Free and affordable resources for sewing formal gowns, bridesmaid and prom dresses

Sew Your Own Formal Gown | Jungleland Vintage

Bridal gowns, prom and bridesmaid dresses, evening wear– formal clothing can be some of the most expensive items your closet. It can also be hard to find a good fit or a true expression of one’s personal style. Sewing your own dress can be a way to save money, tailor the garment to your own shape, and create something truly unique… you just need to have a lot of patience with slippery fabrics and fiddly pattern pieces! Making a muslin or toile first out of old fabric (even an old sheet!) can help you to work out fit before you cut into pretty fabric. To get started, you can download a modern pattern–many are free–or find a lovely vintage pattern, and even shop for fabric and notions online as well. Ain’t the Internet grand?

FREE PATTERNS

50s style prom dress | JunglelandVintage.com via Your Stle Rocks
Your Style Rocks 50s style dress | Free download
Lekala Wedding Dress | Free download found via JunglelandVintage.com
Lekala Wedding Dress | Free download
Burda Style Katjusha by Elegant Impressions | found via JunglelandVintage.com
Burda Style Katjusha by Elegant Impressions
So Sew Easy Little Black Dress pattern
So Sew Easy Little Black Dress pattern
Sharon Sews | Golden goddess gown | tutorial / no pattern needed!
Sharon Sews | Golden goddess gown | tutorial / no pattern needed!

PATTERNS $10 OR LESS

Ahem… we’ve got many nice dress patterns in our shop…

Simplicity 3735 Evening or prom dress Misses Evening Gown - Sew Stylish Collection sewing pattern new uncut size 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 3735 Sew Stylish Collection | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
| Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
McCall’s 5001 Evening Elegance | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern Vogue 1379 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern Vogue 1379 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 5498 Sundress | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 5498 Sundress | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 4401 Formal separates | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 4401 Formal separates | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy

 

FABRIC

Fabric Mart is our all-time favorite online fabric store. So many great sales!

Gorgeous Fabrics has many beautiful, one-of-a-kind fabrics.

 

NOTIONS

Fabric.com has everything you need to get started in one handy package:  Big EverSewn Sewing Starter Kit.

WAWAK is the best! Fast, reasonable shipping and lots of sales.

 

OTHER RESOURCES

So Vintage Patterns— Most of their patterns are pretty pricey, but they have an amazing selection of vintage patterns.

 

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Inspiration: Jose Romussi embroidered vintage photographs

I absolutely love what Jose Romussi does to vintage photographs of dancers… string art and embroidery taken to a whole new level.

Jose Romussi embroidered photograph of Anna Pavlova
Jose Romussi embroidered photograph of Anna Pavlova
Jose Romussi Dance-7.1-Alla-Schellest
Jose Romussi Dance-7.1-Alla-Schellest

 

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Inspiration: Stephen Shore

 

Stephen Shore Room 11, Star Motel, Manistique, Michigan, July 8, 1973

I probably shouldn’t admit that I first learned about Stephen Shore on Pinterest. I became kind of obsessed with the picture above. I feel like I’ve been in this motel room before, and yet I wish I could buy every object in this room.

Stephen Shore (b. 1947) is a NYC-born, self-taught photographer who sold his first photographs to MOMA at age 14, started hanging out at Andy Warhol’s Factory at 17, and had a solo show at the Met at 24. His color photographs from cross-country road trips in the 1970s, such as the one above, cemented his place among the most critically-acclaimed American photographers, but he has done a variety of interesting projects since then. He even has an Instagram account.

Stephen Shore, Sugar Bowl Restaurant (7 July, 1973), Gaylord, Michigan, USA
Stephen Shore, Sugar Bowl Restaurant (7 July, 1973), Gaylord, Michigan, USA