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1950s inspired formal dress

Added Dec 6, 2012

by haela

Sydney, Australia






I made this dress for my sister’s formal, which was quite an undertaking to say the least!

No pattern was used for this dress (big mistake! at least for me, since I’m still learning…). Rather, it was loosely based on a preexisting 1950s dress on etsy

1. I drafted a basic bodice pattern according to these instructions. Once I had done that, I altered the neckline and bodice back to my darling sister’s liking hehe. It may not be obvious in the pics but the front and back bodice have princess seams cos I like them ;p.
2. Muslin – I probably altered the muslin about 3x due to my inexperience in drafting patterns :(
3. The bodice was lined with heavy weight interfacing as my sister and I foolishly selected charmeuse satin! (we loved the colour!) which is really thin and delicate. Interfacing added structure :)
4. Skirt – this was a simple circle skirt. I got the pattern from YouTube

As you can see I intended to draft a sweetheart neckline, however, it just didn’t turn out right :( – it was far too ‘gapey’, so, it had to go!

I also intended to line the bodice but by the time I altered the neckline, it was too late. However, I applied facings to the front and back and added a skirt lining.

All up with materials.. the dress cost about $60 :x

Any tips, advice? I’d really love to learn about patternmaking – any good books out there? :(

Material Notes

charmeuse satin, lining, interfacing, thread, invisible zipper, patience




Garment Type
Classic, Evening Wear, Romantic, Vintage
Satin, Silk

4 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 10295664_620298951397452_1316078807738129008_n_large

    Dec 6, 2012, 04.56 PMby colorfulphoebe

    what a gorgeous dress!

    1 Reply
    • Sam_4153_large

      Dec 12, 2012, 09.14 AMby haela

      Thank you :) It was worth the effort in the end :p

  • Missing

    Dec 6, 2012, 11.49 AMby LizS

    Looks like a great fit and really professional finish. A very classic dress!

    1 Reply
    • Sam_4153_large

      Dec 12, 2012, 09.17 AMby haela

      Wow thank you! :D Finishing the dress was really challenging as I’m not very experienced :(

  • Feestje_eline_007_large

    Dec 6, 2012, 09.08 AMby lienepien

    Looks great I like the color green you used!

    1 Reply
    • Sam_4153_large

      Dec 12, 2012, 09.17 AMby haela

      Thanks :D me too! it goes with her colouring nicely

  • 20170310_191639_large

    Dec 6, 2012, 06.16 AMby Mary Athey

    It was well worth the effort as its gorgeous x

    1 Reply
    • Sam_4153_large

      Dec 12, 2012, 09.17 AMby haela

      blush thank you :)

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