How to Make a Bridal Garter

I handmade a garter in May as a gift for a special friend for her wedding day. I thought I'd share with you how to make a bridal garter so that you can make your own or give a garter as a gift. Making your own garter is really easy and the materials you need are very cost effective and work out much cheaper than buying a garter. Making your own bridal garter enables you to choose the type of lace, colour of the ribbon and any embellishments you want to add. I designed this garter to be made using the lace you can see below, a light blue ribbon and thin blue and white striped ribbon to make some bows for decoration. The garter is a great as the bride's 'something blue' for her special day.

What you need to make a bridal garter:

- Lace - I chose to use lace that had one flat side and doubled it up by joining it together. If you can find wide lace you could use this instead - Blue ribbon - Elastic - this needs to be a thinner width than the blue ribbon you have selected - Blue and white striped thin ribbon to make bows - Matching blue thread

Follow these instructions so you can make your own bridal garter:

1) Ask the bride to be for her mid thigh measurement, this garter has measurements for a 40cm thigh.

2) Cut two pieces of lace. As you will be gathering up the lace in the steps below you need to give yourself extra length to ensure you can get a ruffled finish. For this 40cm finished sized garter used two pieces of lace each measuring 70cm long.

3) Pin together the lace. Try and match the patterns in the lace to give a more uniform look.

4) Using your sewing machine straight stitch the lace together. This can be fiddly so take it slow and keep checking the pieces of the lace are still touching.

5) Cut two pieces of blue ribbon the same length as the lace. Here I cut two pieces of ribbon measuring 70cm in length each.

6) Arrange one piece of blue ribbon underneath the lace so that it sits in the middle of the piece of lace.

7) Line up the second piece of blue ribbon on top of the lace. You'll need to match the top and bottom pieces of ribbon so that they match. Pin in place.

8) Using your sewing machine stitch carefully along each edge of the the ribbon, about 1 - 2 mm away from the edge. Take this stage slowly and keep checking that the ribbon is lined up. The ribbon will form a channel for the elastic to go through in the next step.

9) The elastic you need should be at least 10cm longer than the bride's thigh measurement. Add a safety pin to the end of your elastic. Now pass the elastic through the space you have created under the blue ribbon. Gently push the safety pin through until it is clear of the end of the ribbon and lace. Using your sewing machine secure the elastic in place using two or three rows of stitching that go across the ribbon and width of the piece of elastic.

10) With one end securely sewn you can now gather the lace to create the garter. You'll need to keep measuring as you gather, you are looking to make the garter ruffle to the bride's thigh measurement and have about 5cm extra at the end so you can securely join the ends together. Once you have the right length gathered you can now add two or three rows of stitching across the width of the ribbon and elastic to create a secure end. You can now join both ends of the garter together, use a few rows of stitches and double check your measurements for the bride's thigh measurement. Use pinking shears to take away any excess lace and ribbon near the seam so that it is comfortable when it is worn.

11) You can leave your garter as it is or add some decoration. I made 5 small bows using the thin ribbon and cut the ends of each to create a pretty look

12) Sew the bows to the garter using small hand stitches. You have finished your handmade bridal garter.



I really enjoyed creating this bridal gift that will hopefully get passed down through the family as something borrowed, old and blue!