March 31, 2010

Fitting the Bodice

Yesterday, I created a pattern for the bodice of my dress.  I'm very thankful that I've chosen a relatively simple style of dress.  I've never created a pattern for any part of a dress before, so this was a fun opportunity.  I measured and remeasured.  Then, I created a pattern on a piece of junk mail newspaper.  I cut it out of scrap fabric and pinned it to the parts of the dress I already have.  After re-pinning and making minor changes to the pattern, I gave myself a big high 5 and called it a day.  Here's a pic of 1/2 the bodice:

I'm really happy with how everything is going.  I'm also very proud of my patience.  I'm not known for that quality, so it's a nice surprise to have it now.  I've still got to figure out how I am going to put cups in the bodice.  I know that will take a little time to figure out, but I've done well so far, so I'm sure it will all be okay.  

Today I cut out the lining (same fabric) of the skirt and midriff pieces.  I still have SO much fabric left, which is awesome.  That was another big step for me.  I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to dye the dress or what colors I would dye it.  If I do decide to dye it, I won't post info about that because I want it to be a total surprise for my family on my wedding day.  I also want to keep doing what my inner voice wants to do, follow my creative yearnings, rather than try to please anyone else.  I realized today that this is a piece of art, just like my paintings, and I certainly wouldn't ask someone else what they think about those.  So, I'm just going to follow my heart with my dress as well.  I'm sure it will turn out wonderfully.  



March 27, 2010

First Fitting of Wedding Dress

Hello Everyone,

My name is Melanie, and I'm a beginning sewer with high aspirations.  I had a sewing class while I was in high school, and now, 10 years later, I've decided to sew my own wedding dress.  Thankfully, I'm wanting a simple dress because we're going to get married on the beach.  We haven't set a date yet, but it will be soon.  So this blog is to document and journal about what is going on in my sewing world.  

Last night I did my first fitting for my dress.  I've been taking a very long time doing each step because I want to make sure it's going well before I sew it all together.  I finally got the skirt and midriff cut out and basted together.  I'm using Simplicity 2692 pattern for the skirt:

Misses Special Occasion Dresses

I have asked my mother's grandmother, Mark's (my fiance) grandmother, and any other ancentors who have passed into spirit who know how to sew to please help me on this project, and so far, everything has gone smoothly.  One night I went to bed wondering how to make ruffles, and the next morning I saw a tutorial in my head of it just before I woke up.  This kind of stuff happens to me all the time, so I'm expecting that they will continue to be guiding me or leading me to the right people to help me along the way.  So, without further ado, here are the photos from the first fitting.  Please disregard the top, which is just a camisole that I threw on.  I haven't created the bodice yet, so this was just the fitting for the skirt and midriff.

I am really really thrilled with how it looks so far.  My inspiration dress is Charlotte, from  I was so excited to find an eco-friendly wedding dress designer who made gorgeous gowns.  I live an increasingly eco-friendly lifestyle, and having an eco-wedding is something that is really important to me.  After researching lots of different fabrics and becoming overwhelmed, I realized one way I can be eco-friendly is to use used fabric.  I went to goodwill and found a beautiful Egyptian cotton duvet cover that was still in the package for $15.  I think I have enough fabric for the dress and the lining, which would be awesome.  Anyhoo, here's a photo of my inspiration dress from

Isn't it gorgeous?!  I wrote to Morgan Boszilkov, the designer, and told her if my dress didn't work out, I'd buy hers.  She wrote me back a super sweet e-mail.  I love working with people who take time to respond.  So thoughtful.  

Sent by NaturalBridals on March 26, 2010: 

Hi Melanie,
Thank you very much for your kind message. Congratulations on your engagement. I hope your dress turns out great, and if not, I'll be here for you! :)
Happy Sewing!

You can check out more of her creations at her etsy store.  

As for the bodice, I'm thinking of building it around a bra so I have built-in support.  I also think it will be easier for me to design that way.  My only concern about that is cutting up a bra I already have.  Mark and I have dedicated this year to not buying any new plastic, and we're writing about it at  I think most bras have plastic parts, so I'm going to do more research in that. 

Anyhoo, that's the latest from my sewing diary.