I Made My Own Wedding Dress

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.

By | 2017-11-29T01:55:58+00:00 November 19th, 2017|Sewing|1 Comment

Utah Wedding Reception: Springville Museum of Art

I feel like I could write a novel about my wedding and all the details surrounding it, but that’s what pictures are for. Here’s the summary.

Venue: Springville Museum of Art Sculpture Garden

I picked this as my venue because I wanted it to be outdoors and I love art museums. The location, price, and amenities were also perfect for what we wanted. There was also a weather contingency in the case of inclement weather.

Photography: Tara Wilcox

I chose Tara for her attention to detail! She captured all the details of the reception and even took portraits for my siblings during the evening. She also did a great job with getting through the group photos quickly and pleasantly. I also got some film shots by Sol Harris.


I wanted the reception to be casual and minimalistic. We kept the decorations to a minimum by mostly relying on the natural beauty of the venue. We made simple centerpieces, CNC’d a welcome sign, and put some photos on the provided easels. I used Shutterfly to create the guest book.

Music: Renshaw

I didn’t want any dancing, but I did want live music. I’ve known Cayson Renshaw since kindergarten and he is an amazing musician, so I booked him as soon as I had a date for my reception. He formed a band shortly before my wedding, so he brought one of his band mates as well. They were awesome and added the perfect ambiance to the evening. They’re going to be famous one day.

Food: Marvellous Catering

My mom was in charge of figuring out the food and she found Marvellous Catering. They definitely live up to their name. I only heard raving compliments about the food during the night. We went with appetizers and lemonade to keep it simple.

Cake: Sam Keele

I’m not into most wedding traditions, but my mom told me if I was having a cake I had to get photos of me cutting it. I wanted cake as dessert, so we did cut the cake. But there was none of this save it for the anniversary nonsense. We served our whole cake and got Costco cakes to serve when we ran out of the decorative cake. To save money, I put the flowers on my own cake. Though I couldn’t eat the cake on my wedding day because my stomach was acting up, they did save a piece for me that we took on our honeymoon, and I was able to eat it the next day, which happened to be my birthday. And it was delicious.

Florals: Roots Floral Design

I couldn’t have my tropical Florida wedding, so I settled with a tropical bouquet. Kaytee Stice of Roots Floral Design did a beautiful job giving me a taste of the tropics in the Utah desert! The main flower was a protea surrounded by tropical greenery.


We got my ring custom made at Forge Jewelry Works. I showed them a picture of what I wanted and they mocked it up in CAD and made it happen! Hayden got his band from E-Wedding Bands. They both had great service.

Send Off:

I wanted the reception to be as minimalistic as possible, so we didn’t do anything fancy for our send-off. Everyone stood in a line and cheered as we left. But Hayden did pull through and got his dad to bring his old Fiat for us to drive away in. This was special because this was the car his dad drove while he dated his mom. We drove it around the block before switching into Hayden’s car. 🙂

By | 2017-11-29T23:29:39+00:00 November 19th, 2017|Life|0 Comments

Joggers For Days

In 2016, I was a designer for Utah Fashion Week. I wanted to design a collection of clothes I would actually wear. So I made a bunch of joggers and t-shirts. My theme was Kitsch, meaning poor taste of the high class. I wanted to be the complete opposite of what fashion shows are about. I wanted my models to be short and wear sneakers. (Plus, they needed to be short so I could wear all the joggers myself after the show…) I wanted their hair and makeup to be simple and casual, like the clothes they were wearing. I wanted to make something others could relate to. They walked to the song “Cheap Sunglasses,” so I gave them all a pair of cheap sunglasses to complete the look. Cheap sunglasses because I feel like we have all used cheap sunglasses to make us feel like we’re cool or stylish, but really they are just kitschy.

By | 2017-11-28T03:54:47+00:00 November 19th, 2017|Sewing|0 Comments

Elephant Sweatshirt

I dabbled in sewing as a little girl, but I didn’t really get into it until I was in college. I went home the summer between my sophomore and junior year and I was bored out of my mind. I picked up sewing to give me something to do. I found an idea for an elephant sweatshirt on Pinterest and fell in love because it was so cute. My mom and I came up with a pattern and figured out how to make one! One of these days I’ll come up with instructions so you can make one yourself.

By | 2017-11-29T01:57:07+00:00 November 18th, 2017|Sewing|0 Comments

Hello World 👋🏼

Hi! I’m Michelle!

A little bit about me:


I Love

my family, creating, organization, minimalism, & sunshine


I Work

at a middle school teaching wood shop & engineering classes


I Play

by taking photos, designing, & admiring art and architecture


I Like

Q-Tips, double-sided tape, gummy worms, & hedgehogs


I Dream

of someday owning my own stationery shop with all the pretty things


I Make

elephant sweaters, lesson plans, baby blankets, and chocolate chip cookies

By | 2017-11-29T01:57:57+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Life|2 Comments