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My sister has set a date for her wedding, 13th May this year ! I'm really looking forward to it but I have set my own challenge of making my outfit. Problem is I am rather new to dress making. Any ideas or general advice ?

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What sort of wedding is it?  Garden, formal. beach???  If you are feeling a bit nervous about your skills, why not pick a very easy style, but make it extra special with the fabric you use and with the little details you add? There is loads of inspiration within Sew Weekly ..... have fun!!
Yes the fabric is important, I do feel a sense of responsibility when choosing fabric in case I mess up! I think I need to toughen up a bit and just try some new ideas out anyway.

Hey Charlotte!


I had this same dilemma for my MIL's wedding this fall and made the Crepe dress from Colette Patterns. It is one of her only beginner patterns and I can say that it was very easy to put together (no tricks or difficult steps outside of darts).

The best part is that it's such a simple dress that you can use fabric to adjust the look according to the formality of the event - formal? Silk shantung. Casual, beach wedding? Seersucker or cotton. 


Hope this helps - I know finding this pattern was a God-send to me at the time!


I was looking on the collete site just the other day, their patterns are lovely. thanks for that I'l give it a look.
Start sewing now, get a muslin done asap, that way when you have all the fit issues sorted and once you know you love the style you can spend time planning any details you would like to add to make it extra special and take your time sewing it so you don't feel rushed and aren't sewing the buttons on or finishing the hem as you are slipping on your shoes to walk out the door!  I think we've all done that, very stressful.  I recently started my dress for my 40th in October for a December party, after trialling two patterns, which I found did not really suit me, I settled on the third which was perfect, but it left me little time to finish it.  I handstitched the neckline facing whilst having my hair done the day of the party!  The things we do, LOL.  So my advice, start now.
Yes , I think that is great advice. what ever I make will be lovely for the summer too. Biggest worry is choosing the right material!

Charlotte, keep the pattern simple and the fabric an easy one to sew, for me as a beginner sewer that meant 'no slippery fabrics' - I would choose cotton sateen, cotton voile, silk dupioni (just watch those pins, keep them in the seam allowances), rayon is ok if not a lot of detail.  Of course it all depends on the pattern you choose - soft draping fabric is generally flattering to most figures. 


If you aren't scared to try new things... knit/jersey fabrics are perfect.  You can buy really dressy versions and although they seem scary, they aren't.  Knit fabric is soooo forgiving - in the sewing and the wearing because it eases with the body.  I love Simplicity 3503, I have made four of these dresses, two in style E (long and short) and two in style B (both short).  I did have to do a muslin (I found an old knit bedspread that did the trick).  It looks great on many figure types, you can do many things with the pattern and you can easily dress it up or down - I made my 40th dress in this in a silk jersey, it was so easy to make, after trialling it of course, that I did it in 8 hours. 


Check out  it was a best pattern of 2009 and has 57 reviews, it is popular - here is the link  Goodluck, I bought my silk jersey from Ebay but you could use ity knit, rayon jersey, bamboo, modal, lycra jersey, as long as it has a good amount of stretch.  I am about a size 16 and I get loads of compliments when I wear this dress.  Have attached some not very good photos just to give you an idea.  I hope this is helpful and not hindering.  You don't even need an overlocker, it doesn't ravel so you can leave the seams unfinished if you want and use a tiny zig zag on your sewing machine to sew it together, the trickiest part is the v neck (once you've done it once you'll be right) and getting acquainted with a twin needle to do the hem, I use lite steam a seam to do my hems and then sew them down, you don't even have to sew them if you don't want to, it sticks it together, not that I am suggesting you leave it unfinished :-). 


Anyway just thoughts.  Just remember to enjoy yourself.   Wow, that was a long post...sorry!

Wow, thankyou . I had a look at the pattern and it is a style I would choose, along with the wrap dress others have suggested. oh no how to choose ? I also saw your photos that are lovely. I think it really marks an occasion if you made something for yourself.
I think the Crepe would be a great pattern to start with.  Using a pattern without complicated fasteners and with a forgiving fit will definitely make it an enjoyable experience.  I agree with Deb to start your muslins now.  Take your time and enjoy it!
Yes I think I will get on and order a pattern and start thinking about material, thats the next scary part!
Picking fabric is so much fun! I love it! :)
I find it hard work, I love patterns and fabric but joining them up together and feeling responsible for the end result a pressure. I'm sure with time this will improve though.


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