Bride knits wedding dress for less than $300 and documents 45-day process
She hopes her story will break misconceptions associated with knitting.
When one bride found herself in a time crunch to get the perfect dress before her wedding, she put her creative skills to work.
Veronika Lindberg Heino, better known by her nickname Kika, knitted her own dress for a fraction of the cost that many brides spend and she documented every moment of it.
"When the thought of knitting my own wedding dress first crossed my mind I initially thought it would be too stressful, especially since we were moving homes and planning the wedding at the same time," the Finland-based knitter told "GMA."
"But, then again, I do love a challenge and I'm often a little bit over-ambitious, and the thought felt so wild and inspiring that I just decided to take the risk and do it," she added. "I ordered 2.5 kg of pure silk yarn and announced my crazy plan on Instagram, and knew right then, there was no turning back anymore."
Kika explained that she had a really clear vision of the square neckline she wanted for her wedding dress, but struggled to find one that fit her vision online. With only seven weeks to plan, she also was afraid that if she ordered a dress online it wouldn't make it in time.
Instead of worrying, Kika got straight to work and started by crocheting parts of the bodice and knitting the rest. The entire process took about 45 days and roughly 250 hours to complete the whole project.
"I found a few knitted and crocheted dresses from brands Dior and Ulla Johnson online that I felt really inspired by, they gave me the confidence that it would be possible to create something really spectacular using knitting," said Kika. "Then, I did my own sketches and tried out what kind of stitch patterns and type of laces I wanted to use. It was important to me that the top was tight fitting and that the skirt part had a really nice drape and luxurious feel, so I spent a lot of time researching to make sure I got the right fabric characteristics."
Kika mentioned one of the pros of her ongoing process was that it kept her grounded through all the chaos that can come with moving and planning a wedding.
However, she also faced some challenges including about a week before the wedding she had to rip back a big part of the work because she wasn't happy with it saying it was "a tough and frustrating moment where some tears were shed."
"The process was definitely intense, and the biggest struggle was to find enough time for knitting since we were in the process of moving and organizing the wedding at the same time," said Kika. "Plus I published my first-ever knitting book, so it was definitely hectic. But, I also enjoyed it immensely and loved seeing my vision come to life in the process."
In total, she used 1.5 kg of pure silk yarn for the dress which cost 300 euros — equaling about $293.32 U.S. dollars.
Cutting it quite close, she finished her dress on a Tuesday and got married to her husband Jukka Heino on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the couple's new home.
"My partner was a bit skeptical at first when I told him I was going to knit my own wedding dress, I don't think he could envision the final result like I did," said Kika. "He saw the whole process of me making the dress and in the end, he was super impressed and proud of me, and thought it looked really good too."
In addition to her now husband being impressed with the dress, many of the couple's wedding guests, as well as millions of viewers who watched her process on YouTube, also were stunned by how great her final look turned out.
"I'm absolutely amazed by all the positive attention the video and my dress has gotten, wow!," said Kika. "I've received messages from people all over the world telling me I've inspired them to take up knitting again or to learn it which makes me so glad. I'm also proud that I've maybe been able to push the boundaries and show what is possible using knitting."
Kika has been knitting for as long as she can remember and was initially taught how to by her grandmother around the age of 6. "What I find so satisfying with knitting is that I can choose really high-quality materials and customize the design to fit exactly my own liking," she said.
"Hand knitting is slow fashion, and when you put in a lot of time and effort into creating something you'll most likely take care of it for a long time, which is a more sustainable option than the fast fashion cycle," Kika added.
She went on to share that she hopes viewers of her wedding dress knitting project are inspired to embrace creative projects they might feel tempted to try — "even if it might feel a bit ambitious, I say go for it!"
"I hope my video will break some of the misconceptions sometimes associated with knitting like it being an outdated or an uncool craft," said Kika. "If it inspires someone to give knitting or crochet a try — I'm so delighted."