I wanted to make my wedding dress, the way my mother and little sister had. Mom and Grandma sewed lots of our clothes when we were growing up, and I wanted that for my wedding dress.
I also wanted a simple raw-silk dress, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money.
We got the fabric in the NYC fabric district for something like $4 a yard; I don't remember. I know that we spent around $25 or something, and got a couple of extra yards thrown in bcs the bolt we bought from had a flaw in the last yard.
We bought lining material, horsehair braid, and a pattern. (We lucked out and found a McCall's pattern that had all the features I wanted! V neck, pleats vs gathers on the skirt, fitted bodice, puff sleeves.)
I made a mockup out of a thick faille in what a friend called "tart red," and cut out my own dress. I sent the pieces to Mom & Grandma for them to make the basics, but I had to finish the neckline, do the back zipper, hem.
I told my MIL, "By the time you include shoes and fancy underwear, I'll have spent less than $150 on my dress."
She immediately said, "Do you think perhaps I could give you some money to buy a wedding dress from the bridal store? I have the money, I could give it to you easily."
I was thisclose to being offended.
She continued, "It's your wedding, and you should have a wonderful dress."
Still thisclose to being offended. And then I realized: She heard "cheap dress" as though it was a bad thing. In her world, you only made your own clothes if you didn't have money. And it didn't look that great.
So I had to say, "No, you don't understand--I'm getting EXACTLY the dress I want--it'll fit me perfectly, it'll be exactly the design I'm looking for. And even better, my mother and grandmother will have helped me to make it.
"Plus, I'm *proud* of the fact that I am able to get exactly the dress I want for so little money. The fabric may have been inexpensive, but it's beautiful--100-percent dupioni silk."
It took some convincing, because she was so troubled by the idea that I was "cheaping out" on my wedding dress.