Making my Wedding Dress: Reflections and Useful Resources

I know you've all probably heard enough of me jabbering on about making my wedding dress by now, but it is my biggest, most challenging, proudest make to date, and I just have a lot to say about it.


Making my wedding dress was much more emotional than I thought it would be. I became so invested in it, that when it began to take shape I was very emotional. It also helped me feel closer to my mum while I was sewing it. She died 8 years ago, and was a wonderful seamstress. I couldn't help but imagine us making it together if she were still with us.

I put in so many hours I almost can't quite work out how I fitted them in.

I grew to appreciate - and even enjoy! - slow sewing. I'm not super fast at the best of times, but I must say I really enjoyed a long, involved project where I took my time.

I really enjoyed learning a little bit about couture techniques.

It has given me a huge sewing confidence boost! I'm so proud of what I've achieved with this dress.

I love learning new things.

Enjoying slow sewing: pile of thread-traced corselet pieces


Couture Techniques by Claire B Shaeffer
Threads Party Dresses magazine

Here are a few links I've found useful when making my dress:

Edelwiess Patterns - Petticoat tutorial
This is the tutorial I used to make my petticoat, only I doubled up on the bottom two layers.

Stitch 'n' Smile - Waist stay tutorial
This wasn't the method I used but is another great alternative

Frabjous Couture  - Bound Slit tutorial
Almost the same as the method I used

**** Click here to see an index of all my "Making my Wedding Dress" posts ****

Making my Wedding Dress Part 6: Repairs

I tore my wedding dress. It was late on in the evening, well into the reception. I just reached across a table for my drink, felt my dress catch on my niece's pushchair handle and heard a sickening rrrrrrrip.

My heart sank. The rational part of me sad "Oh, well, you've worn it all day, and it can't be helped now." but the irrational part of me wailed "My dress! How could I have ripped it?!"

I quickly put it out of my mind and got on with celebrating, but after returning from our honeymoon, I decided to try and fix the rip before taking my dress to be cleaned.

I actually found a few other little holes while I was at it, and repaired those too! I cut around appropriate lace motifs from offcuts and appliqued them over the holes by hand. I'm so pleased with the result!

The main rip, centre front of skirt
Lace motif pinned on, ready to applique 

All fixed. The repaired part is in the centre. It does break up the regular spacing of the lace motif, but otherwise I don't think you'd notice it

Another little hole I found. I sewed a little lace flower over this one.

Little hole along hairline sleeve head seam repaired with appliqué lace flower.

The lesson shall be: don't despair if you tear some lace. Try and mend it!

**** Click here to see an index of all other "Making my Wedding Dress" posts ****

Making my Wedding Dress Part 5: Fabric Shopping & Work Begins

I didn't change much in terms of construction between my practice dress (The Blue Dress) and my wedding dress.

The fabric, though, deserves to be talked about.

I shopped AROUND for my fabric. The trouble was, I had a very specific idea of exactly the type of lace I wanted. I was also very concerned that it was the right shade. I'm so pale that a lot of "ivory" fabrics are pretty much the same as my skin tone! So I needed white or pale ivory.

I also spent more than I originally planned to. The cheaper laces just weren't doing it for me, and try as I might I couldn't find any mid-priced lace that ticked all my boxes. If I'd been after corded lace it would have been no problem - there seemed to be loads of that about at reasonable prices!

In March, after a lot of internet research, I hit up Soho with one of my bridesmaids, and tried all the fabric shops there, dodging the showers as we went. We finally struck gold in the wonderful Broadwick Silks. They had an amazing selection of absolutely beautiful (and eye-wateringly expensive) luxury fabrics. But what made the whole experience so much easier, more fun and more special was the lovely assistant, Kelsey, who helped me. She went out of her way to find any and every lace that matched my description, even schlepping out in the rain twice to their sister shop to bring back more options.

Kelsey stood me in front of their mirror and "dressed" me in a base layer of duchess silk satin, then draped each lace in turn over that so we could get an idea of what it would look like. My lovely bridesmaid was great and took loads of photos for me! We were there HOURS, tried every lace they had and eventually found The One. Heart-stoppingly beautiful lace. Lace handmade in France, with a gorgeous scalloped edge, lace that was super soft and very delicate. And very expensive. I shall use every last scrap!!!!

I took the plunge and bought that lace, but I couldn't afford the lovely duchess satin Kelsey had draped over me. Especially when I had seen duchess silk satin on Goldhawk Road for half the price! I headed straight there, to UK Textiles, and got my duchess satin for £35/m from the lovely chap there.

It was a bit more difficult to find the right colour silk charmeuse for the waist sash, button loops and covered buttons. I needed a pale ivory but it seemed really difficult to find. Eventually I found a good coordinating colour in Goldbrick Fabrics, and headed home feeling absolutely worn out!!

I carefully planned my cutting layout, especially on the lace. I wanted the sleeves and the back neckline to mirror each other (symmetrical lace motifs), and managed this with careful layout thinking. I do have quite big offcuts so I'm planning some more lace makes to use up the leftovers!

Here are some shots of the finished dress, and a few photos to highlight construction. These were taken in the early evening, and the light did a bizarre thing to the colours, making my satin and lace look positively cream. In reality it's a pale ivory.

There were a few things I did differently on my wedding dress to my Blue Dress.

Instead of adding an extra front-shoulder piece in to finish the neckline, I brought the back pieces over the shoulder to join to the front neckline with a hairline appliqué seam. It worked so much better and made more design sense.

I have LOADS of shots like this through the entire process of me using photos to help me with fitting and lace placement 

This time I did appliqué seams by hand on the bodice side seams, and I just love how invisible they are. This is me trying to "show my workings" before I pinned and stitched them.

The seam line is marked with thread tracing and the lace motifs either side of the seam line overlap and are appliquéd by hand for an invisible seam.

I added a lining underneath the petticoat to stop scratchiness! I'm going to have to go back and add one to the Blue Dress now as it is a bit scratchy to sit in. The Wedding Dress was a dream though. also because of scratchiness, I finished the edges of my Wedding Dress petticoat with ribbon.

The layers! Here you can see the lace hem (still only tacked), the duchess satin hemmed with horsehair braid, the ribbon-bound edges of the petticoat and the lining I added. I just overlocked the lining hem, as it wouldn't be seen and I did NOT want to hand-hem a third circle skirt for one dress, wedding dress or not!

TIP: to stop the corselet hooks and eyes from catching on the lace of the outer dress while working on it, I covered the hooks with washi tape!

Each lace I used throughout this project (toile lace, blue lace, pricey French lace) has behaved differently, which is why I'm really glad I draped my bodice. The luxurious and very soft and supple French lace is much more malleable than the others were, allowing me to stretch and shape it over the bust and round the arms more easily, making for a better looking and comfier garment in the end.

Because my Wedding Dress lace is quite an open design, I had to be really careful when sewing it that it didn't get all ruched up in the open parts. Over open parts of the lace I sewed over a scrap of Swedish Tracing Paper to stabilise it, ripping it away afterwards. It really worked and gave me lovely flat seams with no bother.

As I got further into my dress-making journey, I got more and more excited. Here is the moment when I tried on the almost-completed dress (the hem is still just tacked here), and danced around in it for ten minutes like an excitable child!

Argh! So proud!

Meadow print sundress & de-stashing plans

I interrupt my wedding dress posts to bring you an "ordinary" make.

As usually happens, my newest make has become my favourite item of clothing. I'm loving wearing it!

The Meadow dress: B4443
This summer I have come to realise that until now I had never made a true sundress, and the few shop-bought ones I've had for years are getting pretty worn out. I decided it was time to change that, as well as use some fabric that has been lying dormant for, erm, the past year. And lovely fabric it is too! It's Dewy Meadow, from the Arcadia collection by Cloud9. I love the quality of it, not to mention the gorgeous print.

I made this dress in spits and spurts over a week where I had some time on my hands, but no spare cash. What I DID have of course was fabric and my sewing machine, so I spent some happy hours making this dress.

Originally it was supposed to be a bit of a copy of those loverly Bernie Dexter sundresses (I have multiple versions pinned on my Sewing Inspiration board), with thin tie-straps. Perhaps I didn't make my straps thin enough, but when I pinned my tie straps onto the bodice, and tied them up, it gave the dress more than a hint of the childish about it. And it would be a nightmare to wear under a cardigan. Since, you know, this is Britain, I thought it would be silly to make a sundress that looks weird with a cardigan over it. So I switched the straps to ordinary straight ones, and made sure they were over where my bra straps landed.
Straps ALMOST properly hidden. Darn straps.

The pattern I used is my beloved and much used B4443. I love a princess-seamed bodice, and the half circle skirt is perfect for a sundress.

I machined a tiny hem on this after overlocking the raw edge, as I liked the longer length, and on a quick, casual sundress I'm really not fussed about a "proper" hem (I usually like a nice hand sewn hem).

Here's a snap of it's first outing, about a month ago when my friend Emma came to London to visit. Whenever she's down we walk around the Tate Modern, eat cake, and have deep life talks that feel a bit like therapy. My dress enjoyed it's little jaunt that day, and has enjoyed many jaunts since.

I even had enough fabric left over to whip up two cushion covers for the living room! I love the happy print. If I'm sat on the sofa wearing my Meadow Dress though I do blend into my surroundings a little bit!

Well, folks, I must be off. I'm having a MAJOR declutter at the moment, which is hard for me, a self-confessed hoarder. But I've had enough of being hemmed in by STUFF. I need to reclaim some space. So far I have purged clothes, shoes, paper crafting supplies, even books! Next on my list is to tackle my fabric stash. My problem is I cannot bear to get rid of useful fabric. I have loads of scraps saved to make a quilt, and lots in the "refashion" pile that I fear I will never get around to. I have resolved to:
1. Be ruthless and get rid of anything I think will just languish there for eons
2. Make things with my stashed fabrics before I buy ANY MORE
3. When it comes to scraps: use it or lose it. MAKE that quilt, Ree, don't just plan to. Make bibs or kid's clothes from bigger scraps. Make more cushion covers if need be.
4. Sell, donate or give away anything I won't use. I need the space more than I need redundant fabric!

Wish me luck!

**** I'll be back tomorrow with the next part of my "Making My Wedding Dress" series ****

Making my Wedding Dress Part 4: The Practice Dress

Well, I absolutely love this, my rehearsal wedding dress. Another labour of love! This dress took approximately twice as long as I thought it would. Because really, it's not even a wearable toile, it's just an earlier version of my wedding dress. Who decides to make TWO wedding dresses? I'm a bit daft sometimes. BUT I was slightly comforted and much more confident after making this as I dove headlong into the Real Thing (and the most expensive fabric I have ever bought in my life), knowing that I had done it all before. Having perfected my patterns and practiced every single technique I needed for my wedding dress, I definitely found the Real Thing much less of a headache.

Also, these shoes are my new absolute FAVOURITES. 

I bought the lace, the duchess satin, the lightweight satin and the netting for the Blue Dress from Whitetree Fabrics. I opted for cheaper materials than my wedding dress. I think the blue lace was £3 per metre. It's a bit scratchy but I was on a budget! The duchess satin is lovely, I'd definitely buy their duchess satin again. It's a lovely weight and quality, and sews like a dream. 

I actually really love that the motif on this lace is bows rather than flowers

There were a lot of firsts for me in the making of the Blue Dress:
- first corselet
- first waist stay
- first spiral steel boning
- first covered buttons
- first rouleau loops
- first time working with duchess satin 
- first bound slit
- first time thread tracing!
- first time draping a bodice
- first time using horsehair braid at the hem 
- first time making a petticoat 
- first hairline seam 

Wow. When I put it like that, I've learned a bucket load in the making of the Blue Dress. And a big bucket at that. 

I used a fair few learning and reference resources along the way, and a LOT of trial and error / making it up. I do not claim that the finished result is perfect, or up to couture standards or anything, but it is blooming lovely and I'm rather proud of it.


I almost chickened out of making the corselet. You see, I had listened too much to the "sewing lingerie is hard" voice inside my head, and also to others who had been so supportive of my dress making but said "Oh i would definitely buy your underwear. Give yourself a break!". So I almost chickened out and bought some. Until I actually tried to shop for some.

How do people find good wedding underwear?! The choice was so slim, the designs mostly ridiculous (who wants loads of embellishment and sticky-out-bits like beads and pleats which would probably show through most wedding dresses?) and the fit was ludicrous. I found only one contender. I liked the design, and it would work under the dress. The fit was terrible though. The tops of the cups gaped away from my body, whilst the main bodice section fit well. Plus it ended slightly too high on me, causing a lovely weird bulge. I'm not blaming the designer or manufacturer of this corselet of course. Women's bodies are invariably all incredibly different, how could one expect a perfect fit from a RTW corselet like this? 

Hang on a minute, I thought. The thing I'm most worried about in making my own corselet is getting it to fit well. But the fit is bloody awful on the RTW alternative, so I thought might as well have a go! Nothing to loose! I'm so glad I DID decide have a go.

As I explained in my last post, once I had adapted my corselet pattern (from B4443), I had a skin-tight, hip-length pattern with the exact same neckline as my under bodice. I decided to try spiral steel boning, and I'm so glad I did. I found it much stronger, more effective in structuring the garment, more comfortable and easier to use than plastic or rigelene boning. I decided to have a boning channel on each of the seams in my princess-seamed corselet, and one in between each seam, too. In the end I decided to go with a double layer corselet in order to create the boning channels: I made the corselet twice in lightweight but strong cotton, pinned the two layers together along the seams and sewed through both layers to create the boning channels. I purchased pre-cut spiral steel boning from Vena Cava designs. Their shop is excellent I have to say. 

Then I added a grosgrain waist stay, sewing it to the corselet between the boning. I toyed with the idea of having a separate closure for the waist stay, but as the corselet is skin tight anyway, it seemed pointless. I bought pre-made hook and eye tape for the closure. I hate sewing on hooks and eyes by hand! 

Inside of corselet (next to skin)

Outside of corselet (next to dress)


This was pretty straightforward, really. I had my altered B4443 pattern ready to go, and as I said the duchess satin was lovely to sew. The only slightly tricky part was the rouleau loops.

I used a template drawn on paper to get the placement right for the button loops. I basically sewed through the paper, looping my rouleau rope on top, within my markers. Then after sewing I could rip the paper away and trim the loop's edges that were in the S/A. It worked a treat! The only thing I overlooked was to make sure the seams in my little rouleau ropes were facing UP when I sewed them on, so that when I flipped the seam allowance back the pretty, non-seamed side showed. Oh well, I corrected this for my wedding dress!

Testing the theory on scraps first!

I also had to make sure I created an "underlap" section at the centre back, which was also pretty straightforward.

There is also a lining to the under bodice, so I had a bit of a head scratching moment (week) trying to work out how to sew the under bodice, the corselet and the lining together along the neckline, and in what order to do everything. 
Here was the solution: finish underlap section first, add closures (button loops). Sandwich corselet between under bodice and under bodice lining. Sew along neckline. Understitch. 


The lace over bodice was the part that scared me. I looked into many, many ways to create a lace over bodice, and ultimately decided to try draping a non-darted bodice with side seams and extra over-the-shoulder pieces to make it easier to drape the right shape. I did a toile first out of some more Whitetree lace I had, and this gave me more confidence to go for it in the blue lace. 

First lace bodice toile pinned over Blue Dress under bodice 

It was slow-going, with lots of pinning, thread-tracing, tacking, re-pinning, trying on... but it worked out in the end.

I knew I wanted a scalloped neckline on my actual wedding dress, but my blue lace did not have a scalloped edge, so I cut around the motifs to create one! This means the neckline shape is a bit different to my wedding dress design, but I like it anyway. 

In sewing the sleeves in I did my first hairline seam (a straight seam with a close zigzag seam right next to it, then trimmed close to the zigzag). I love how neat and delicate it looks.

The back neckline ended up a bit asymmetrical, but I have no idea how!!


The skirts were no problem, they're simple circle skirts. The hems got different treatments though. The lace hem got a normal, hand sewn hem. On the duchess satin skirt, I decided to sew in horsehair braid to help the skirt stick out. It was actually pretty easy to apply and it had the desired effect! I'll definitely be using this stuff again! 

I used the tutorial in Claire B Shaeffer's Couture Techniques book to do the bound slit in the lace skirt layer. This is actually neater than the one I did on my wedding dress! 


I'd never made a petticoat before, but I knew I wanted to attach the petticoat for my wedding dress to the corselet, so I thought I best do the same on the Blue Dress! When I've worn separate petticoats before I have found they can add a bit of bulk at the waist, plus they can ride up or down and peek out the bottom of the dress unbidden, and I didn't want this with my wedding dress.

I used this excellent tutorial for making my petticoat, and just adapted the measurements slightly, plus sewed a back seam in at the end. I then gathered the lining layer at the top and sewed it onto the corselet halfway between the waist and hip line. It worked a treat! Making a petticoat is so easy! Who knew?


This dress was made up of so many elements and MANY hours of sewing. I actually cried when I first tried it on as one piece. It has major sentimental value. Also I've read lots of blogs and had lots of friends who've said they WISHED they could wear their wedding dress again. Wearing my Blue Dress for me is pretty much like wearing my wedding dress again, and it will always be special.

A group of Liam's lovely running mates clubbed together to buy us a meal at the Wolsey as our wedding present. We went a few weeks after our honeymoon and it was so, so nice. The Blue Dress had it's first outing too and I loved wearing it!

Bathroom selfie at the Wolsey! Had to be done!

**** This post is one of a series documenting the making of my wedding dress. Click here to see an index of all posts about sewing my wedding dress! ****

Making my Wedding Dress Part 3: Patterns, Fit and Construction Planning

So, I've talked you through the inspiration for my dress, and the design process. Next up was to plan construction. This was what gave me the most head-scratching. I knew I wanted a corselet or under structure of some kind, and I knew I wanted functioning covered buttons to do up the bodice. So it was working out the construction order of everything that was the trickiest. 

Final design - top layers: lace over duchess satin
Final design - under layers: corselet with attached petticoat
I made a list of techniques I would need to use on the dress that I hadn't used before, and resolved to get some practice in those areas before I made the dress. I bought Couture Sewing by Claire B Shaeffer and it was an invaluable resource, absolutely fantastic and so interesting. Later I also found a Threads Party Dresses magazine, which ended up having the tutorial I used for attaching my corselet. I had made my corselet pattern by this point myself, but it gave me heart to see that I had done it right!

So on to the pattern altering and fitting work! 

The under bodice (sweetheart neckline duchess satin part underneath the lace) was adapted from a pattern I already knew fitted me quite well - B4443. I redrew the neckline, and brought in the princess seams, especially over the bust, to perfect the fit. 

One of my toiles when working on the under bodice fit
For the corselet, I originally tried Kwik Sew 3166, but quickly realised a stretch corselet was not going to give me the structure I wanted. So I started again. I began from my newly altered B4443 under bodice pattern, lengthened it to hip length and then adjusted all the seams until it was skin tight. I basted a zip in to aid fitting and trying on! I did find I had to make big adjustments at the small of my back, as originally I was getting huge fabric pools and wrinkling there. 

The skirt was a good old circle skirt! Deciding on length was tricky and I spent ages dithering over that!!! 

For the lace bodice, I draped. So no pattern needed there, just a few toiles. As I type this, I still can't quite believe I did this, having never draped a thing in my life. And it worked!

First draped toile! You can see my first corselet under there as well.

The sleeve was adapted from the sleeve pattern of V8766. I altered it quite heavily as the V8766 sleeve has pleats at the head whereas I wanted set-in sleeves.


SO, I had decided I would have a corselet fastening with hooks and eyes, the bodice (satin and lace in one layer) fastening with covered buttons and rouleau loops, duchess satin skirt and lace skirt hanging separately, with an invisible zip in the satin layer and a bound slit in the lace layer. 

Late night rouleau loop practice. 
I compared my rouleau samples to the straps on a Hobbs dress I have, until I could get them just as thin.

The rouleau loops and the bound slit were new to me, so I did a few samples first. It was at this point I decided I would make a complete practice version of my wedding dress before cutting into expensive bridal fabric. It just seemed sensible to me to try out all the techniques, and the construction order to make sure it all worked before attempting the real thing. I’m really glad I did this, although of course it made the whole process MUCH longer! 


By Christmas I had my final design and was altering my patterns. I was delighted when one of my Christmas presents from Liam was this gorgeous notebook for me to document the whole process of making my wedding dress!


Making my Wedding Dress Part 2: Design & Trying on Dresses!

Once again, here is last year me to talk you through my design process and trying on wedding dresses!

It took me a while to book an appointment to try on wedding dresses. Of course I knew that I should try some on, to make sure that I was on the right track with the designs I had come up with in my head, and also to check out their construction, finishes, and materials. I don’t know what held me back. I think perhaps I was secretly nervous.

When I first had the idea that I’d like to make my dress, I was very much of the thinking that “I can make a dress, I make dresses all the time. This is just an extra-special dress. It’ll be fine!” And that is true, it absolutely is. And I still have faith that I can make my dream dress, but it is a bit more, erm, involved than I first gave it credit for.

One particular morning I was sitting in the green chair (the comfiest seat in our flat), reading each and every sew-your-own wedding dress blog post I could find (I've linked to my favourites here). And WOW. Some sewers out there created full-on masterpieces. 

Then I started reading about foundation layer construction and all things corselet. Then I read about different types of lace and how to piece it together. Then I read umpteen “sewing with silk” articles, and looked at so many beautiful pictures of beautiful garments. Liam came in from the other room, saw my face and said, “what’s up?” “I’m starting to think I’m completely nuts to attempt to make my wedding dress,” I said. He reassured me, and I gave myself a talking to, and order was restored. Anyway, I always had a relatively simple dress in mind, not a princess-like ball gown with a cathedral train. It couldn’t be that hard, could it?

I got to the point where I had a full board on Pinterest of wedding dress ideas, I had sketches of my dress design and I was absolutely set on what I wanted to make. But I hadn’t tried a single wedding dress on. It was at this moment when I sprung into action and booked that appointment. It was either that or leap blindly into making the dress I had already designed, and I decided I needed the trying on help.

I do think I was scared. Scared that I’d fall head over heals for the expensive made-by-someone-else dress. Scared that I’d look awful in every single dress in the shop. Scared that they’d sniff out my plans to make my own dress. Silly, I know, but I definitely think that stopped me.

Well, the day came. As soon as I woke up the thought popped into my head: “I’m going to try wedding dresses on today.” I was so excited. I hadn’t realised I’d be this excited! I beautified slightly, popped my wedding shoes in a bag (they were one of my first purchases) and skipped off to the shop, where I was meeting my best friend and chief bridesmaid, Sammy. Everything was running a bit late at the shop, so we found ourselves sipping Bucks Fizz, reading wedding magazines and books, and giggling at the funny eighties styles. The shop had beautiful things everywhere. Sammy asked, “How do you feel?” and my honest answer was, “weird.” I did feel weird. Excited and nervous and weird. I’d never shopped for a wedding dress before. I’d never legitimately been allowed to try one on before. But now I’m getting married, and it’s time to try them on! Weird!

The thing with wedding dresses is, they’re all beautiful. They’re wedding dresses. And the assistant helping me in the boutique I went to was wonderful and brought out 5 dresses which all ended up suiting my shape wonderfully. She even let us take pictures, which, I’m telling you, was a massive help. 

In each of the dresses I felt great, but there was one in particular that made me feel… tingly. Tingly yet calm inside, content, and absolutely right. There’s no better way to describe it. I felt 100% like me (which was always TOP of my wedding dress requirements list), but like me the bride. It was quite a powerful feeling. If I had £2,000 to drop on a wedding dress I think I’d have bought the thing on the spot. But I’m not just making my dress to save money, it’s really important to me that I craft this special dress with my own hands. And the best thing was that I looked at the Dream Dress and thought: “yes, I absolutely can make a dress like that.”  I’m not saying it will be easy, but I think I can do it!

Before the appointment, I had made myself a little list of things to check for. In the moment though it was hard, especially thinking about construction and fastenings, layers and techniques, as the assistant of course helped me in and out of each dress, so I didn’t have much time to play Poirot. The pictures were such a massive help. In fact, even if I were choosing one to buy I couldn’t have done it without the pictures. Once you step out of one beautiful dress and into another beautiful dress it can be hard to remember what the previous beautiful dress actually looked like. 

When I floated down from my little cloud that evening (having looked again at those pictures about fifty times) I made notes and drawings of everything I had learned from the appointment. The freedom to pull favourite elements from different dresses, add my own ideas and make my dress so truly unique is very exciting!

So now I have a concrete plan for my dress, and a few rather long lists of how I’m going to make it all happen. 

I’m so excited to get started!


So, as everyone says, trying on dresses was a game changer. I thought initially I wanted a bodice in silk satin, with cap sleeves and a floaty knee length A-line skirt. But after my day trying on dresses, my design ideas completely changed! My dress ended up being a long sleeved, all lace affair with a calf length full circle skirt and petticoat! You can see all my inspiration on my Pinterest board. If you track it backwards you can see how much the design changed! 

First design!
Second design with cascading appliqué lace
Trying on dresses was a huge part of the design change, and really REALLY helped me to settle on which design elements I liked the most and what suited me best, but more important than that, it gave me the confidence to sew my own dress. That was when I properly decided, yes, I was going to do this. That I COULD do it.

Here is my final design (not the best drawing I admit)


My next post is all about construction, pattern altering, fitting and techniques I needed to learn.