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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > hOW MANY WEDDING GOWNS SEWN ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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hOW MANY WEDDING GOWNS SEWN
carry
carry
Member since 10/26/07
Posts: 309
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Date: 8/3/12 5:53 PM

I can spend hours just reading this section I suddenly thought how inspiring it would be to someone contemplating trying to sew a bridal or formal gown to have some statistics.
HOW MANY WEDDING GOWNS HAVE YOU SEWN?
WHAT IS YOUR SKILL LEVEL?
WERE YOU AND THE BRIDE HAPPY WITH THE OUTCOME
WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN [MAYBE AFTER YOU RECOVER]

carry
carry
Member since 10/26/07
Posts: 309
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In reply to carry <<


Date: 8/3/12 7:00 PM

First to take the survey:Between 1989 and 2010 I have made 8 wedding gowns for family members and 10 for people who paid me.I have made 12 formal gowns as well.
My skill level increased from advanced beginner to really skilled from all that I learned about fabric and construction during that time.
My brides were always pleased because from the very beginning of the process they were the designers and they were thrilled to see every detail met. I was sometimes not so pleased and had to innovate some solutions to a problem in the design or a fitting complication But they always looked as good or better than RTW
I don't really have the energy to do all that again I'm 68. I think that I did my last one last year. But I am glad I used my own hands to make so many girls beautiful on their big days.
If you have advanced beginner skills and the time or need to save money but want fine fabrics and fine finishes give yourself 6 months and learn technique from some of the books or tutorials available. It's really just a bigger and more complicated dress.

candicer
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candicer
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Georgia USA
Member since 9/26/07
Posts: 178
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Date: 8/3/12 9:22 PM

I love surveys!!
In the 7 years since I began my business, I have made 8 'sample wedding gowns' for Bridal fashion shows, 9 weddding gowns for clients )all but 1 were extremely happy); 7 Mother-of-the-Bride gowns, 4 flower girl dresses, and 18 Bridesmaid gowns. In addition, I have made 11 prom dresses and 3 'special occassion' dresses. I have been very busy! And I love it! Don't even ask how many dresses and gowns I have altered! This is my fuil time job, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 5945
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In reply to carry <<


Date: 8/3/12 10:40 PM

Only three, mine, one for a friend, and a one and only paid for project.

Everyone was elated, me included. My friend was thrilled with her gown.

My gown included lace that was hand beaded by my grandmother, my mother and me. It took every spare second we had to get the beaded flower pattern on. I was 18 and was more pleased with my gown than the one I tried on at Neiman Marcus. Probably, though, I would not have done as lush a gown if I hadn't seen the price tag on the one at Neiman's. Gave me a much better appreciation for the price of the materials I used.

The third gown was a winner too, just not as exciting to me as I choose to make money in other ways.

Can we talk bridal party gowns?
.....Two very dear friends who we met when they were not matched with their life's mate divorced and married. We knew them separately from two different circles of friends. We were delighted when they married.

Now long after the fellow rang our doorbell with a scrunched up grocery bag in hand. He explained that he needed help and his wife said he needed to come see me.

His very tall seven year old daughter was on the way to becoming a swan. She was to be a flower girl in her mother's wedding. Dad had been given a bag with not enough fabric and a dress pattern that would not even give a hint at the beautiful swan that was emerging.

I made some queries and found out that her dress wasn't particularly tied to any other dress, just stuff thrown in the bag. So, I took liberties. The little girl design didn't suit her height and the extra little bit that her body had 'for growth' (and boy did she grow). She and I consulted, we changed the design to suit her. I explained the extra yardage and nearly thirty buttons that I would be hand covering for the dress. Her dad was stunned - why so many buttons?!?

He understood when it was finished. She looked like a princess.

I believe that that was my favorite wedding party dress. By the way, the little princess later became my son's first date. No romance but a gentle beginning for both of them.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

carry
carry
Member since 10/26/07
Posts: 309
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<


Date: 8/3/12 11:53 PM

Thank You ,ladies. I am so jazzed that between just the 3 of us we have made all these dresses. This should inspire anyone. Non-sewers always think and sometimes say"I could never do that" I have some artistic abilities but really I just had a willingness to learn and a stubborn streak to get it right. Forgot to mention I was raising 5 kids while I was doing all this too. The extra earnings were great and my girls always had wonderful dresses. They were my advertisements When we have a page of replies I'll tally the results Thank you again Carry

jynclr
jynclr
Advanced Beginner
Texas USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 868
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In reply to carry <<


Date: 8/4/12 9:57 AM

Quote: carry
My skill level increased from advanced beginner to really skilled from all that I learned about fabric and construction during that time.

I hope you guys don't mind me posting since I have not done any formal wear sewing, but I wanted to highlight this quote. I completely agree. I made a Steampunk Costume that was incredibly indepth with a lot of detail and very time consuming. My skills went up quite a bit by making this costume and I learned a lot. I had to. There were terms in the instructions that I had to look up online (and even found some YouTube tutorials for.) It was also the ONE item that gave me confidence and the thought that "Hey, yeah, I CAN sew and maybe I CAN make my own clothes!"

So if someone is afraid of sewing formal wear, try a complicated costume. With quality fabrics it may be a costume, but it will be a garment that is wearable more than once with nice quality fabrics.



-- Edited on 8/4/12 9:58 AM --

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Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

61sew4fun
61sew4fun
Expert/Couture
Washington USA
Member since 4/13/12
Posts: 193
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Date: 8/4/12 10:13 AM

From 1986 when I made my 1st wedding gown while I was still in pattern making and design school to the present wedding I am working on today, wedding is 9/30/2012, and the one gown I've done all pattern work and muslin for next June makes an estimated 86 wedding gowns and over 300 bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, not to mention prom dresses, MOB's, and costumes for theater. One of my friends recently said to me, " I wish you had made my wedding gown for me.", after looking at my most recent gown and my comment to her was you definitely would not have gotten a gown like this 24 years ago. Boy have I learned a lot over the years and improved my techniques and skills. The resources available to us today via world-wide shopping on the internet, to networking, and information on techniques still amazes me. You used to have to dig and pry information on suppliers as many people already in the industry were very protective of their sources, making it very hard to start in business. What I enjoy most now is making gowns for the daughters of brides I had years ago, kinda like the circle of life. I also enjoy the excitement when a bride can have exactly what she wants and the tears that come when they see it come together. I really enjoy getting invited to the weddings after we've become fast friends through the dress making process and seeing my name in the program as designer and seamstress. It has definitely been a worthwhile journey.

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61sew4fun

sewme47
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sewme47
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Illinois USA
Member since 8/28/08
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Date: 8/4/12 12:48 PM

I made my own wedding gown in 1981, with fairly average skills and the help of a little Palmer/Pletsch booklet about bridal sewing. My taste has always run toward simple lines & designs, and my gown reflected that. It turne dout great.

I tried to make a gown for my older daughter in 2010, but she didn't like the bridal patterns that were available, and she had dificulty seeing beyond the pattern illustrations. Much to my horror, my daughter walked down the aisle in a David's Bridal gown.

For the past few months I have been working on my younger daughter's gown, who is getting married in exactly one week!! It is a fairly simple A-line made up in corded alencon-like lace. It is beautiful!! My skills are pretty advanced, but working with the lace was challenging. And and I like a challenge!

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A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

carry
carry
Member since 10/26/07
Posts: 309
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Date: 8/14/12 0:54 AM

Five members have replied to "how many wedding gowns have you sewn?" 105 wedding gowns. ONE HUNDRED AND FIVEl also over 355 formals and bridesmaids,flower girls and MOBs, Some have sewn professionally with the greatest output. Others have sewn for family and friends or themselves. Our skills range from intermediate to advanced. There was an agreement that our skills grew the more we sewed. This is an impressive total which I hope will give women the inspiration to make their own gowns and to challenge their skills to the next level.

kiggi
kiggi
Member since 3/29/12
Posts: 19
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In reply to carry <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 8/14/12 1:27 AM

i have made 1, it was for a friend who lost everything. like literally. she had picked up her dress 3 weeks to her wedding, a beautiful confection of everything you can possibly want your wedding dress to be, she took it home to her apartment and tucked it away in her closet before we went out shopping for the last minute things, the entire wedding was basically in boxes in her closet with her dress. some jerk next door fell asleep with a lit cigarette, and she came back to nothing. it was the most heartbreaking thing ever. she wanted to cancel the wedding as this was "a sign" but we all had other plans. not only did we all stay up for hours and hours for the next couple weeks putting everything together, but i spent that time constructing a dress for her that was WAY out of my skill level at the time. that dress personally taught me how to put steel bones in a bodice (because the plastic would have never supported her strapless just saying) it taught me how to flatline my bodice pannels to make lace do what i wanted and not pull, it taught me so much and it was beautiful! i was so proud of it! and she was stunning in it. i will probably never make another one, but i have continued to push myself to be better with every costume i sew. i dont usually sew for others, unless its little kids. its easier to fit myself i guess... it took me out of the advanced beginner to a much much higher level.

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