Flickr Creative Commons/tsuacctnt

Creating Costumes with Little or No Experience.

(Header photo: Flickr Creative Commons/tsuacctnt)


This past spring I wrote a short play that required a wedding dress as a costume. Now if your on a budget, writing a wedding dress into a scene or show is financial suicide as obviously they don’t come cheap and  it is a very specific costume. It has to look good.

So being your typical creative on a budget I decided to make it myself. It was difficult, it was tedious, but I got it done.

Here are a couple of pointers and resources for anyone looking to do the same.

-Don’t doubt Yourself- Yes it is going to be difficult if you’ve never sewn anything before, but you can do it. If I was able to do it, you can.

Keep it simple– Obviously! If you don’t have any experience like me, don’t over complicate it.

Altering is easier than making from scratch- Also pretty obvious but within reason. Some items might be really hard to alter so find an article as close to finished as possible and go from there. charity/second hand  shops are good. One that I recommend here in London that has items like cheap wedding dresses is Fara in West Brompton.

-Use an ‘Easy’ Pattern- Sewing is challenging. If it wasn’t we would all do it. It’s also very time consuming. Cutting your own pattern might seem simple but it’s not. As for ready made patterns even the ‘easiest’ ones can be tedious, so make sure you’ve got enough time, fabric, and space to work in. I had to sew on a tiny table in my ‘box closet’ of a room. I did it, but more space wold have been extremely beneficial.

Get advice from the staff at the fabric shop- These people are experts, trust them they’ll have good suggestions. One store that I found to be great both in service and in price is Rems and Rolls in Lewisham.

-You Tube- Everything’s on youtube! And you know what? It is really useful to learn how to do something with a step by step visual guide. A good channel that I used for sewing queries was Professor Pin Cushion. A lot of info and easy to follow.

-Pins- Never underestimate how many pins you’re going to need.  Get lots!

-Enjoy Yourself- You’re actually making something and you should be proud and have fun in the process.

2015-02-27 13.15.22
Mock dress with lining
Finished dresses. Sadly poor picture quality.
Finished dresses. Sadly poor picture quality.

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