Since my last wedding dress 'inspiration collation' blog post I've definitely narrowed all those ideas down. I'm going for what I would feel most special wearing: a sexy wiggle dress with a hemline finishing just below the knee and a decent helping of décolletage on show. I want the wiggle dress to be of the waist-seam variety, so effectively what we're looking at here is a bodice and skirt combo. Seeing it in those terms has actually made research somewhat easier. I've been analysing sewing patterns and dresses and pictured below are the most inspiration-filled. I think a few theewmes and details have bubbled to the surface. To work through the images, I've put them into categories 'Bodice Inspiration', 'Skirt Inspiration' and, wait for it 'Bodice and Skirt Inspiration' for the images that fall into both the previous catagories!
The images in this section had something about the top half that really appeals to me.
This Whirling Turban wedding dress, pictured above, has possibly the sweetest of sweetheart necklines and the most perfectly proportioned halter strap.
This vintage dress from Etsy has a very similar neckline and halter strap, but creates some of the bust shaping with little tucks at the centre.
Another lovely sweetheart-ish neckline, this time with two straps.
Brighton-based dress label 'Dig for Victory' created this lovely sweetheart neckline by making a kind of gathered bow effect. Could look fantastic with a big bow at the back of the dress like a kind of bustle.
You'll see a theme in a lot of the pictures in this post, there's a lot of gathers/pleats/ruches to be seen. The pattern above, Simplicity 2250, combines the sweetheart neckline with some lovely gathering. It came to my attention when I saw that Crab from Crab & Bee used it as the basis of her stunning wedding dress.
The above dress from Modcloth, which looks uncannily similar to this red Trashy Diva dress, is currently the one I'm drawing the most inspiration from. That neckline and gathered bust detail is ticking my boxes. I'm going to try and toile something similar to see if I can create such a style and then to see if such a style suits me.
Something like the one shoulder style on this vintage pattern is also an option.
How nice is this sweetheart neckline with asymmetric strap? Too much food for thought.
This was an image I found on the only wedding website/blog I'll allow myself to follow, Rock n Roll Bride. If I had the patience of a saint and a time scale running into decades, maybe I could bring myself to rig up something as extravagantly amazing as this bride's incredible red dress. At least I am able to glean satisfaction from this picture that I picked the best colour to work with.
Bodice and Skirt Inspiration
All the images in this section have so much going for them that the whole thing needs to be reviewed.
This picture came from ebay, I wonder who bought it and what it ended up like if they got round to making it. It's pretty damn elegant though, don't you think? I really like how the shoulder and hip gathers balance each other out. I don't think I'm up for the amount of draping that would be needed to recreate this, but I love looking at it.
Now this jaw dropping dress was created by the excessively talented seamstress, La Couturiere Dimanche. I love the combination of very fitted, possibly boned, bodice with the gathered style skirt. It really shows how a sarong style can be actually be very elegant and evening-y with a clever fabric choice.
This vintage dress really is the last word on gathering. I really don't think I'm up for this amount of work, nor do I fancy adding that amount of thickness to my body!
Vivienne of Holloway dresses are very popular with 'alternative brides' these days, if Rock n Roll Bride are any indication. Normally it's the 1950's circle skirt styles that get snapped up, but I'd totally head for this style above. The cascade skirt is a nice variation, and there's that sweetheart neckline again.
I believe I found this image on Gertie's Pinterest boards. Once again, it's a cocktail dress with some of my favourite design elements.
Check out this amazing vintage dress! There is so much interesting stuff going on, it's like reading a book. I'm not sure how I'd go about recreating this bodice without a pattern, not with only two months to get it perfect! Maybe I'll give it bash one day, or at least keep my eyes peeled for a vintage sewing pattern with a similar bodice.
In this section, we need to keep our eyes fixed below the waist. It's the only time you'll ever be encouraged to do that...
This skirt looks to me to be the perfect length and width. I'm pretty sure the model is about 12 ft taller than me though!
This dress pictured above from Whirling Turban shows me how a subtle and less extreme-gathered version of these gathered skirts could look and look really sleek.
You may have noticed some pretty rhinestone jewellery at the waist, particularly on the gathered styles. I think I could rock that, maybes an afternoon on Etsy and Ebay could uncover some lovely vintage brooches
Speaking of which, talented sewer Adriana posted her version of the popular Bombshell Dress on Sew Weekly. I'm not a massive fan of panelled cups on that pattern (for my wedding dress), but the fitted bodice and gather skirt has lead me to buy Gertie's Bombshell Dress tutorial and pattern and I'm been having a stab to see if it can provide a decent basis for my wedding frock.
Another delightful Dig For Victory creation. If I don't go for the gathered hip style skirt, a symmetrical with front pleats like this might work well.
The main reason I may go for a symmetrical, non-gathered skirt would be to do something elaborate at the back. I've been trying to find an image that conveys quite what I'm thinking, and failing somewhat, but I was kind of thinking maybe some sort of bustle or bow. Pimpinett on We Sew Retro has a rather amazing thing going on with the dress above.
This image from Ebay (.com not .co.uk) is the closest thing I could find to a big back bow. I'll have to have a play about with some fabric I think if I decide to go down this route.
Maybe this kind of back skirt panel could create a nice effect. So my question is: do I have to keep the front of the skirt plain and symmetrical if I want to add some sort of volume detail at the back? Or can I combine the gathered hip type look with the back detail without it looking weird?