So, you all aren’t tired of hearing about my wedding, right?! I guess since we still have 2 (or more?) little parties to go, it’s still on my mind. Plus, I realized that I really didn’t talk about the specifics of my dress too much and thought the sewing and fashion folks, in particular, would be interested in learning more.
It was in this post where I talked about the pattern and fabric I thought I would use which, it turns out, I did. This pretty, soft white lace with a border is something I’ve had for years. (I didn’t know I’d end up using it for my wedding dress, really!) Here’s the pattern again, from 1948, McCall #7302:
Because of the short time frame I gave myself, I wanted a pattern that was relatively simple. Oh, and it had to be vintage. And comfortable. I also had to consider what would look best on my body type. Now, I don’t always do that when it comes to clothes…perhaps you do the same thing? I mean, sometimes I let fashion or just my love for a certain unforgiving silhouette dictate my choices and so I end up not wearing a once coveted garment.
But this was for my wedding – it had to fit and look right on me. I wasn’t about to delude myself into thinking that I had a body that I didn’t and this wasn’t my opportunity to show off what a skilled sewist I was, ha ha! I liked this pattern because it looked simple to make. It had a cute, square neckline that wasn’t too low (I’m as little self-conscious of my “bony” chest). It also fit at the waist and flared down towards the knee. All these features, I think, are flattering on someone with a typical “pear-shaped” body: tiny on top, fuller at the bottom.
Anyhow, I made some modifications as you may be able to tell from the picture. First, the neckline: mine is narrower than the pattern’s – I tried it as directed and it ended up looking too late ’80s Laura Ashley for my personal taste; plus the size of the collar overwhelmed me. I also added a little bit of ease so it would ruffle, just the slightest bit. By the way, the pieces are taken from the scalloped edge of the fabric.
The soft darts at the bust were too bulky (those darts are not sewn all the way to the ends/points but rather stop an 1″ or so from where normal darts stop, creating pleats) so I sewed them all the way down. The skirt does not have a center seam nor is it cut on the bias like in the pattern. Because of the lace, I figured a seam down the middle wouldn’t look very nice so I cut the front and back into 2 big pieces. The closure is still on the side seam but instead of a zipper I used hooks and eyes (from my late grandma’s sewing kit) and decorated it with vintage foilback glass buttons. The hem is edged with the lace fabric’s border. I sewed on 3 rows of rick rack near the hem, one of which covers where I attached the border.
(Yes, my dress has rick rack – naturally!)
The ribbon at my waist is just some Petersham grosgrain in a buttery cream color. I cannot even tell you how many ribbons I went through before I chose this one! That might be surprising too since this is the most subdued color among the candidates. My very clever landlord/costume designer suggested that I take photos of my choices; sometimes what looks good right in front of you doesn’t look so great in a photo. It’s sort of like holding up a drawing you’ve been working on in the mirror and observing its reflection or looking at the same drawing upside down: it allows you to see it for what it really is, and your perception doesn’t interfere too much. So, I tried dusty rose velvet ribbon, velvet in a mustard-gold, chocolate brown satin ribbon and many others. I went through a few vintage flowers too. While I loved the more intense colors and big flowers I didn’t want my dress to look like a “party dress” if that makes sense; perhaps if the gown was floor length it would have worked (because I’ve seen bold sashes and flowers on other wedding dresses and they looked beautiful), and if there were bolder colors in my husbands’ attire. Soft and subtle turned out to suit us the best!
And luckily I found this white crinoline at a local thrift shop for cheap (because it was ripped at the waist, which I fixed). The pink one I was going to use was a little too long so I’m glad I found this one just days before the ceremony. Oh, and the shoes are from Remix. (I’m hoping the fact that there are not white means I’m more likely to wear them again!)
And in this past post, I showed you the underdress, which I made from a very pale pink batiste (the color doesn’t come through in the photos except that it really softens or warms up the white in the lace). The hydrangea bouquet came from my container garden. AND, the rhinestone star bobby pin is vintage.
Ok, WOW, I feel like I’ve just talked your ear off! I must admit I’ve been kind of a hermit lately. Hiding out from the heat, trying to get things done. Anyway, I hope this was fun and maybe even a little bit helpful! *Wheeee!* And it’s Friday already. That means sleeping in late, staying up late, maybe catching a movie and working on some patterns.
Thanks for letting me share this with you! Have a good one! xo