Bride To Be Diaries: DIY Bride Jess Is Making The Dress

We all know that your wedding dress is the most important outfit that you will ever wear. Shopping for it and getting that feeling is a huge part of the excitement for the big day. So hands up who would dare make it? Well, today on the blog DIY Bride Jess is making the dress!

New Bride To Be DiaryOur DIY BrideSAM_0419


Over the last few months I have sporadically been working on the dresses for Mum, Sharlene,my Maid of Honour, and I for the big day. I designed a tailored dress and bolero jacket for Mum and a V-neck cocktail dress with a flowing skirt for Sharlene.

I took measurements of the lovely ladies in order to get the pattern sizing right, and made a mock-up of each dress (aka a toile). A toile is an opportunity to see how an outfit fits the body using cheaper fabric. This way you can see if the pattern needs any alterations. I am now at the point where I can now make their dresses from the final fabric. Jess & Mum

My wedding dress design is very traditional – floor length ivory duchess satin with lace. I still wanted the experience of going to try on dresses with my mum though. So a few month back we did exactly that. Just like any other bride I tried on lots and lots of dresses! The really good shops allow you to take pictures, which allowed Mum and I to flick back through the dresses without having to rely on memory. I tried on one dress that truly made me feel like a princess – The Contender! Why should I even go through the stress of making my own dress when I could have this one? It was over my budget but not by much. I could just buy this dress and the worry of making my own would be gone. After some much needed counselling from Mum over a Costa I decided that I should at least try and make my own dress. The ‘Contender’ was really quite different from what I had designed for myself. If the mock-up bridal gown went wrong then I had a back-up plan.The contender

Actually getting to the mock-up stage of my wedding dress has been a little more complicated than I anticipated. I have been putting off working on it. Instead I have been focusing on other stuff – IE. Origami Flowers.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Why was I putting off working on my wedding dress? This was supposed to be the most exciting part right? And it is exciting. But it makes me sad too. My Nan was a seamstress, she bought me my first sewing machine. I spent so many hours sitting next to her, watching and helping her sew. When I decided to change my path and follow fashion and textiles she was so happy for me. She gave me her favourite sewing machine (a much needed tool when you are studying A ‘Level Textiles and later a degree in Fashion & Textiles) I think she felt that I was following her, not only that but I studying it. Had my grandmother had the opportunity to study fashion and sewing she would have been even more phenomenal that she already was.

Nan & Jess

I was so exceptionally lucky to have the most amazing grandparents. They taught me so many of life’s values. Even though they did not have much money they spoilt me with love and attention. I always called my grandfather Cilo, apparently it was because he did not want to be called Grandad and I could not say his name Cyril. Hence he was always Cilo to me.

Nan & Cilo - Wedding

Unfortunately Cilo passed away 5 years ago and Nan died year before last. As much as their passing is not new, I just wish so desperately they were here to share in my wedding like I always thought they would. I know I am lucky to have lots of special people still in my life. My family and friends are fantastic and Rod is my rock as always.

It’s easy to take people for granted, especially those that provide the corner stones to your life. It’s not on purpose, it’s just a part of life. Take some time, let those people in your life know how special they are to you. Take more pictures and video’s, even though they may seem embarrassing at the time, it provides great moments to look back upon. I wish I had taken more pictures and video’s.

I still find myself getting sad about losing my grandparents when I work on my wedding dress and I know there will be a part of me that will be sad on the day that they are not there. I, however, am planning something special to remember them by.

Bridal gown in pattern pieces

I did finally finish the mock-up of my dress. So last week Mum came over to Swansea and we went shopping for fabric. Lee Mills in Swansea is a great place to look for fabrics. The owner Mike is hilarious and the ladies that work there are so friendly and helpful. The shop is like a labyrinth of fabric. Packed to the rafters with everything you can imagine.

Mum - Lee Mills Fabrics

After trying a myriad of fabrics Mum settled on two – gold and pink/mauve satins. One will be used as the main fabric and the other the trim.  I also bought the most beautiful lace and a stretch duchess satin for my dress along with some fantastic printed cotton for the 60 metres of bunting to be made.

Dress LaceBunting

It was a good day. We laughed, Mum treated me to lunch and Debenhams came up trumps with a beautiful fascinator in a soft pink, which will go with the pink-gold satin of her dress perfectly.

Next step will be to make the final dresses, however, you will need to wait until the wedding to see the pictures. (Collective awwwww) It will ruin the surprise if I show them to you early! LOL!

Until next time ….. Hwyl Fawr

Pattern cutting toile

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  1. Pingback: Cwtch the Bride – Blog 3 | purplepearblog

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