I thought I’d share my final costs for the dress supplies and some thoughts on my finished dress!
In total I spent £430. I didn’t count up my hours spent because this was a fun project for me so I was happy to donate my time. I also procrastinated a LOT. Cutting into expensive fabrics made me so nervous so I had to psych myself up with small tasks meaning I took much longer than I should have.
Dress Price Notes Muslin fabric £4 Bodice interlining Lingerie Boning £0 Salvaged from a RTW dress Interfacing from Alison Smith MBE £8 Duchesse bodice support Ivory Satin lining £24 Dress lining Ivory Duchesse satin £219 Layer 3 Floral organza in two colours £102 Layer 2 Real and test dress Ivory Organza £57 Layer 1 Chiffon £32 Test dress layer 1 White Satin £6 Test dress layer 3 Polyester thread £6 Rubber elastic £2.95 Upper bodice support Netting fabric £24 Didn’t use Button loop tape £1.65 Didn’t use For corselet Price Notes Bra pads £10.70 Didn’t use Powernet £3.99 Didn’t use Boning £5.98 Didn’t use Hook and eye tape £3.99 Didn’t use
There are times when I feel imposter syndrome sneaking in and I start questioning whether I’m really a creative person at all. I start believe that I can’t think up any original ideas; I just copy things I’ve seen out in the world and I don’t actually know what I want to sew or wear. This comes and goes and it helps to remind myself that I have drafted an original design in the past, I am inventive with fabrics and I only feel happiness when I look in my wardrobe.
And something guaranteed to make you feel more unsteady is a wedding and specifically a wedding dress. If like me you haven’t been dreaming about your ideal dress for years, there’s a sudden rush of confusion, pressure and indecision as you try and work out what to wear. I also know women who were rock-solidly confident in their dream dress until they were proposed to and the fear crept in.
Its a giant white dress… that isn’t really like anything you’ve ever worn before. What is actually going to suit you and what you’re capable of sewing might also not match up! And how often are we asked to create pattern instructions from scratch that result in a flawless finish???
It turns out, I couldn’t think up an original dress to make and I’m okay with that. Instead I went to several dress trials and whittled it down to one dress I really liked from Lou Lou bridal. I didn’t love it but I really really liked it. The way you can really like the possibilities a lovely pattern or piece of fabric holds. Then I thought about how I could tweak it and make it my own. Shortening it for sure, different bust gathers, a different combination of fabrics and a different skirt shape. I found a base pattern and made up the rest.
It has been a strange roller coaster ride: I found what was labelled rose voile curtain fabric online but what I actually think is the exact poly-organza fabric from the Lou Lou source dress. Ordered 5m too much silk organza and currently have no use for the excess. Made four toiles for fit and a wearable test. Nearly cried over the hem. Nearly cried over the zipper. And stabbed my fingers countless times.
It’s my dress, brought into being by these hands so it’s one of a kind in that sense and although I failed on an original design, I think I succeeded in testing my fitting, construction and time management skills.
I love my dress. Even though its not perfect… because can we ever sew THE PERFECT DRESS!? If you’ve managed to catch that unicorn please let me know in the comments.