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Vintage wedding dress advice needed

March 23, 2011

I’m getting married! And I’m going to do it in vintage style.

I’ve already found this pattern and am going to start work on the muslin this weekend.

My question is, what fabric? I love the look of it in white lace, but have never sewn a dress with a lace overlay before. Would this look good made in a dupioni silk instead?

For reference, I plan to make the full-skirted dress in white with a blue sash to match my blue heels. I will accessorize with a birdcage veil and small flower fascinator. Makeup will be simple eyes and red lips. Hair will likely be a soft fingerwave. The wedding will be a courthouse affair in May.

Any advice on fabric or construction will be greatly appreciated!

ETA: I live in Alaska, so my only fabric options are JoAnn or WalMart. If you have links to good fabric sites, please share!

  1. I made my wedding dress (with a very similar pattern!) and I did a lace overlay (my first time). It ended up being easier than I anticipated. I would say go for it! My one bit of advice – go for a nice sturdy lace. Don't choose anything that is stretchy or has too loose of a pattern (ie. mostly netting) and you should be fine!

    For the record, I also think it would look fab in silk, but it would change the look significantly.

  2. I'd say it depends on your skill level and how much other wedding planning you have going on. If you're new to sewing and have a lot to organize, simplify your life and just buy a killer silk. If you're a skilled seamstress and the wedding planning is mostly done, go for the gusto.

    Good luck! Also, I love silkbaron.com, if you're looking for silks.

  3. This is so funny I bought this pattern yesterday! Not for the same happy reason though, Congratulations!
    I think silk would look lovely but Lace would make it individual. Good luck!

  4. I'd do silk with lace overlay. It's actually not all that hard. I did a chiffon over dupioni deal for my oldest's FHC and it was a first attempt for me. I was THRILLED with the look.

  5. Start collecting swatches today. Create a moodboard. I'd even test out sewing, washing those swatches. You'd be surprised what you can learn from those little squares. Also if you're in Chicago, visit Vogue Fabrics bridal section in the Evanston store. Most of all, have fun and don't stress out!

  6. I'm sorry I can't give any advice on your lace-dilemma, but that dress is incredible and I can't wait to see your finished product!

  7. Congratulations on the wedding!

    I have made a dress before with a non-stretchy lace on top and a heavy silk underneath. It was not hard to sew at all (I did it years ago, with not so much experience), and it looked amazing.

    Also when you go with a heavier silk as the bottom layer you might not have to wear a big petticoat underneath to make the dress get that beautiful 50's flow! 🙂 Good luck, and best wishes!

  8. Hi Mary, I'd really like to follow you making this dress. I think it's gorgeous.I can't seem to find a link to your blog though.
    I too am getting married although we have not set a date yet. I had not considered making my own dress but this has got me thinking.
    Miss W

  9. Oh I forgot to mention: Although I don't have a lot of experience working with lace I did make one dress and it was surprisingly easy. I cheated by using a ready made underslip and taking a pattern from that to create an overlay. The lace sewed up very easily although I agree with the other comments on here that the sturdier types lace will be easier to work with

  10. Gertie (of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing) had a great couple of posts lately on sewing with lace…

    Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and I think it's amazing that you are sewing your own dress!

  11. Congratulations! What a beautiful dress pattern. One benefit of a lace overlay is not having to sew scallops! I'm sure you'll look gorgeous either way 🙂

  12. I'm the original poster. Thanks for all the comments and ideas! I didn't realize that my profile wouldn't be connected to this post. If you want a link to my blog, it's http://www.maryhaley.blogspot.com

    I've read Gertie's posts on working with lace before, and I think I am going to try it. I just need to figure out how changing the layout will change the amount of fabric I need!

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