Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wedding Questions

So you get a lot of questions when you announce your engagement. There are the usual ones - proposal details, when are you getting married, where are you getting married? Then there are the ones that are more unique - will it be vegetarian? Will it be at the zoo?
The one I'm getting and going to get is, "will you make your own dress?"
I used to sew a lot, so I want the answer to be yes. This is for several reasons:
1.) I get what I want.
2.) No pushy salespeople trying to make me buy a $1500 dress.
3.) It fits the first time around (I have a very weird body type.)
4.) It will be a very personal experience.
5.) It will be cheaper.

There are also reasons to not:
1.) It might be a huge undertaking.
2.) It might be a disaster and then suddenly, 6 months before the wedding I'm at David's Bridal struggling to find a dress.
3.) The fabric will be white and I'll probably cut myself with a seam ripper at some point.
4.) I haven't sewn a full on dress (not a halloween costume) in about 3 years.
5.) I'll have to do it at my parent's house so that Mr. M-A doesn't see it.

I'm still weighing the pros and cons. I got offered a job in Michigan for the summer, so if I take that, I can pack up my sewing machine and maybe do my dressmaking out there and come home with it finished.

If I do decide to make my dress, where do I start? First I hop over to A Practical Wedding, where Meg is working on her own dress. Next step: pattern hunting. First stop: big pattern companies.
(None of these are dresses I'm actually considering for my own dress.)
Simplicity patterns are my personal favorite - they're easier to read and the instructions are better. It's totally a personal choice.
I love this one for a short-dress wedding - there are so many possible variations.
Butterick makes some very nice patterns - I think the one I'll end up using, if I do make mine, is a Butterick. (But not this one.)
Another advantage - a lot of dress patterns have sleeves, so if you're looking for a more modest dress, making it might be the way to go.

Vogue patterns have a rep for being hard, but I'm not sure that its deserved. They do tend to be more complicated, so if I were a beginner, I would go with this Vogue - the cowl neckline is super simple and I'm pretty sure this dress is four pieces. It may not even have a zipper. (I have no idea why this is underlined.) If you are a beginner, your wedding dress should not be your first sewing project - start with simple skirts, then move up to a dress. Sewing really does take awhile, or an expert guide, to get the hang of. Some sewing tips I've picked up are pretty basic, but important:
1.) Read the instructions.
2.) Iron every single seam, every inch of fabric. It's amazing the difference it makes.
3.) Use a rotary cutter & mat and cut out on a table. Saves your back.
4.) Have your sewing machine manual very very handy.
5.) Stock up on extra sewing machine needles.

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