Wedding Dress Sewing: The Pattern

Date: October, 10 months until the wedding

Where I last left you in my wedding sewing adventures I had come up with some inspiration for my dress. Put all together, it looks something like this: a sleek trumpet-style dress with a modest train and an embroidered tulle overlay on top of a strapless princess seamed bodice.

The next challenge was to find a pattern. While the inspiration stage was mostly about looking through pretty pictures, finding a pattern required some hardcore internet research. I started with the Big 4 offerings: there's Vogue bridal and evening, of course, along with McCall's, Simplicity, and even Butterick and KwikSew. Then there's Marfy, BurdaStyle, Lekala, and whatever indie patterns you can find. And that's just the currently available releases. Once you start getting into out-of-print and vintage patterns, there's a whole world of Ebay, Etsy, and Vintage Pattern Wiki to look through. And, of course, when you find one you like, you have to look up every version that's ever been sewn on Pattern Review. Or at least that's what I did.

After a somewhat obsessive search, these are the patterns I found that matched my inspiration, along with some examples that other people have sewing up:

Vogue 1032 has a beautiful train, open back, and nice shape. However, I'd have to find a different pattern for the strapless bodice, and I didn't love the way the front of the skirt draped. It seemed to be made for a more drapey fabric than I had in mind.


Next up is Vogue 2931. While at first glance it looks very dated (and I hate that boob bow!), I love some of the things others have done with it. That dark blue dress in the upper left has an incredible shape, and it's been used a few times for weddings with a different bodice.


This McCall's 7320 dress has a lot of potential. It includes a sweetheart neckline with a lace bodice detail, and has a nice skirt shape and even the option for a train.


Other ideas: In my research, I also found a lot of online tutorials for making your own trumpet style dress. While I didn't want to completely self-draft my dress, it was helpful to understand the basic shape of the pattern pieces and know that I could make modifications to patterns if I needed to:


Corsets/Bodice Patterns: Around this time I also started researching bodice and corset patterns. Ralph Pink has a wide range of options in this area and some can be found on the McCall's and Simplicity sites, too.


So what did I choose? Honestly, a little bit of everything. I ordered both McCall's 7320 and Vogue 1032, along with the Ralph Pink Bella Corset to serve as a foundational garment or possibly even as a starting place for the bodice. I will also need to draft something for the bodice overlay. And I saved a bunch of my ideas to my Pinterest board here in case none of these works out.

Next up I will muslin them up and see what I like and what else I need. I've been really looking forward to this step because, up until now, I don't even know if this shape will look good on me. Let the sewing begin!

[Find the full list of wedding dress posts here.]


  1. Hi, I think this design is lovely! A pattern that might be interesting for you is the Yasmeen skirt by Just Patterns. The sample pictures look like the volume is more to the back, as you described in your inspo-post. Looking forward to the next steps of your project! Sophie

    1. Thanks for the tip! I actually did see that one, but ultimately wanted something with a bodice and a bit of a train. Might have to try it sometime though!


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