Project WD: And so it begins.

This is heads up to say there’ll be a fairly extended radio silence here as I bunker down to sew The Dress.

With everyone’s advice saying I should give myself more time than I think I need, I thought I’d start right now rather than next year!

I’ve hunted and gathered and now have everything I need to do this… including the book Bridal Couture (whilst the gowns may appear outdated, the basic techniques used certainly aren’t. This really is the reference book of all reference books.), the feature fabric – safely stowed (and regularly pulled out for admiration purposes) and of course the patterns… plural as I’m using the skirt from one pattern and the bodice from another. Both which will probably be altered along the way, but Toile #1 is currently traced, cutout and ready to be fitted.

Actually I ordered two patterns from Marfy – one of which was specifically a bridal pattern – as I was planning to franken-pattern the two together. When those arrived I got a fabulous surprise as they included a copy of their bridal pattern catalogue as a gift and a letter congratulating us on getting engaged – saying I could swap the pattern I’d ordered if I preferred any of the others in the catalogue. Thanks Marfy – you sure know how to make a girl swoon!

I adore the skirt proportions of the bridal pattern I got so I wasn’t going to give that up, but I was very, very tempted by the bodices of 3 of the dresses in there…. one of which I ended up ordering.

So, I thought I’d leave you all with some of my favourites from the catalogue, as well as some that just intrigue me. I love how they have a bit of everything when it comes to style, and even though many of the dresses aren’t me… I can still appreciate their fabulosity and the fact that for someone somewhere out there – it would be perfect. It would be such a boring place if we all liked exactly the same things!


hello EIGHTIES!!! heehee!

S811 S820 S842 S843 S858 S859 S873 S881 S906 S908 S910 S912 S913 S921 S922 S923 S926 S948 S971 S975

Gorgeous, yes?

So whilst it’s going to be super quiet around here for the next 5 or so months (barring the next SewcieTea, which I’ll hope to start organising early in the new year), I’ll still be stalking you all and commenting of your creations of course! :)

See you guys sometime next year!




  1. I’m a stalker, who has been devouring your Couture School posts!
    Those Marfy patterns are incredible – and what a delightful response from them!

    Congratulations and best wishes as you work this project!!!

    1. Hi Brenda, am Elizabeth in Ghana, wanted to know if I can get the catalogue in this post, don’t know how to

  2. the pics are awesome. I’ve always been curious about those bridal catalogs. Best of luck as you work on your dress. I hope it’s an awesome experience.

    Maybe when it all calms down you could review ‘Bridal Couture’. I’ve been considering buying it on CD. Sometimes a book and pages are just so much better.

    Have fun!

    1. It’s definitely worth it! I kept checking online until I found one used for much less than I typically saw it listed, and I snagged it up. It was listed as being in “used” condition, but it looked brand new to me! It’s wonderful, too. And, while I’m sure I could get all the information out of the digital version, I do love having a book to flip through…

    2. Oh you won’t be disappointed – like Amy I’m much more of a book person than an e-book person – the tangible factor is everything. It’s an amazing book – I’ve read it cover to cover several times (and got Susan to sign it for me too!). The techniques it covers are in great detail, too. Keep an eye out on amazon, ebay and craig’s list and you’ll eventually come across a relatively inexpensive version. Easily the reference book of all formal dress reference books!

  3. Melanie, you are very wise to begin the DRESS now, even though you will probably loose weight like all brides do leading up to the big day. I know you will make the most beautiful dress and if you have chosen anything from the above designs, you will look stunning. The fabulosity (love that new word which beats ‘selfie’ that was added to the Macquarie Dictionary today) of all of these dresses is really inspiring but if I was to walk down the aisle again, S881 would be my dress. If you are wanting to add silk roses as per some of the above patterns, there is a millinery business in Melbourne called Torb and Reiner who teach you how to make the most beautiful roses. I have just learnt with their DVD for my millinery classes and it is such a lovely craft to do. It may not be your thing but it has become my thing for hats. Good luck with all of this but I know you will be fine.

    1. Thanks Marjorie – 881 is an excellent choice! Very gorgeous. And cool about the new word additions trivia! I use fabulosity all the time, too. I’m not planning on having any silk roses (I left the patterns I’m using out of this post) but I will have to check out Torb and Reiner – it’s the skill acquisition thing! Thanks again!

  4. OMG, Mel. How on earth will you ever decide from all those gorgeous patterns??? Having seen your fabric, I will not tell you what my favorites are, but I could see your dress is a couple of views. Can’t wait to see what you decide upon.

    1. It’s funny – one just kinda ‘sang’ out to me! Actually I was sneaky and left my two patterns out of this post… but there certainly are some contenders for The Fabric, if you know what I mean ;) Thanks Cissie!!

  5. Ooooooh – so much pretty! I am so excited for you! I know taking on a wedding dress will be a lot of work – but you can totally do it! And that is a lot of exclamation points! But seriously – the entire thing is terribly exciting. I hope you enjoy the process and end up with the dress of your dreams!

    1. Thank you so much!! You can never have enough exclamation marks in a topic like this ;) I have a feeling I’ll enjoy the process so much that afterwards i’ll have to sew The Completely Unnecessary Ballgown, just because it’s so much fun! At least, the planning is!

  6. Ohh I wish I’d seen a few of these when I was making my dress – or maybe not, I could have made 10 dresses and still wouldn’t have exhausted all my ideas! ;) Good luck and remember to enjoy the journey xx

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes too much choice is a good thing… But I had something in mind already due to my fabric, so it was simplified in that I could just pick the ones that suited that style.
      Thanks so much Mel, and I absolutely will! x

  7. Good luck and ENJOY. Those catalogue drawings are so beautiful, they will be wonderful inspiration when you fell as though you are getting nowhere :)

  8. Oh dear, you are no doubt going to keep us in suspense! Well all the patterns are gorgeous. Hope the fitting (and then sewing) go smoothly.

    1. Thanks Sharon, I certainly think so! I’m lucky I fit their patterns quite well so that should aid in making the process just that little bit easier. So far I’m enjoying it – it’s super exciting, even if the set backs are really upsetting!

  9. Wow oh wow. Just gorgeous! I have my favorites. And, had I known better when my dress was being made, I would have at least looked at a few patterns – hopefully a few of these patterns – before launching myself and my dressmaker into a design that was really just a knock off of one of the first wedding dresses I saw and liked. But, I wasn’t yet sewing at the time, so I didn’t understand that there was a wealth of patterns out there. And, I actually wouldn’t have had my wedding or wedding dress any other way in the end. I’m sad to hear you’ll be disappearing from your blog for a few months, but your reasons are completely understandable. Though, I kind of wish you could write secret posts or something. That said, I imagine it would make the whole experience a lot more stressful to have people critiquing your wedding dress on a weekly basis! Ha! Anyway, good luck with all the sewing!! You definitely have the skills to pull off a killer dress!

    1. I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with heading directly for a knock-off you like – it’s exactly what I was doing until that plan was undone by not being able to find the (very specific) fabric for it. Then I saw the fabric that I ended up buying, and completely had to change my dress plans. Not that it’s a bad thing – in fact, I think it will end up being better. And easier to sew. Win Win!
      And don’t worry, there will be a plethora of construction detail posts once it’s all said done – this is easily going to be the biggest thing I’ll ever have tackled, so I’m keeping record!
      Thanks so much Amy – your kind, thoughtful words are just what I need when I’m at a low in the emotional rollercoaster that is attempting to sew your own Wedding Dress!

  10. It’s probably just as well you went actual dress ‘shopping’ first, because if you were trying to decide on a style based on what you’ve shared here, I just don’t know how you would ever be able to make a choice. Generally speaking I prefer simple bias cut wedding dresses, but there are so many different details here that I just love.

    1. I tried on an amazing bias cut dress in a simple fabric – the design was amazing. But at much as I love the end result of bias, it’s super challenging to sew with plus there’s the issue of it showing up every lump and bump (good undergarments are a must!) and I just didn’t want to have to be thinking about my figure no the day!
      It’s certainly not easy deciding though – but once you start trying, a common theme on what looks good comes through, which makes it all easier :) Then it’s a case of finding a pattern to match the mind!

  11. This is SO exciting! I understand what you mean by the lockdown though.
    I’ve got 11 months so I’m taking my time with the toile over the summer.
    My lockdown will probably happen just as you’re getting married.
    I can’t wait to see what you produce, it will be such an incredible journey.
    All the best!

    1. I hope it’s going really well for you! It’s certainly a challenge… that lockdown is necessary just so you can focus on what needs to be focused on, I think. And yep, the journey is a lot of fun along the way! All the best for yours too, Jodie :) Thank you!

  12. Please! Promise to take pictures every step down the way so you can overload us with tons of pictures of ‘The making of’ afterwards! Have lots of fun on this wonderful journey!

    1. Oh, that would be fabulous. I’m nearly at the point of having a complete muslin I’m happy with, will send you pictures when I’m there! Everything has to be right before I even THINK of cutting into that fabric… just the thought of doing that puts me on edge! x

    1. Thank you so much, lovely lady! And hey… if it wasn’t such a long and involving process, I would totally be doing like Mariah and doing it all over again every single year! x

  13. swoon…. i wish i knew this existed when i made my sister’s wedding dress last year! so glad you are getting started early, it’s obviously not the sort of thing you want to rush. please, please, please document so you can share the in-progress when you’re ready… i’m dying to see how it all comes together for you!

    1. I don’t blame you, although the sheer range of options in that catalogue are mind-boggling. Don’t think I’ve even shown a quarter of the designs here! And don’t worry, documenting is well and truly underway, and there will most definitely be an extravaganza of posts detailing construction and how it all happened. And maybe the odd sneaky photographic update appearing in your inbox!
      Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas :) x

    1. Thanks Kelly! As much as I adore sewing, the most stressfull part about all of this is I won’t know exactly what the dress will look like until it’s done… I can make a million muslins to get the silhouette right, but everything will change when it comes to actually sewing with the final fabric!
      I was really lucky though… choosing the pattern was the easy part, because managed to find a style I loved early on. Had I been faced with this bridal catalogue from the get go, it would have been a different story!

  14. Rather like a marriage I`m sure you and the dress will have times of plain sailing, rocky bits, and maybe even tears….. however i hope the marriage like the dress will be tailor made to fit you perfectly and that you all live happily ver after! most of all…enjoy! x

    1. Oh Cazza, that’s such a wonderful analogy! It has been like riding an emotional rollercoaster, for sure. Good bits, Bad bit and Sad bits! At the end of the day, it’s the marriage that counts though… although the dress is a vessel for all the hopes for our future together ;) Thank you, I will!

  15. How exciting! You’re very smart to start early on (my wedding day is well before yours – July next year – and I’m still at the selecting fabric stage… oh dear!) best of luck with making your dress, I’m sure you will be fine, your skills are great! See you in five months!

    1. Starting early was the advice given by all those who have walked this path before me, and it was such a common thread I decided to take it on board. I’m certainly glad I have though – being able to pace myself and enjoy the process have been wonderful. I’ll be on edge until the moment before I sew the last stitch, though! All the best for your dress, too!! :)

  16. Oooh how exciting!! And thanks for all the eye candy! Makes me want to have a wedding all over again….

    Hmmm… never mind. I take that back! Hahaha!

    1. Yep, there are the fun bits (like the dress) and then all the annoying, stressful organising type parts… which nobody ever tells you about! gah!
      haha… thanks Sallie!

  17. Back in 1975 when I got married for the 1st time, I listened to others regarding my dress. To this day I wish I would have listened to my own heart and made the gorgeous Vogue dress with the princess neckline. Of course, I really should have listened to my heart about the wedding day But that is a whole other story! Pick the one you love and can envision yourself in. You will be a beautiful bride no matter which one!!

    1. There will never be a shortage of people with opinions, Carol! I’m lucky enough to know what I want and not be easily swayed from it… maybe you should make that princess neckline Vogue dress anyway? It’s never too late :) And thank you so much!

  18. Will miss your wonderful posts over the next months. Good luck. I am a professional dressmaker who lives in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, 17 years experience, so if you hit a hurdle I would be happy to provide advice. You can e-mail me on my personal e-mail or post something so I can contact you ( I am never sure how these tech things work). By the way what ever happened to that dress you were making at Susan’s bridal couture camp, I never saw it finished, did I miss something.

    1. Hi Nat! Thanks so much for your offer, but so far, so good! I’m taking it slow and perfecting my muslin so will only cut into the final fabric when I’m sure as sure can be!
      No, you didn’t miss anything – the dress from the couture class is safely tucked away waiting for post wedding dress time to be finished. I decided to start this dress before finishing that one (bad habit, I know!) so I’ll post about that dress probably later in the year!
      Cheers :)

  19. Good luck and happy sewing. Those Marfy patterns were so good I might need to take a closer look at their range – as if I need any more patterns!

  20. How exciting for you, to work with such beautiful fabric and with your new founded couture techniques the dress is going to be superb. Happy sewing

  21. Wow, some beautiful dresses there. My favourite would be the lines of S873, it’s kinda sexy too :)
    BTW – I’m in Melbourne at the end of next week for a week if you are free to catch up at all?

  22. How absolutely gorgeous! I am in love with S858 & 859. Maybe I should ask my husband to marry me again just so I can have a dress as wonderful as one of these (and one that my mom wasn’t sewing me into moments before I was to walk up the isle!)

    1. ooh, excellent choices – both stunning dresses for sure! And I think you definitely should! Anything for the chance to sew up an amazing dress, of course :) hehe, thanks Ally!

  23. I love Marfy patterns, but I’ve never been through the bridal catalog. I would love to see the pattern, and what makes it worth the $$$, or euros as the case may be. I love 921 FWIW. It must be so hard to pick just 1! I know that blogging takes time, but I would love to see any tiny glimpse that you can post.

    1. Oh, the drafting of Marfy patterns is impeccable Becki. They are such a pleasure to sew with. And I would guess that the expense comes also from the complexity of the designs and also the cost of the fabrics to test them (but really I don’t know). They have a small team and they pump out something like over 200 brand new patterns every year. No mean feat!
      I like to think of Marfy vs other patterns as the difference between spending hours cooking a fabulous dinner for a loved one vs going down the street to get takeaway. Sure, they both fill you up, but one is so much better and memorable than the other!
      There will be posts a plenty after I’ve finished sewing it all have gotten married! Until then… it’s heads down and bums up for me :)

  24. What a stunning collection. If you follow my blog you’ll see I’m partial to sewing couture evening wear – I stored a few of these images for my daughters. No pressure hey!!

    1. I already know as I have you in my blog reader :) You’ve sewn some lovely things! I’d love to know which ones you’ve saved for future reference…. hehe! Thanks Gail :)

  25. I’ll miss reading your posts and drooling over the beautiful things you make over the next few months, but am excited for your next big make!!! Perhaps still write construction posts and keep them as drafts – they’ll at least be handy resources for you. And of course, please, grace us with some ‘distraction’ sewing if it so occurs!

    1. Oh, you’re too kind Anna! Don’t worry, there will be construction posts aplenty post the big reveal! I’d do it for my own reference, if anything :) I’m certainly daydreaming of distraction sewing… but a slave to my ‘internal’ deadlines for the moment!

  26. So exciting, hope it all goes well and I look forward to seeing your amazing dress. I swooned over all those pretty patterns, I want to try them all on just to feel amazing for a little while.

    1. That’s the only bummer about sewing (besides maybe hemming) isn’t it? You don’t have all the fun of trying something on before you make your decision! Ah well… I guess that’s what muslins are for… Thanks Zoe, I hope it all goes well too! :)

  27. Congrats! What a great project. When I recently looked through the Bridal Couture book, I regretted not having made my dress. How exciting for you!

  28. Oh, what an absolutely stunning array of gowns from which to choose! So many lovely designs. This is such an exciting time for you, good luck and I’ll look forward so much to seeing your dress :)

  29. We are on the same boat! My wedding is next October and I will make my wedding dress! :) Good luck on this adventure, those patterns look amazing.

  30. The Marfy designs you posted all look fabulous. I will be waiting to see what you design and also to finally get a look at the fabric you picked. Having made many wedding gowns, my own included, you are right to make a muslin or two, allow plenty of time and enjoy the process. Take loads of pics while you are sewing.

    1. Thanks Mary – they are gorgeous, aren’t they? I’ve left off the two I’m ‘franken-pattern-ing’ together, and am just about to start making the real thing after getting a muslin that I’m really happy with done up in similar fabrics. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it – there will be plenty of photos! :)

  31. I have decided too to make my wedding dress.
    After perusing in Burda and Big 4 patterns, I had reduce my choice on 3 patterns but I wasn’t quite satisfied.
    Now, the Marfy wedding designs, wahou !
    Thanks you for posted them.
    I just ordered their wedding catalogue.
    I can’t wait for it arrive and to dive in all this patterns.
    I’m looking forward to see your dress.

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