Handmade Wedding Dress: Part 2 - Fabric + Supplies

None of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are simply links to the various supplies and fabrics I have picked up for my dress!


With my inspiration in hand and an idea forming around what kind of dress I am hoping to create, it’s now the perfect time to start gathering materials! 

When figuring out what I would need to create my dress, especially the under structure, I was at a complete and utter loss. Aside from the few DIY wedding dress books I owned, I lacked any hands on knowledge of getting a structured dress fit. Even when I was custom making bridal dresses, there was never one that required as much structure as the one I had dreamt up in my own mind. Aside from maybe my Mom’s wedding dress I made a few years back. (Sorry, Mom! I didn’t know all that I know today about properly structuring a backless dress!)

Luckily, there have been many sewist brides that I have had the pleasure of interacting with online that have helped ease my worries and offer me words of encouragement and advice. So many have reached out to me to share their own handmade wedding gowns which has been incredible and inspiring and makes me feel like anything is possible! However, two brides in particular have really shaped what I want to do with my own dress and those two ladies are @Kat.Makes and @msjennmakes. Jenn is actually documenting her entire wedding dress making process RIGHT NOW and I am always so enamored with all the beautiful couture techniques she is adding. 

Kat and I have had many conversations regarding her own dress, especially since it is very similar in style and construction to my own (even in its earliest rendition, I knew I would need a corslette of sorts to hold up the bodice of my dress because of the fabrics I had planned to purchase). I cannot thank Kat enough for her wonderful blog series chronicling her own dress’ construction as well as her patience in answering all of my questions regarding materials! It was all thanks to Kat that I was able to round out my shopping list and get to collecting!

 

THE FABRICS

Since I knew early on what the exact color dress I wanted, I found it really easy to narrow my fabric focus. I have always had a real soft spot for silk charmeuse. It is one of my all time favorite fabrics because it looks just like water when it moves. *Swish Swish* So that was my first purchase. 

Shortly after, I found a similarly colored silk chiffon that was primarily opaque. I wanted to have both the charmeuse and the chiffon in order to play with layers. Both of the fabrics I found for the majority of my dress were from the Atlanta based deadstock shop, Fine Fabrics! I think I got all of my silks for less than $100 - Score!

The last bit of fabric that I knew I would want for my dress was probably the toughest to find. I knew I wanted some sort of embroidered/ textured/ three-dimensional fabric because I love playing with texture. However, I am SO SUPER PICKY when it comes to textured fabrics. I am not a fan of sequins and a textured design has to strike that balance between being overly fussy and too simplistic. I was seriously considering creating my own fabric (just like Kat!), but was dreading the thought of adding something so time intensive to an already time intensive task. And I am SO glad I didn’t go the hand-done route considering our wedding dates kept getting pushed around and now we are only 2 months away- yikes! I feel stressed even thinking about having possibly gone down the hand embroidered road!

Luckily, on one of my trips to NOLA to teach at Chateau Sew & Sew, I finally got up the courage to head into Promenade Fabrics. I finally had a dress in mind that would warrant perusing their luxurious fabrics and all the way towards the back of the shop, I found it. The most perfectly perfect embroidered tulle with delicate glass beads and a wonderful wintery feeling. 

With all my fashion fabrics purchased and ready to go, all I needed to check off my list were the remaining supplies, mainly for the corslette.

THE SUPPLIES

After chatting with Kat about what supplies I would need for my corslette and my ATL friend @elizabethnugent about where to obtain said supplies, I set out to finish up my shopping. 

For the corslette, I purchased all of the inner workings I would need from Corsetmaking.com. Those supplies included:

½” Continuous Spiral Steel Boning. This type of boning is much more flexible as well as more sturdy than plastic boning. It moves with the body which is great especially if I break out any dance moves in November!


½” Boning Tips. Because steel boning is made of… steel, when you cut it, the ends are quite sharp. Not exactly what you might hope to have jutting through your fabric and into your skin. Boning tips, thankfully, are the perfect solution to capping off each bit of boning being cut!


 

White Cotton Coutil. This fabric is incredibly stiff and perfect for creating the much needed under structure of a corslette bodice. It holds its shape incredibly well and will aid in keeping all the other layers of my bodice fabrics smooth and in place.


I also wound up getting a few more odds and ends for my dress based on the changing design throughout the process.

Zipper - I need a way to get in and out of my dress!

Underwire - I purchased some Orange Bra Underwires from Emerald Erin’s shop since I changed my original idea to be more of a close-fitting-bra-style-design. 

Vintage, 1930’s Blue Ribbon - I got this a long time ago to use in my future wedding dress. I am not sure what I will use it for, perhaps a waist stay? Regardless, I love it so much!

Thread - Always a good idea to have the proper thread for your project! I purchased silk thread for the more delicate elements of my garment and will use polyester for the weight bearing seams.

Silk Pins - Since silk is so delicate, I wanted to make sure that I was using the proper pins for my project, so I purchased a set of silk pins from Mood Fabrics. At least I think that is where I got them from..

And I believe that is it!

**UPDATE!** From the time I wrote this post to now, I have since come to realize that I am in need of a few extra supplies so I put in a fancy lil' order to the Etsy shop, ShyMyrtle, for loads of ribbons and trimmings I found that I would need for the inside of my corslette!

All of my supplies are now together and the next step is to actually start making the dress. YIKES! I guess I can chill out a tiny bit for now as the next step isn’t cutting into the final fabric, but is Part 3 - Creating the Corslette Toile!

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