1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

My Wedding Dress: Simplicity 5343 (1963)

By on December 22, 2015

 

my handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I got married in May and for it I whipped up (ha!) a ballet pink silk version of Simplicity 5343 from 1963.

I knew I didn’t want to wear a white, strapless gown and I knew I wanted pink, and when I stumbled across this pattern on etsy I knew it was the one. The Dress. I loved the lace jacket and the pleats on the skirt, the bow belt, and the simple silhouette.

handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

I did make some construction changes, underlining and lining the bodice (the original just had facings) and adding some boning to the dress, and totally changing the jacket construction for a more couture look (the original was simply cut and finished with bias bindings, I used Susan Khalje’s method for overlapping lace for a seamless look). Just try to spot the seams in the photo above!!

handmade vintage wedding dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

 

I also made this crazy 60s veil 🙂 My inspiration was Priscilla Presley!

You can see more photos of this project on my blog, allie J.

Thanks, y’all!

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1930s

Making My Wedding and Reception Dresses

By on March 6, 2015

I have finally completed my blog post on constructing my wedding dresses.  As some of you may know I got married last October and was crazy enough to make not only my wedding dress, but a separate dress for the reception. I don’t have as many construction pictures would like to share the few I do have. The pattern I used for my wedding dress was the 1934 Evening Gown With Drop Sleeves from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

The VPLL ships fast and does a very nice job in packing your order. Look how nice my little bundle of patterns were! I ordered three patterns in all. Each time you purchase a pattern, or leave a review, you earn points towards future purchasing. They patterns are printed on a nice quality paper. The instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow with some additional information provided as well.

My first task after receiving my pattern from the VPLL was to resize it. While the VPLL does offer some patterns in multiple sizes, this was not one of them. This pattern actually goes together rather well, despite my fitting issues. For the bodice I treated the lace and lining as one. The lace pieces were first basted to the lining and then the bodice was sewn together. Next the bias tape binding was added to the neck edges and arm holes. I didn’t have any white or off white on hand so I used peach which I think made a nice contrast to the lace. I made a few small changes, mainly to omit the extra large fluffy sleeves and to add a RIDICULOUSLY long train.

You can read more about my wedding dresses here.

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Applique | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Custom Wedding Dress Rework + Reception Dress!

By on May 25, 2014

A soon-to-be-married old friend contacted me a few months back and asked if I would be into in restyling her mother’s wedding gown from the 70’s for her to wear for her upcoming wedding this summer! I was initially a bit wary of cutting into something so special but decided to go for it and I am so glad I did! The original dress was made by a dressmaker in Baguio City, Philippines, and is made of pineapple fibre organdy and beautiful cotton lace with beads and sequins. I was a little nervous with the mention of pineapple fibre as it was totally foreign to me, but it was very easy to work with. The dress was beautiful but a bit dated in a not-totally-flattering way, so we discussed changing it up a little to suit her better. Before:

She gave me a few ideas of styles she liked (boat/bateau neckline, illusion lace) and let me play around to figure out the right way to restyle the dress. I suggested a low cut lace back and she was all over it. The main body of the dress fit fairly well and didn’t need to be taken in much, but I slimmed it down a bit overall.
The main change was of course the neckline and bodice. After much consideration, I carefully cut out the lace (taken from the sleeves and veil) and pieced it in place. I pinned it atop the original neckline and traced the area to be cut away. From there I added a small seam allowance to be turned in and hand-stitched the edges of the new neck and back lines.
Then the fun part! Putting the new neckline and the strategically shaped lace together as one! Much hand stitching later (to create a seamless transition between the appliqued lace and the dress fabric I used very tiny stitches) we had an illusion neckline! The bateau neck is slightly higher at the back to kind of ‘hug’ the back of her neck. The bride is quite petite (more so than my dress form, and the low back will hit in a tasteful but lovely spot.
After:

I am so happy with how this turned out and very inspired to push my limits further!

After the lace was cut for the wedding dress, we realized we had some left over and decided to make a second dress, for her to wear to the reception, which would incorporate the extra lace. I happened to have some lovely cream silk shantung in my collection, so from that I cut a very simple retro 60’s sheath, with bateau neck and V-back. The leftover lace was shaped into an obi belt which fastens with hooks and eyes at centre back.

Overall a very rewarding and great project! Bride and mother-of-the-bride are very pleased with the result! Feels great to be trusted with such a beautiful heirloom item. I preserved large seam allowances in the “new” wedding dress for future alteration possibilty, just in case she wants to hand it down again one day…

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