DIY Dress????

Ever since I read the (spit out coffee thru nose on cue) web post about how to make a $10.00 wedding gown out of cheap T-shirts (and shared it for morning laughs with my network of professional fashion designers, stylists, costumers, and film and TV  ardrobian friends)  I always wondered who would do such an insanely risky thing?  We have a cheeky saying in wardrobe land “If it doesn’t fit, it looks like S%*#”.  With over 20 years experience I’m not even sure if I’d do it for myself!

wedding-dress-materials.jpgFitting oneself just to mark a silly skirt hem is a complicated act of contortion.  Imagine looking in the mirror while balancing  sharp objects and risking impaling oneself while seeing in reverse.  Houdini would have had to practice!  Looking glass land is not so kind, or  she lies and the reality can be disappointing.

On the eve of my Garment Fit Class at our local sewing center, fit and how to achieve it has been on my mind. Students are always teamed up so everyone can practice working on a body that’s not their own, not familiar and therefore makes them focus on it’s imperfections.  One of my students brought in her friend’s gown project for problem solving, she had reached a construction impasse and we were able to help her make it work and finish it so that she was as proud of it as we were.

A wedding gown is the singular garment that you are most photographed in during your lifetime.   It’s not meant to look or fit the same way as every day clothing, it’s not constructed the same way and will be there forever in pictures for you to stare at.  Do it right the first time and consult a pro.  There are some of us who love a bride to bring in sketches and will love to help you make your vision into a reality!  Ask around and look for reviews on sites like for custom designers with happy clients.  Did you go for an appointment with a dressmaker and get a bad feeling in your gut?  She’s not the only one out there, keep looking!

Cameras see everything differently from the naked eye and your wedding pictures won’t lie, they’ll tell more stories than you can foresee.  There’s an art and a science to knowing what a camera is seeing that the human eye cannot.  Hollywood stars take hours of prep to look good even if they supposedly just rolled out of bed.  Seasoned designers also have this keen skill of knowing just how amazing a body can look in a dress.

DIY can be a great thing if you’re really good at something!  First time tackling it?  Give yourself an out if it’s not working and consult a pro.  Years of experience teaches us how to eliminate hours of needless wasted materials, there may be a solution you just didn’t find on the Internet at 3am. Stick with DIY favors and a few decorations and let a professional take your dress ideas to a place you’ve never thought of!

While Googling “DIY Wedding Gown” for this post, some really gasp-able pictures popped up.  Others are labeled DIY but the skill level in the pictures are clearly by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re hell bent on doing it yourself, please buy a pattern and enlist a good friend who really knows how to sew to help  you.  Please?

The $10.00 T-shirt dress is likely something you are going to look back on and regret in a few years.

This post brought to you by Harper of SEAMS Couture

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Posted on September 27, 2011, in advice, DIY, DIY wedding, dress. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Wow. That’s all I got for this one.

  2. My friend made her own wedding dress and it turned out lovely! Although I remember hearing her cursing about the embroidery.

  3. I am a former costume design student and talented seamstress so it pisses me off when people say, “DON’T DIY your wedding dress!”. Thank you for your valid points. If you are good at more advanced sewing and have time – do it. If not, get help from someone who is. It’s not impossible – it just takes skill and time to do it right.

    Excellent post.

  4. Haha! I love your saying “If it doesn’t fit it looks like S@%#! Sooo true!

  5. How cool!!! I thought the dress turned out gorgeous!!! It suited that beautiful girl absolutely perfectly 🙂

  6. Jess@DestinationInspirations

    That is so cool!! the dress came out beautiful

  7. Wow, I never heard about the $10 gown. Thanks for the interesting post!

  8. Great post! I agree, DIY if you are a PRO, if not it could be a costly mistake in the end!

  9. I made my own dress and loved it – quality time in my sewing studio was way less stressful for me than multiple trips to the bridal boutiques. But yes, I do have some skills. That T-shirt dress video is giving me some great ideas for Halloween, though!

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