Semi-Homemade Dress?

March 7, 2011

Don't you love the idea of semi-homemade? Sandra Lee is a genius. You get the bragging rights without all the work!

I've been thinking about attempting a semi-homemade wedding dress. And actually I think this could work for other people too!

I tend to lean toward dresses with a fitted bodice that reaches the hip and a long embellished skirt like the ones above. But I'm thinking of maybe buying a cheap dress with that silhouette and doing the embellishment in the skirt myself since the skirt is usually the focal point of the dress. I could save a lot of money that way and potentially get what I want. But honestly, I'm a little scared. It's a lot of work and quite risky. But I'd also love to inspire other people to do the same thing so I'm on the fence.

Part of me also sort of loves the idea of a short flared skirt with a sheer overlay and opaque wide bottom trim on the sheer fabric, modest sheer neckline like this dress on the right and wrist length white gloves, very 50s. 

If we eloped I'd do that, travel to Crete and drive off in this.

35 {comments}:

Laura said... Best Blogger Tips

I vote you do it. That would be amazing.

Marianne & Clayton said... Best Blogger Tips

I made my own wedding dress and was so glad I did. You of all people are ideally suited to taking on the challenge. You've made far more difficult pieces before, I say go for it!

Sabr said... Best Blogger Tips

You should definetly do it! Everything you make with silk/chiffon/satin and other difficult fabrics turns out wonderfully and I doubt your wedding gown would be any exception!

Melinda said... Best Blogger Tips

I think you should do it also, it would be so much more personal! My sister made her own wedding dress and it was basically the first thing she ever made, if her's turned out, your's definitely will! haha

(P.s. I think Sandra Lee's a nut job! I had to laugh when you mentioned her! haha)

Melanie Allen {The Domestic Engineer} said... Best Blogger Tips

A semi-homemade wedding dress would be so neat to see! If you did it, could you post pictures of the process? I got married a few months ago and had the most difficult time finding a dress... I should have gone semi-homemade. :-) Have you set a tentative date yet? So happy for you.

The Extra Ordinary Bree said... Best Blogger Tips

If anyone could do it's you! Can't wait to see what you come up with!!

Ashley said... Best Blogger Tips

Both ideas sound wonderful, I can't wait to see what you come up with! Your wedding dress will be amazing!

Have you tried on any dresses yet? Even if you're sure you'll be making your own, I think I'd try on a few for the experience (and to make sure you REALLY love the shape of the dress on you, not a model).

Author said... Best Blogger Tips

As far as embellishing a dress, I think you definitely have the skillz:) If anyone can do it, you certainly can. However, my encouragement might be partly selfish -- I really want to see what you would come up with!

ribbonhappy said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm currently engaged and I'm in the process of looking for affordable dresses with the a similar silhouette to the one you described. (I've had my eye on the Vera Wang gown for David's Bridal you feature in the upper left hand corner - although I don't have the budget for it!) I would love to see you try your hand at making something like this! I'd be really interested to see your process, as it would help me to think about the possibility of me doing something like this with the help of my talented grandmother!

Cheilita said... Best Blogger Tips

i love love love the two dresses on the far right. top and bottom. those are my vote.

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips

If there's anyone who can pull this off, you can, Kathleen!

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the semi homemade idea. I was just thinking about it this weekend but in reference to a skirt I refashioned, nothing fancy like this.

Anyway, you are more than capable of creating an absolutely gorgeous skirt!! Everything you make is beautiful.

Ana said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm sure whatever you make will come out lovely!

Elizabeth said... Best Blogger Tips

What an inspiring idea! I would love to see what you come up with!

Dropped Stitch Knitter said... Best Blogger Tips

I really like that idea too. My mom made her own wedding dress and was very happy that she did. However, she had a button up bodice and ended up sewing them on until she put the dress on the day of the wedding! So if you can find a bodice you'd like, I'd say go for it!

kschwerz said... Best Blogger Tips

DO IT!! I was also thinking of doing this same thing...and then found a fabulous designer dress for SUPER cheap at a trunk sale..amazing find! Anyway, one of my best friends embellished her dress and it was gorgeous...I'm 100%positive you'd make it perfect for you, you do such great work all the time:)

Lucy said... Best Blogger Tips

Do it! I made my wedding dress and I am so happy I did because it will always be something uniquely me. You won't regret it.

aaahhhyes said... Best Blogger Tips

I am getting married in a dress I made this weekend and what I did is buy a bustier and fitted the dress to it so I knew I was working with a solid foundation. Your dress will be beautiful and remember, it's just a dress!

natalli said... Best Blogger Tips

My mom made my wedding dress. It sounds pretty similar to the 50s style you were describing. You can see it here:

I loved having a dress that was totally unique and EXACTLY what I wanted :) go for it!

~april said... Best Blogger Tips

my mom made my dress and it was fab...sleek and fab! she did a genius job! go for it!

Dana Bradshaw said... Best Blogger Tips

I did a similar thing when I got married. I got a dress from this woman, but I HATED the bottom. The top was beautiful.I had my mom help me. We sat there and looked at it for weeks, too scared to even touch it. Finally we just decided that it was free, so it wasn't hurting anything. And guess what? It turned out amazing. There was so much fabric from what we removed that we just used the excess. I have some pictures (not nearly enough!) on my blog if you're interested.

Jenny Plumb said... Best Blogger Tips

I vote for the 50's idea. I feel that you could totally pull it off (both ideas actually). After following your blog for two years, I have MUCH confidence in you!

365 Dresses said... Best Blogger Tips

You should do it. Get the fitted top from a store bought dress, and add the flourishes. The fitting is the long boring part---and you get to do the fun. You'll look wonderful!

TM said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the idea of buying a dress and making it special if your not up for starting from scratch. When I got married I wanted to make my dress, but for some reason I let others talk me into buying one instead. While it was nice, it wasn't me. If I could go back, I would definitely make one. With the $1,500 i spent, I think I could have done something spectacular.

Leah Franqui said... Best Blogger Tips

I find this photography website super inspirational wedding wise:

TMJ-Seamstress/Designer said... Best Blogger Tips

I say you should do the dress from scratch! I agree that you have already done much more difficult things and even the simple silhouettes are super expensive, so I say skip embellishing on top of something and go with making it from scratch. I made my own wedding dress and since I am a horrible procrastinator, I had to do it start to finish in 2 weeks, so I'm positive you would be able to do more than you think!

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

I semi-homemade my wedding dress. I wanted 3/4 length sleeves for my winter wedding (impossible to find in a shop). I was on a tight budget too. I found a dress with the perfect skirt and made my own bodice. In the end it came out great, I had to fit the bodice twice though. The first time it fit perfect until I attached the heavy skirt! The second time was a charm. When I made my nieces grad dress I made it with a lace up back instead of zipper, it made it so much easier to fit with a heavy skirt.

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips

I just got engaged too (only a couple days before you :) and have been dreaming of making my own wedding dress. I'm nowhere near as capable as you are, but was thinking of using maybe a collette pattern (Chantilly) and just going all out on the fabric in something like a silk crepe and then accessorizing the heck out of it!

Pure Ella said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea!
I actually did the same thing 5 years ago. Got a dress off the sale rack and customized it with my imagination and some designer italian gowns as inspiration ;)
Here she is:

Good luck with your dress ;)

Valerie said... Best Blogger Tips

Sounds like a good plan.
Have you seen two in one dresses?

Maybe another fun option would be to make something like that... creating your own skirt.
Just thought about that when i saw this post! :)

coffee girl said... Best Blogger Tips

this might sound crazy, but what about buying a slip ( similar to the fit you want, and then adding fabric and embellishments to that!

Plume said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm sure your dress would be stunning...but i've always hear a bride shouldn't sew her own dress!! Is your mother as talented as you are? :-)
Hey, i'm a little superstitious do not listen to me!

HarmlessColor said... Best Blogger Tips

I think you would be really good at it. I was just looking at some of your other dresses and they are amazing. I love the streamer dress you gave away, I think it is my favorite ever.

Elk Dresses said... Best Blogger Tips

Buying the "base" and then doing the extras yourself sounds like a brilliant idea.

Adventures in Dressmaking said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea! My mom has had her heart set on making my wedding dress since I was born I think, so she is making the body and I will embellish it!!

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