The Wedding Dress, pt. 1: The Design, the Muslin, the Fabric, and the Outfit

The Design:

When I first started researching what I wanted to make for my wedding dress, I came up with some very similar pictures. All of them had a sweetheart neckline and an overlay of lace or mesh. I eventually found Simplicity 1606 and had grand plans of making it in a combination of pink and white and burgundy accents.


I want to add cap sleeves to the dress and I want a fuller tea-length layered skirt. This is my inspiration dress:

wedding dress

I made the muslin and was not happy with it. You know those pinterest fails?


Yeah, it felt like that…

So, I went back to the drawing board. Okay…the pinterest boards and started pinning gorgeous shirt dresses.

Everyone knows I love a shirt dress! There is no better piece of clothing to wear than a shirt dress with a flared skirt.

I felt like a wedding shirt dress could be my dream wedding dress. I still wanted a full tea-length circle skirt on it. I got McCall’s 7084 around Christmas time and really loved the princess seams, flared skirt, cap sleeves, and the lace overlay in view C.


All I needed to do was lengthen the skirt and do an FBA on the bodice.

The Muslin

The muslin process went incredibly well for this dress. I did pattern tissue adjustments and only created one muslin. Sorry just cell phone pictures for this process. I made a 2 inch FBA with size 22 using Mary’s method for princess seam FBAs. The FBA added 4 inches in total to the finished measurements for the bust and 6 inches to the waist. I also did a 1 inch narrow shoulder adjustment. Then I lengthened all of the skirt pieces by 4 inches. I further lengthened them by an additional two inches when I cut out my fabric.

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My muslin fit was amazing. The princess seams are perfect and there is no pulling across the bust where the buttons will be.


Some tweaks in the collar had to be made (reduced the length of the collar stand by an inch in total), but other than that the muslin was perfect and truly felt like it was meant to be. After twirling around in the muslin, I decided to redraft the skirt from panels and godets into a full circle skirt do reduce the amount of seams I would need to make in the delicate silk and because I wasn’t sold on the look of the godets in a solid colour. It wasn’t difficult to cut the skirt pieces in three panels and I ended up using the muslin skirt itself as a pattern piece when I cut into my fabric.

The Fabric

I went back and forth and back and forth and did tons of research and visited tons of fabric stores and looked endlessly online for this and that and the other thing.

Getting me to settle on fabric was a difficult process, but I wanted it to be right for me.

I started off not wanting white. I started off wanting dusty rose and having burgundy or wine accents. I then thought maybe champagne with burgundy. Ultimately, I just drank a bottle of wine and clicked buy.

My main fabric is a white silk charmeuse from Dharma Trading. Dharma Trading sells wholesale dyeable fabrics in white or black along with fabric paints and dyes and many other things. I ordered samples from several different places. My samples from were pretty disappointing. They were synthetic materials and I really wanted a silk charmeuse, because I’ve worked with it before and it sews like a dream, feels amazing next to the skin, and has a lovely drape that makes me so happy. The samples from Dharma Trading did not disappoint. I also got a few others at the time, as well, and might order again in the future. Dyeing my own fabric is definitely on my list of things to do in the future. I also got a few yards of silk organza from Dharma Trading, as well. You’ll find out what I used that for in my construction post.


I was originally going to dye the white silk using tea or coffee to make it a champagne hue, but then I got an adorable “no” from my fiance who said he never gets to see me in white and that he really loved the idea of being traditional in that way. I was fighting hard against traditional things and I still am, but my fiance’s look was so sweet… I couldn’t say no. I never really do say no with him. It’s so difficult when he is so cute and dreamy and wonderful. *swoon*

Now that you’ve stopped gagging, I’ll go on about my fabric.

My lace fabric is from It’s not the best quality lace out there and is stretch lace, but it’s quite lovely as an overlay on the silk. I will be hand basting it to the lace to make sure it doesn’t move during the sewing process.

I have a synthetic cranberry satin for the waist tie. I didn’t want to use a silk for something that will be pulled and tied and possibly stepped on by family as they swoop in for hugs and kisses. I also got enough to make my sister a sash as one of my bride’s maids.

Finally, I got white rayon hug snug to bind the seams from My wedding dress will be pretty on the inside and on the outside.

I also ordered a lace in a pink blush from for the lingerie, which I will talk about in a different post as I plan it out.

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I’ve now got the whole dress cut out and ready to sew:


Creating the Outfit

I ordered was a tea-length petticoat crinoline in ivory from ReShashay. They are made of nylon organza and netting. They come with instructions to decrinkle them in the shower. It worked really well. The ivory looks quite lovely under the white silk. I originally ordered the crinoline during the champagne coloured fabric phase, but am still happy with my decision to keep it as ivory. It looks very cute under the white silk.


If you are ever in the market for a crinoline, I really love the one I have and would definitely recommend it to other people. I could have gone through the process of making my own, but damn all that gathering and all that fabric can’t really be beat with a $36 price tag. Saves me time/money!

My shoes were also back and forth in my head. I wanted pink….red…..white…….etc.

I settled on gold and kept pinning all these lovely gold shoes. I looked into custom made ones (which were way too expensive for me) and then one day while at the mall I walked into Call it Spring and fell in love with these two matching pairs:


The wedge heels were $40 dollars and will be worn during the ceremony. I’m not really a heel person (although, I could actually walk in these ones comfortably!) so I figure at some point I will want to burn them and put on cute flats. I picked up gold flats in a similar material as the heels for $35.

And, of course, I couldn’t resist finding buttons that matched (I have 12 buttons in total):


I have no plans yet for jewelry, hair/nails, or the bouquet. It will all come together eventually. 🙂 I’m a pretty relaxed Bride-to-Be.

Next Up:

Sewing the dress, of course.

Stay tuned for:

May: The Wedding Dress, pt. 2: Construction and Details

June: The Wedding Lingerie

Also in June: The Flower Girl’s Dress and Sash

July: Wedding!

The Wedding Dress, pt. 3: The Reveal and the Day.

I promise I will be using the DSLR from now on so that you can see the details really well and don’t have to contend with shitty cell phone pictures.


35 thoughts on “The Wedding Dress, pt. 1: The Design, the Muslin, the Fabric, and the Outfit

  1. This dress is going to be so beautiful and so uniquely you! I just cannot wait to see it!!! OHMYGOSH it’s going to be wonderful! Having just made that shirtdress pattern, I think it’s going to be perfect for what you envision. I also love that lace version and perhaps I will make one myself. 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh! I can’t wait to see your version! 🙂 I definitely think it’s a great choice for me. I can’t wait to see it all finished. 🙂

  2. I made my wdidng dress – 1920’s style, and was thrilled with it. I’m sure yours will be fabulous – all that silk, how luxurious! I want to fast forward now to see it all completed!

  3. I can’t wait to see your finished dress!!! There’s no way to make a wedding dress more special than to have made it yourself! What you’ve shown laid out looks beautiful, its going to be amazing!

    1. Hahahah! I do feel bad about making you wait, but I want things to be a surprise for my family. I might be inclined to email you a picture, though. 😉

      1. I think I will likely send it out to a couple of people, because I just get too excited about this! And in order to not drag my fiance down and twirl and show him the dress, I will just email an entire photoshoot to my SBC friends. 😀

  4. This is going to be so lovely. Can’t wait to see it!

    I love that we both have our shoes already. Priorities! (At least, I have my ceremony shoes already. Still thinking about what I’ll do for the dancing part.)

    1. Thanks, Andrea! 😀 I had to get the shoes first to make sure the length on the dress was right, after all. 😉 I can’t wait to see your dress! 😀

    1. Thanks, Chloe! I was so stoked about the fit of the muslin, especially after the other failed pattern. I’m sure it was shining through at the time! 🙂

  5. It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous–the neckline is perfect and not something you see on wedding dresses which is a crime! And you sound so relaxed–like, hey, I’m just makin my own wedding dress out of silk charmeuse, no biggie. That’s how I was with my cake that I made…making that thing was the best part of the whole getting ready for the day process. I even made a practice cake and drove it around in the back of my parents’ van so that I would know how to protect the real thing from road bumps…it was so much fun. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. 🙂 Hehe, it’s easy to be relaxed when the materials are so awesome. It’s like sewing clouds. 🙂

      The cake sounds awesome! I am making a small cake for the wedding, too, but just for the wedding party for everyone to get that cake-smashing moment at the reception. There will be a dessert for everyone else. 🙂

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