Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Dress Ideas

I am definitely going to sew my own wedding dress and so far I have found two dresses I like. I haven't looked at patterns because I feel confident that I can copy a dress myself and draft my own pattern. It sounds hard, but it really isn't.

This dress is beautiful and I have had the picture saved on my computer for several years. It is from a University of Virginia website where the costume design students write a page about a vintage clothing item. The website is really helpful because she is analyzing the construction of the dress, which gives me a really clear idea of how I could copy it. This dress is a silk chiffon dress from the 1940s with a basket-weave bodice and a beautiful drapey skirt.
Image from here.
While the dress is yellowed, it originally was dyed in very light pastels, which you can see if you look closely.  It explains that the bodice is fully lined and boned and the back dips 4 inches lower than the center front.. I really think the basket-weave effect is beautiful and wouldn't be very difficult to re-create. 
The skirt is fully lined with a band of crinoline at the bottom. The skirt is made of 12 bias-cut triangles of silk chiffon. The real drawback for this one is that chiffon is a pain to hem and I quote "The skirt itself is cut from twelve, bias cut triangles of the various colored chiffons, each gathered at the top and measuring roughly 120" at the bottom. Thus, the bottom width of the chiffon overskirt is over 1440", or 120 feet, or 40 yards--nearly half a football field in length." 
Haha, my mom just started laughing hysterically when I told her that. I agree, I don't know how I would hem 120 feet of chiffon without going insane and hulk-smashing everything in sight... but the dress is so BEAUTIFUL and looks so wedding-dress-y. It would be a flattering style!


I found this dress reading Rebecca's blog. She wrote a post about how McCalls should start offering reprints of some of its vintage patterns and this was one of her examples. It's a 1949 McCall dress featured as the bridesmaid dress to 7500. 
Image from here.
 Now you need to picture it in white, but it is so elegant and beautiful! I like the neckline, the basque points at the waist and the bias skirt. Nowhere on the internet can I find it for sale or even just a picture of the back of the envelope. A line drawing or a diagram of the shape of the pieces would be so helpful. As far as I can tell, it is really just four pieces. Bodice front, bodice back and upper and lower skirt pieces. I think the sleeves are part of the bodice and gathered. I think the upper skirt wraps from the front to the back with no side seams.

Look, I made a poll! Enjoy and leave me comments on what you think!!!
Which dress is best?
1940s basket-weave chiffon
McCall 7505
Other, link in comments


  1. I vote for the McCalls pattern, but I may be a bit baised, lol. Someone has the pic of the front posted on Flickr as well, but alas, no pic of the back of the envelope. It's a bit of a stretch, but maybe you could email or call McCalls and see if they could help. :]

  2. I voted for the McCall's, although I do love the basket-weave dress too - I just think all that chiffon would drive you mad :) Also, I looked up McCall's 7500 & I almost died of delight. Why are modern wedding gowns so... strapless & ew? BORING.

    1. Especially the ones that are a boned corset with a sheer midriff! Gag.

  3. I like them both, but I think the McCall's dress is more elegant. I love love love the style lines! The drape of the back is beautiful.

  4. I love the basket weave dress...maybe you could gather some friends that sew and have a hemming party.

  5. I of course like both and think whichever one you choose will be perfect but I do really like the braided chiffon, it is so unique and would be so light and airy. I voted for both and voted for the braided chiffon 2x!

  6. Gosh, the McCall pattern is just stunning...I can really see you in it!!!

  7. Omg LOVE that last one! Wowee!!

  8. 120 feet is A LOT. But if it's a wedding dress... It's worth the extra effort, no?
    The basket weave is gorgeous but I also love scallops.

  9. I think the basket weave is very nice. But, I have always thought simpler wedding gowns are more flattering. The McCalls dress is so graceful. It's a winner, big time.

  10. The McCalls dress - keep a search on ebay, and I bet it shows up. I have had a pattern show up 2 years after I put it on a search! Just remember to renew the search when it asks you to...Good luck!

  11. I am also going to put you in my link love evening dresses as I have many followers who were recently or who are getting married soon.Thanks.

  12. Your dress is awesome. I'd go for lots of pearls on the celebrity dresses neck and arm with lacy sandals or wedges. So much you could do with it. A lovely belt would be pretty too. I would suggest a pretty lace cami underneath just to keep it 'appropriate'


Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!