I was asked my by my sister back in 2011 to be her Maid of Honor at her wedding. I wanted to make a special dress that I would wear again and remember fondly, and which was a one of a kind, for a one of a kind occasion.
I used a pattern from Vintage Vogue’s catalog, originally a dress designed in 1957:
The color for our Bridesmaid dresses were to be a vibrant plum. The bridal party all took a trip to San Francisco to scout fabric. I found a cotton eyelet, perfect for a summer wedding, in the desired shade. I lined it with a shiny champagne cotton/silk blend that would show through the eyelet.
The pattern did not call for lining, so I made two dresses to stack one on top of the other. I cut, pin, fit and sewed together the lining and then eyelet. Normally I would make a muslin for fitting, but I did’t want to cut out three dresses on the floor of my living room.
After sewing the two layers as two separate dresses, I decided the lining did not show through the eyelet enough. I ripped everything apart, sewed each piece of the lining to the corresponding eyelet panel, and then sewed the panels together as one dress, which created the desired effect. Then, I created seam-binding from gross grain ribbon and covered the seams. French seams would have also worked, but I wanted to play with color since it was a full skirt and I knew people would see the underside when I was dancing. The ribbon is a peach color, which coordinated with the colors chosen for the wedding, purple and orange.
Here’s the final product!