Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wedding Dress- 1920's inspired

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.

I used a lot of fabric with this dress - there were many layers!  There is an simple 'V' neck sheath, under-layer of charmeuse, then an over layer of charmeuse, chiffon and embroidered lace.  Under all of that I added another charmeuse 'lining' as I did not want any seams touching me - I wanted luxury!  I am glad that I had the extra layer as when it came to having the photos taken it was getting a little chilly!

I bought some gorgeous beaded lace for the outer layer and yards and yards of different beaded & lace trimming for all the raw edges.  I don't think I turned under and hemmed any edges!  The pattern calls for 11yds of fabric in total, and I know that I bought at least twice that amount just in case!!  The pieces for the skirt are very full and a lot of fabric was used-up there.  This is a dropped waist style with the bodice being beaded lace and the skirt being chiffon,  Where they both joined I added a beaded trim (some of the trim was taken from the beaded lace itself as it had a finished selvedge).  There were also tassels, beading around the neckline and beaded motifs - I didn't go for understated, but as the design itself was pretty simple, these little touches finished it off beautifully.

The little capelet is a single layer of chiffon with a lace edging and is soft and 'flippy' echoing the skirt of the dress.

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 actually made my two bridesmaids dresses out of chiffon as well - they were so cute, and are now grown up young ladies!  Their dresses had invisible zips - I can't get the hang of lapped zippers - and had detachable overskirts and arm warmers that made them look little like 'Little Bo Peep's.  I can't remember the pattern, but again, it was a very simple one.

And to finish off, this is probably my favorite wedding photo - the mountains in the background are the Three Sisters in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies, and this sums up the majesty and beauty of this land we call home.

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.  So, how about you - what would your greatest sewing achievement be?


  1. What a lovely gown! I do love that picture of you in front of the mountains. I can see why it would be your favorite.
    Not really sure what my greatest sewing achievement would be. Most of my best work was done as a teenager and I don't remember a whole lot of it.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! And what a gorgeous shot of the 2 of you :)

    I have no clue what my greatest sewing achievement to date is - nothing really stand out over & above everything else, so I'll have to say it is yet to come lol!

  3. I found you from a comment at Carolyn's and I think we are kindred souls - knitting.sewing.dogs - what could be better? This dress is stunning! You looked amazing. And I'm always impressed by nature. g

  4. Wow you are so brave to make your wedding dress. Having the spare fabric must have at least lessened some of the fear. It turned out gorgeous!!

  5. Your dress was beautiful. I made my wedding dress too. That was over 30 years ago now. I still have it tucked away... perhaps someday to make christening gowns for grandchildren out of.

  6. Oh, my goodness! I just LOVE your wedding dress! Just gorgeous! I have never attempted anything so amazing. The little flower girl dresses are lovely, too. My greatest sewing achievements would have to be two of the several christening gowns I've made (lots of embroidery and smocking) and my daughter's first communion dress. Victoria-Rose's dress had yards and yards of French lace and was made with $30 a yard batiste, the most expensive fabric I have purchased. I held my breath when I made the first cut into that fabric! LOL

  7. The dress is beautiful! I love the capelet sleeves and that tassel is just such a perfect touch. And you look so happy and at ease--not all trussed up in crazy boning!

  8. What a lovely wedding gown- I love the 20s era as well! I was married twice, and sewed both of my wedding dresses. My greatest sewing achievements were my daughter's wedding dress, the christening dress that both of my granddaughters wore, and my grandson's christening romper.

  9. Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also design your own wedding dress


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