DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

How to Make a Beautiful Bridal Garter

comments (2) May 6th, 2009     

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erika_kern Erika Kern, contributor
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A beautiful garter adds a whimsical and personal touch to any bridal ensemble.
Make a pair: one to throw and one to keep!
Ribbon and elastic form the base of this beautiful garter. Add a unique button and you have the perfect gift for any bride-to-be.
A beautiful garter adds a whimsical and personal touch to any bridal ensemble.

A beautiful garter adds a whimsical and personal touch to any bridal ensemble.

Photo: Erika Kern
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Call me a glutton for punishment, but I love the idea of a DIY wedding. One of my dear friends is getting married in the fall, and every example she has sent me has be met by a resounding, "Oh! We can make that for so much less!" Because she's doing this wedding on a super-tight budget and because she indulges my vicarious thrills, she's let me get my craft on big time for her coming day. This project is quick and easy and a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your favorite bride's ensemble.

Want to make it?

wedding Get more wedding projects:

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How to Make a Floral Fascinator

How to Make an Embroidered Garter

Here's what you'll need:

  • Ribbon (I used grosgrain): 3-1/2 yards of 1-1/2-inch-wide ribbon for a medium-sized garter, and 1 yard of 5/8-inch-wide ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Fray Check
  • Needle and thread
  • Quick-drying fabric glue (I used Fabri-Tac)
  • Sewing machine
  • 3/4-inch-wide elastic
  • Accent, button, or decoration (I embroidered a button following the steps from this post)

Before you begin, you'll have to figure out what size to make your garter. Since you're working with elastic, there's a bit of wiggle room, but if your bride is a different size than you are, you might want to ask for her thigh measurement to make sure it fits. Once you have your measurements, cut your ribbon.


Add 4 inches to 5 inches to the circumference of your bride's leg so that you get a nice gather in the fabric even when it's being worn. My bride's leg measures 20 inches, so I cut my ribbon at 25 inches. Cut two lengths of the base ribbon and one of the accent ribbon.

Cut the ribbon for the rosettes. Cut a 12-inch length of the base ribbon and the accent ribbon.

Use Fray Check on all the ribbon to prevent the fabric from fraying. Let dry.

Once the ends of your ribbon have dried, make the rosettes for your garter.


Use a running stitch to gather the ribbon for the rosette. Make your stitches about 3/8 inch in length. Try to keep them even to keep your gathers even.

Sew up your rosette using a backstitch.

The finished rosette.

Repeat the same rosette steps with your accent ribbon and glue it onto the larger rosette.

Now that the rosette is finished, it's time to make the garter.

Pin the accent ribbon to the center of your 1-1/2-inch-wide ribbon.


Use your sewing machine to attach the accent ribbon to your garter ribbon.

Pin the front and back of your garter together.


Sew together using a 1/8-inch seam allowance down each finished side of your ribbon. Leave the rough sides open for your elastic.

Feed the elastic into the ribbon tube. Let the ribbon gather in the middle since it's longer than the elastic. You can even it out after your elastic is sewn together.

Sew your elastic together. Use a zigzag stitch going back and forth several times to secure it.

 


Even out the gathers and tuck one end of the ribbon into the other. Use a straight stitch to close up the seam.

Glue the rosette over the the seam.

Now the garter is ready for your personal touch.

The bride and groom have a personal joke about a blue bunny and wanted it incorporated into bits of the wedding decor. I used the same bunny fabric from my post about embroidering buttons and made a blue bunny button for the center of the garter. If you don't wish to embroider a button, you could add flowers or vintage buttons or you can make a personal accent from felt. You can also add embroidered initials or the wedding date. Feel free to be kooky. The garter is a great place to add a bit of whimsy. I once made a garter for a handy carpenter friend and added a little measuring tape and hammer.


Be sure to make a pair: one to throw and one to keep. Chances are your bride is going to be quite attached to her wonderful personalized garter.
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posted in: wedding, ribbon, scissors, sewing machine, elastic, grosgrain, fray check, garter, fabric glue

Comments (2)

luve2sew writes: Perfect timing! My niece is getting married in September and I will make a special garter for her wedding using these instructions. Thanks!
Posted: 11:16 am on May 13th
Fwani writes: Man, oh, man I wish I'd had this pattern when I made garters a couple of years ago for my niece's wedding! The fabric I used frayed like a son-of-a-gun--I didn't think of using ribbons. Duh!! They turned out fine but I was inventing cuss words as I went because the internal fraying was messing with inserting the elastic. I swore "Never again" (or at least I figured I'd only embellish commercial garters) but having seen this project I have renewed hope. My matching ring pillow went without a hitch though and turned out super!
Posted: 9:11 am on May 13th
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