Saturday, September 30, 2017


After my in-process post about my handmade wedding dress, I couldn't just leave you guys hanging! So let's talk about the wedding (dress). I plan to post a completely separate post about all the other stuff I made, so these pictures (and there are... several... of them) are picked mostly to show the dress.

The dress consisted of four parts: padded bustier (which I purchased, and am so glad I did!), slip, skirt, and lace bodice. The slip was made by me and my auntie Jean two days before the wedding. I probably wouldn't have gotten it done without her! It was out of white rayon challis. My skirt was silk tulle (SILK. TULLE.), which I didn't even know existed until I tried on dresses in November to get an idea of what I wanted. It's just a divine fabric. It has the prettiest drape, the softest hand, the most delicate appearance, the most expensive price tag. After ordering a swatch for fun, along with several others, I was just totally and completely taken with it. But not so taken with the price - at $50/yd, it felt a little insane to purchase it. Half the point of making your own wedding dress is to save some money, right?

But then they had their Black Friday sale, and I just knew I wouldn't regret buying it. So I purchased 6 yards, and got on with it.

The skirt is lined in silk crepe from Dharma Trading Company, which is always my favorite source for undyed silks. I've always had wonderful experiences with them! The crepe was a great lining because I didn't want to get too warm, but it was just a tad too transparent to leave as is, hence the additional slip.

The bustier caused me the most initial anxiety, as I had fully intended to make it from scratch. But after the Mom-tervention weekend and some online research, I decided to purchase one from Amazon. It took a couple tries to get the right fit, but having that tricky part of the dress taken care of was such a weight off my shoulders.

The bodice was the true labor of love. It did not come together quickly, as nearly every inch of it was handstitched. But how wonderful is that? To have sewn, needle and thread, curled up on my couch with Pronto (my cat), almost every single stitch that held this bodice together - I just love the love that goes into handmade things. 

This was my first time sewing lace, so I had to redo a couple seams, and keep taking seams in as I went through the fitting process. I overlapped the panels, sewed two seams following the pattern of the lace, and then at the very end, trimmed the excess seam allowance from the overlap. But I waited until the VERY end to be sure, because once lace is trimmed, there is no going back. I'm still not quite sure how I achieved this perfect of a fit, given most of it was self-fit or pinned in bathroom stalls at work with my friend, but I don't think I've ever made anything more perfectly fitted. 

And, of course, I must talk about the raglan seams with the lattice stitch. My mom figured out how to get this look and made a swatch for me to reference. I had to pin the two pieces (sleeve piece and front or back piece) to pattern paper with the gap in between the two bindings, and then put that in an embroidery hoop so the fabric was taut, even, and straight. I do love to handsew, and seeing the instant results with a heavier floss was super gratifying. While this detail looks like a lot of work, it was actually those invisible princess seams and side seams that took the most time and effort. But 100% the best part of working with lace? It requires no hemming!


It was truly the best day ever. Everyone told me it would fly by, and while it did, it also didn't feel too fast. I was so happy and so present all day long, and got to enjoy every second. And I am beyond glad we DIY'd everything that we could, because all those memories of making things with my friends and family are so, so special, too.

Here are some detail photos I just took. I'm afraid I haven't washed the thing; it's been lying in a crumpled heap on the floor of the closet until now. Any advice on handwashing this thing without compromising the fabric?

If you made it this far - thank you! I hope you enjoyed these peeks at our wedding day and the details of this crazy dress I created. 

All wedding day photos were taken by our incredible photographers, Ray & Kelly. They were so kind, funny, and charismatic, and even gave me an icy La Croix on the way to the ceremony! Seriously the best.

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