I've been pretty hush-hush so far about my plans and progress on sewing my wedding dress, for good reason - it's been extremely challenging trying to find a contemporary pattern to use that fits the types of dress I want to wear on the big day.
Believe it or not, I purchased five patterns, made three different versions of what my original plan was, and almost changed course to a different design direction altogether before biting the bullet and committing to the Marfy pattern I will use (granted, this was made easier after I tried on a few dresses to make sure what I thought I wanted in a wedding dress is what I really want). But the main crux of the problem was that I needed to piece together different elements of several patterns to get what I wanted: the neckline from this dress, the shape of the skirt from that dress, sleeves from this one, the train from that one. So much work, it was like I was designing and drafting my own pattern to get the dress I wanted, which ended up fizzling out in the end.
Is this part of the reason why not many people make their own wedding dress?
When searching for wedding dress sewing patterns, I found mostly patterns on Etsy from the poofy-sleeved hey-day of the late 80's and early 90's, with a couple of vintage shift-styled dresses from the 60's. With more people sewing then than now, it makes sense that so many patterns are still out there...but nothing that fit the sleeker, classic styling I was looking for.
Searching for current patterns to use wasn't a whole lot better - below are the selections from BMV, to illustrate the gap in the market of what's available for the home sewist. While some of these are nice, the scope of design is limited and doesn't match the current styles shown in magazines that brides are wearing today.
*Simplicity didn't have a designated "Bridal" section on their site, their limited options (like, 2) were mixed in with "Special Occasion"
*Burdastyle, New Look, and Quik Sew also have a few bridal sewing patterns available, but again, the styling is limited.
Even looking in the Special Occasion/Evening pattern sections didn't yield anything that would be suitable for a wedding dress; they were too casual or didn't have enough of a "bridal" feel to them.
This has all made me wonder if the easily available patterns out there to make a wedding dress is a turnoff to the everyday bride interested in making their dress, and if there's even a demand for more contemporary wedding dress patterns since so few are available. Heck, if I had the skills and ability, I'd make my own line of wedding dress sewing patterns! I have so many ideas floating around in my head...
Anyway, I'm hoping my Marfy dress pattern arrives this week, so I can fit the bodice and gear up to pick out the fabric soon, hopefully over Labor Day weekend in NYC.
What do you think - are pattern options a reason not many brides sew their dresses? Or is it that it seems like such a daunting undertaking? Maybe it's access to fabrics? Tell me - I'd love to see if there's really a need out there!