One wedding accessory that has remained popular over the last several years is the bridal gown sash. We found them as a recommendation in wedding planning articles as well as for sale on a variety of sites, from high-end bridal specialty boutiques to Etsy. However, the price of this popularity was steep: $200-$600 and up! With a few small cuts of luxury fabrics, such as lace, tulle, satin, and organza, along with some beautiful pearl or crystal beads, you can create your own custom wedding sash for much, much less. Plus, it will be perfect for your colors and your wedding. The key to creating a beautiful look, such as you see on our sample, is to experiment with color and texture, as well as with the placement of the flowers, beads, and other embellishments until you get a look that’s just right for the bride-to-be.
The base of our sash is a traditional double-sided, wide satin ribbon. This was the most common among the sashes we found online, however, there are certainly other options based on your wedding theme. Do you have a rustic Theme? You might want to consider burlap ribbon trim, faux leather or suede. Or, create the sash from fabric that matches or is complimentary to the wedding gown itself. Silk would be a beautiful base for a more traditional sash as would a crisp organdy.
Spend the time to cut out plenty of petal shapes from your chosen fabrics, then play with these shapes, layering them in different patterns, mixing and matching in different ways. When you have the flowers looking as you want, arrange them on the base sash and stand back to get a good look. The flowers should be clustered rather than spread out along the sash. It’s a more dramatic look and better mimics nature – the way you’d see a cluster of blooms on a flowering plant.
The flowers use just little bits of fabrics, so this project is also a great way to use up scraps from some of the fabrics you’ve chosen for other wedding items or that you’ve purchased for backdrops and overlays.
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 3½ yards of wide ribbon (1½” – 2½”); we used 2¼” double-face satin ribbon in pale gold
- 2 yards of ½” soft ribbon, such as a rayon or silk. You could also use rayon seam binding.
- Small piece of felt for backing in a color to match your ribbon.
NOTE: This is optional; if you use a substantial enough ribbon, like double-face satin or velvet, and you don’t use a lot of heavy embellishments, you can stitch directly to the ribbon.
- All purpose thread to match the ribbon
- A beading needle or similar fine needle that fits through the bead holes.
- Straight pins
- Candle and lighter
- ½ yard of synthetic fabric, such as polyester or nylon: organza and polyester satin are good choices for the melted petals (the yardage amount shown allows for plenty of petals and rejects)
- ½ yard cuts (or scraps) of lace, netting, and tulle
- A selection of pearl beads in coordinating colors. We used Swarovski Elements Crystal Pearls in sizes from 4mm to 16mm in champagne. You can find these and other options through many online sources as well as local craft retailers. As with everything, you can buy any mix of color and size you like. You could also use crystal faceted beads, buttons or even a brooch for the center of the focus flower.
- Circle template: download from our Organza Flower tutorial.
Our sample shows just one of the many ways you can style your wedding sash. You can use a single large flower, or many more. Think about the layout and balance. Generally, an uneven number is more pleasing to the eye. Below are several possible layouts.
Make and Place Your Flowers
Use our Organza Flower tutorial to learn how to make melted-edge flowers. We also used some bits of netting and lace, which are not melted – just cut. In our sample, the focus flower uses 18 circles in varying sizes, the largest are 5″ in diameter (pre-melting). The two medium flowers use 9 circles in varying sizes; the widest are 3″ in diameter. The two small flowers contain 7 layers and are 2″ in diameter.
- To get fluffier flowers, you can fold several of your melted circles in half and/or in quarters.
- Hand stitch through your petals at the center point to secure the shape. Arrange your beads and sew the beads in place over the hand stitching that secures the layers.
- Position your flowers directly on your ribbon or felt backing circle. Hold in place with a straight pin. You’ll want to keep the flowers closer together than you might originally think is correct, because the curve of the bride’s waist will appear to add space between the flowers. Once you’re satisfied, cut leaf shapes (we used three burlap leaves) and insert them beneath the flower petals. Pin in place.
- From your ½” ribbon, tie a loopy bow and insert it under the petals. Pin in place. Have the bride try on the sash to confirm she’s happy with the position and spacing. Once all is well, stitch the flowers and leaves in place.
- If you used a felt backing circle(s) rather than stitching directly onto the sash, stitch first to the felt and then pin and hand sew the full flower arrangement to your ribbon.
Project Design and Sample Creation: Alicia Thommas