While bridal salons offer a dazzling variety of gowns, some brides want a dress that is not in the current fashion. Whether she is planning a medieval theme wedding or wanting to copy the dress worn by her great grandmother, a bride has the option of sewing a dress that looks like it came through a time machine. Here are some sewing pattern suggestions from both mainstream and specialty companies.
Folkwear Patterns 215 is an empire dress for a look out of a Jane Austen novel. Use the view with train for the wedding gown and without train for coordinating bridesmaid dresses. The wide neckline and short, puffed sleeves are a good choice for ladies with narrow shoulders or small busts, since these design features add the illusion of width to the upper body. Butterick pattern 6630 is another empire dress. It has a short train and includes a long-sleeved coat for a winter wedding option. For a less formal wedding, Martha Pullen offers the Mary and Morgan pattern for a shorter empire-waist dress with multiple options for embellishment, including smocking. The Mary and Morgan pattern is a good choice for bridesmaids or graduation dresses, too.
Folkwear 227, the Edwardian bridal gown, is an elaborate style from the early twentieth century. The bride who wants a demure high neckline and long, leg-o-mutton sleeves will love this dress pattern. The design offers opportunities for the dressmaker to show off her heirloom sewing skills with tucks, ruffles, and lace insertions. The pattern includes a gown with a train as well as a simpler, floor-length or short version of the dress.
McCall’s 6097 is a Victorian wonder with interesting gathered poufs above the back train. This would look lovely in satin or lace. The Gibson Girl 1899 wedding gown pattern from Patterns of History has a simple long skirt and elaborate bodice with the signature full sleeves of the era. This historically authentic pattern is based on a wedding dress in the collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Medieval, Renaissance, and Fantasy Dresses
Simplicity 2573 is a medieval dress with plenty of special details: sleeve extensions, laced front, and ruffled scoop neckline. For a look right out of Romeo and Juliet, consider Butterick 4571 with princess seams, square neckline, and voluminous sleeves. McCall’s 5444 is another Renaissance-style choice with fitted and puffed long sleeves.
Simplicity 4940 is a costume pattern, less detailed than an historical pattern. It would make an easy-to-sew alternative for a medieval or fantasy theme wedding. The various views in this pattern remind one of the costumes from Lord of the Rings.
Advantages of an Unconventional Gown
By making your own gown or engaging a dressmaker, you ensure your dress is unique. You may also save money by avoiding the high pressure sales at many bridal salons.