Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

More bridesmaid attire…

It’s not for me this time though!

One of my sisters was a bridesmaid at a Nigerian traditional wedding this week. Interestingly, their custom involves giving their bridesmaids the chosen fabric and the bridesmaids go away and get their dresses made in whatever style they want! I guess it’s a great way to make everyone happy but still keeping the wedding party looking cohesive!

Instead of using a traditional tailor, my sister brought it to me and asked me to make her a dress!

I’ll be honest. I was not a happy bunny when I saw the fabric. I was hoping for some funky African wax prints. Instead a got a salmon pink polyester tablecloth which actually had diamante stuck on to it. It felt rough and plasticky and as far from “wedding” as you could get.

That being said, I wasn’t going to leave my big sister in the lurch so I planned and designed a simple dress that would hopefully look tasteful and use as little of that fabric as possible…

I chose to make a fitted midi length dress with a deep V neckline and a racer back. I drafted it from scratch and toiled it a couple of times to make sure I got it exactly how I wanted it!

I picked up a pink lining whilst on the Goldhawk Road shopping trip I went on a few weeks ago (the other sewists were equally horrified at the fabric by the way…) and opted for a slightly brighter pink to go underneath the sheer outer fabric. I hoped it would make the colour look better against my sister’s skin tone!

Once all of that was decided it was actually very quick and easy to make it up!

It’s a super simple dress with only a few darts. I was super lazy and chose not to finish any of my internal edges because, let’s face it, this will probably never be worn again! (Not great on the sustainable sewing front but it can’t be helped!).

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I feel like I got the fit just right and it seemed to tick all the boxes my sister had!

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with all the leftover fabric though…. Any takers?

About Me

Related Posts


  1. Would love to see the other bridesmaid (if there were any) versions compared to yours. Looks good!

  2. I think you did an amazing job considering you didn’t like the fabric, I bet your sister was really pleased with this outcome. It must have been hard not to just panic when you saw what you had to work with, but I feel like you’ve totally saved this and she looks gorgeous.

  3. I like the custom of everyone getting the same fabric and then you have it made the way you like it.

    Since it’s sheer, the bridesmaids could remove the outer fabric and still have a wearable dress underneath.

    I bet the pink looked amazing against dark skin.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.