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Confessions of a Crafty Bride: How I Created My Dream Wedding Dress with Crochet

The story of how I Made a childhood dream a Reality

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As a bride-to-be, I had a vision for my wedding dress that was unlike any other. I wanted something unique, something that reflected my personality and my love for crafting. Crochet, a skill I had honed over many years, and my most loved hobby, seemed like the perfect medium to bring my dream to life. In this blog post, I’ll share the story of how I used crochet to create my own stunning wedding dress, from the initial creative vision, the numerous steps along the way, to the final reveal. I’ll enlighten you to the many challenges I faced and the incredible joy of seeing my dream dress come to life.

A bride’s creative vision: embracing crochet for a unique wedding dress

When I was eight years old my grandmother decided I should learn to crochet. My grandmother was my very best friend in the whole world. She was an angel on Earth; one of the sweetest people ever. Anything she wanted me to do or learn, I would oblige. She thought it would be a good idea to make my mom a Christmas present. After many hours of trying we “successfully” created a granny square-style pillow that my mom still has to this day. And for a while, that was the end of it. My grandmother was already very ill with ovarian cancer, and she passed away less than two years later from the disease. She did not have the energy to continue teaching me in between all the chemo and radiation. However, I was still intrigued. I wanted to keep my grandma alive through this incredible art that she had begun to teach me. Inspired by her, I eagerly picked up the craft myself, simply tinkering with it at first. Over the years, crochet became more than just a hobby; it became a form of self-expression, a way to weave my thoughts and emotions into tangible creations, and a way to honor my grandmother.

A few years later I was still quite young, but I came to the realization that I wanted to crochet my own wedding dress someday. Several more years after that my amazing now husband Sam proposed, and it was game-on for this dress! When the time came to plan my own wedding, I knew that crochet had to play a central role. I’ll elaborate in an additional blog post about all the other things I crocheted for the wedding, so stay tuned! Everything about the wedding day was special and thought-out. We chose September 23rd, my grandmother’s birthday. September also happens to be ovarian cancer awareness month. I chose turquoise for the bridesmaids’ dresses because it was my grandma’s favorite color. Another accent color was teal, the color of the ovarian cancer ribbon. I wore a very special sapphire necklace that had belonged to her. We chose her favorite dancing song for our last dance. It was all so incredibly special, and a wonderful tribute to her. It was almost like she was there to see it. My grandpa even teared up a little.

I was designing as I was making the dress. Not using a cut and dry pattern definitely caused some delay and anxiety. I didn’t even know exactly what it was going to look like until it was completely finished! Throughout the whole process I was praying that I liked it when it was done! A huge fear of mine was that I was going to finish it, hate it, and regret not buying one! Thankfully that wasn’t the case. I never even tried on another wedding dress. I didn’t go to bridal boutiques trying on myriads of dresses because I was afraid that I would fall in love with one, and not like that one that I was making one stitch at a time. I do not regret skipping the traditional dress buying experience.

I envisioned a dress that was not just beautiful but also a reflection of my personality, a gown that would set me apart from the traditional bride; something that would capture the essence of my love for the craft. I wanted the wow-factor. Honestly I live for the “Thanks, I made it” moments, and what better way to achieve that moment than a wedding dress? While the idea of crocheting my wedding dress excited me and pushed me, I couldn’t deny the initial hesitations that arose. The magnitude of the task, the intricate details involved, and the pressure of creating such a significant garment came at me all at once. Self-doubt crept in, threatening to overshadow my creative vision. However, fueled by my passion for crochet, the determination to fulfill a childhood dream, and the unwavering support of my loved ones, I decided to embrace the challenge and embark on this extraordinary journey.

Photo Credit to Interweave Crochet

My inspiration stemmed from one main source. The Pineapple Sheath is an incredible wedding dress pattern designed by Tammy Hildebrand. It was published in Interweave Crochet Magazine’s Summer 2015 issue. Now I got engaged in 2021, so I had held onto this gem of a pattern for quite some time. I loved everything about this dress, except that it wasn’t perfectly “me”. At the time I had just begun to delve into the world of crochet pattern design. I had a few original designs started, but nothing completed and published. This dress became the perfect bridge to the design world. I learned SO much about what it takes to design your own patterns by tackling this project. I took the Pineapple Sheath and modified it to an extreme level. It was almost completely my own design by the time I was finished. I will take you through every modification!

Materials and tools: gathering the essentials for crochet creation

A huge concern of mine was I didn’t want the dress to be too heavy or hot. We live in Florida, and September is no joke on the heat and humidity index. I knew that I wanted to use thread. Kinda crazy, I know. A massive garment made out of thread is daunting, but it was going to get me the desired result. I also knew that I wanted to add beads, and it can be difficult to add beads to thicker yarns. It can be done, but I was going for dainty and sparkly.

Initially I chose Aunt Lydia’s size 10 cotton crochet thread in white. This was an affordable option that I could order in bulk, because bulk is what I would need. However, when I began swatching I wasn’t happy with how it looked or felt. Nothing wrong with this thread, I’ve used it many other times for many other projects, but it wasn’t perfect for my dress. I was looking for something with a little more sheen to it.

Next I went hunting to my local yarn shop, She Sells Yarn and More, in Ormond Beach, FL. There I found Queen by Circulo. This was an even thinner thread than size 10, but it had a lovely sheen and luster that the other cotton didn’t offer. The Queen is size 8/2 thread and is mercerized. After trying out some swatches it was obvious that it was “the one”. It has since been discontinued in the USA, but the international girlies will still get to use it! I went with the color white to achieve the traditional bridal look. I also wanted to add in a pinch of shimmer so I purchased Aunt Lydia’s size 10 metallic crochet thread in silver. In doing the different swatches I decided on the steel size 0 hook. It was the perfect size to get nice drape to the thread, but not so big that the stitches would be inconsistent. I also purchased beads and other trims from Hobby lobby, and undergarment type things from Amazon. Below is a summarized list of materials for my dress. My grand total in materials came out to less than $300 including the trims and undergarments , which is honestly pretty amazing considering how much wedding dresses cost nowadays.

While I would love to tell you that I sat in my perfectly organized craft room and whipped this thing up, that simply wouldn’t be true! I worked on this dress with every spare moment I had. It came everywhere with me. I brought it to work and crocheted during the slow times, and on my lunch break. I brought it to my parents’ house when I visited them on Sundays. I took it on business trips and rare social outings. This dress came with me everywhere that my fiancé wasn’t! He didn’t want to see the dress before I walked down the aisle – we are very traditional. I wish I had timed myself so that I could tell you exactly how long it took to create, but I didn’t, and honestly I’m not sure I really want to know! It took the better part of our 10 month engagement. I also made all 4 bridesmaid dresses, a dress for the engagement photo shoot, and a cardigan for each mom during this same 10 months. I don’t remember sleeping very much or hanging out with my friends very often! The house certainly didn’t get cleaned either. All I did was crochet and wedding plan in my spare time outside of my job. Crocheting your wedding dress is not for the faint of heart!

From Thread to dress: the Nitty-Gritty Details

Okay, time to get into exactly how I modified this pattern! Buckle up because this is A LOT of information!

I did this a little backwards because I started crocheting before I had measured myself! Mistake number 1 (of many). I also started crocheting before purchasing the undergarments. If you are going to make your own dress I would highly recommend purchasing the undergarments first, putting them on, and the measuring yourself with them on. I could have saved myself a lot of frogging and tears throughout the whole project if I had done this first.

Some of the Skirt Panels – unblocked

Step 1: The skirt panels. What I thought would be the easiest part, and ultimately I guess it was! The original pattern calls for 9 skirt panels that are then crocheted together with a mesh style technique. The original pattern also calls for light fingering weight yarn, which I wasn’t using, so I knew that I would end up with more panels. The panels are made up of pineapple stitches and are crocheted in long strips, one pineapple stitch wide, plus some extra double crochets on the sides. They are varying lengths to create a train in the back. I started with the front panels because they are the shortest, and all the other panel lengths would be determined by these.

Here you can kinda see the beads in every DC in SC of the pineapple

I started by threading hundreds of the smaller seed beads onto the thread. I was doing this with the collapsible eye beading needle. I did 1 pineapple, measured it, and determined that my center panels in the front need to be 13 pineapples long. There will be a hem added for additional length. I pulled up a bead for every single crochet and double crochet in the pineapple motif. Each pineapple has 39 beads in it. In the original pattern the panels start with the shortest in the front and gradually get longer. This is done with a special shaping technique that is specified in the pattern. Although silly me, I did not account for the extra measurement of my underskirts so after I had completed 4 panels with 13 pineapples, 2 panels with 13 full pineapples and 1 shaped pineapple, and 2 panels with 14 full pineapples and 1 shaped pineapple did I realize that all the center panels need to be 15 full pineapples long. Here is where the first cry took place! I undid the panels to add the additional length that I needed. The longest panels in the back ended up with 20 pineapple motifs. I ended with 16 panels total.

Panels with varying lengths for train
Here you can see the connecting row with beads between panels

Each of the panels have an edge around them that is specified in the original pattern. I made some minor adjustments here. I did 1 row of single crochet around all edges of the panels so that they had a nice, even finished edge. Next row I used the silver contrast color and followed the instructions as indicated for that row. Next I strung on a bunch of the larger seed beads and went about connecting the panels as stated, except I pulled up one bead at each connecting single crochet.

Blocking – just this photo has approximately 13,160 beads in it!

Once the panels were all connected except for the very back seam, I wet blocked them. This was difficult as the piece was about 8-9 feet wide! It took up my entire dining room floor!

Once the blocking was complete I held the skirt up to my waist and “eyeballed” where I wanted to crochet up the back to, and placed a marker. I still didn’t have the bra that I needed to determine this exactly, so I guessed. I connected the last 2 panels up the center of the backside of the skirt up to my marker in the same fashion as connecting the other panels, with the larger bead at the connecting single crochet. I left about 6″ unconnected until I figured out what I was doing with the bra.

Onto the hem! Here I do believe I lost my mind a little. If you look at the photo above you can see that I placed one of the smaller seed beads at every single stitch that makes up the hem. The original pattern calls for chain 3 space and single crochet into the next space around until you have the desired width for the hem. I did something similar, but worked entirely on the wrong side of the work. I did that because I found it to be WAY easier to pull up the bead and get the placement on the stitch right if you were pulling up the bead with the wrong side facing you. If you pull up a bead then it is automatically on the right side of the fabric if the wrong side faces you. I did 10 rows of chain 3 spaces, then did chain 4 spaces for another 9 rows. I wanted it to have a flare and not get crumpled up at the bottom which is why I chose to increase the chain space stitch count. I did have my underskirt situation under control by now so I knew that 19 rows was enough for the hem. I tried it on to make sure and it was perfect. For the last row I did 5 single crochet in each space around. There were approximately 4,000 beads in the hem alone!

For my underskirts I ended up doing one white tea length slip, one hoop skirt with only 1 hoop in it for flare, and one tulle underskirt for extra volume. I have these sourced in the materials section. Once the ceremony was over I removed the hoop skirt and tulle because I wanted to be able to move more freely during the reception.

The bodice was something else! This was the most difficult part of the dress. It is entirely different than the original pattern. I made the mistake of measuring the bra itself, rather than the bra while it was on me. Insert another cry here. I had to rip out a bunch before I realized the best way to measure. Below is my messy diagram after I figured out how to measure. My mom helped me. This bra is a backless strapless bra, so kinda similar to a corset, but without the crisscross ties in the back. We measured the width at the lowest point around my waist, went up an inch, measured again, went up an inch, etcetera until the top. Please pardon my bad, sleep-deprived handwriting!

Once I had that figured out I started at the waist of the skirt and decreased drastically. I did as follows:

Row 1: SC across.

Row 2: sc2tog across.

Row 3: single crochet across.

Row 4: (three single crochet, 1 sc2tog) across.

Row 5: sc across.

Row 6: (four sc, 1 sc2tog) across.

Row 7: sc across.

Row 8: (twenty sc, 1 sc2tog) across.

Row 9 – 11: sc across. Place stitch marker at row ends. This is where the center lines on the back of the bra line up. Button band is added on after the rest of the bodice is completed.

Now we add more beads! I knew I wanted my dress to be super sparkly so the bodice needed to be heavily beaded. I wanted a crisscross style and used a technique similar to tapestry crochet to accomplish it. A chart for bead placement would have been good. I recommend you make one if you like charts. I also needed to decrease along the edges of the bra to follow along with the measurements. This part will be different for every person depending on the measurements. I would do a couple rows and measure across and up to make sure I was still on track. This is how it went for the pattern of the beads:

Row 12: Wrong side. ch1, sc2tog with bead, 4 regular sc, (1 beaded sc, 5 regular sc) across. end with sc2tog.

Row 13: ch1, sc across.

Row 14: Wrong side. sc2tog, 2 regular sc, (1 beaded sc, 1 regular sc, 1 beaded sc, 3 regular sc) across. End with sc2tog.

Row 15: ch1, sc across.

Row 16: Wrong side. ch1, sc2tog, (1 beaded sc, 3 regular sc, 1 beaded sc, 1 regular sc) across. End with sc2tog.

Row 17: ch1, sc across.

I repeated these rows adjusting along the edges, measuring every few rows to make sure I was still on point with the width. If I needed to skip the beginning and ending sc2tog I would to keep in line with the bra edge. After the second diamond repeat I switched to decreasing every other beaded row to help keep the edge. I repeated until I had 4″ of beads – which you will notice is the height of the bra in my diagram up to under the cups. Now we must increase for the cups. We must keep an odd number of stitches so that we can continue one with the bead pattern without changing it too significantly. The previous pattern had been 5 stitches wide so now we are going to up it to 7. If you have a bigger bust than me you will probably have to increase again after that up to 9 stitches or so on. Another tricky thing about this is that we still have to decrease at the edged to keep in line with the bra. So I decreased at the edges, but increased in the middle. Below is my pattern repeat for the increase. I had finished with row 59 so the next row starts at 60.

Row 60: Wrong side. ch1, sc2tog, (1 beaded sc, 2 sc in next, 3 regular sc, 2 sc in next) across.

Row 61: ch1, sc across.

Row 62: Wrong side. ch1, sc2tog, (beaded sc, 5 regular sc, 1 beaded sc, 1 regular sc) across. End with sc2tog.

Row 63: ch1, sc across.

Row 64: ch1, sc2tog, (1 beaded sc, 3 regular sc) across.

Row 65: ch1, sc across.

Row 66: ch1, sc2tog, (1 beaded sc, 1 regular sc, 1 beaded sc, 5 regular sc) across.

Row 67: ch 1, sc across.

Row 68: ch1, sc2tog, (1 beaded sc, 7 regular sc) across.

Row 69: ch1, sc across.

Row 70: Repeat row 62.

Row 71: ch1, sc across.

Repeat in this kind of pattern with 7 regular sc as your point of the diamonds until you get to where the split for the cups is. I had 81 rows until I split for the sweetheart neckline/cups.

Now to separate for the cups and sweetheart neckline! This will vary depending on your desired neckline. Place a marker in your middle stitch. This should be at the center of the diamond pattern. If you need to go over a stitch or 2 to center the pattern, then do it. I didn’t take great notes on this part because I essentially continued in the same way, but I had more drastic decreases along the edge to keep in line with my bra edge. I did end on row 101. You may have to decrease back down from 7 single crochets at the top of the diamonds to 5 depending on your bra. Make sure you take notes on exactly what you did for the top of this cup because you are going to have to repeat it perfectly for the top of the other cup!

Time for the button band! The original pattern calls for buttons, but I needed a little extra width to cover the bra clasps so after many failed attempts at lace, and ribbons, flowers, all sorts of things I settled on a simple single crochet panel. I started right where the seam of the back panel was and created a triangle by crocheting back and forth and increasing until it was 2.75″wide. This was the measurement I needed to cover the clasp. I only attached it on one side so that I can get in and out of the dress. The loose side is where I did one row of silver chain spaces for the button holes. This actually ended up working great because it gave me the structure I needed back there, and allowed for the buttons to fasten still. One side of the buttons is only there for show and the other one comes on and off to get me in. We sewed the faux buttons and the real buttons on. The real buttons got sewn to the side of the pineapple panel.

Once I was done crocheting the bodice my mom very carefully stitched the bra to the bodice with a whipstitch I believe. It took her several hours and I am oh-so-thankful to her that she took that off my hands! The above photos were the first time I actually got to try the dress on, but I can finally see the light! Onto the straps!

The straps were really interesting to try to figure out. Originally I wanted an off the shoulder look, but because the back was so low I couldn’t make it happen. I wanted something more interesting than plain ole’ spaghetti straps so with some scrap yarn my mom and I came up with the idea to create a crisscross style back that mimics the diamond-shaped beading in the bodice. We used the scrap yarn to figure out how long each strap needs to be and where to place it.

Once we had the yarn scrap pieces I was able to determine how long to make each strap. There were 6 straps in total, so I had 3 different lengths. The straps were only connected to the front of the bodice. I didn’t connect them in the back so I could get in and out of the dress more easily. I started by stringing on the larger seed beads, and with the 1.75mm hook, attached with a slip stitch to the center marker in the front. Foundation single crochet 163 and fasten off. Attach to the outside marker and foundation single crochet 151. Fasten off. Next attach to the inside marker and foundation single crochet 168. Chain 1 and turn. Into the fsc do 1 regular sc, 1 beaded sc LOOSELY until you get to the end. Slip stitch to bodice, chain 2 and slip stitch to the bodice on the other side of the strap. Chain 1, and do 1 regular sc, 1 beaded sc loosely until you get to the end. Fasten off. I repeated this process for the other 2 straps on the same side, and the other 3 straps on the other side.

In the above picture you can see that the straps did end up stretching longer than I measured for with the scrap yarn. This actually worked to our advantage. We knew we needed the straps to snap on and off on the back side so I could get into the dress without stretching out the straps. My mom pinned again and sewed small clear snaps on the inside of the bra where the straps were to connect, and the coordinating snap directly to the strap. Then we tucked in the long ends and it worked! My mom also carefully sewed the straps together at the shoulders so they would stay consistent over the course of the long day. She also tacked the straps where they cross over each other in the back so that the pretty crisscross shape would stay that way and not shift as I moved. The straps had about 780 beads total

Mom to the rescue again as we were starting to cut it REAL close to the wedding day and the dress still wasn’t completely done! It was early August and the wedding was in late September. I still had other things to finish for the wedding along with the planning. Bless her, Mom wove in all my ends! And there were A LOT of them. Don’t we all wish we had someone to do that for us?! She also used a mixture of half fabric stiffener and half water to block my beautiful beaded hem so it would flare out nicely. She carefully and painstakingly sewed on a sparkly trim around the bodice. She finished sewing in the snaps for the straps, and handled making the sparkly belt. Below are photos of the 2 trims we narrowed it down to. I’m so glad we went with the more elegant one!

Mom then lined the belt trim with a satin ribbon for a couple of reasons. The trim was made of metal and did not stretch at all. We were worried if we sewed it directly to the stretchy crochet fabric that it may not lay correctly, or could cause the fabric to bunch up. We also weren’t sure how to make the belt cohesive with the button band in the back. The ribbon solved these issues and added an additional feminine touch in the form of a bow in the back that I had not originally thought of. The belt did not want to stay in place very well so mom sewed a little bit of Velcro in a few placed around the waist to hold it in place. And with that, the dress was done. 3 days before the wedding! Also another shoutout to mom: She made every. single. decoration. Every Single thing décor wise for the wedding! I’ll have to write another post just to feature all her hard work!

The final reveal: a dream dress comes to life

As I carefully slipped on the finished crochet wedding dress, a wave of emotions washed over me. The moment was filled with a mix of awe, pride, and a touch of disbelief. I couldn’t believe that this long-lived dream had become a reality. Every intricate stitch, every inch of delicate lace, and every carefully placed bead came together to create something truly magical. Looking at myself in the mirror, I not only saw the physical embodiment of creativity, but also a testament to my perseverance and love for the craft. My grandma was looking down on me proudly. The dress was not only beautiful, but it also held sentimental value, as it was a labor of love that I had poured my heart and soul into.

As I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t help but imagine the reaction of my loved ones when they saw me walking down the aisle in this unique creation. It was all worth it because later at the reception my new husband turned to me and said, “when you came around the corner and I saw you, I thought you had given up on crocheting the dress, and went out and bought something instead. I can’t believe that you made this incredible dress.” Now that is a serious compliment! He thought it was so good that I had purchased it from a high end boutique!

Standing there with my father getting ready to walk down the aisle, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the support of my family and friends, who had encouraged me to pursue my passion and turn my dream into a reality. The crochet wedding dress was more than just a garment; it was a symbol of determination, creativity, and the power of love. My journey of crocheting my own wedding dress is a reminder that anything is possible with passion, dedication, and a little bit of crochet magic.

Stay tuned for the next blog post where I highlight all the other crocheted items for my wedding! If you have questions or want additional clarification on anything please feel free to leave a comment below. Also if you plan to make your wedding dress I want to hear all about it below!

All official wedding photos taken by LeyRe Photography. The location was the Historic Venue 1902 in Sanford, Florida.

4 thoughts on “Confessions of a Crafty Bride: How I Created My Dream Wedding Dress with Crochet”

  1. Took me a little bit to read all the details, but I love that you shared everything from start to finish, especially your inspiration behind it all – honoring your Grandma, which is just the sweetest! I also love how you pushed through all of the bumps in the road to continue onto making your dream dress! I wish I would have taken more time in planning mine out because it wasn’t my dream dress in the end, and I was really frustrated and regretted not just buying one, but it warms my heart to see yours turned out exactly like a dream! You are so talented and passionate and it shines through your beautiful crocheted projects!

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