It’s about time I told the story of my wedding dress. It is quite the saga.

I guess the story begins a couple years ago when I started getting involved with Utah Fashion Week. I had this itch to sew my own clothes and be a fashion designer. I didn’t want to be a wedding dress designer, but in my interactions with Utah Fashion Week, I got exposed to a lot of local wedding dress designers and started admiring their work. In my hopes of getting married someday, I began searching for my dream dress.

I fell in love with this dress by Natalie Wynn, who is one of the founders of Utah Fashion Week:

I liked the lace on top and the flowy, yet straight skirt, and that it didn’t look too ostentatious. I even met with Natalie to get measurements and look at the fabric. I wasn’t sure how much our budget was going to be, and this dress is actually a top and skirt, so my plan was going to be to order the top and then make my own skirt.

When I told my mother about my plan, she was a little disappointed and said that she wanted a go at making my dress. Instead of paying for a designer dress, she would fly me home to Florida and we could spend a week sewing my wedding dress. I was hesitant at first because neither my mom or I have ever been able to sew a dress that fits me well enough in the bodice and I wasn’t sure I would be able to find lace that I liked. (To be honest, I still kind of like the look of Natalie’s dress better than the one we made, but it’s cooler to say you made your own dress.)

Despite the hesitations, I can never say no to a Florida vacation, so we went forward with the plan to sew my own wedding dress. I found fabric that I liked and we started searching for a pattern. We found one to create the skirt part, but for the bodice, we ended up using the pattern from my mother’s wedding dress. She made her own wedding dress and she has kept the pattern from over 30 years ago. I tried on her wedding dress, and we were close enough to the same size, so we used her pattern to create the bodice for my dress. We made a practice dress that I would use as my regular LDS temple dress. Once that dress was how I liked it, we would make my wedding dress.

Even though we got the temple dress to pass my inspection, I ended up being a lot more picky with the actual wedding dress. There was a lot of mind-changing and unpicking throughout the process. But my mom is the queen of patience and unpicked everything and never got mad at me for changing my mind. Here are some of the revisions the dress went through (pardon the mirror selfies):

It’s a good thing I didn’t go with Natalie’s dress, because we went with pleats instead of a gathered waistband, and we made the waistband wider. You can tell by my face that I’m happier with the final result than the earlier revisions.

So that’s the story of how I made my own wedding dress. Whether or not I actually wear my wedding dress in my wedding…. well, you’ll have to read my next post.