And the Wedding Dress Pattern Hunt Continues... | Mint Green Sewing Machine: And the Wedding Dress Pattern Hunt Continues...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

And the Wedding Dress Pattern Hunt Continues...

         Yesterday, I went with my mom, my best friend, my cousin, and my future mother-in-law to look at wedding dresses. As you may know, I fully intend to make my own wedding dress, but I was advised by my sewing teacher and my mom to try on different styles before committing to one to sew, so I scheduled a couple of appointments at the few local bridal shops.

       The problem is (and I knew it would be) that there are almost no styles remotely like what I'm looking for at the few wedding shops in our area! It seems that everything is long (I want a just-below-the-knee length), really tight on the hips (not a good look for me), really beaded and sparkly (I want something plain or maybe an unembellished lace), and strapless (I want at least straps if not sleeves). Oh, and did I mention that they were (almost) all crazy expensive? It was kind of disappointing, but at least my mom and Phillip's mom had a good time having me model dresses.

       I came away from the experience realizing that what I really need to do is just start sewing! I decided that I'll start working on re-creating my favorite of the vintage ones I shared in this post. I figure that if make it, modify it a few times, and if even then it looks absolutely hideous on me I can start over with another style.
(from Dear Golden)

        I've been searching long and hard for a pattern for this dress for a few months. I've come across a few that resemble it, but none that seem to be an exact match.

   Then, last night, I found this pattern image online:
       It's still not quite the same (obviously the skirt is totally different), but I think it's getting close! The problem is, that of course there don't seem to be any copies currently available from online sellers. I kept finding this book for sale, but I'm not sure what it is and if it has an actual pattern for the dress or just some kind of list in book form. Does anybody know?

        I'm sure that, with enough time and help, I could draft a similar pattern, but I'm really hoping to at least get a pattern piece to use as a guide. It doesn't even need to be my size! So, here's my request to all of you vintage sewists: does anyone have a copy of Advance 8394 that I could buy? Or, if you have one that you don't want to part with, could I borrow/rent it from you for like a week so I can trace the bodice pieces?

      Thanks guys! I can't wait to get started sewing this thing!


  1. Not able to help with the pattern sorry, but just wanted to say good on you with sewing your wedding dress. I am about to start the same process, and it is big. Mum wanted me to try on some in the shops, but I held my ground. Nothing remotely matches my style, or the fabric choices I am going for. Your inspiration dress, and the patterns are gorgeous, it will end up a stunning dress no matter what. When is your wedding, and are you doing any other wedding sewing?

    1. Thanks Kaitlyn! I'm really excited about it, despite the large amount of work involved. I think it'll be a big challenge and something I can really be proud of when I'm done, as well as being a lot more meaningful than a store-bought dress. My wedding will be June 27th of next year, so I've got quite a bit of time. I think I'm also going to make my fiance a vest and possibly a bow tie, and I'm going to try to restore a vintage headpiece and veil I bought. I'll try to post about those soon! I just followed your blog so I can see your wedding dress progress :)

    2. It really is so exciting. Looking forward to following each other's processes. We're getting married 6th December this year, so not very much time! I'm also doing bridesmaid dresses (luckily they're summer cotton dresses) and a bit of decor with bunting

  2. I don't have this pattern, but I DO have three wedding dress patterns. Two of which are Advance patterns.

    These are not strictly wedding dress patterns, but they might work.

    If one works for you, you can totally borrow it.

    1. Oh my gosh, you are so nice to offer and you have a really amazing pattern collection! The silhouettes of your dresses are really similar to what I'm going for, so if I have trouble with this pattern I might take you up on your offer :)

  3. I so feel your pain. I got married recently and my whole life I've wanted Audrey Hepburn's dress from Funny Face. I made two dresses before I got something I was happy with. But, on the upshot, even working with silks, two home-sewn dresses were sooo much cheaper than a single store-bought dress.

    I ended up going with my backup plan with which was Butterick 5748 and some silk cotton and a wide ribbon around my waist.

    Several people advised me to go try on dresses at a store, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Anyway, what about Butterick 5813 with the collar removed? It has the slash neckline you wanted.

    Also, in terms of inspiration, Dolly Couture, which does have a showroom in California somewhere (I know it's a huge state, but I don't remember where you live or where the showroom is) specializes in short, retro wedding dresses. We got married 5 months after we got engaged, so not enough time to order a dress, but that's what I'd have done if I'd gone the store-bought route!

    Best of luck!

    1. That's awesome! Such a gorgeous dress to copy. I think Butterick 5748 is a pretty close approximation. I'll have to check out your blog for your final product! Yeah, trying on dresses in the store was kind of an exercise in futility, but it did get me motivated to start sewing so it wasn't a total loss. I actually looked at Butterick 5813, but it doesn't have the overlapping bodice like I want (yes, I'm being super picky, I know!). It does come close though, especially with the waist and skirt. Maybe I could buy that and try to draft just the bodice? I've seen Dolly Couture, they have some really cute dresses! If I wasn't determined to make my own dress I would definitely consider one of theirs. I live about 3.5 hours away from LA, so it's quite a trek to get down there, but I would have loved to try on dresses at a place like that! Unfortunately where I live it's just the standard mainstream bridal shops.

  4. I totally feel your pain on the wedding dress front. I'm getting married next spring and was also looking for an unembellished tea-length dress with sleeves. I got lucky with finding something with a great bodice and I'll alter the rest to fit. Good luck on finding that pattern - i'll keep my eyes open. Its going to be so awesome to be sewing and knowing you are making the dress you are going to walk down the aisle in!!