Making my friend’s wedding dress

Picture by Lacherie Photographie | Wedding Day

When my friend Nel asked me to make her wedding dress back in March 2017, I have to admit that I was shook for a couple of minutes. At that time, I was going through a rough time in my life (I was actually on sick leave from work) and was re-questioning just about everything in my life! And then, a light bulb when on in my head… As an occupational therapist, who has to encourage some of my clients into pursuing meaningful occupation to help overcome mental health issues, it was only the just right challenge I needed. Working on this project helped me see that my work was still meaningful, despite of what I was going through!

My friend started by sending me inspiration pictures. From the start, she told me that she really wanted to be able to wear the dress after the wedding. Also, because of her height, she wanted a short dress. Β She eliminated the option of buying a dress because she wanted to have a perfectly fitted dress for her height and size without going through complicated fitting sessions.

Picture by Lacherie Photography

After meeting and chatting about her expectations, we went fabric shopping. We found her fabrics in different shops in the Montreal Fashion district (St-Hubert street). We selected an off-white satin and a silk organza. I used a commercial pattern to create an adjusted princess seam bodice. Then, I drafted a circle skirt for the dress. The overlay skirt is a simple gathered skirt attached to a sash made out of the dress’ fabric.

The initial request was to create a short dress. As I was playing with the overlay, I felt like showing her what a long overlay skirt would look like on top of the short dress. I decided not to cut but to pin the overlay up to show her how it looked short, then I let it down to show her the other option. I’m so glad I showed her both! She ended up really liking the long overlay and went for this option! Also, when she tried it, I felt like the open back was a nice design feature. She agreed and we also went for that option!

The dress has a full lining and the bodice is reinforced with boning in all princess seams. I used an acetate fabric for the lining. I drafted a full A-line skirt lining which also has a slightly gathered waist to keep volume to a minimum around waist but still get a fuller underskirt. In my opinion, it was unnecessary to do a full circle skirt lining.

My babylock Tempo machine made it easy to work with all those slippery fabrics! I also made sure to use my straight stitch foot to increase control over those fabrics. I left the Silk organza overlay raw in all edges. Β The selvage had a nice finish which was perfect for the open-back skirt!

The bride was beautiful and very happy on her special day!

Picture by Lacherie Photographie

Question from an Instagram follower:

  • Where there any surprises that you didn’t anticipate? Not really. I love sewing evening and wedding guest dresses. There where no new techniques used to create this dress.

Overall, this was a great experience! It surely prepared me for my big day! I am now actively gathering ideas on my secret wedding dress inspiration board. Should I open it to my blog followers? Β Let me know if you want me to share about DIY wedding dress inspiration from pinterest!

Picture by Lacherie Photographie

Join me to wish my friend Nel a long and lasting happy marriage!

Join the discussion

  1. Queenesther Jones

    I totally love this dress. I think the bride got just what she wanted. You did an OUTSTANDING JOB!
    Keep your boards a secret until you are ready to start making your dress. That way you won’t have people trying to change your mind. (Unless you want advice)
    Be blessed and Shalom.

  2. Myra

    Can I say I love, love, love this wedding dress! It appears to suit her personality (even though I’ve never met her!). Great work on your part! You attention to the design details were impeccable! Congratulations to you on your engagement and yes, I would love to see your DIY wedding inspiration board!

  3. Eliz~

    Beautiful dress, beautiful couple. What an inspiring post! Makes me wish I was sewing when my daughter married 4 years ago.
    I just found your blog and so happy I did!

  4. Chris

    That long overlay skirt is genius! Light and elegant.
    Congrats to the happy couple!
    πŸ™‚ Chris

  5. Sue

    Beautiful work!! You’ll definitely do my 2nd wedding dress when the time comes 😁

  6. Carmen

    Wow, you should be so proud! She looks beautiful and you did an amazing job!

  7. The Sewing CPA

    Wow! You did such an amazing job, Judith. The bride looked so pretty in her dress. Best wishes to the couple!

  8. Cindy S.

    Beautiful dress and a beautiful bride! I wish your friend and her new husband a lifetime of health and happiness.

  9. Marilyn

    Judith you really should go into design.. that dress is beautiful.. I love the overskirt.. Beautiful job and what a nice friend

  10. Elizabeth Farr

    That last pic is just beautiful with the silk flowing around her and the happy couple. I love the long overskirt; it shows both the fun short dress which totally suits her and a fun spin on a more traditional style. Are you engaged (Congratulations!)? I’d love to see what your plans are!

  11. Jessica Lorraine

    Wow this is absolutely stunning Judith! I love the idea of the shorter dress with the overlay. Gorgeous x

  12. Manndou

    What a privilege it is to be in touch, on a regular basis, with such a beautiful, gracious and smart woman like you! Your turn is on the way in the name of Jesus Christ! If I could, I would spend every hour in my life with you my dear Judith. You did a great job and I’m fully proud of you! I wish to your friend Nel a long and lasting happy marriage! God bless Mrs. Daniel and her husband! God bless you pretty sweet girl! Peace and Love!

  13. Gillian Whitcombe

    Judith, that is FANTASTIC! Your friend looks so pretty, and her dress is showing of her lovely face and figure! You did a great job!

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