How to Make a Wedding Dress

Designing and making your own wedding dress can add a personal touch to this special event. Whether your gown is traditional or something more expressive of your own individual style, you can make the dress-making process easier by understanding your own capabilities and level of skill before you begin this once-in-a-lifetime sewing project.

Plan Your Design

  • Find inspiration for your dress design by flipping through bridal and fashion magazines. Because you will be making the dress, you can mix and match your favorite bodice, skirt and train looks to create a truly unique wedding dress.
  • Visit your local fabric store to find a pattern which most closely matches your ideal wedding dress. Remember that you can customize details such as skirt volume, train length and trim once you have the basic shape of your gown in pattern form.

Sew a Muslin Mock-Up Dress

  • Enlist a friend to take your measurements. Accuracy is important, especially when you are working with commercially produced patterns.
  • Create a mock-up of your wedding dress in cotton muslin before you cut into the real fabric you have chosen for your dress.
  • Ask your friend to assist you with fitting the muslin to your form. Special attention should be paid to the bust seam lines and to maintaining a center back seam on the straight of grain.

Complete Your Wedding Dress

  • Unstitch the muslin mock-up, making sure that any new stitching lines are clearly marked.
  • Transfer the new pattern to draft paper or directly to your final dress fabric using a rotary wheel and transfer paper.
  • Cut out the pattern in the final dress fabric, making sure to include plenty of seam allowance.
  • Stitch your dress together following the pattern instructions. Details such as invisible zipper installation and lining construction are generally provided by most commercially produced patterns.
  • Have a fitting to make any final adjustments to the construction of your dress. This should be done before any appliquéd trim is applied.
  • Take the time to steam your dress before walking down the aisle. Any wrinkles that were made during the construction process can be easily removed, giving your dress a nice, professional look.

How to Make a Simple and Elegant Wedding Dress

Making your own wedding dress may be the best way to combine the simple and elegant elements you want in a gown. In addition, it can be an intensely personal and rewarding experience. Not only will you have a wedding dress that reflects your personal style but also you will have the opportunity to add details and modifications at every step. In this way, you can have a design that is truly your own.

Select a pattern that represents the style you are looking for. Choose a design that flatters your body without hiding it, as well as one that will exude elegance as you walk down the aisle.

Tips for Simple and Elegant Wedding Dress

  • Purchase the specified amount of fabric, lining and other items listed on the pattern envelope. Choose classic materials that do not need embellishments to look stunning. Simple fabrics such as bridal satin, lace and chiffon make beautiful wedding gowns without needing a lot of beading or frills. If you decide to make the outer layer out of a thin material, use a thick lining fabric to keep the wedding dress opaque.
  • Measure the circumference of your bust, waist and hips to determine the best size for you according to the pattern’s sizing chart. Fold your material in half lengthwise unless otherwise specified. Cut out the paper pattern and pin it to the fabric as indicated in the pattern’s layout guidelines, usually found on the first or second page of the pattern’s instructions. At this stage, ensure that you adhere to grain line specifications so your finished garment will hang well on your body.
  • Cut out the fabric as indicated by the pattern. Pin the pattern pieces together according to the pattern’s instructions. Stitch them in place and, when all the pieces are sewn, try the gown on. Make any adjustments by taking in or letting out the fabric at symmetrical seams. In other words, what is done on the left side must be done on the right. Enlist the help of a friend if you need to adjust the back or sides of the gown.
  • Sew the lining together in the same way that you sewed the dress. Adjust as needed, and sew it into the gown at the neckline, keeping right sides together. When the seam is complete, flip the lining inside to give the outside of the wedding dress a clean, smooth edge.
  • Install all necessary zippers, buttons, hooks, eyes, corset eyelets, etc. Try your gown on once more to ensure that no final adjustments are needed.

The Best Undergarments for Wedding Dresses

The Best Undergarments for Wedding Dresses – Lift, shape, and smooth your way to a glamorous wedding day look by choosing the right undergarments. These foundation pieces should flatter your curves, hide your problem areas and be invisible to your guests. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy these important undercover wares instead, bring a few of these styles when you try on dresses to find the right pieces for your special day.

Strapless Bras

A strapless bra is a must for strapless and spaghetti-strapped dresses. Like your gown, they are held up by boning and elastic. Look for one with silicone grips, which reduce the risk of slipping.

Longline Bras

A longline bra is a bustier-style garment that partially or fully covers your torso. It features built-in construction and acts like a corset, pulling your tummy in. Longlines offer more support than regular strapless styles, which is a bonus for larger busts. For V-neck dresses, choose a longline bra with a lower-cut neckline, which ensures your undergarments will be discreet on your wedding day.

Convertible Straps

A low-back wedding dress calls for a bra with convertible straps that wrap around your mid- to lower back. You won’t sacrifice support, and you’ll easily hide the straps. Halter dresses also benefit from these convertible straps, which can be wrapped around the back of your neck for invisible support.

Adhesive Bras

If your wedding gown simply won’t hide the straps, ditch them. Opt for adhesive silicone bras that stick onto your skin, providing coverage throughout your wedding day. Adhesive bras are best for C cups or smaller since they don’t offer as much support as more traditional styles.

Modest Bridesmaid Gown Ideas

Modest Bridesmaid Gown Ideas  – Choosing your bridesmaids can be difficult, but finding tasteful, flattering, and even modest bridesmaids dresses may pose more of a challenge. You may prefer modest bridesmaids gowns for religious reasons, rules associated with your wedding venue, the preference of one of your bridesmaids, or your own taste and values. While you may have modesty guidelines, these dresses can still be pretty and suit a variety of wedding styles from modest to formal.

The Modesty Basics

  • While personal guidelines regarding modesty may vary, most modest dresses will cover the knees, back, upper chest and, in some instances, the upper arms. These dresses may have a crewneck, V-neck or scoop neck, but will not be low cut or reveal cleavage. A cap sleeve, short sleeve or 3/4-sleeve is appropriate, but a sleeveless dress may also meet many modesty standards if worn with a cardigan or wrap.

Bridal Wear Manufacturers

  • Many mainstream bridal wear manufacturers offer at least some modest dress styles. You can, at many mainstream retailers, choose dresses in different styles for your bridesmaids in case only one wants a more modest gown, and others would prefer a strapless or one-shoulder style. Bridal manufacturers are ideal for modest formal gowns, appropriate for evening weddings. You can find modest floor-length gown styles, as well as formal fabrics and details, including lush satin and beaded gowns through bridal retailers. Look for A-line dresses for a figure skimming, modest and flattering formal style.

Specialty Retailers

  • Some retailers produce bridesmaids dresses and gowns designed specifically for a modest clientele. Many of these offer affordable dresses, often in fabrics and colors similar to those used by major bridal wear manufacturers. If you need dresses that meet more significant modesty requirements, for instance, those common in the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints, specialty retailers are more likely to meet your needs and may be able to adapt dresses to special requirements. While some more formal styles are available, these dresses are often cocktail length, coming to just below the knee. They typically have a high neckline, sleeves and a full-coverage back but incorporate details, such as pleating, ruching and lace, common to more mainstream retailers.

Go Retail

  • One of the most affordable options for bridesmaids who prefer modest dresses is to opt for modest dresses not intended for the bridal market, but sold through a department store or a boutique catering to a more modest clientele. While these may not be formal enough for an evening wedding, a dressy day dress or simple and modest cocktail dress is a fashionable and tasteful option for a daytime or garden wedding. Consider floral dresses with coordinating sweaters for a casual garden wedding or simple lace dresses in pastel shades for a summer ceremony. Retro styles, with full, below-the-knee skirts and high necklines may also meet modesty standards. Opting for department store dresses works especially well if you are planning on mismatched bridesmaids dresses, connected with a color scheme or theme.

How to Choose Beach Wedding Dresses

How to Choose Beach Wedding Dresses – A beach atmosphere is relaxed and casual, and a beach wedding is no exception. This can be quite freeing when you are choosing your wedding dress. That’s not to say your beach wedding has to be casual, but you can pretty much run the gamut on dress type for this occasion. You can go with anything from an off-the-rack sun dress to a formal custom-made wedding gown. But there are some things you need to keep in mind when choosing what to wear on your special day.

Tips Choose Beach Wedding Dresses

Do a little research. Most women have at least thought about what they would like for a wedding dress, and some have been dreaming about it since they were little girls. When you think of the perfect dress, what do you see? Get a few bridal magazines, a pen and some paper, and start taking notes. Write down some descriptive words about dresses that you like, such as slinky, romantic, flowing, lacy, simple, form-fitting, etc. Note the styles that you seem to gravitate toward, for example, A-line, ball gown, drop waisted, low-cut, etc. Tear out pictures of dresses that appeal to you and that you can envision being able to wear on a beach. Your final dress may not look anything like these dresses, but it’s a good place to start.

Choose a formality level. You can base the formality of your wedding on your perfect wedding gown — if you find the perfect dress and have to have it. However, it’s probably easier to choose how formal the setting is going to be and buy a dress accordingly. A wedding featuring a sit-down lobster dinner has a completely different feel than a wedding featuring a clam bake picnic.

Choose a flattering fit. You want to feel like your most beautiful self, and to do that, you need a dress that you feel comfortable and confident in. You probably already know what types of dresses flatter you body type, so try to choose wedding dresses that fit your type. For example, if you’re pear-shaped, A-line dresses tend to work well; fuller waisted ladies may prefer a drop-waisted dress; and those with fuller arms can use off-the-shoulder straps to hide their problem area.

Choose an appropriate material. There is at least one restriction when it comes to choosing a dress for a beach wedding. You have to be particular about material. Choose materials that are light, flowing and don’t wrinkle. Stay away from thick, heavy materials such as velvet or brocade. Some materials to consider include crepe (thin, delicate and crinkly), charmeuse (soft and light with a slight sheen) and chiffon. Also consider fabric such as damaske, duchesse satin, batiste and illusion nets. These materials are light and will do well in the beach wind.

Consider the practicality of the dress. The beach is not a controlled environment, and you will have to contend with wind, walking in sand and posing near the water. Dresses with a large train may get caught up in the sand, and a long veil may become out of control with the wind. Some women opt for a shorter gown for a beach wedding dress so they can pose near the water and walk freely. And keep in mind your footwear, as well. You can opt to go barefoot, but if you choose shoes, choose something that will allow you to walk comfortably in the sand.

The Best Plus Size Dresses for a Summer Evening Wedding

Plus-sized clothing is defined as clothing sized 14 and higher. Summer weddings are the perfect occasion to wear a new dress that displays your curves while remaining classy. Choose from pattern, off-the-shoulder, maxi and sheath dresses as the perfect plus-size dress to wear to an evening summer wedding. Be sure to accessorize with belts and necklaces to add to your outfit.

Print Dresses

Choose a print dress to wear to a summer evening wedding that compliments your skin tone with different colors. You may choose a dress that is floral or even abstract print. Be sure to choose a print that contains no more than four colors that work well together. Avoid mixing bright colors and choose prints that contain like colors. Oranges and reds, for example will go together better than green and orange.

Off-the-Shoulder

Choose a medium-length dress, in which to display a bit of skin in with an off-the-shoulder style. These styles are appropriate for a summer wedding, as you can enjoy the warm summer breeze across your skin. Off-the-shoulder dresses can contain ruffles around the collar of the dress for an added touch of femininity. You may choose an off-the-shoulder dress in a solid print in bold or subdued colors. Add a wide belt to your dress to create a more form-fitting look.

Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are thin-strapped dresses that usually reach your feet, though feature low necklines. Maxi dresses come in a variety of colors, prints and fabrics. Choose a delicate fabric like silk or satin that will keep you cool during the warm night. Be sure to pair your dress with a large necklace to compliment the low neckline, as well as high-heeled shoes to make you look taller in such a long dress.

Sheath Dress

Sheath dresses are perfect for an evening summer wedding, as they bare your arms, though allow for versatility. Once the evening cools down, add a cardigan sweater to your sheath dress. Additionally, choose a colored belt that is medium or wide in width as an added accessory to your outfit. Since sheath dresses are above the knee, wear heels to elongate your legs. You may also wear a simple necklace to add to your outfit.

The Best Style Wedding Dresses for Plus Size

Knowing the correct style dress for your body type can make a difference when it comes time for the plus-sized woman to purchase her wedding gown. If she is knowledgeable about what works best with her body type, she can turn her gown-buying day from a nightmare into a dream.

A-Line

  • A plus-sized bride should consider wearing an A-line dress that has an empire waistline. This is a waistline that starts under the bust, and flows outward, with a wider amount of fabric at the floor. This draws attention away from the waist. The neckline should be sweetheart, portrait or square. The sleeves could be cap sleeves or long sleeves. Avoid halter necks or high cut necks. Avoid puffy sleeves that end tightly around the upper arm.

Ballgown

  • A ballgown-style dress is usually flattering to a larger bride. Avoid any style that adds unnecessary fabric to the design of the dress, such as a hoop skirt, or very wide, full skirt. This makes a plus-sized bride look heavier. A strapless dress is usually not a good choice for the bride who has heavy upper arms. Any bride with a very large bust should avoid a strapless gown or she will be pulling it up all day.

Embellishments

  • Any embellishments on the gown should be the appropriate size. If they are too small, they will make the gown seem large in comparison. If they are overly large, such as a big bow, they will add size to the bride. Anything that runs in a vertical line draws the eyes up and down and takes away from the bride’s size. A long colored ribbon or vertical beading, embroidery or lace will make the bride seem thinner. Long sleeves made from lace will also draw the eyes up and down and add beauty to a wedding dress.

Other Considerations

  • The fabric should not be figure-hugging or flowing such as jersey. Lace, silk, satin and any stiffer fabrics should be considered. If the bride has her mind set on a sleeveless dress, she could wear a little shrug or wrap made of lace, silk or chiffon. The bride can consider wearing corset or girdle that can take a couple inches off her waist. Other colors besides white can be complimentary and take a few pounds off the bride. Consider red or royal blue as the gown color or for embellishments.

Wedding Gown Styles for Mature Women

Regardless of age, every woman shares the desire to look timelessly and effortlessly beautiful on her wedding day. Wedding gown designer Vera Wang once said, “I adore the challenge of creating truly modern clothes, where a woman’s personality and sense of self are revealed.” Find a wedding dress style that complements, not overpowers, your beauty on your special day.

Add Color

The concept of the white wedding gown was developed to represent purity and chastity. But some mature brides walk down the aisle for the second or third time, and many older brides incorporate their children into their ceremonies, so it is common for older brides to branch out from the traditional white gown. Bobbi Hicks, a Florida wedding planner interviewed by Style Goes Strong, said that many mature brides wear off-white or ivory-colored gowns, depending on their skin tone; and some second-time brides choose a colored dress, such as green, blue or red.

Lose the Veil, Train and Poof

The veil was also conceptualized to symbolize purity, so many older brides eliminate it from their wedding day outfit, along with other embellishments. Hicks noted that older brides avoid wearing mermaid dresses, poof skirts and lacy long sleeves. Instead, they choose straight skirt styles and shorten the train, or eliminate it completely. New Jersey bridal consultant JoAnn Gregoli told Style Goes Strong that a tailored dress is appropriate for mature brides, but not ball gown styles.

Spice Up the Top

Modern wedding gowns are strapless with a sweetheart neckline and corset-topped, while gowns with partial or full sleeves are reminiscent of past decades. Choosing a gown with sleeves adds maturity and modesty to an older bride’s look. Off-the-shoulder and 3/4-length sleeves flatter most ages and figures, while cap sleeves and spaghetti straps are more revealing. The T-shirt sleeve is another option for mature brides who don’t want to reveal their biceps and triceps. Older brides can also add detachable sleeves and jackets to gowns that are strapless or spaghetti-strapped.

Wedding Dress Styles From the ’70s

Wedding Dress Styles From the ’70s – The 1970s was a transition decade; it started out much as the 1960s, with a mix of fashions varying from very bohemian to somewhat traditional. By the end of the decade, however, the newer trends, including man-made fibers, heralded the change to materialism that characterized the 1980s. Wedding styles echoed the changes in society, and while there is always room for the ball gown, there were also some unique styles in this fascinating decade.

The Wedding Dress and its Basic Choices

Wedding dresses use the best natural fabrics cotton, silk, satin, chiffon and net as well as high quality, man-made fibers. Depending on the formality of the wedding, lengths can vary from floor length or tea length up to knee length or above. Long skirts can be very full, slightly full, narrow, fishtail and draping. Though some styles are timeless, in each decade one style tends to predominate (probably because a celebrity chose it ) and the basic catalog will reflect trends in modifications to other styles. In the end, however, wedding dresses are like brides: there are no typical ones. A perfectly modern ’70s miss may have picked an antebellum ball gown one of the timeless styles  over a modern A line tent dress, because she always dreamed of being Scarlett O’Hara.

1970 to 1973, Looking Backward

Behavior doesn’t change overnight, and many people in 1969 were baby boomers just emerging into adulthood.They preferred the loose muslin dresses, short styles and truly informal weddings, which characterized the hippie movement. Brides often chose Mexican wedding dresses for their light muslin fabric and white color — evoking innocence — as well as their low cost. Mini dresses with extra glitter, and shift or slip dresses also showed up. Colored gowns made a come back, and flapper dresses with beads were also popular, reflecting back to another wild era. New sleeve styles also appeared; the Camelot sleeve was popular on formal gowns.

 

The Best Color Bridesmaids Dress to Go With an Ivory Dress

The Best Color Bridesmaids Dress to Go With an Ivory Dress – The color of the bride’s wedding dress is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. The colors of bridesmaids’ dresses for a wedding are also important. Colors set the tone and theme for the wedding. They are the first thing the guests will see and they are one of the things that everyone remembers. It is important to get all aspects of the color coordination for a wedding just right. Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses that complement the ivory color of the bride’s dress is a big part of wedding preparation.

Several factors aside from the color of the bride’s dress must be taken into consideration when choosing the color scheme for the bridesmaids’ dresses. The color theme for the venue and the wedding is a consideration, as well as the couple’s tastes. The bride’s wedding dress is the major factor, as the bride is the main focus of the wedding. The colors chosen for the bridesmaids’ dresses must complement the bride’s wedding dress, not clash or detract attention from the bride. The time of day will also affect the color chosen for bridesmaids’ dresses, as will any themes for the wedding. The season will also need to be taken into consideration.

Choosing Color Schemes for the Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Ivory is an off-white color, with a slight tint of yellow. It is a popular choice for wedding dresses. Several colors work well with ivory. The choice of colors for the bridesmaids’ dresses is limited only by the bride’s tastes.

The bridesmaids should be allowed some input into the choice of colors for their dresses, as they are the ones who will be required to wear them, and often, pay for them. The bride will have to take their tastes into consideration when choosing the colors of the bridesmaids’ dresses, along with her main concern of the color of her wedding dress.