by clumsylawyer

I’ve slipped into a bit of a wedding funk recently – I’ve got lots of time to do things, but I’m not sure what to do or where to start.  Either I’ve gone as far as I can with some DIY thing, I’ve started it and got fed up or I feel like it’s something best left for a couple of months.  Instead I’ve got myself stuck into a project which has been on the backburner for a while: making a coat for Best Man P.

Partially completed and hanging from the light fitting in my living room.

The request from P didn’t spring from nowhere – a couple of years ago I made my own coat and he was so impressed that he decided he’d like one of his very own.

A Man and I doing our very best impression of an amateur detective duo, outside his mum’s camper van. My coat with its PINK lining 🙂

I consider myself to be a reasonably able seamstress, given the time and inclination to actually sit down and finish the job.  I was given my sewing machine by an incredibly generous lady via Freecycle.  It’s around 50 years old, heavy as a bitch (it’s metal rather than plastic) but gorgeous and reliable.  It hadn’t been touched for years, but a bit of oil was all it needed to be up for the challenge of (very noisily!) making P’s coat, including in some areas at least half a dozen layers of quite thick fabric.

There’s nothing I don’t love about this sewing machine. The machine and the cover were made to be beautiful as well as practical, the recommendation by Parents Magazine makes me giggle every time I see it and the manual with its vintage images is great too.

Now that’s all very well, but what – I hear you cry – has any of this got to do with wedding planning?  Well, as I was merrily stitching away this afternoon, I came to consider my flowergirls, and how I’d like to keep the cost for their dresses down.  I find it truly astonishing that department stores, wedding boutiques and any other shop charges quite so much for such a tiny dress, just because it’s ‘formal’.  I’m loathe to spend almost as much on my flowergirls as I will on my bridesmaids because, much as I love them dearly, they’re around 1/5 of the size.  Would it be feasible for me to make the dresses myself?

As I’ve already mentioned, I have no doubt in my ability, and such a small garment could be whipped up relatively quickly and with little hassle.  But whether it would actually work out cheaper is another question entirely.  I’d first have to find a pattern I liked (a seamstress I may be, but a pattern-drawer I am not) and then purchase the fabric, which could easily run at upwards of £20 per metre.  Factor into the mix that small girls grow quickly, and the dresses would have to be made fairly close to the date, increasing my stress levels at a time when I’m bound to have other things to do (and will have a full-time job to contend with as well as wedding planning).

I probably won’t end up making the flower girls’ dresses – it would probably be one DIY too far.  However, I will keep the option open and if I can’t find an affordable option that I like enough to buy, perhaps I’ll just have to bite the bullet and spend some serious hours at my beautiful machine.

Have you had the ‘to DIY or not to DIY’ moment?  And what do you recommend I can do now that I seem to have hit the wall?

All photos in this post are personal