overly embellished.  And, even if she has “simple” in mind, she asked me before she went looking and trying on dresses to see what she really wants.  So, we will see how simple she is talking about.  To complicate matters even further, can a wedding dress really be simple if the bride and the seamstress are 800 miles apart? 

I hope you will enjoy reading about this fun and exciting adventure as we see how simple we can make both the dress and the logistics over the next few months.  Sara is getting married next October, which gives me a little less than 11 months to make a beautiful simple wedding dress that she will be proud to walk down the isle in. 

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Here is an alternative dressform to the duct tape body form from an earlier post.  This video is from one of my favorite sites, Threadbanger.



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I just wanted to share a couple of quick tips that are posted in the online version of Threads Magazine.  They give a great directions for fixing two common fitting problems, ” Wrinkles Below the Derriere” and “Bodice is Too Tight”.  You can check out their article with detailed instructions on how to fix these two problems or you can subscribe to their magazine where they are giving six more fixes for fitting problems. 

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A friend of mine and I were discussing how to sew a dress for an upcoming semi-formal dance she was attending.  She was concerned about finding one that she would look good in and still be comfortable.  One of the things we talked about was how important the style of dress is in relation to her preferences and body style.  We talked about looking at sewing patterns from wedding dress patterns to plus size prom dresses to get some ideas.  She wears plus size dresses and prefers to wear modest dresses.  We talked about vintage dresses or how to alter some of the more revealing formal dress patterns to make her more comfortable.  After looking through many sewing patterns she, in the end, decided to go with this Vogue pattern (number V1014).  We both thought the dress style would look great on her and it looks like it would be comfortable too.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.


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About Author

I've been sewing since I was a child (a long, long time ago) and recently my daughter showed an interest in making something special. Bringing out the sewing machine always makes me wonder why I ever put it away. I really enjoy sewing and creating things to wear and look forward to sharing all the tips and tricks I use to help make things fit and flatter me when I sew dresses and anything else.