Saturday, 12 July 2014

Making of my wedding gown - Part 2

I apologise for the belated update on my wedding dress. It's been a long time since my last post in late February when I was doing a muslin fitting. The end result is I made the wedding dress for myself and we had a wonderful wedding. In fact I haven't been sewing much since I finished the wedding dress in March.
My father was walking me down the aisle.

I took lots of photos during the process. I let will them speak for themselves. For those who are thinking about making your own wedding gown, don't underestimate it. There's lots of work and time involved. Luckily I have professional dressmaker neighbour who helped me a lot on some crucial steps.

Research and planning

This is the most important stage and actually not as straightforward as you think it might be. I changed my mind many times on which gown I wanted it to be like! With straps or strapless? With sleeves or sleeveless? Ball gown or bias cut? Lace or no lace? what does the neckline look like? What fabric?

I looked at some bridal magazines and on the Internet for months. I also visited a couple of bridal shops. Unfortunately when you make your own gown, it's never going to be what you want most because there's a limitation on your ability to make. I knew there were certain things I would totally avoid:
  1. Fabric like Chiffon and Georgette. It's definitely beyond my ability to handle those difficult fabrics. I knew if I couldn't cut or sew it well, the dress was never going to be wearable.
  2. Sleeves. I think it's extra work and difficulty to do sleeves on a wedding gown. A bit of skin makes the gown more elegant. 
I drew inspiration from a photo in a bridal magazine. I decided to do a strapless, a-line, skinny gown. There will be beaded lace on the upper body just like the photo and bias skirt with a short train. I put it in the drawing.
Inspired by this photo.

The corselette

Strapless gowns needs a sturdy corselette. It basically pulls the whole gown up, and boy I tell you, it's heavy when finished.

I did multiple fittings with calico. I used kwik Sew pattern 3060 as a starter. I extended the pattern to the hipline. You can see my first version in my last post .

Verona helped me with the fitting. Certain areas needs a little negative ease like the bust and the waist. She gave the tummy a bit of ease because I would need it when sitting down. Here is the first fitting by her:

I used good quality shape-well and interfacing. Those are the two layers in-between. A lining is added inside and fashion fabric outside.
Inside the corset (without the lining)

I added double bra cups for bigger looking bust :P

Close up on the boning

The top

Placing the beaded lace needed some expertise. I asked Verona for help. She had to take a photo of the lace and asked her friend who is very experienced with lace for advice. She pinned the lace for me. What followed was the most daunting task of this project - hand sewing the lace to the main fabric. It took me days and maybe because I got bored, I took lots of photos during this process. The heavily beaded lace is from Clegs.

Hand-stitch the lace to the fashion fabric
Bias Skirt

I asked Verona to help me with the bias cut because I am not good with it at all. She has a very big table. I think you need a big surface for bias cut. It's easy to stitch up the skirt and attach it to the corselette.


I opted to use lap zips for closure. Don't assume that it's simple. There were a few layers to be attached. I remember I had to hand sew the zip because of the beaded lace.

The wedding

The wedding was beautiful. It was a bit wet so we could not take too many photos outside.

At the end of the day, it was a big relief. I took on too many handmade stuff like baking Macarons, decorating the ceremony etc. I just learnt one important lesson, that is, I can't do everything myself. I need  to delegate tasks to friends and family.
Verona with us.


  1. What a beautiful job you did on your dress! You look fantastic:) Congratulations to you and your husband!

  2. Amazing dress, Celeste! Fabulous job and I really love all the details :) Congratulations!

  3. Excellent work! You should be very proud of your dress. It looks great on you. I'm sure your husband is very proud as well. Congratulations.

    1. Thank you Star. Humble by the words from an advanced sewist. Good to see your post on the Cynthia Rowley dress. I was hesitating whether to get it too.

  4. You look absolutely stunning! The material, the fit and the subtle details have come together beautifully and Congratulations! xxx

  5. I am here from Pattern Review and want to say that you and your dress are Stunning! Congratulations by the way. and lots of luck for the future.

    1. Hi Annette. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. WOW! I just did a google search on that pattern (I usually do that if I've just bought it or am thinking about it). Your wedding dress is amazing, hard to believe it is handmade. Congratulations :)

  7. The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me.
    Wedding Dresses


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