I had wanted to find a old 1950s/1960s dress pattern to try my hand at, in practice for my wedding dress. I tried to find a pattern that had the elements I wanted for my wedding dress, searching for a couple years before I came across one. I bought the pattern, then began my search for the perfect fabric.
The Lord let a friend of my family decide to clean out her abundant fabric closet, and I was given a very beautiful white, faintly floral fabric. It was a little thinner than I had hoped, but for a practice dress, it was perfect.
I finally worked up the confidence to cut the fabric (I was terrified of ruining such lovely fabric) and to try my hand at a zipper (I hadn't yet tried one!). I carefully cut the pattern out, then the fabric. In my fear of the dress turning out too small, I cut it out using the largest size- a mistake that almost ruined the dress when I had to go back and resize the whole thing!
It didn't take long to figure out how to put the pieces together, and I started stitching them in place. At one point, the instructions were so unclear I just used common sense and went with what made sense to me. At long last, all I had was to gather the skirt, hem the skirt and finish the neckline.
I did make a mistake. I didn't think to keep my gathers even and when I sewed in the zipper, the two sides of the waist didn't quite line up. But thankfully, with the fullness of the gathers, it's not completely obvious!
Hemming the skirt didn't take long, thank the Lord. I finished it just in time for a photo shoot with my mom and siblings while the weather was still pleasant and I could twirl and smile in the sunshine!
Mom took this one, and it's her favorite shot of the dress.
The dress turned out better than I had hoped! I know I need to practice much more before I attempt a wedding dress, but I'm thankful the Lord let me have everything I needed and find the help with new skills that I needed to make this beautiful dress. I might never wear it out, but at least I'll know I can sew a dress if need be. Who knows, maybe one day my great-granddaughters will pull this old, faded white dress from the attic and wonder what Great-Grandma was thinking when she sewed it 🙂