I Made This Overnight…!

February 28, 2012

What does one do when their brother and his fiancee decide to move up their wedding to just two days later?  In my case I started sewing my bridesmaid dress just as fast as I could!

And then what does one do when the same couple find out that the wedding dress is not being brought from out of state – less than 20 hours before the wedding?  Race to the fabric store and pray like crazy!

The bride and I madly picked out around 40 yards of satin, taffeta, tulle, organza, and lace for her dream “princess gown”, and with much excitement and determination I sat down to sew her wedding gown overnight!

We bought five yards of $90 a yard French lace for the overlay!

There was absolutely no pattern on the market for what she wanted, so I took Vogue 1095 and did some serious adjustments to get the look that the bride was after.

Working with French lace is some of the most intricate sewing you can do.

My favorite part of the gown was the sleeves.  Both the bride and groom wanted it to be a modest wedding dress (certainly not the strapless style so common nowadays).  So I took two layers of tulle and laid a chantilly lace applique over the top.  This lace was sewn on by hand with invisible thread to make it look like one piece of fabric.  After that I stitched a dainty organza edging along each side of the football-shaped cap sleeve for a unique and feminine sleeve.

The bodice was sewn in the “couture” method with all the layers of lining and interlining, plus lots of boning to keep it firm!  I had to do quite a bit of lace shaping for the bodice overlay since it had to fit around the very curved bodice, plus match at the sweetheart neckline curves.

It was a mixture of "classic" and "princess", but the tiara definitely gave it a more princessy feel.

And when it came to the skirt – good grief!  It was all I could do to even move it while it was on the sewing machine!  Six yards of heavy bridal slipper satin was topped with fifteen yards of obstinate tulle, finished off with four yards of heavy beaded lace.

Shiny satin was topped with tulle, then the French alencon lace.

I just barely finished the gown and my bridesmaid dress in time.  Less than an hour before the wedding was supposed to start I stuffed her dress in a garment bag and flew to the car as fast as I could!


"With this ring..."


It was the most surreal feeling! I was a little weak from lack of sleeping and eating, but I was thrilled!


Once the ceremony started, it was all peaceful and serene.  Fifty of our closest friends had managed to free up their Friday evening to come, despite the fact that we had only given them two-days notice.  There on the stage was the little brother I had helped to take care of when he was a baby.  Now he was promising his bride to “Love and cherish, till death do us part…”


After the first kiss. : )


The whole wedding was so incredibly beautiful, and the bride and groom celebrated their very first kiss at the ceremony!


The newlyweds!

The next couple days my head was spinning as I tried to process what had just happened, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!

Yes, that lovely lady standing next to me is in fact my mother. She & my dad married right out of high school, and I was born a year later. They'll celebrate 25 years this August!


The dubious tradition of feeding each other cake...


I love how the skirt "swooshed" along the ground.

So next time you hear of a couple that wants to get married right away, don’t worry!  As my family found out, you can easily get all the details taken care of in less than a week.

To read my entire journal of how I made this dress, please read my story here:


Happy, happy sewing!


  1. You absolute wonder woman!! I’m currently making a wedding dress for a friend and have been freaking out slightly with only a month to go and still just a toile… But you have left me feeling inspired and raring to go (and insanely impressed!). Both you and the bride look stunning. Well done you!

  2. WOOOOOOOOW!!! what a beutiful dress and you did it super fast!! and I mean it was not a simply dress!!! Your dress is very pretty also, your parents are SO young!

  3. Oh, thank you ladies. : ) I really appreciate the congratulations to the couple and the sewing support. : ) I could not have done it without God’s help, because I usually get seriously sick if I don’t get to bed by midnight. The few times I’ve stayed up all night I have to recover for days afterwards.

    So it was really amazing to see it all come together in time. : ) But for my wedding you can forget about me making my dress overnight!!

  4. The dress is beautiful, but I don’t see how you could have even been conscious enough to stand up at the wedding! Ahh, youth!

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