Oh, it’s a big project!
I’m getting married next year and ever since we got engaged I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own dress. People that have seen my sewing have asked me about it, too, and I keep deflecting and being vague and such – but secretly I really want to do it. I made a Facebook post this week which said as much, so it’s no longer such a hidden hope, but there are some major pros and cons.
- I get exactly what I want, which is not very traditional and therefore harder to find from a shop, even the independent makers on Etsy
- There are no sales assistants making little faces when I ask for a sample in a size beyond a 12
- I get the enormous pride of having made my own gown, and the accompanying praise which should eventually follow (I’ll be honest, the nice comments are amongst the best parts of sewing!)
- It’ll be a lot cheaper than a store-bought gown, which seem to range from £800-£2500; my costed up designs range from £200-£500 in materials (largely this depends on whether or not I want lace!)
- There’s an ethical point about using my own labour rather than the questionably-treated people in clothing factories around the world, and this goes double if I am able to use deadstock fabric like I would hope to
- It’ll be totally unique!
- This is a massive time and stress commitment and I don’t know what else will happen in my life in the next 12 months that could impede progress – for instance, my employment contract is about to end and I don’t know what my next position will look like or when even that will materialise
- If I spend money on materials and it doesn’t work out, I will have to spend more money on a back up dress in order to have something to wear
- Sourcing the right fabric, trim and such can be really difficult at the best of times, finding colours that match and coordinate, but we are living currently in a pandemic timeline which doubles that difficulty – I can’t exactly go trawl shops for supplies. I’d want to go to London to be able to go to a number of shops in one day and that’s just not feasible right now for safety reasons
- What if my skills don’t match my vision?
So far, I’ve drawn a number of sketches and priced them up (approximately) using a lot of online shops. I’ve got about three different Google documents with drawings and spreadsheets combined, giving circle skirt maths and bodice calculations and price lists and all those kinds of goodies. I’ve also started making a corset toile, to see if I can get a good bust fit which would be appropriately supportive (not a massive success so far, as you may have seen on my Instagram stories). I’ve also collected a range of fabric samples so far and have more coming this week, including some aforementioned deadstock samples which I am SUPER excited to receive.
… all things combined suggest I really am going to try and do this.
I’ll absolutely document the journey where possible, but I would also want to make sure it remained a surprise for my partner and my family so I need to figure out what the looks like too and how I could blog without giving away the game – but I’m sure I can work something out!