Custom Bridal: Design The Perfect Gown For You

Desiree Hartsock, Bridal Designer

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9 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Developing Your Moodboard

    • 3. Cutting Images for Your Moodboard

    • 4. Questions to Keep in Mind

    • 5. Characteristics of Various Fits

    • 6. Choosing Fabrics for Your Gown

    • 7. Adding Details to Your Gown

    • 8. Placing Details on Your Gown

    • 9. More Creative Classes on Skillshare


Project Description

Sketch your dream bridal gown

Gathering Inspiration

  1. Visualize the moment

    Close eyes for 30 seconds to 1 minute and visualize yourself about to walk down the aisle to your groom, note the type of silhouette you may see yourself in or the movement of the gown. Write down anything you see or feel on your separate piece of paper.

  2. Research bridal wear

    Collect a few bridal magazines from your local store as well as regular letter paper or cardstock for your collage. As you browse through the magazines, tear out any dress details or wedding inspiration that you like.


  3. Find online inspiration

    Check out online resources/ websites like, & to find even more gowns to browse. Print out details and gowns you like and add those to your images.

  4. Identify shapes & styles you are drawn to

    Go through images to circle and note on the side what you like about each one, whether it is the skirt shape, beading detail, lace sleeve, or neckline. You will be surprised by some images you are no longer drawn too and this will help you narrow the look down.


  5. Collage your favorite images

    Place your top 10-15 images onto your collage. 


  6. Questions to keep in mind
    • What styles are your go to for neckline and fit? What do you feel best in?
    • What are your best or favorite attributes? (this is important to know, so you find the right shape to show them off)
    • What areas would you like to minimize or try to flatter?

Knowing Your Fit

  1. Identify your style

    Try on different tops and dresses you own or browse pictures of yourself in different outfits.

    After trying on different shapes, you should have a better idea what you like best for the entire shape of your gown. Write this down on the back of your collage.

Choosing Your Fabric

  1. Look at your options

    As I go through each fabric, note what you like and don't like about each one. From lightweight to heavier weight fabrics, I will discuss the benefits and downsides of each one.


    • Tulle- this is an extremely lightweight fabric that is usually layered for the skirt because of it's opacity. 
    • Chiffon- This is a very flowy fabric that is easy to drape and works well with sheath styles. Because of it's nature, this type of fabric works well for outside or less formal weddings.
    • Taffeta- This is a good fabric for a structured silhouette that is medium weight and can be used for any season. 
    • Satin- This is the most popular fabric for bridal because of it's shine and weight. It makes for structured silhouettes and because of the shine looks great in indoor weddings.
  2. Asses your own closet

    It is best to feel these fabrics for yourself. Go through your closet or go to a local clothing store to feel different fabrics. That will give you an even better idea of what you like and don't like.

  3. Record your favorites

    Write what fabric you like best on back of your collage. If you can get a fabric swatch of the material then add that to your collage as well.

Defining Your Details

  1. Note the styles that stand out

    Take a look at the images in your collage. What details stand out or are repetitive? Note them down.

  2. Define your mood

    What is the mood of beading & lace. What type of bride are you in terms of glamour vs. romance?


    • Beading is typically done in silver or clear crystals/ rhinestones that sparkles and creates a very glamorous look
    • Lace is romantic for the softness and pattern.
  3. Write down the small details

    Think about the accessories you would like to wear on your wedding day. Some brides prefer to accessorize themselves then have the gown embellished.

    Write down what details you like best for your gown on the back of your collage.

    Your collage should be finished with all of the images and details that set the tone for your wedding gown and you will be able to take this inspiration to a dress maker or bridal salon for the consultant to know the exact type of gown you are looking for. This will save you a lot of time and energy and you will be able to focus on what you know you like.

    If you are inclined and would like to sketch your dream gown, please feel free to with your collage. I would love to see what styles everyone comes up with!

Additional Resources

  • Fits


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