wedding dress

Hello retro sewists! I haven’t posted in awhile, but I’m here today to ask you for some help. I’m getting married next year and I’ve decided to make my own dress. I found a gorgeous vintage dress online that I would like to re-create, but I’m having trouble locating a pattern (I don’t really know how to draft my own, so I want something to go off of). Below is  a picture of the dress I would like to re-create (in my size), from Dear Golden Vintage:

(Source: Dear Golden Vintage)

I think that this pink dress below, also from Dear Golden Vintage, might have been made from the same pattern, which makes me think it may have been sewn from a commercial pattern, rather than being custom-made.

(Source: Dear Golden Vintage)

I looked through many patterns on the Vintage Patterns Wiki and online, but none seemed to be quite right, but then I stumbled upon and image of this pattern, Advance 8394. It seems like the closest approximation so far, despite the skirt being completely different.

(Source: Vintage Patterns Wiki)

The trouble is, there are no copies currently for sale online that I can see, so I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Advance 8394 that I could buy, borrow, or rent. I would pay the shipping both ways if I could just borrow one to trace off. Any size is fine!

Or, alternatively does anyone have the actual pattern for the two dresses that I can’t find? That would be pretty amazing!

If I can’t find the pattern, I’ll go ahead and try my hand at drafting one, but I thought it was worth a shot to see if I could locate a pattern first.I also posted about my search here on my blog, Scavenger Hunt.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! I’m so glad I can tap into this amazing online community!

Happy Sewing!

-Melissa

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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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Let me preface this by saying that this is my first post to date! I’ve been sewing for a couple of years and this was actually the first dress I ever sewed.
When I got engaged, I jokingly considered “just making my own dress” as a way to ease the financial burden that a wedding can cause. However, the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I was by the idea. When I finally decided, it seemed like the world was against me. But, that really only fueled the fire. I had sewn shirts and skirts so I knew a dress couldn’t be any more difficult…and it really wasn’t. Except for the fact that I bought real silk which meant I couldn’t get even a drop of water on it.
I was mostly inspired by Madeleine Vionnet and her 1930′s bias cut gowns. I loved the soft and feminine look of the gowns and the non-corset bodice. The flouncy bottom of her dresses also drew me to that style. I flirted with the idea of learning to bias sew but quickly laughed that off.
The more and more I sewed my dress the more I wanted lace on it. At the same time, my mom was offering for me to wear her dress from 1980 (not to mention she’s a half foot shorter than me and about 3 dress sizes smaller). So instead I decided to use the lace from her gown and incorporate it in my own.
I also decided to make a detachable train which I am so glad that I did. It felt so nice dancing around without a train dragging me down.

Here are some more photos of the dress. I used the delicate lace to draft sleeves and finished it with a small scalloped edge. The front and back bodice incorporated both the delicate lace and the wider lace. I trimmed the bottom of my dress in the wider lace and the front opening and bottom of my train.

Here is when the train came off:

Also I used vogue v2931 and took in the panels on the train, took off the bow and straps, and took in the top of the sloth as well. I also separated the train to make it detachable.

PennyandMary and DIYbride posted about it if you’re interested.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy!

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This is not a new ‘make’, I actually made my wedding dress way before blogging was even a passing thought in my (or many other peoples’) consciousness. In September 2005 in fact. However, as we are getting ready to sell our house, I came across my dress whilst packing and thought it would be fun to comment on it as it was an interesting and fun make.

To start off, and set the scene, I love the 1920′s and really wanted a dress that would reflect that period in time. McCalls 6948 fit the bill perfectly and I chose to make view ‘A’ (top right) with the cape sleeves and dipped, rear hemline. I remember that the pattern size was a 16 and I made a few adjustments from there – no FBA or swayback or anything like that as I did not even know these adjustments existed. Nonetheless, I was happy with the fit.

The dress has an invisible zip in the back (my favorite zipper application), bound armholes (although not bias binding. Tut, tut!!). The seams were serged with a narrow seam that did not show – the joy of white on white!

It was a comfortable dress to wear – no boning or worrying if the top would fall down (strapless wedding dresses are great for other people!) and I didn’t even get any food or drink down it!

It was not a difficult dress to make and I gave myself plenty of time. I would certainly consider this to be my greatest sewing achievement, even though now I would probably do some things differently – FBA/swayback adjustments, French seams etc., but ignorance was bliss, and this was/and still is my dream dress.

More details can be found on my blog!

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