Monday, March 7, 2011

How I "designed" my wedding dress

I was just on Grosgrain and saw the post about wedding dress designing. Or semi-designing. Then I  realized that this post has been a draft for sooo long! I can't believe I didn't post this sooner. Shame on me.

I first started writing this post because of Rebecca of Sleepy Dreamer Design. She used adobe Illustrator to sketch out design ideas that she liked. Illustrator is so useful like that!

Here's a picture of Rebecca in her beautiful dress!

Check out her blog for more

Now although I wasn't as ambitious as Rebecca, I customized my dress. I initially got this dress from a former T.A. at college. The dress was beautiful, fit wonderfully, but elements of it just didn't look all that great on me. What I ended up doing, with the help of my mother of course, was to dissect the dress, keep what I liked and change what I didn't. It actually ended up being a very reasonable endeavor. It looked something like this to begin with....

(don't look at my face!)

I loved the top, but from the waist down it. Was. Funky . I also didn't like the point at the bottom of the bust. I'm not actually sure what that's called, but it wasn't doing anything for my 5'2 frame. So that all had to be changed. I guess I could show you a better picture, but I'm too vain to blow up that horrible picture of myself.  
Before you judge me, know that this is where I lived in college. I know it's gross. You don't have to tell me.

I ended up with this...

May 16, 2009, San Diego, CA

Realize that when I got home, my mom and I stared, yes stared, at the dress. For a long time. We were scared. Very scared. We didn't want to ruin it- for obvious reasons. And then we realized that I got the dress for free and if it came out bad, at least I wasn't out any  money. And I only liked the top...

I didn't take any pictures (I know, I know..) of the process of us changing the dress. But here's what we did:

We left the top as is. I liked that part. We cut the bodice off at the natural waist, eliminating the pointy thing- what's that called? took off the top few layers of tulle. Pretty, but i just didn't think it was working with the top. We used the satin from underneath the tulle to make a simple a-line skirt. I was going to make the dress a tea length, but then as we were fitting it I realized how pretty the long skirt was and couldn't let it go.

I think often a lot of brides (like me) search and search trying to find the perfect dress, only to realize that the design elements we are looking for just don't exist out there. Why not make it happen? I sew, why no?  I was open to the idea of using a dress that was gently worn for only 8 hours, that I got for absolutely nothing, and changing it (also for free). Can you tell I'm a frugal bride? Needless to say,  it worked out really well. So before you get discouraged about not finding THE Dress (and stop watching "say yes to the dress") and think about alternative routes.

If you want to see more pictures from our low-key DIY wedding and more of the dress, go here.


Rebecca Waldron said...

Thanks for the shout out Dana! Your dress turned out beautifully and you look amazing. You are one talented seamstress. I would have been scared to cut into a wedding dress too, even if it was free. What a great alternative to buying an expensive dress from the store. In fact, I bought 3 thrift store beauties myself before deciding to start from scratch. Well done, my friend!

ella@lifeologia said...

Beautiful remake!
I did the same thing about 5 years ago ;)

- different style though ;)