DIY Mother of the Bride Dresses: Designing Your Own

Mother of the LDS bride
Photo Courtesy of

When you are the mother of the bride, you can either run all over town looking for the perfect dress, or you can design your own. It’s not that hard to make your own dress, if you know how to sew – or can hire a seamstress to do it for you.

Colors and Fabrics for Mother of the Bride Dresses

The most popular color for mother of the bride dresses is dark blue. Any neutral color including gray, blue, or dark purple is a traditional choice. You could also wear a dress in the same color family as one of the wedding colors so as not to clash with your daughter or son in family photos.

Check out the formal wear fabrics available in a local fabric store to see your options. Some popular fabrics are chiffon, brocade, and those in the silk family (satin, organza, charmeuse, or shantung.) Lace and beading are attractive embellishments.

Choosing a Flattering Cut for Your Dress

Mother of the LDS Bride
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

Remember that matching your body type to the dress you choose is critical. Not everyone looks good in the same type of dress, so you want to be sure to pick one that looks good on you, not just on the model pictured on the front of the pattern.

The trick is to bring focus to your best features by using attention-getting embellishments or styling in those areas, while muting problem areas by using plain, draping fabrics. For example, if you are pear-shaped (one of the most common female body types) you’ll want to choose a dress with colors, designs, or necklines that draw attention upward.

Store Bought Dress vs. DIY Dress: Price Comparison

If you are making or deigning your own dress largely due to budgetary constraints, make sure that you will actually be saving money. Fabrics, particularly high-quality formal wear fabrics, can be quite pricey. Add to that your time in making and fitting the dress, and you may end up spending more than you would at a department store.

However, by making your own dress you get exactly what you want for your dollar, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ll be wearing a dress to your daughter’s wedding that is truly one of a kind.

Mother of the LDS Bride
Photo Courtesy of

Tips for Making Your Own Mother of the Bride Dress

If you decide to make your own dress, follow these tips to make the most of your experience:

  • Don’t make a smaller size thinking you will lose weight by the time the wedding day arrives. Make the dress your current size, and if necessary, have it taken in a little before the wedding day.
  • Buy extra of everything. Better to have too much of a fabric or embellishment than too little.
  • Make a mock-up dress from inexpensive fabric before cutting into the fabric you’ll actually be using for the real thing.
  • Allow plenty of time to finish the dress, because last-minute considerations will always creep up on you. You don’t want to be up all night on the sewing machine the night before the wedding!

It’s best to attempt sewing your mother of the bride dress only if you’ve had previous experience with sewing formal dresses. Formal fabrics are heavier and more slippery than everyday fabrics like cotton, so they are harder to work with for the novice. 

If you think you’re up to the challenge, then happy sewing! Making your own dress for your child’s wedding day will be such a source of pride and satisfaction to you.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
Copyright © 2010-2013 All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply