Once you have decided on the design of your dress, you can decide on what fabrics you want. I splurged on french lace from Britex in San Francisco. Their store selection is more expansive than the online store. The bodice, I went with an ivory china silk, underlining of bastiste, corset of cotton, and lining of blush silk. The skirt, I used blush silk lining with ivory georgette.
Most of my silks, I got from Mood fabrics…Yes, the same Mood on Project Runway. Strangely, it is very affordable, and there is a great selection online of quality fabrics. They also get a lot of past season fabrics from big designers. For example, the ivory silk I got from my skirt was from Vera Wang!
A good place for findings aside from big fabric stores online or in person is Etsy. It can be cheaper than your brick and mortar store. I got my silk ribbon for my sash, my button loops, boning and horse hair braiding there. Other things, like zippers, twill tape, and thread can be bought at stores like Joanns. Get the nice cotton thread, it’s worth it.
Always buy more fabric than you think you need. You have no idea if something will go wrong.
If you are not able to be a physical store, always order swatches before you buy a shit ton of expensive fabric. It is never exactly like the picture online, and you will never know what fabrics will look like next to each other. Even after ordering a long list of different colors of china silk and chiffon, in the end, I got my lining (that showed through on the skirt) and my skirt georgette at the store while I was in town. Luckily, now I am always in town, but when I started the process, Dayton, Ohio didn’t offer a great selection of garment fabrics.
Some useful things about fabric I learned on the way:
- Don’t be too cheap with your fabric choice. It is your wedding. Make a reasonable budget.
- Bastiste is a very nice material for underlining. It will give your silk good structure but still look delicate. another plus is it will make sewing silk easier too.
- If you don’t have a bunch of weight on your chantilly silk, it’s okay not to line with organza.
- Even with >6 yards of skirt, your skirt will still not look as full as you think it will.
- Always swatch
- BASTE BASTE BASTE!
- Before you cut into anything, MAKE A MUSLIN. You cant always get more of what you have.
- Think before you sew, and take it slow. Picking out a seam on silk will kill you.
- Use cotton thread for sewing your silk.
- Use translucent thread for hand sewing lace. For the french seams, I used cotton.
What are you some helpful hints you have learned sewing a wedding dress or formal gown?