Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

Bridesmaid Dress #1: Robin

Wanna see the first bridesmaid dress I completed?  One down, four to go!

This was for my maid of honor, Robin.  She and I both share a love of J.Crew, pale colors, and retro styles, so her dress was sort of a hybrid!  We didn't copy any specific dress out there, but combined patterns to make this style:
There it is with the purple shoes!

All the bridesmaids' dresses will be made of the grey cotton/lycra, and will have the just-above-the-knee pleated skirt.  I love the midriff panel at the waist, and most of the dresses have those as well.

For Robin's I used Butterick B5317 for the top of the bodice:
And the midriff panel from Butterick B4915, one of my all-time fave, most versatile patterns.
I actually made ALL five skirts already--so all I had to do was assemble the bodice!

While at my mom's one sewing day, I sewed the two panels together for the skirt, serged the bottom edge, and pressed in a 2" hem.  This fabric is really resilient and sort of thick, so I checked with the serging, instead of turning under twice.  Saves some fabric and looks better in this heavy stuff.
Just a straight machine hem!  I thought about blind-hemming but this works fine.

Ta-da!  Done!

Stay tuned to see all the bridesmaid dresses, each of a slightly different style!

(If you made your bridesmaids' dresses, or did any other DIYs for your wedding, I'd love to have you share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)


  1. You have the luckiest bridal party on the planet! This looks great on Robin...

  2. She looks gorgeous!
    Nicely done. That's a dress that'll definitely get worn again, too!

  3. Wow! Love the color. Her dress is similar to one of my bridesmaids dresses. So you have great taste. :) I also had different dresses for my gals.

  4. What a wonderful neckline for her! You did great! Does Robin like it?

  5. beautiful girl and a gorgeous dress! nice job!

  6. Beautiful dress. It is my favorite although I haven't even seen the other dresses yet. I think it's a great idea that you kept the skirts the same and the fabric. It seems your BM's will ACTUALLY be able to wear their dresses again. Also the fit is phenomenal. Your BM's don't even have to worry about alterations which is fantastic. How long did it take you to make this dress?

  7. Anonymous6/02/2011

    its a beautiful dress, perfect!

  8. The dress is FABULOUS! I'm so jealous--your bridesmaids are all going to end up with dresses that will be great additions to their regular wardrobes as well!

  9. I love that she will be able to wear the dress again!

  10. Crystal6/02/2011

    This looks great. Love that the skirts match with various bodices. So great that they probably will actually wear these again.

  11. Aw, thanks!! Yes, Robin loves it and is so excited to wear it at the wedding, and will definitely wear it again, too!

    @banclothing, it only took a few hours. I've got the patterns down pat! And it really helped that I made all the skirts at once.

  12. Gorgeous! I'm so excited to see all the final dresses, and your wedding dress finished :)

  13. It looks so beautiful. I love your style! She can definitely wear this dress again and again.

  14. This is amazing!! She looks beautiful, you did an incredible job!

  15. Absolutely beautiful and looks terrific on her! Great job! What lucky bridesmaids.

  16. this dress is so beautiful. you look great!

    we've a great giveaway for 650€ (Costume National, Ray Ban, Le Coq Sportif), maybe you want to join.

    take care!


  17. Anonymous6/04/2011

    Lovely dress and bridesmaid! That colour and shape is fabulous on her.

  18. Anonymous6/04/2011

    I've never commented on your blog before but I just have to say that is one gorgeous (and super flattering) dress. I honestly don't know how you do it. I've never made anything before but the thought all that measuring, cutting, and sewing makes me really nauseous. I can't wait to see the rest of the dresses including the wedding dress!

  19. By chance what pattern do you think most fits the skirt? I am totally over the moon for this dress and would LOVE to recreate it! Thanks for any information and KUDOS to you crafty lady!

  20. Its fantastic. The dress is perfect fit to her. Love the color and design.

  21. Thanks so much, everyone! So glad you like the bridesmaid dress. I was hoping it would be beautiful. =)

    @*Emy, I imagine there are patterns for the skirt, but I would never use one--it's just rectangles, pleated. You could use the cutting guide from Butterick 4915 if you wanted, but really it's just two panels of fabric, 2" longer than you want your skirt to be. Snip the selvage, and tear across to the opposite selvage. Do this for two pieces, then sew the selvages together (leaving an opening for a side zipper if you want a side zipper). Hem the bottom. Then, marking your center back and center front, pleat the skirt to the size of your waist. I made directional knife pleats, so they pointed toward the center back and center front. I highly recommend the pleating tips/tutorials on this site:

    If there is interest I can post a tutorial for how I made all the skirts once I finish all the dresses!




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