Sewing · Wedding Dress

Yes, I made a Wedding Dress

I have done very little blogging this year but I have done a lot of sewing.  Mostly for my son’s wedding, the wedding dress and my mother of the groom outfit.

It’s been a lot of fun, mostly………….. occasionally when things didn’t go well I did wonder what the hell I was  doing.  I won’t bore you with lots of details, especially as I didn’t think to take many photos.

The Design Brief

The Bride wanted a white dress, lace, lace sleeves and not long, but not sure what length.  After a email exchange of pictures and patterns of what I thought might be suitable we arrived at a very loose idea of a strapless boned bodice with a lace bolero, skirt to be decided later.

Which Pattern

This was narrowed down to

Simplicity 4070


and a pattern in The Wedding Dress by Becky Drinan (Florence Bodice)


I started by taking lots of measurements of the Bride as instructed in the book and using the pull out pattern sheet, marked the measurements and joined the dots to create a custom bodice pattern, then traced the bodice pieces on to grease proof paper (I don’t normally ever trace pattern if I can help it and this is all I had to hand, but it worked really well) So I had a front, side front, side back and back bodice piece.


We had a fitting of the two bodices I had sewn up in some old curtain lining to get some idea of the fit.    The bodice from the book was an excellent fit.  The Simplicity 4070 was quite good but needed to be shortened.

The next thing I did was to recut the bodices in calico and add the boning, there is lots of information to be found on the internet regarding boning, but I simply stitched cross grain ribbon  to create channels  over the seam lines into which the boning was inserted.  I thought boning would be difficult, in fact it’s really quite simple.

Bodice cut from Calico with  boning.

So now I had two bodices for two different dresses but  no decision about the length.

I cut the bodices again from an old sheet and stitched them to the calico boned bodice. The skirt for the simplicity pattern  was made as per the pattern with no alterations.


From The Wedding Dress book I followed the Florence dress instructions, the book instructs you to draw your  skirt pattern, the only large sheet of paper I had was the back of the pattern sheet supplied with the book so this became the length of the skirt pattern. I took the two dresses for the Bride to try on and she chose Florence from the The Wedding Dress book and it just happened the length turned out to be floor length on the Bride and she decided she did wanted a full length dress!  But unlike the Florence dress in the book, she didn’t want a corset back or layers of fabric or to change the neckline, she liked it as it was.  Keeping it simple.

Florence Toile


We both ordered a few fabric samples and settled on fabric from White Tree Fabrics

Duchess Satin for the skirt and Duchess  Satin for the bodice with a lace overlay and a lightweight satin for the lining, and the same lace for the bolero.

Dress Construction

The toile was a good fit, but I did need to take out some fabric from the skirt centre back seam,  which must of been a error on my part when drawing the skirt pattern.

The toile was unpicked and then used as pattern pieces.  The calico boned bodice formed the inner bodice of the dress, which was sandwiched between the main bodice and the bodice lining.



The pattern for the Bolero was again from The Wedding Dress book.  The lace had two scalloped edges so the back and sleeve hems were cut to use the scalloped borders.  For the back of the neck and bolero front I carefully cut the scalloped border from the remaining fabric and and hand stitched it to the bolero front and neck.  Satin bias binding covered the side, shoulder and arm hole seams.

We only have few photos so far

the happy couple




If you got this far well done and thanks for reading.