Making My Wedding Dress Part 1: Inspiration & Fabric

by - 6/27/2020

I'm getting married and yes, I am making my wedding dress!

In this post I'm going to share with you the initial inspiration I've been gathering for my dress, including shapes and styles, some potential sewing patterns to look into and my dress fabric!

If this had happened 5 years ago, I can tell you the exact dress I would have wanted. I was in a 1950s phase, so it would have been a fit and flare, petticoats and a red lip. But now, on the verge of turning 30, I'm much more relaxed with my style and have realistic expectations when it comes to my appearance. I never enjoyed spending hours on my hair trying to achieve symmetrical victory rolls and having to constantly be worried about where my red lipstick had smudged on my face. I've embraced softer 1970s silhouettes, lazy hair and simpler, lighter makeup. This is a round about way of saying, I've left 50s and pinup style behind me, and that the late 60s & early 70s is where I belong and the wedding dresses from that era are a big inspiration for me. 

The Fabric:

All of this started because I found my fabric (not the engagement lol just the dress making!). Up until this point I hadn't thought too much about my dress, making it and so on but then I stumbled across the fabric. Now I know it'll sound a little lame, but I really did feel like I found 'the one'. It couldn't be more 'me' if I had designed it myself and I couldn't see myself finding anything I would prefer over this. So my search had ended as quickly as it had started! It also pairs perfectly with my vintage flower diamond engagement ring. Sensing a theme yet?

The fabric is a soft tulle, embroidered with flower shapes in white. It's dreamy AF. It's quite weighty, but still has a nice drape and I think it will lend itself perfectly to the styles of wedding dresses I'm looking at. 

Vintage Wedding Style Inspiration:

I want my dress to be a happy medium of boho 70s, with some 60s details but made for the modern woman and for what I want to get up to on the day. Of course Pinterest is where I'm spending my time gathering images for dress shapes and styles. I can honestly say this is something I've never been interested in before, but having disappeared into many a Pinterest rabbit hole recently, I'm all in with the wedding inspo! 

These are just a couple of vintage images I've saved to share with you here, but I've pinned lots more...

Vintage Wedding Dresses:

Via Pinterest I've visited many an Etsy shop recently to discover some beautiful vintage wedding dresses. Here are some of my favourite shapes and styles..

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Honestly I love looking at vintage so much, I could have a dedicated blog post to vintage wedding dresses alone! These ones are from a 1970s focused search. Whilst none of the above are one of my dream dresses, each one has a feature I love. Like sleeve details, neckline or length. 

Modern Dress Inspiration:

I've also been taking a lot of inspiration from some of my favourite designer brands. Below are some shapes I love...
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

To be honest, if I could afford any of The Vampires Wife dresses above, I would totally scrap any plans to make my dress! I haven't actually looked at any bridal designers yet, I don't even know where I would start, especially as I don't want anything too traditional. But I love these designer ones and they are probably more representative of the shapes I liked to recreate rather than the vintage ones. 

Modern Sewing Patterns I'm Considering:

It's very early stages and I'm in-between a few styles I like at the moment. Initially, I thought a high neck 60s mini would be cute, but after some thought, I feel that probably wouldn't suit me best. But for any 60s loving brides to be, that pattern would be so cool as a wedding dress! 

I can't get the By Hand London Jenna dress pattern out of my head, perhaps paired with a long Wilder Gown inspired skirt?

Currently I'm liking the idea of square necklines, long sheer overlay skirts and midi sleeves.  Of course I could go down the vintage sewing pattern route. I just find that a little hard work and don't know if that would all become a little more complicated (mainly because of sizing). But we'll see!

So that's just about where I'm at right now with planning my wedding dress! Whilst planning anything to do with actually getting married is still up in the air right now, it's so nice to actually have my fabric and feel like I've made a little progress with our wedding. It's my escape and my happy place right now that's for sure.

Did you make your wedding dress? Would you make yours?

Thanks for reading!
Abi xo

Disclaimer: contains affiliate links. Fabric gifted from Minerva.

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  1. Oh, this is so exciting! I can't wait to see your progress. I got married long before I began sewing in earnest, but my aunt did make my dress and it was lovely. Enjoy the process!

  2. I wanted to make my wedding dress but My So you got a job in a different state so I had less time to work on it because I had to work on more things for the wedding. The shame is that I had already bought the fabric and a pattern and it started doing a mock up but had to put it down and never got to pick it back up. Maybe I can make it and we can have a recommitment ceremony and 25 year anniversary