If you are ready to tread the unconventional path when it comes to choosing the dress, designing one on your own is a great idea. And no, you don't need to be a highly qualified designer or a skilled seamstress. All you need is a little patience and perseverance while sifting through the designs until you find a perfect one.
You can go through several ones, until you find the one that will suit your body the most. The only problem is that you cannot try on the dress, like you can in a store. Until the dress is completely finished, you have no way of telling how it will actually look upon you.
You can minimize the risk by choosing a pattern, that you know will look best upon you. You can select the pattern of your best formal dress as well. If you do not have a friend or family member with an expertise in sewing, you can hire a seamstress to do the job for you.
Regarding the sleeve pattern, you can choose from a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional sleeves. Layered dresses look particularly stunning with bell-shaped sleeves. Cap or angel sleeve looks appropriate for long train dresses. Both these patterns look outstanding without sleeves as well.
A lot of designs are available on the Internet through various online stores. Shopping websites like Amazon and eBay have a huge collection of dress patterns for sale. You can also find catalogs and books on these websites. You can ask for a catalog at your favorite designer's store as well.
Alternatively, what you can do is, try on the bridal gown that has captured your heart, and take a picture of it from various angles. Also, take a few close ups to reveal the intricate work on the dress. Take the picture to the seamstress, who can then sew the dress on the same lines.
Some stores like Vogue and McCalls are particularly known for their dress patterns. Some websites are also dedicated to bridal wear patterns, wherein you can also find some plus size designs.
Making your own dress is not cheap, however, it is far cheaper than a ready-to-wear expensive gown. The cost would depend upon the fabric and the length you are using. The cost of a typical fabric begins from $4 a yard.
Silk and satin are available for $10 - $12 a yard. For tiered, long train, and vintage, expect to buy at least 10 yards of fabric. Sheath and other modest patterns need only 5 yard of fabric. You will have to pay another couple of hundred dollars for embellishments.
Often, these dresses are made by combining 2 or 3 fabrics, such as silk/satin, lace and tulle etc., which may further elevate the cost. Besides, you should also consider the service charges of a seamstress. That will cost you another couple of hundred dollars or even more. Compare the charges of several dressmakers before settling for one.
Wedding dress patterns allow you to design a unique gown for your special day, and that too at half the price of a designer outfit. So, go ahead, and design a grand outfit for yourself.