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Knife Pleated Wedding Gown

Ocrafty1 | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Many of you helped with advice while I was working on this gown.  All of it was invaluable and I so appreciate it. I had never tried pleating before this gown, so I am proud of how it turned out.

The bride brought me a picture of a similar gown and I created the pattern myself. I’ve never had a drafting class, but have made gowns by putting several elements of different patterns together….sometimes overlapping several and then tracing the final product.  I know it is unconventional, but it works for me…

Anyway….here are some pix from her wedding.  I also made her matron of honor’s gown. She is standing next to the bride in photo 2.



  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    I love the dresses! The matron of honour dress is flattering and a wonderfully unusual colour choice. You really need to put them in the readiers closet and show them off darling! Cathy

    1. Ocrafty1 | | #6

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! The color looks unique, but really is not.  The fabric was an inexpensive burnt orange satin from JoAnn.  The lady was concerned that the shine would detract from the bride, so I used it 'inside out.'

      I'll think about putting in up for Readers Closet, but they want really nice photos and the ones I took in my sewing room aren't that great. It shows the mess on the floor and in the room and that one shows too many wrinkles in the chocolate pleats, too.  I don't know...maybe I'm being too critical, but I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my sewing.


      1. User avater
        purduemom | | #8

        I will echo all previous adjectives used to describe this dress and add stunning!  It is evident that the bride loves her custom gown.  The amazing pleating and chocolate color contrast place this gown in a league of its own - oh my gosh!!!  When my daughter gets married, you will be my number one resource person - glad you are a 'neighbor.'

        Deb, from one 'perfectionist' to another...I had to go back to the pictures after reading this post.  The first time, all I paid attention to were the dresses!  I guess that is because the theme in my sewing room is "creativity is born of chaos" and everything in its place only happens in magazines! Tee hee! 


        1. Ocrafty1 | | #12


          Thanks Sweetie!  You know when your daughter gets married I'll do all I can to help you in any way!


      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #9

        I really do not think it matters for all the pictures. The main ones from the bride are good enough! Might crop them a bit if you can. Some of the pics I have seen in the Closet are not all that great. Check it out and you will see. Just remember to tell your bride you are posting as a matter of courtesy. Cathy

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    The bridal gown is truly unique and breathtaking!  I love it!  You truly created a "work of art" for her special day!  Both gowns are very flattering and drape beautifully!  I can't say enough!!!  Well done!

  3. gailete | | #3

    Wow! That wedding dress is a jaw dropper! Very unique.


  4. Josefly | | #4

    You did a wonderful job. The bride and her attendant must've both felt absolutely beautiful. I second ThreadKoe's motion - post those photos in the Reader's Closet, and maybe the original photo you showed us with the details of the pleats in the back. If I were a bride shopping for a dressmaker - I would be convinced you could do anything.

  5. [email protected] | | #5

    Awesome dresses, I want to put it in my scrapbook of ideas as it is unique, and I have 5 daughters.

    1. Ocrafty1 | | #7

      Thank you all so much!  I worked very hard on that wedding, and it is a unique gown.  The original picture didn't have the pleats in the center back, and if it hadn't been for the support of people on this site, I'm not sure I could have figured it out.  I do know that I'll never hand pleat a gown again!  I didn't know that you could send the fabric out to have it done.  I really did learn so much from all of you!!!!

      Tryitagain.....You do me great honor by wanting it in your collection of ideas.  I have 2 daughters..now grown...and made many formals for them and their friends.  The experience of figuring out how to make what they wanted taught me many of the skills I now use in my very slowly growing business. 

      Be sure and check out the wool suit that Purduemom finally put up pix of.  She can really sew!!!  ;^)


  6. fabricholic | | #10

    I just saw the dresses. Gorgeous. One reader said the inset color was chocolate, but I thought it was more of a taupe. Which is it? I love creams and taupes and chocolates. It is a wonderful design and the bride's touch of wearing the gloves looks great, also.

    1. Ocrafty1 | | #11

      It is actually a medium shade of taupe.  The original photo the bride sent of the gown was in chocolate, but she thought that was too dark for an early fall wedding.

      This bride is Hispanic (Venizualan) and the wedding had very unique touches.  One that I had never seen was: the best man lays down a decorated lasso and the couple jump into it.  It reminded me of 'broom jumping.'  Very unique.

      1. fabricholic | | #13

        That's one I have never heard of either.

        1. Ocrafty1 | | #15

          From what the bride told me, this is a custom in her home country. So it was not unique to her.  They had a difficult time finding a white lasso here in the US, and had to have her mother send her one from Venezuela. It was decorated with the same flowers that she used in her wedding.  It symbolizes: that they are encircled by: their love and committment, their friends and family, and that they chose this committment willingly.  Very different.


  7. User avater
    rodezzy2 | | #14

    No that's not unconventional, its called "the creative process."  You did a wonderful job, that is a wonderful dress.

  8. lynnewill | | #16

    What a beautiful Job!  The knife pleats are simply stunning and I would imagine a real leap of faith to undertake.  I am once again encouraged by everyones posts and am searching my brain to recall what sewing skill I have been avoiding. now that I have found all of this qualified help I might be able to conquer some sticking points.  What fabrics were used on the wedding dress, you mentioned color, but what is the content?


    1. Ocrafty1 | | #18

      Thanks Lynne,

      The bride purchased her fabric at JoAnne and it is an inexpensive polyester crepe backed satin.

      I could never have done the pleated gusset without the advice and encouragement of the people at this site. It is not something I will probably do again....I learned here that I could have sent the fabric out to be pleated!  It would have been worth the expense to save the time and frustration, but I did learn how to do it.


      1. lynnewill | | #19

        The fact that you managed this with a poly satin I find amazing.  I really dislike working with poly's as I cannot get the crisp finish I so desire.  How did you manage it?


        1. Ocrafty1 | | #20

          I must say that I've never paid attention when 'they' say that certain fabrics won't do some things...I try it for myself...so it didn't occur to me that the poly satin fabric wouldn't hold the pleats. I did use a slightly higher temperature on my iron than I normally would and I used steam...with an organza press cloth. I tried several samples before I came upon the correct temperature...and some of them were melted...Yuck!  

          I measured the pleats; top and bottom, basted accross both, then pulled slightly to get the pleats straight, using a tagboard template to correctly place the crease. I worked from top to bottom with my iron, then pressed again, using my clapper and holding it until the fabric cooled.  It took an umbelievably long amt of time, but it worked.  The sunburst pleats did very well, but the 1" pleats on the darker fabric were more likely to open.  I ended up fusing a backing of lightweight knit interfacing to keep the pleats in place, but the creases held...and it gave the taupe fabric more stability. 

          I didn't learn many of the 'fabric rules'; we couldn't afford to purchase nicer fabrics when I was learning to sew. In fact, its only very recently that I've been able to do so. Most of my clients cannot afford to either, so I've learned to work with what I have. Its amazing what fabrics will do when you are patient and play with them!  I think that many times you just have to think 'outside of the sewing box.' There are times to follow the rules, but I like to break them to see what will happen.



          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #21

            Where there is a will there is a way, right? Just part of the challenge of making things work. I really have to commend you on your effort and brains for making a difficult fabric behave! Cathy

          2. Ceeayche | | #22

            I agree with Cathy!  Whip that fabric into your shape!  Rules schmools!  What a happy outcome for all.

  9. Ceeayche | | #17

    wonderful!!!! it's a beautiful dress... and so unique.  I applaud you for your workmanship and I applaud your bride for her unique style and daring to step aside from the cookie cutter looks.

  10. User avater
    Sewista | | #23

    wonderful dresses. I really love how wedding gowns have some color added to them today. It makes them pop and enables the bride to feature her best assets. Bunny

  11. dressed2atee | | #24


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