A friend of mine was recently kind enough to give me her sewing machine. Now, I haven’t used one since I was about seven years old and that was just to sew a long patchwork tube which I fashioned into a giant stuffed snake. I do want to learn to make clothing but haven’t even turned the thing on. For the bride-to-be who happens to be an experienced sewer, however, having a sewing machine can mean walking down the aisle in exactly the dress you want. Because when you’re sewing it yourself, you can do just about anything as far as embellishments and such are concerned.
Reader Phyllis (who I’ve gathered is a highly accomplished seamstress) sent me a link to a number of highly attractive bridal gown patterns from the Italian pattern company Marfy. But, while these patterns are lovely, she warns that only advanced sewers should attempt them because they come with no instructions and the pattern pieces are not marked. They are fun to look at, though!
According to the description, this pattern creates a dress with “a corset made of rounded oblique cuts at the neckline and bottom. Shoulders have a sash gathered with an elastic and, at the back, the V-shaped top closes with a string. The slightly flared skirt is enhanced by draping at the back and over-draped train.” I think this one is my favorite, but I do love the corset tops.
This pattern, which is actually for a princess gown with a matching riding coat, gives the bride best of both worlds. An awesome choice for the woman who may have to move between AC and summer heat or heated rooms and wintery chills.
I’m not sure if this pattern is for a bridal coat or simply a dress styled like a coat. But it has a rather neat early 1900s feel to it – especially those sleeves – that I really dig.
I think the coolest thing about these patterns is that you can re-use them to make formalwear using other fabrics and colors. Truly thrifty. Phyllis also recommended EvaDress, which has some super vintage patterns.
If you’re more adventurous than I am, you can also check out books like Bridal Gowns: How to Make the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams and Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear which offer techniques and tips for those daring enough to sew their own dress.