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Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic
My sister’s 1930s wedding was more “Hollywood glamour” than Depression era style. (Here’s Part 1 in case you missed it.) Of all the items I created in such a short time-frame for her special day, I was the most pleased with how her headpiece turned out. But I also had fun with the details of her bridal gown and the flower-girl’s dress.
I subtly embellished her custom wedding dress with beads and feathers. (Once again, I was disappointed that the photographers didn’t take a lot of full-length shots I was hoping to have for my portfolio).
My sister loves and has studied the Japanese language & culture, so she included a few Japanese touches in her wedding (more about those details in a future post). Because of the popularity of Asian influences in the 1930s and ’40s, the Japanese elements blended well with the overall Art Deco style. Thus, we decided to incorporate this into her dress with a custom hand-beaded appliqué of a Japanese crane that wrapped around the side of her dress.
My favorite part of the wedding gown was the train of feathers. When I suggested the feathers to my sister, I didn’t really expect her let me use them on her dress, so I was delighted when she agreed with the idea. I love that the feathers added something wonderful to the back of the dress for the wedding guests to look at during the ceremony. (Very Ginger Rogers.)
After the ceremony, the photographers captured one of the few full-length shots of the gown as the happy couple descended the stairs.
For the reception that followed the marriage vows, I used a few safety pins to bustle her train to keep it up off the ground (so that she could move among the guests more easily).
As you can see in the next photograph, I also pinned together the points of the double train on my copper bridesmaid dress and looped it over my arm for the reception.
The job of the flower-girl was filled by our cousin Lucy, who was four at the time. Her dress was made from the same fabrics as the bridal gown, along with some left-over fabric from my own wedding dress from two years before.
The sash was of the same copper-colored fabric used for the bridesmaids’ dresses and tied in a knot in the front – the perfect way to secure an active little girl’s sash to avoid constant re-tying!
Lucy wore a few bridal feathers in her hair, and the trim at both the skirt hem and edges of the ruffled sleeves had a feather-like look. (I also used a little of the same trim on the edges of the crane appliqué on the bridal gown).
And nothing else captures the vintage 1930s feel quite like a sepia-toned photograph:
More about the vintage location, how some guests dressed for the theme, and overall retro wedding details in a future post…
A Retro Headpiece for a 1930s Themed Wedding
Stunning dresses! You must have been sewing, beading, feathering in your sleep to get all this finished! I hope Lucy’s mom has kept her flower girl dress – it is so sweet.
Thanks! I honestly don’t remember much of the build – between all the stuff I had to make and all the wedding festivities I had to attend, it was all kind of a blur. (My sister was recounting some of the details to me for my Part 1 post and I truly don’t remember half of what she does!) I just remember being so relieved and tired as soon as the ceremony was over.
After the wedding, my aunt asked me to make a lavendar sash for Lucy’s dress so she could wear it again that Easter. They have some great photographs framed on the wall of the girls dressed for Easter. (She gave me Caroline’s bridesmaid dress back a couple years ago but I don’t have Lucy’s, so she probably still has it.)
Amazing theme. You all did a wonderful job and the sepia toned photo was the perfect addition at the end. I was unsure about the feather train, but it looks amazing in the photos.
Thanks! My sister picked the theme and I just made it work. =)