Easy Do-It-Yourself Wedding Gowns

Tips and instructions on how you can make a wedding gown yourself and save money. Includes ideas on how to use old clothing to design a wedding dress.

Hard to fit women, and those who just love to sew, might want to consider making their own wedding gown. Not only will they get a perfect fit, they'll also be able to choose their own fabric and lace. Being able to do that is a big plus, since many women end up settling for what they can find, rather than purchasing exactly what they want. Use articles of clothing already in your closet to make patterns for the ultimate wedding gown.

Look through your closet and find something that might look good as a bodice after it's been re-worked. A nice blouse, a sleeveless tank - whatever you think would look good. You have to imagine what it will look like when it's finished, not as the red tube top it currently is. A tube top really can be one style to use for a wedding gown bodice if you make it from stretch white lace and then attach an empire-waist skirt. Cut the tube top from the stretch lace you've chosen, then cut a white satin skirt - very full - and line up the middle backs, middle fronts and side seams, then stitch together around the empire waist. If you want to add a semi-sleeve, gather white lace and attach it in the front, strap area, and then gather and attach to the back strap area.

An ordinary tee shirt is a good pattern for a wedding gown bodice. Make adjustments to the actual bodice, such as lowering the front and/or back neckline. Cut the tee shirt front slightly larger then put in laces up the front. Cut the pattern shorter than the actual tee shirt, and then attach a floor-length skirt made from satin or another pretty fabric. The sleeves can be sheer lace, or the entire bodice can be satin with a white overlay.


A balloon skirt can be made to attach to the tube top or the tee shirt bodice by cutting two rectangular pieces of cloth. One piece would be cut to a few inches larger than the size you need for your waist and length. The next piece is cut smaller all the way around by a few inches. Lay the small piece, right sides together, on the large piece. Gather the large piece until it fits with the small piece, and then sew the two together, on both sides and the bottom. Leave the waist band open to turn the skirt. After turning the skirt, one side will be shorter than the other. Pull both edges of the two waist pieces together, and then sew into the bodice at the waist. When you do this, the skirt will flare out with no sign of a hem.

If you have a favorite dress, it can be used for the pattern to make your gown. Measure and cut the pieces from the dress, making changes that would be appropriate for a wedding gown. If it's a knee-length dress, measure the extra needed to make it a floor-length, or if it's short sleeved, measure the extra, tapering it, to make a long-sleeved gown. You can change other things besides the neckline, sleeves and hem. Instead of buttons on a regular dress, add white, yellow, pink or blue ribbons down the front. Even a nightgown can be used to design the wedding gown. A flowing nightie can be made, then a sash attached around the waist to make it look more like a dress than a nightgown.

Working with patterns for shirts and skirts is even easier than trying to measure and cut pieces from an existing article of clothing. With patterns the adjustments can be made previous to cutting the cloth, making it much simpler. To make a train for the skirt, cut the sides of the front and back the same length, but cut the rest of the back piece much longer. It can be made even longer by adding lace that tapers off on the sides.

Look at the clothes in your closet with an eye for what might look nice as a gown. Choose well-fitting, simply made clothing, and then add your own adjustments, beads, appliqu├ęs, lace, ribbon and other adornments to make it look more like a wedding gown.

© High Speed Ventures 2011