Tuesday 17 July 2012

Wedding Dress Update

An update on how I'm getting on with my wedding dress planning really is overdue. To clarify the situation: I'm getting married at the end of September and it's now firmly mid-July. No I don't haven't decided on a final design for myself or my bridesmaid. Don't worry about it, I work best under a little pressure!

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!

Bodice Inspiration

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.

Skirt Inspiration

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? 


Catherine said...

Some delicious ideas there.. though I would stear clear of bows / bustles on the backside (but then I have ample hips etc and don't need to draw any attention!).

The sweetheart necklines are lovely. Good luck making your dress!


House of Pinheiro said...

The neckline won't make it look plain so go mad on the back...

Dichohecho said...

This is my friend's dress with a bow on the back:
I think it may have been partly used to cover up some alterations that had to be done but it looked nice without overwhelming the rest. (although she is quite tall and the dress was fairly long)

Kristen said...

At least you're getting it narrowed down! :) I'd think doing something accenting both the front AND back hip might be too much unless they somehow worked together. Maybe something that actually wraps front to back, not just a front hip drape? I think the flashier you go with the hips, the less detail you want at the neckline. A well-fitting sweetheart neckline would be nice, it will let you show yourself off without being overwhelming. You want to wear the dress, not let it wear you, you know? Can't wait to see what you come up with! And congrats, by the way! :)

Len said...

Oh wow, these ideas are gorgeous! I love, love, love the neckline on the Modcloth dress, it look absolutely gorgeous. I swear I've seen a sewing project similar somewhere but I might be wrong. Also a big fan of the brooch detailing on the hip, I think that would work really well.

I can't wait to see what you rustle up in the end, I'm sure it'll be fabulous whichever style you choose to go for.

Crab and Bee said...

Aw, thanks for the compliment on my dress! My friend truly did all the work on it (while I freaked out about everything else) and he did such a beautiful job.
It's so cool that you're doing your dress from start to finish!

I'm really excited to see what you come up with. From your inspiration photos, I can just tell you're going to end up with something jaw-dropping and very you!

Sarah said...

ooh, bustles are one of my favorite things. You just have to love the novelty of something specifically designed to make your bum look larger!

I think the very top bodice combined with the skirt from Gertie's pintrest dress would go well together, and look great on you :)

Kim said...

I think that the front AND back detail would be overkill, as well as adding too much bulk.

I think that you should combine a sweetheart neckline and halter straps with the hip drape thing... those seem to be recurring themes in your photos!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what you make! I'm sure it will be stunning.

Thewallinna said...

WOW! Lots of ideas! I love the red sweetheart neckline dress (third picture from the top) as a whole. Good luck!!!

Sew little time said...

i love your choices. i have butterick 5032 which has a cute cummerbund type belt that you can tie at the back (and is removable so you could take it off later). i think it's always good on a wedding dress to have a good back view!. i would go for a big detail like that (maybe in a different colour?) and have the rest of the dress quite plain with a halter and wiggle skirt, rather than too much gathering.

Camilla said...

You have excellent taste. I love the whole retro silouette and can't wait to see your finished dress. I know it's going to be in the most sumptious shade of red. Too many to pick from but I love the bodice of the Dig for Victory dress and the Mod Cloth one. Personally I'd leave out the bustle.

Sara Noemi said...

Definitely look into the McCall's 6350 dress: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6350-products-14405.php?page_id=108

The bodice is sweethear and whenever I wear it's, I always get compliments on the retro feel. It has pleating at the bodice too!

EmSewCrazy said...

Oohh what delightful choices!
I think it would look odd to have bustle in the back and wrap it around asymmetrically. With inspiration like that you are sure to come up with something amazing though!

Katrina said...

I loved making my own wedding dress. It was scarlet dupion silk, made using Vintage Vogue V2401. Whatever you choose to make I'm sure it will be great, I've never seen anything you've made looking anything less than excellent.

Margaret said...


The cream dress from Modcloth is absolutely beautiful in person. I have it in my studio right now for a bride who is getting married in 2 weeks. Wowzers.

I'm sure your dress will be breathtaking.

(also you're in good company. I'm getting married Sept. 15 and have yet to make my muslin/toile. eek!)

Unknown said...

Oooh. love the modcloth neckline AND the idea of a hip wrap skirt but love the whole look of the Vivien of Holloway. It's so tricky! I shall be watching with interest especially as I plan on making mine too. Although I do already have a pretty clear design in mind. I hope you don't show me something that throws me into confusion, ha ha!

Caroline said...

Why don't you use Gertie's Bombshell dress pattern on Craftsy? It is very close to many of these inspiration pictures, and a great dress!

martin said...

lovely dresses....you can buy your wedding dress online like yesmybride.com.it's much

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Great collection of inspiration photos! I did something similar when I was designing my dress, and used a basic pattern to get the vintage-ey look I wanted. See it here! http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/search/label/wedding%20dress

Evie said...

I'm flattered to have been included in this post! The bodice on my sarong dress is very lightly boned, at the sides and with two small bones in the front to help hold it up. It is also fully interfaced.

Makeup Artists said...

I was almost speechless when I saw the beautiful wedding dress, the photos were beautiful I know the bride was so happy and felt like a princess.

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Wedding venue Essex said...

Great collection! All these wedding dresses are awesome but I think second one black dress is more beautiful than all. I love it.

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