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Copy Bella's Wedding Dress From Breaking Dawn

Updated on January 25, 2021
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Kimberly has a lifetime of sewing experience, including costumes, bridal, and alterations.

Similar in Style to Bella's Dress

Butterick pattern # 5779
Butterick pattern # 5779 | Source

Bridal Fashion from the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

The gifted Carolina Herrera designed the gorgeous gown worn by Bella in Breaking Dawn--Part 1 of the Twilight Saga. Even those who are not fans of the Twilight books or movies can certainly admire the detailed beauty of Bella's wedding dress. Herrera was careful to follow the description given by series author Stephenie Meyer, including the shape of the dress (like an inverted calla lily) and the lace details.

I have to admit holding my breath as the dress was revealed in the movie: first the hem, then the sleeves, the back and finally a full view from the front. Brides wanting a fitted, yet modest, gown with a breathtaking back view could not do better than this gown.

Bella's Dress: The Pattern and Cost

If you are a skilled dressmaker, you can copy this look and make it your own. Butterick pattern 5779 is a close approximation to the style. There are fewer seams than in the Carolina Herrera original and there is no pin tucking on the side panels of the bodice, but the pattern is otherwise very similar. By sewing pin tucks in a small amount of the fashion fabric and cutting the side front bodice pieces from that fabric, the home dressmaker could achieve a very close copy of Bella's dress from the movie.

Do count the cost before embarking on this challenging project. I have provided an estimate of the fabric costs for a size 10 dress below. Costs were estimated based on fabrics available at as of July 12, 2012. The dress also requires approximately 200 satin buttons, which are available in packages of 144 from for around $22 per package. Thread, hem lace and seam binding are also required.

Finally, do not buy the fabric unless you have a machine that has well-balanced tension and has successfully worked on similar fabrics. Take the machine in for a cleaning and tune-up before starting this ambitious project.

Yard Goods Required for the Gown

Fabric or Trim
yardage for size 10 dress
estimated cost
60" polyester crepe-back satin
5 7/8
45" Alencon lace
1 1/2
45" nylon stretch tulle
45" polyester "China silk" lining
16 3/4
bridal button loops

Bella's Dress: Dressmaking Skills Required

This gown is closely fitted, so the dressmaker must have the skills required to alter the pattern based on the bride's measurements before cutting and to fine tune the fit after cutting and basting the pieces together. Experience handling slippery bridal fabrics is a must. The shaped sheer insert in the back requires precise cutting and accurate stitching of curved edges. A great deal of patient handwork is required: sewing 200 shank buttons to the back of the dress is tedious work. Lace must be cut and shaped around the sheer back insert--not for the faint of heart or those who lack confidence.

The entire dress is underlined and lined. An underlining is basted to the back of the fashion fabric and the two layers are then treated as one piece. Underlining gives extra body to the outer fabric and can make it easier to handle. A lining is a basic copy of the dress in a lightweight fabric to go under the dress and cover the seams and other construction details. The lining also makes the dress easier to put on and take off. All this construction, however, means you are cutting out the equivalent of three dresses, basting two of them together, then sewing two dresses and putting them together. Be sure you have the space and time for a project of this magnitude.

This information is not intended to discourage the adventurous dressmaker—only to point out the level of commitment required to sew this gown. The following video gives some idea of the many steps involved in the construction of Bella's wedding gown.

See theTwilight Dress Under Construction


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