Before I get to the inevitable point in this project where I’m desperately running out of time and can’t even remember how I got this far in making my own wedding dress, I thought I should take stock of all the brilliant tutorials and suppliers that I’ve discovered along the way!
I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the expertise and amazing abilities of the following youtubers. Not only do they really know their stuff when it comes to sewing, but they can teach it too, via the one-way medium of youtube videos, which is a big ask.
Aneka from “Made to Sew”
Aneka’s tutorial is nothing less than brilliant! In her video on how to sew an invisible zipper, she explained and demonstrated absolutely every single step of the process. Even a complete novice like myself was able to follow and apply the steps and get results that were very close to her own work.
Darshana Jain from “The F-World: Fashion, Finance, Food”
I had literally, NEVER seen or used a “zipper foot” on my sewing machine before! I didn’t even know what I was looking for or why I needed it! Luckily, Darhana Jain was there to help! A random google search for zipper foots that matched the make of my own sewing machine (since all zipper feet are not made equal) led me to this brilliant, practical explanation of what I needed and how to attach it to the machine and actually sew with it!
Eli Ebberts from “Cosplay and Crafting”
Eli Ebbert’s tutorial on attaching a waistband was my first introdution to the “Stitch in the Ditch” method. Her tutorial was exactly what I was looking for, and I watched it over and over until I felt brave enough to try the technique out for myself. Her tutorial is also notably cheerful, which can be quite uplifting when you realise you’re in way over your head with a project and can’t back out!
My project faced several obstacles, and not all were related to my lack of expertise! Ireland is still in lockdown, retailers doors are closed, and ordering from abroad can be risky when you are working to a tight deadline. So I turned to Irish suppliers with facilities for ordering online. This way I knew I could actually call the shop owners up to confirm that the estimated delivery dates were realistic, and whether certain items were in stock or whether the supplier themselves would be ordering in from abroad, thus causing further delay.
I have only actually visited Hickeys in person once since moving to Ireland. Discovering their website https://www.homefocus.ie/fabrics was very reassuring, as despite already owning 3m of my chosen fabric, there were other items that were essential from the get-go. Hickeys supplied me with all the sewing thread, ribbon, lining fabric, bias-binding and other sundries that I knew I might need along the way. Delivery was prompt and the website was easy to use.
The helpful staff at McFaddens made the experience of purchasing the wool for this outfit almost as easy as walking into the shop in person (which I have done several times before, pre-pandemic). After discovering that the items I needed were not listed on their website https://mcfaddensbalbriggan.com/ I decided to give them a call. They immediately reassured me their extensive range of wool was still available to purchase, and they had an ingenious way of getting around the issue of me not being able to actually SEE any of it on the website! The helpful staff offered an immediate video call, followed up by photographs of their wool section. I was then able to request a closer look at any wools that appeared to match what I needed, and order over the phone. Delivery was next day, and when one type of wool was not suitable (colours in photographs in digital media can be deceptive) they happily exchanged it. All without having to leave my house.
When I realised that the zips I had bought from Hickeys were not at all what I wanted, I wasn’t sure where to turn. I suppose I could have called Hickeys and asked whether the limited supply of zips on their website were indeed all they had to offer, but I decided that it was worth shopping around and seeing what other haberdasheries in Ireland had to offer. That’s how I discovered Sew Irish in Co. Clare. Their website https://www.sew-irish.ie/ was exactly what I was looking for! Whereas McFaddens and Hickey’s seemed to focus more on their fabrics and home furnishing products, Sew Irish offered all the joys of wandering round a well-stocked haberdashery, without the need to leave your home or wait till the lockdown ends! The staff member I spoke to answered the phone promptly and told me everything I needed to know about ordering online, stock and delivery. And when my goods arrived, I was delighted!
Suppliers of things I cannot make myself!
The idea to sew my own wedding outfit was never meant to be a gruelling mission to prove that I could produce something better than what could be bought ready-made. I explain my reasoning in my first blog entry. There are some things which I knew from the outset that I would have to buy ready-made. Mainly, the coat, and the shoes.
Logues: Shoe supplier
Trying to shop for shoes online without using all the usual suppliers I shopped from in the past (most are non-Irish businesses) was a challenge. But when I found this website https://www.logues.ie/ I was delighted! They had the perfect selection of occasion-wear shoes and promised to deliver from Galway within a week! I never thought buying shoes online could be so exciting! And to make it even more fun, they threw two feet-shaped lollipops into the package for good-measure! My daughter is chomping happily on them as I write!
The Irish Store: Irish woolen clothing
I knew from the outset that I would not have the time or ability to make a coat or cape to go over my outfit. At first I thought crocheting a sort of shawl would do the trick, and I am still determined to complete this project with the beautiful matching wool I bought from McFaddens. But it wasn’t going to be enough. March can still be very cold here, and I wanted to wear something elegant but warm over my outfit so that I can walk outside afterwards without worrying about the weather. I discovered the Irish Store https://www.theirishstore.com/ after several failed attempts at finding beautiful wool capes on similar websites. The quality of the cape is exactly what I had hoped for, and it fits exactly as it looks in the photos, which I have realised is not always the case when ordering online. The Irish Store has provided me with the final piece to complete my outfit and I couldn’t be happier with it!