1950s Inspired Wedding Dress

Last year, my newly engaged friend sent me a picture of an adorable 50s tea length dress and asked if I knew anyone that could recreate it for her upcoming wedding, or if I would be able to. At that point, I still hadn’t used many patterns, and I had never fitted anyone other than me for a dress. So my first reaction was, there’s no way I’m experienced enough yet to make such an important dress! However, I absolutely fell in love with the dress she had chosen, and I just had a strong urge to say yes anyway to challenge myself, and so I did.

The dress she wanted had a simple, sleeveless, fitted bodice with a scoop neck and low V back. The full tea length skirt was made with box pleats, which I love to use and knew I could do for sure, it was just getting a lovely fit on the bodice that had me a bit nervous. I started with a Retro Butterick pattern as a kind of base for the bodice and altered it a lot from there. It probably would have been easier to create a bodice pattern myself from scratch, but I haven’t gotten that far yet!

There were some ups and downs overall, but I was pleased with the end result, as was she!

Many more details and pics on my blog here. :-)

• Meet the Author • Stephanie


I'm a self-taught, retro-loving Francophile from Austin married to the Frenchman of my dreams, and blessed to get to basically stay home and sew all day. Although I grew up around it, I didn't learn to sew until I was in my mid 20s...it must be in the blood, though, because I got hooked pretty quickly. I started out mostly making aprons I designed myself and selling them in my Etsy shop, but now I'm kind of obsessed with making dresses. I have a special love for anything from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s, and I also love Regency and Victorian inspired looks. I've started to get over my fear of using patterns, and since I enjoy seeing other people's projects here so much, thought I'd jump on in and share mine too.


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17 comments… add one

  • What a **lovely** dress!
    You did a marvelous job for your friend, and her beaming smile shows just how pleased she was to have you create her heart’s desire.
    Congratulations & well done, you!
    D’ellis

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  • That is really sweet!

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  • That is amazing, and you did an outstanding job. It is gorgeous!! The detail is wonderful, and the finishing is flawless.

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  • The dress is really elegant and your friend looks beautiful in it,

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  • Yes!! what everyone else said. And congratulations to you for being brave and going for it. Clearly both you and your friend are winners : )

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  • Lovely job! It looks really great! How special for your friend.

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  • That came out so nice! I decided to make my tea length dress for my wedding reception, and probably didn’t have the quite the skill level I should have to undertake it. But I did it and it was beautiful and that’s what got me back into sewing and to start up my sewing blog! Well done in your dress! It’s stunning and fits her perfectly!

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  • That’s a nerve-wracking project to take on – well done! It turned out beautifully.

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  • This dress is so beautiful! You did a lovely job on it. I have been dying to re-create some 50’s wedding gowns they are just so beautiful! After seeing your post I may give it a try in the near future! :)

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  • Beautiful bride and a lovely dress!

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  • Every gal should have a friend like you.

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  • Gorgeous!!

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  • Gorgeous! I was also asked to make a wedding dress, and politely declined because I didn’t want to ruin their wedding.

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  • It’s beautiful! I love the pleated skirt. Simple and elegant.

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  • Gorgeous! Your friend looks so beautiful, and you got the fit just right! Absolutely timeless.

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  • This dress is just beautiful. Your friend is very lucky to have you.

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  • Very well done! You are right, it is a beautiful, elegant dress; I love the box pleats, too. Your friend has very good taste.

    I made a wedding dress for a friend of mine, simple like this one but with a full-length skirt of bias panels and a fitted bodice. It was nerve-wracking! When it came out well I was so cocky I made the same dress, in golden yellow, for myself as the matron of honor. I gotta say when I look at the photos today, I’m impressed with how beautiful we both were! (Of course, we were also about 20 years younger…)

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