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The clock is ticking, I have something like 126 days until my wedding and I couldn’t be more calm. Maybe it’s all of the lavender I’ve been smelling, as I want to use it for table arrangements, it’s said to relax and calm you. I’m still making mood boards for my gown. I now plan to make two: a long, filmy ceremony gown, and a party dress that still says “bride”. Check out my latest inspiration from the 20s, 30s and 40s….

And away we go!



This silky 1930s Madeleine Vionnet gown has the butterfly sleeves I’ve always adored. They make square, broad shoulders (like mine) look softer and more feminine.



A lace Art Deco gown with bell sleeves from the 40s…



A soft and demure wedding gown by azdaja made for a friend from vanilla colored chiffon and wide satin sash that ties in a big bow at the back.



I am contemplating a plunging back and have been stuck on how, exactly, you’d drape one. This head turning 1930’s evening gown in black and silver lame has a pretty back.



What do you think about embellishments? Silk flowers? Gertrude Lawrence in a pretty gown in 1931 pulls off the look flawlessly.



This type of embellishment makes me go gaga. Pictured left, a luxurious 1920s beaded gown and right, a unique white eyelet lace dress from early 1900s.



The Vintage Wedding Dress Company makes old gowns new. So soft and feminine…



An Old Hollywood style gown from the weddding dress centre.

36 Comments

  • Missing

    May 22, 2014, 07.12 AMby CBuckholtz

    Are there no patterns for any of thses dresses? :’O oooh.

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    May 16, 2011, 11.39 AMby lucelu

    Oh, btw, I wish you ultimate besotted happiness on your day and a great respectful partnership with deep lines of understanding and care in your future.

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    May 16, 2011, 11.36 AMby lucelu

    My wedding dress 19 years ago was I would think circa 1910-1915 inspired. It had lace overlay up to my chin! the sleeves were long, gathered at the top and lacy. The skirt was not huge. It was not a “big white dress” but a creme piece of the past. I’m blonde so look ghastly with just blinding white next to my face. I wish I could post a picture. It was inexpensive—about $150 (purchased used at a boutique in East Islip) and I didn’t even need to get it hemmed— just bustled. I’ve since given it away (well, I’m not wearing it again and don’t plan to remarry) but have the pictures and memories!

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    May 15, 2011, 10.20 PMby aloveransom

    We’re doing a huge event that features unique designers…it will be October 22, 2011…please contact me if you’re interested. The website is www.ambushevents.com ;) Antoinette Ransom

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    May 15, 2011, 07.04 PMby gedwoods

    I’d love to work on bridalwear someday, I think the beauty and the grace of these fashions make them among the cream of the crop in terms of design challenge. So I’m rather envious… I always enjoy your fashion sense, Alison, and where it takes you (and us, who are along for the ride!). I’m looking forward to seeing what you end up doing with this!

  • Missing

    May 13, 2011, 09.49 PMby star iraq

    These beautiful dresses and like it very

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    May 13, 2011, 05.02 PMby inlovewithcreating

    beautiful, I love the modesty of the dresses, you don’t have to reveal all to look beautiful

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    May 13, 2011, 12.59 AMby milnay3

    Loving the Azdaja dress!

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    May 12, 2011, 08.10 PMby mic9970

    I ventured into the world of silk bias cut dresses when I made a friends wedding dress. http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/wedding-dress-for-amelia?image=133282

    We designed it between us and I ‘cut & pasted’ two patterns together. Just a note on underwear, she couldn’t get a backless bra to fit (she’s quite fortunate in the bresticle department!) so she ended up with a very low backed ‘body’ by Ultimo, Gossard. Not the most romantic contraption on your wedding night, but it did the job!

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    May 12, 2011, 04.12 PMby harrietbazley

    Looking at sewcountrychick’s wedding dress patterns through the decades I’m more than ever confirmed in my prejudice against topless wedding dresses – those first two full-sleeved (“very modest indeed”!) patterns are just so beautiful compared to the ‘breasts on a shelf’ effect of modern strapless styles. (Of course it may help that they are only fashion drawings as opposed to photos of real everyday women dressed up in unaccustomed drapes….)

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    May 12, 2011, 01.38 PMby dewreb

    I love soft, feminine embellishments! I’m not quite up for making my own wedding dress, but I will be getting married just a few weeks before you and my future-mother-in-law is making my dress, which includes “soft” applique roses created from the same material as the skirt. I can’t wait to see what you choose!

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      May 12, 2011, 02.27 PMby alisondahl

      That sounds lovely, and the pressure is now off you, as I’m sure you’re juggling a million other projects at this point. Depending on what I decide on for a design, I may also seek help in constructing the gown to take some of the pressure off myself! Excited to see yours too.

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    May 12, 2011, 02.00 AMby FabricUiPhoneApp

    I think an eyelet wedding dress would be darling. You could doll it up with trim to make it fancy like the vintage one in the upper shot. Eyelet wedding dresses were all the rage in the 1940s when there was a fabric ration in fashion. (Hey it rhymes!)

  • Missing

    May 11, 2011, 07.20 PMby kknight

    Alison! I love this post- your inspiration gowns are so elegant! One thing: you do NOT have boxy shoulders. Your figure is gorgeous. Case in point: when you were on Project Runway, my husband pronounced you ‘by far the hottest model’, and was super impressed to learn that you were, in fact, a designer. BUT you should feel your best on your wedding day, so if you’re conscious of anything, by all means pick a cut that flatters. I don’t think you can go wrong.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      May 11, 2011, 10.32 PMby alisondahl

      Oh my gosh that made me laugh out loud! Well, you’re very kind to say so. You know how we all have our own body issues, even though your friends say your crazy? I guess that’s one of mine.
      Regardless, I think if I work hard and make a beautiful gown, I’ll feel wonderful on the big day. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Missing

    May 11, 2011, 02.48 PMby funnyfanny

    ladyjm made a great burda pattern form this era http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/long-silk-dress

    ladyjm’s version is beautiful, but it’s intended as a wedding gown in burda 05/2008 I think it’s inspired by wallis simpson’s dress

    good luck with you sewing !

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    May 11, 2011, 02.00 PMby Justine of Sew Country Chick

    Yes I was inspired by a French Burda mag I bought last Fall and want to create an all white but different textured dress too. I also have a bunch of vintage wedding dresses showcased on my blog sewcountrychick because I made a dress for a friend who wanted a bias cut charmeuse gown with a lace overlay. Of course I had no luck finding a pattern so I had to recreate one. Did a lot of research and wrote an article on Madame Vionnet who basically invented the bias cut.Those bias gowns are actually really difficult to get right. If they don’t have a center seam they often pull and tug.as you can see from M Vionnets gown above she does have a center seam.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      May 11, 2011, 03.51 PMby alisondahl

      I am going to your blog right now! This is right up my alley. I hear you with the bias cut— it looks wonderful but sewing those seams is so tricky. Thanks!

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    May 11, 2011, 01.41 PMby turtlegirl00

    I love the open back—i think it is sexy without being a hussy!! :) I love all of these dresses though!! congrats on your upcoming wedding—and btw the stick-on front bras are amazing—I thought I would be fiddling/fidgeting with it all day/night but it worked very well!

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    May 11, 2011, 09.29 AMby ladyshape

    I love the dress on the left by the vintage wedding dress company. It is such a beautiful cut. Am also imagining it minus the wedding, in grey marl with neon yellow nails.

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    May 11, 2011, 08.25 AMby Laura Bolčina

    I love the eyelet dress. Although, I think dresses with higher necklines look much better on women with smaller breast. What do you think? You’d look gorgeous in it, Alison. :)

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    May 11, 2011, 07.11 AMby biljanamne

    All are beautiful, cheerful spirit will inspire them. Best of Luck! But, Hollywood style is beatiful!!!!

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    May 11, 2011, 06.54 AMby loulourosa

    all those lovely dresses, very inspiring.

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    May 11, 2011, 04.34 AMby tinybows

    I just want to wear all of these, they’re so beautiful!

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    May 11, 2011, 03.34 AMby harrietbazley

    It’s noticeable (to me) that the high-necked gowns out of this selection are by far the prettiest – why not save on the underwear problem and follow the Royal Wedding trend at the same time, and go for a neck;line right up to the throat? The little diamond opening in the Art Deco 40s gown is adorable….

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    May 11, 2011, 02.38 AMby Marita Kotze

    I can drown in the fashion of the 1930’s and 40’s, I am in love with each dress!

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    May 11, 2011, 01.22 AMby prairieponygirl

    OMG! I love this post. The wedding part I can leave but I love the lace edwardian styles. Great inspiration. Thanks Burda!

    2 Replies
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      May 11, 2011, 01.47 AMby alisondahl

      haha I understand— the details in some of these gowns are just so inspiring you could apply them to many things!

    • Jan2014avatar_large

      May 11, 2011, 01.50 AMby lanternwaste33

      Precisely what was going through my mind, haha! I have wanted to use lace like that for a while.

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