Making a wedding dress

January 26, 2022

Ok, so I just realized I never posted about my wedding dress her. Nor mentioned getting married.

Oh well. Sorry guys (and girls) – I’m definitely taken now. August last year I got married to my best friend and favourite human. And since we’re creative people, we did most of it ourselves – including making my wedding dress. It was a huge project but I had so much fun with it.

I had many designs and ideas in my mind. I was heavily inspired by Firefly Path and her absolutely stunning gowns, but they were waaay out of my budget, and also very far away to try on etc. And I always dreamt of making my own dress.

Since neither of us are religious, I didn’t feel a need to adhere to tradition. I really like elf aesthetics and nature, and that was the theme for our wedding and my dress. My engagement ring was made by my now-husband and features an amethyst, and I incorporated amethysts in the dress to match the ring. I wanted a white dress, but I didn’t want it to be solid white – both because I’m not a solid white kind of girl and because I wanted to make it my dress. Purple is my favourite colour these days, so I decided to make it with a purple gradient on the skirt and add purple details. I also incorporated silver appliques to give it that ornamental look of elves (especially the ones from World of Warcraft). I could go on and on about the design choices, but let me just show the final drawing I made and photos of items that inspired me/I wanted to incorporate:

Another feature that my drawing doesn’t show, is that I wanted to be able to take off the huge skirt while eating. It looks beautiful in photos, but experience from big skirtet cosplays has taught me that it’s impractical.

Anyways, I set off on my journey to make my perfect dress. I started with the inner, short dress. I wanted a halterneck design, because I didn’t want sleeves and I didn’t want a strapless dress. I also really wanted an underbust corset and a halterneck dress seemed to work well with that. I started with a mockup of the Simplicity 8330 pattern. I tried it on with the corset from my Ysera cosplay and a skirt that I had from a 2nd hand shop that looked similar to what I wanted to make. I was pleased that this is pretty much the look I wanted.

 

Next, I actually made a corset in a silver satin fabric. In the end, though, I didn’t end up using it. I didn’t like the colour and somehow it just didn’t look how I wanted. Since I spent so much time on the first one, I wasn’t sure I’d have time to make a new one, so I just ordered one instead of stressing about it. I got a double spiral steel bone corset. I didn’t want a flimsy plastic one. It was a bit more pricey, but worth it.

Next, I spent ages trying to figure out how to make the gradient. I tried different techniques, like airbrushing, dip dying etc, but nothing looked quite right, and I couldn’t replicate it to the large amounts of fabric I needed for the skirt.

I ended up getting the purple gradient I wanted custom printed on chiffon from Spoonflower. I bought 7 meters – 6 for the skirt and 1 for the short dress.

Apart from the 6 layers of chiffon, there was also something like 8 meters of bridal satin, 10 meters of tulle and 6 meters of lining in that huge skirt. The short dress was made with bridal satin layered with the chiffon. I really liked the subtle shine that gave the dress.

With the sewing done came the part I had most fun with: adding all the little details! I made some hip pad-thingies and a panel down the front and then I just pinned stuff here or there until I figured out how I wanted it to look.

Last, I made a belt to wear with the short dress (I felt it needed something once the corset and skirt were off) and decorated my shoes with airbrushing, I also changed the stones on my hair clip to have amethysts. Swarovski stones and other small details. Also included some photos of the decorations I made for the tables.

Here’s the final result:

Of course, I also want to show off how we looked on the day of. Let me pre-face this with the fact that I was just really stressed before the wedding. My mother passed away a week and a half before. It was too short notice to cancel, and we didn’t want to, either, but it did mean that my motivation to prepare for a party took a bit of a dive in the days before. In the end, my fancy hair I wanted became just braid-curls with a hair clip. I know to everyone else, this is perfect and fairytale’esque and all that, but I had dreamt of something else than my go-to pretty style. Oh well. I still think we look beautiful. Even if I forgot to tighten my corset, so it just sits loosely instead of giving me a nice shape. 

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