DIY: A Classic Wedding Dress With A Colorful Twist

Andrea Fritsch DIY Quilted Wedding Dress.jpg

Andrea Fritsch, a Bay Area artist and anthropologist, is never one to back down from a challenge. When she’s not working on water conservation, she can be found constructing elaborate costumes for special occasions.  

Her DIY wedding dress, was no different. The gown, which Fritsch made entirely by hand, featured a quilted train inspired by a colorful Bottega Veneta dress. 

Guest column originally published at written by REBECCA MIR GRADY

Above image of Andrea Fritsch in her DIY wedding dress photo by Hazel Photo

As a good friend of the couple, I had the pleasure of attending the celebration. I also designed the wedding rings pictured, below. 

hammered wedding rings by rebecca mir grady

Rings by Rebecca Mir Grady. Image: Katie Henze

The ceremony and decorations were amazing but this wedding was all about the dress. In her own words, Fritsch shares the story behind her style, below.

I was married in a dress I was lucky to make with designer and my future sister-in-law, Lydia Withrow. Lydia and I worked out the design details over a long weekend, armed with my rough drawings and a vintage 1970s vogue wedding dress pattern (Pic 5). Lydia provided all the design, patterning and construction skills, and I quilted the patchwork train.

vogue pattern.jpg

Originally, I wanted to make a wedding dress with a bright pattern, like the amazing style of the Moroccan motorbike gang, Kesh Angels. When I couldn’t find the fabric I was looking for, I started thinking about quilting as a way to pull together bright colors, like designer Jay McCarroll from Project Runway, season 1. 

Once I had the materials for the train, working with the patches reminded me of stained glass and architecture, like the Almudena Cathedral’s ceiling in Spain, and the great patchwork in the Bottega Veneta fall dresses.  Putting together the patchwork in the train to lay correctly with the drape of the dress was a little tough, and I ended up altering the shape of the patchwork so it would move more naturally even though it was 4 layers thick.

At the wedding I wore blue opal earrings borrowed from my aunt, an heirloom freshwater pearl bracelet from my great aunt, turquoise cowboy boots, my brand new wedding ring, designed by Rebecca Mir Grady and a dinosaur hat and tail during the art parade (bridezilla). So many artists attended the wedding – my train wasn’t even the best quilting at the event!

This interview was originally published at for Emma Grady's stories behind the style column "Something Old, Something New”.