Making my Wedding Dress Part 1: The Inspiration

So, now I've shown you all my finished wedding dress, I’m going to hand over to last-year me to tell you about step 1 of the "Making-Of" process…

My well-used wedding planner (home-made of course)

I have finally made up my mind. I’m going to make my wedding dress! I’m brimming with excitement to get going on it! The idea excites me more than it terrifies me, which I think is a good sign. Of course it terrifies me a bit… it’s the biggest, most ambitious, high stakes sewing project I’ve ever taken on. But, I keep telling myself, it is just a dress. A very special dress, but still just a dress.

During my decision-making, I devoured every blog post out there of bloggers who have sewn their own wedding dresses. Let me tell you, every single one of them is so, so inspiring. These ladies made some incredible dresses. Reading these posts convinced me that it is a really good idea to make my own dress. Marrying Liam in a dress I’ve poured so much love, time and care into will surely be such a special thing. Plus our whole wedding is going to be a decidedly homemade affair, so it feels only right. It also feels like Project Wedding Dress is a huge adventure laid out before me. I’m excited not only by the thought of finished product, but also by the journey, and everything I will learn along the way. 

There are many amazing me-made wedding dresses out there. Here are a few of my favourites:

Poppykettle - who made a jaw-droopingly beautiful gown inspired by an Ellie Saab catwalk piece. Such an achievement, and the most stunning, different-to-anything-in-the-bridal-shops dress I have seen. 

Stacey Kigner’s dress which is on A Practical Wedding - so stylish and such a great finish! I also love her wise words of adapting as you go, and trusting your instincts.

So Sew Lovely’s easy travel wedding dress - wow! She looks so great in this and her ‘bustier before the gown’ post has a lot of useful insights!

Sew Dixie-Lou’s GORGEOUS lace dress which she drafted herself! I’m in awe. Check out those invisible darts!

Misha and Mia - HOW did they make this incredible dress in such a short space of time? 

Dolly Clackett - I just adore the fact that her wedding dress is so quintessentially her.

Hello Zoe B - So wonderful! I love the lace and the beautiful silk skirt. It looks like it moves so beautifully.

Queen of Darts - very lovely, and so professional-looking.

Actually, I think that’s one thing that unites all of the sewing blogs I’ve read about me-made wedding dresses. They all look so professional, well-finished, well-fitting and so individual to the women who made them. It makes sense, with all the time and care they have put into them. The results speak for themselves and the brides all look utterly glorious. 

Another deciding factor was also the budget consideration. If I didn’t make my dress, I’m pretty sure I would buy a second hand one online or from a charity shop and perhaps then alter it. The fact is, we just can’t afford to spend £18,000 on our wedding (which is the cost of the average UK wedding! Wah?!), and we also just plain don’t want to. Our budget is much MUCH smaller than that, and I have absolutely no problem with finding solutions to budget-related problems. It’s like a challenge, and as I said, I love a challenge. 

The thing that really tipped me over the edge with my decision though, was that when I mentioned to friends and family, “I think I’m going to make my wedding dress”, every single one of them had the same immediate reaction. “Wow, that’s amazing!” None of them thought I was crazy to attempt it, and they all believed I could do it from the off. 

And so do I. I know it will be hard, but I think perseverance is the key. I’ve got time to make it without having to rush, and if need be I can adapt as I go along. 

So the decision is made! Project Wedding Dress here I come!!!!

EDIT: I split up the making of my wedding dress into a few posts, documenting each stage of the journey. You can find an index of them all on this page.


  1. It's so great reading this after reading your wedding day post and seeing how beautifully your dress turned out! It just proves that trusting your instincts is always a good idea :)

    1. Thanks, Danielle. You're right, trusting your instincts is always the best way. That way you can't regret your decisions! The gut feeling is usually right. I Just had to include a few of these diary entries from early on in the process. As you say looking at it from the other side it's interesting to get an insight into how it all began, and for me it's a reminder of how much making the dress taught me! Xx

  2. Yey! Thank you for linking me here, very flattered :) that's the exact feeling I had about it, excitement,and you have to trust your gut feelings x

    1. I adored your dress and it was a big inspiration, especially as when you published your 'making of' posts I was fretting over how to do the lace on the bodice, and worrying about whether I'd need darts. Your very in-depth advice when I asked you about it was such a massive help! You're a star! xx

    2. Ah that's so sweet, thanks Ree xx