I wanted something really fresh and casual for summer, so I made a wedding dress from 1976. Also, I am a ride-or-die fan of Gunne Sax, in case you can’t tell by the end of this post. It was either that, or keep working on the Edwardian walking suit, and I just had to take a break from that mess.
But I couldn’t just make the pattern as is, though I probably should have, oh no, I needed two more patterns to throw into the mix.
I took the skirt shape from the Simplicity lingerie pattern, the bodice from the ’76 pattern, and I threw the Butterick vest on top.
I’ve gotten really accustomed to using mockups, especially when I change around closures and bigger details. After changing skirts and then changing details on the bodice, I was worried they wouldn’t line up at all, but even after all the alterations, I made the two different halves lined up almost perfectly.
I must confess, I have never used chiffon before. It wasn’t until I was done with them that I thought to ask my mom for her tips and tricks, oh well, there’s always next time. Every seam in and around the sleeves is a french seam. I didn’t want these things going anywhere. Six pin-tucks per sleeve, about one and a half yards of chiffon each, hours and hours of work, and all of my pins later, I think it paid off handsomely.
A note on my design choices here. Tie-dye is heavily associated with the hippies of the 1960’s, and I wanted a hippy vibe, but I didn’t want to make it look like a bad costume. I knew I wanted a pop of concentrated color, so I was thrilled when I found this batik material online. I found this particular one after about five minutes of looking, but I still took three days to sift through all the other options available to me. I should have just trusted my gut when I first saw this pattern, it would have saved me so much time!
I added this trim to the sleeves on a whim and I like it so much I added it to the bottom of the dress as well. Why do I always pick the most time-consuming details to add? That’s all the construction, so here are the goods!
I absolutely love wearing this dress, the skirt flows so beautifully in the breeze! It came out so close to what I saw in my head, it was so worth the effort and the frustration it took to make it real.
I plowed through some great playlists on Spotify for inspiration. Lots of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Moody Blues. I also listened to “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension almost on a loop. Out of all the music I listened to, that song probably sums up this dress best. If you haven’t listened to it recently, check it out and tell me if you think it vibes with this dress.
More notes on the design, I made this dress specifically to be worn without a bra. I wanted to throw in a little something of the history of the 70’s, and what better way to do that than go sans bra? The vest provides support and it’s honestly so comfortable. Oh, bare feet are also a must.
Thank you for checking this whole thing out, I know it’s a lot! After all this lightness and color, I really want to make an all-black outfit, maybe something inspired by Stevie Nicks. Tell me what you think!