Mother Earth Living Blogs > Wiser Living

Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Fabric for a Homemade Wedding Dress

Event planner by day, seamstress by night, Erica Binns helps run the Mother Earth News Fairs and owns the Etsy shop Barefoot Sewing. Wedding bells will ring for Erica and her fiancé Matt on June 22, 2013.

The Mother Earth News Fair has come and gone, and I have time to turn to sustainable wedding planning once again!

Even though our wedding is still eight months away, I’ve been plotting how to create my dress. That’s right – I’m sewing my own! With the help of my good friend Teresa, who is a fashion design student, I’ve created a design that I love. It’s very similar to the gown below:

embroidered bodice

I prefer sleeves to strapless, though, so we’re going to modify the pattern to have a boat neck and off-the-shoulder sleeves, like this:

boat neck wedding dress

The primary change I’m going to make to this design is to add a splash of color. I’ve always been a fan of Swarovski crystal pearls, and so I ordered several bags of these beauties to sew onto the bodice after I add lace and embroidery to it:

Swarovski crystal pearls
Photo Courtesy Fire Mountain Gems

But before I can start embroidering and beading the dress, I have to have some fabric. Since I was in the Pittsburgh area for the Mother Earth News Fair last month, I hopped on a very short flight to La Guardia airport to spend the afternoon at Mood Designer Fabrics—the very same store the Project Runway designers shop at!

Mood Designer Fabrics

The great part is, the carbon footprint of my flight to New York is equal to two trips to the closest JoAnn Fabrics store, and Mood had a much wider selection of fine fabrics for me to choose from. In fact, JoAnn only carries silk dupioni in only one shade of white—which doesn’t match my skin tone, and also doesn’t have the texture I want for my dress.

After drooling over hundreds of beautiful choices, I settled on a slightly off-white silk. It’s bright enough to look white under most lighting conditions, but has just enough ivory coloring to match my skin tone better than a plain white. I also found some glorious white lace which will adorn my bodice:

wedding dress fabric

Since I still have plenty of time in which to change shape and size before next June, I’m going to put the silk and lace in a safe place until March, then begin sewing in earnest. Meanwhile, it’s time to get down to business with a florist. Wish me luck!