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Ask Bridalwave – DIY dresses

By admin on August 2nd, 2006 2 comments

Sewing_1Hurrah! I’ve spent about an hour basking in the glory that my advice is apparently worth having (I love the emails folks, keep them coming) and now I’m ready to do your bidding. Cheryl emails, ‘I’ll be married this December and I’ve been shopping around for a dress on a shoestring budget. I’ve bought a very pretty lace corset top from Coast (£80), and I’m actually thinking of making a ‘ball gown skirt’ on my own to match it.

I’ve seen some material (silk, tulle) in John Lewis and searched for references online but not having much luck with the latter. I wonder if any bride-to-be on your site has actually considered this, and came out successful with it?"

My first thought was you must be ever so slightly bonkers (sorry). I may be wrong, but you haven’t mentioned any sewing skills, so if you don’t have any – don’t try it! A wedding outfit is the last thing you should experiment on. If you’ve found the perfect material…

… consult a professional dressmaker – find one by word of mouth or in the Yellow Pages. They should be able to show you a variety of patterns, give you an estimate as well as tell you how much material you will need.

However, if you are a great seamstress then go for it (and, er, pop over and take up my curtains please). There are plenty of patterns to chose from and if John Lewis’s haberdashery department don’t have any to show you then try looking at Butterick for a wide range of patterns. Style B3843 has a great split side skirt and a small puddle skirt. Simplicity also have a nice flared skirt that would be appropriate. I would also recommend checking out the crafts section of eBay for patterns.

And the third option, as you’re on a shoestring budget, is to shop around for a skirt that is affordable. This crepe satin bias skirt is available in ivory for £49.99 The Dark Angel. George at Asda also currently have a nice range of bridal skirts and prices start at around £30.

If any brides reading this have experience of making their outfits or know someone who has, do offer Cheryl your wisdom in the comments section.

  • Don’t buy fabric from John Lewis unless you really have fallen in love with it and can’t find it anywhere else: their fabric is more expensive than in a lot of specialist places.

    There may well be a local tailor/dressmaker (try asking at dry cleaners) who can run up a simple skirt for not much money.

  • Thanks Bridalwave, and thank you Flick for the great tip!

    I’ve only learnt how to use the sewing machine about a month ago, so I’ll take heed on both of your advice and leave it to the professionals. *embarassed grin*
    Promise. 😀

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