Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Red Wedding Dress, Part III. How to Do It Yourself. Pattern Making!



As promised, here I come with the red wedding dress tutorial, or how to Do It Yourself! The post is long, but don't be scared, it is easier than it seems! If you need any help, drop your questions in the comment section or...just contact me!

It's a show off, I know.

First of all, measurements. Get yours with a measuring tape in front of a mirror or, even better, let someone take them for you. Remember to keep that tape loose, you don't want to die in your dress! Use this tutorial for help.

Darts are in light yellow.

In order to draw your top pattern, you must find a bunch of points and connect them. Keep your measurements at hand, and start drawing!

Draw the front:

1-2: 1/4 bust measurement + 1 cm + 0.5 cm
1-3: front waist length
3-5: side length
4-6: side length
Connect points 5 and 6
2-8: 5 cm
6-7: 5 cm
Connect points 7 and 8
7-9: 6 cm
1-10: 1/10 waist + 1 cm
1-11: 1/10 waist
Connect points 10 to 11 (curve).
2-12: 9 cm
Connect points 11 and 12
5-13: 1/2 of the bust separation
11-14: 5 cm
14-15: 6 cm
Connect points 14 and 15 to point 13 using straight lines.
3-16 = 1/2 of the bust separation
16-17: 15 cm
3-18: 1/4 waist + 3 cm + 0.5 cm
Connect points 18 and 16
Connect points 12, 9, and 6 (curve).
Mark 1.5 cm both sides of point 16 and connect them to point 17.

Before cutting, leave at least 3 cm above the shoulder, as shown in the image. It will be necessary when folding the upper darts and shaping the actual shoulder line.


For a deep V neckline: do not connect points 11 and 10. Connect instead points 11 and 5.

For a double front draping (as the one you see in the picture of the red wedding dress): connect points 11 and 10 with a straight line and continue until X, where 18-X is 3/4 your waist measurement. The draping will consist in folding those two long triangles as you prefer, and then sew them within the side seams.

Draw the back:

1-2: 1/4 bust circumference - 1 cm + 0.5 cm
1-3: back length
3-5: side length
4-6: side length
Connect points 5 and 6
1-8: 1/2 back width
5-7: 1/2 back width
Connect points 8 and 7
1-9: 2 cm
1-10: 1/10 waist
Connect points 9 and 10 (curve)
8-11: 4.5 cm
Connect points 10 and 11, and go a bit further with that line to find 12.
11-12: 0.5 cm
7-13: 3 cm
Connect points 6, 13, and 12 (curve)
3-14: 9.5 cm
14-15: 15 cm
3-16: 1/4 waist - 1cm  + 3 cm  -  0.5 cm
Connect Points 6 to 16 with a straight line.
Mark 1.5 cm both sides of point 14 and connect with point 15.

SEAMING ALLOWANCES: When transferring the pattern on fabric, consider 2 cm for seaming allowances, meaning at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) all around it. Then cut.



...Well, now I must admit that the original pattern from the Italian seamstress was pretty perfect so I haven't had many concern about sleeves! I found anyway a post blog here which explains the "sleeve logic" pretty well.

Draw the sleeve:

1-2: arm circumference
3-4: shoulder to elbow length
3-7: armhole depth
1-7: back armhole length
7-2: front armhole length
5-6: lower arm circumference

You need just one sleeve pattern, because one sleeve mirrors the other. To find the other, just reverse your drawing on the fabric.

SEAMING ALLOWANCES: When transferring the pattern on fabric, consider 2 cm for seaming allowances, meaning at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) all around it. Then cut.


This is the awesome part! The circle skirt is very easy and funny to make, so let's start immediately! The necessary premise is that circle skirts have just some math behind, so we won't need a pattern.

We'll just need to fold the fabric in four, and apply a formula to calculate the inner radius:

For the seaming allowances consider about 3 cm (2 by 1.5 cm). They cover well enough for the zip insertion on the back of the dress. 

The number we found is the radius of the inner circumference. Adding to that measurement the desired length of the skirt, we obtain a second radius, the radius of the outer circumference. We are going to add 1 cm for the hem (is enough, you don't want to hem a circle skirt with more fabric in your way!). So the formula for our outer radius is:

Although I drew directly on the fabric, nothing forbids you to put down on paper a pattern for the skirt too!

Draw the full circle skirt:

1-2: inner radius
1-3: inner radius
1-4: outer radius
1-5: outer radius
1- any point on the line 2-3: inner radius
1- any point on the line 4-5: outer radius


We have drawn a full circle skirt, from one only piece of fabric). Depending on both your and the fabric's height, you may need to draw a half circle skirt, a three-fourth circle skirt, or a quarter circle skirt! Each time, things are different. Just in case, check this page for more clues.

SEAMING ALLOWANCES: for the skirt, there are no seaming allowances to consider. They are included in the formula!

That's it. It may takes a few days, especially if you work in your spare time! Arm yourself with patience, before starting. My advice: stop every time you feel tired. It prevents handmade disasters!

Have a nice day!



  1. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing ;)

  2. complimenti cara, poi è interessante e chiaro!

    1. Grazie, ho pensato fosse meglio essere esaurienti!

  3. Wow! That's a lot of measurements! There sure is a lot of work that goes into making a dress. Great job!

    1. Yes, it is a lot of work, but I can guarantee it'll give you a lot of satisfactions! Thank you!

  4. Post davvero interessantissimo, brava :D

    C'è un nuovo post sul mio blog, fammi sapere cosa ne pensi <3

  5. Replies
    1. la suocera fosse disponibile, perchè non farsi realizzare una versione personalizzata?!

  6. io nno riuscirei, che bello, brava!

  7. super!!!!!!*.*
    Do you want to follow each other on instagram? I'm @chicstreetchoc! Thank uuu

    1. Flavia, I don't have Instagram... but thank you!