July 21, 2014

Handmade Wedding: Sewing the Bridesmaid Dress

Today I will be sharing the process of making my sisters bridesmaid dress!

The bridesmaid dress was a little challenging as most of my ideas didn't end up working.  I wanted my sisters bridesmaid dress to be art nouveau inspired with a casual twist and mine to be more art deco inspired..... the nouveau never really eventuated. But one thing which saved me was a last minute fabric buy. When buying the wedding silks and chiffon's, I saw this orange flower print and couldn't resist a reckless purchase. Little did I know that this decision would save the big day!  The theme of the dress also needed to be casual garden wedding friendly.

Fabric manipulation
For the bodice, I used a basic block pattern and shaped the back piece. I started using this fabric manipulation technique that I saw Christopher Palu from Project Runway do on a number of garments. Not having a great deal of experience working with silks and chiffons I decided to use tissue paper as a stabilizer. Firstly I ruled lines 1cm apart on the paper. And layered the fabric and paper; silk, chiffon and then paper on top. Following the lines, I sewed across each pattern piece. 
I then ripped the tissue paper off (which was not a fun job) and cut between each sewed line. 

Things aren't quite going to plan:(
I was planning on continuing this technique for the skirt but had to forfeit the idea when the chiffon on chiffon skirt version ended up totally warped. No one wants a wonky skirt! Time was running short so I had to make a decision fast. When I get to this point of 'sewing despair' I sit in front of my fabric stash, waiting for the solution to bare its wonderful head. This wonderful fabric was like a beacon of light, shining amongst the other fabrics.
So the solution was to cover the peppermint fabric with the chiffon floral. It did feel sad abandoning the initial concept and cover up my hard work:( But something had to be done

Circle skirt and Hand Sewing
I cut the 1/4 Circle skirt (using the calculations in my circle skirt tutorial) and started to drape the chiffon on the dress. Hand sewing all the way. 

Sewing and the sun
During the summer months I find it hard to be inside, so I often take my sewing outside!

Kass got her hair done in a braid. I initially wanted her to wear it out, but living in one of the windiest cities in the world could potentially be a problem for long hair. I really like how it all turned out.

All in all I am happy with the dress and feel that it fit the garden theme of the wedding very well:)
Thanks sis for being such a great bridesmaid!

Still to come...... the grooms suit, my wedding dress, crocheted cake toppers. Plus much more. 


  1. Gorgeous dress! It has that pretty casual vibe that fits the brief perfectly. I especially like the way it looks moving in the wind. That hairstyle was the perfect choice!
    Thanks so much for sharing your process, I will have to try using when I'm brave enough to tackle chiffon or silk :)

    1. I am glad you found it useful! Thanks for the lovely and encouraging feedback:)

  2. What a beautiful and unique dress! I love it!

  3. Yeah the process was certainly unique! Thanks for the kind words:)

  4. What a lovely dress. You are so takented

    1. Hi, thanks for your positive feedback. Much, much appreciated

  5. This dress is incredible! So so so good!

  6. That dress is a stunner! Especially love the low back & angled straps.

  7. I think that the dress turned out pretty well too. Thanks for your kind words.

  8. I love this so much. So glad I found you on Kollabora :) The name signs are so clever, I might copy you for my next dinner party :)