1930′s wedding dress recreated

At the end of last year an acquaintance asked if I’d be interested in recreating a dress her friend had bought from eBay to get married in as the original dress was not in as good a condition as she had hoped and the synthetic satin wasn’t as lovely as she’d hoped for either. It came with sleeves but they’d been hacked off and she preferred it without but the armhole was a bit of a mess.
My kind of dream job really as I love making bias dresses and this would be a enjoyable challenge. I began before Christmas but it wasn’t finished until a couple of weeks before the wedding.
After removing and washing the rouleaux leaf-motif collar it fortunately was good enough to re-use and I found a silk that colour matched really well. Working from a bias block pattern I’d made for something else I drafted a pattern following the lines  of the original dress and made a toile in a thin cheap crepe. After that was fitted and  adjusted I re-cut the dress in the new silk satin and refitted it. Of course it fitted a bit differently than the toile- it made up bigger and anyway we decided on a more Jean Harlow snug-fit than the original so took in the hips a lot.
The bodice is mounted on a silk georgette and the seams and hems were all finished with bias georgette bindings.There are only 2 side back seams in the skirt (I never took pictures of them) but they angled in towards the centre back at hip level and then flared out forming the 6 foot train. Because of the angles I had to use tiny snaps and hooks on a placket to close the dress down the left bodice side seam and over the hip…not the flattest way to do it but a zip was impossible. I made a little cape which she wore on the way to the wedding and a silk tulle veil finished the look.

The wedding was this May but  I’ve only just received the gorgeous photos from the day so thought I’d make a post about it here.
This is the original post on my blog with just another photo or two.

The original 1930′s acetate satin wedding dress bought from eBay

My recreation of it in a heavy French silk satin

• Meet the Author • Jeanne

Professional costumier & pattern designer and it's also what I do for fun... usually 1930s & 1940s style.

Love what you've seen so far? Subscribe by email to receive all the week's posts delivered to your inbox in one big glorious email every Friday.

Inbox overflowing? Follow us on Bloglovin instead!

Find the WeSewRetro crew chatting on Facebook and sharing pretties on Pinterest.

11 comments… add one

  • You did a fantastic job!

  • Wow! I love this! Gorgeous work!

  • Just gorgeous! It's a near exact replica, and the bride looks like she just stepped out of the 1930s! Thank you for sharing this exquisite project!


  • Amazing work – you did a wonderful job.

  • Absolutely stunning, what a fantastic job you did!

  • Thank you all!
    I think it's now one of the top 5 most successful projects of my entire making career and one I can pick virtually no fault with… which I'm amazed to say as I'm a ruthless perfectionist when it comes to my professional work :-/

  • wow…this is truly amazing and goes to show that one detail can make a dress look truly retro…in case it's the collar…the kind of thing you can find in an antique shop for next nothing. It's far to make a retro 1930s style gown than to fit into an original.

  • This is stunning and inspiring. My sister is getting married next year, and I have been wanting to tell her that a 30s style would look amazing on her. I'll have to show her these photos!

  • stunning. amazing. great job. fantastic fabric choice–rich and elegant.

  • Amazing and beautifully done. You should be proud of yourself. I know i am!

  • stunning…well done you, I have a black lace 1930s dress which has all but crumbled away I was thinking of making it up in oyster satin…you have truly inspired me to have a go :)


Don’t Be Shy » Leave a Comment!