Book reviews / wedding dress

Sewing book review: Bridal couture by Susan Khalje

If I would ever make an acknowledgment speech about the bridal dress I did, Susan Khalje’s book Bridal Couture (Amazon affiliate link) would get a very special mention. Without this book I would have failed miserable on so many levels. The sort of construction that this dress requires is not something that is easily found in regular pattern envelopes.


As you can guess a book that is almost 150 pages thick about one single subject – construction techniques for wedding dresses – will be very thorough. The chapter on lace is almost 20 pages long for instance, and the info on boning is almost as extensive. But since there is plenty of drawings and photos, it still makes for an easy read. I had so many aha-moments reading this book.


The book is divided into three parts; Fabrication, Construction and Application. The  Application part is especially invaluable since it contains step-by-step instructions for four kinds of wedding/gala dresses, which was really helpful since one of these styles was made with a lace body.


While the title might suggest it’s only for bridal dresses, the content of this book is really applicable for all kind of formal/gala wear. If you are making any kind of elaborate gowns, not just bridal dresses, this is pretty much a must by in my humble opinion.


  • Pammie
    October 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Love your review (and blog!). I just took Susan Khalje's class on Hand Couture Sewing online at Pattern Review. I didn't really think I would get much out of it – but it was wonderful! Susan is a treasure – love your idea about printing out the .pdf.

  • Johanna
    October 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    >>Pammie: Great to hear that her class was so wonderful, I have been hesitant too about online classes, sewing is such hands-on experience, but you triggered my curiosity!

  • Ann's Fashion Studio
    October 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I bought the cd and I agree this is a fantastic book..

  • Nancy K
    October 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Good review. No one has anything but good things to say about classes with SK

  • Bunny
    October 12, 2010 at 1:05 am

    FWIW, I have seen this book at more than one Joann Fabrics.

  • Alison Esther
    January 30, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I just came across your blog via Pattern Review and I am SO GLAD I saw this post! I am making my wedding dress and I've been a little angsty about dealing with the sequined and beaded lace. So thank you, this post has been invaluable. 🙂

    Oh and your knockoff Stephanie James dress came out beautifully!

  • Habiba
    June 15, 2020 at 4:09 am

    Hi. I want this book in pdf… Can you help me how can I get it??


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