These days there are a plethora of DIY projects on Pinterest, Blogs, YouTube…everywhere! It seems as though everyone is getting crafty, making up their own goods. But this is certainly nothing new – especially in the sewing department. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, when I was in school, everyone learned to sew in our required Home Economics classes. Well, correction: only girls learned to sew. The boys got to take wood shop, which seemed a lot more exciting, but I digress. It was just common to be able to sew up a dress, or have your mother sew it for you.
With the emergence of a more hippie/folk vibe in the late 1960s/early ’70s, this naturally extended to weddings. More people were turning away from huge, elaborate weddings and to a more simple ceremony on a beach or in the woods. A single rosebud or bunch of daisies instead of a big bouquet. And definitely a more earthy wedding dress.
This 1971 Singer ad perfectly captures the Bridal zeitgeist of the times. Here was a way to make your own boho wedding dress for ‘almost no money’. You merely sew it up in that most modest fabric of all – unbleached muslin – which in 1971 was 59 cents a yard. The dress took 4 yards, so it was $2.36 worth. Set it off with old lace and new trims you dip in tea (this was a biggie) until the color is right. And you’ll look exactly like you always wanted to look on your wedding day – like your own true self!
I really love this dress, and I’m hoping that the tide will turn away from the Bridezilla weddings we have now, to something more simple. The pendulum always does seem to turn though!
This WAS my wedding dress in August 1972! It was not made from muslin…my mother insisted on something more traditional, the sleeves were modified a bit, and I wore a veil instead of the scarf…but the main part of the dress was basically what is seen here…made by my grandmother. When it was all said and done, it may have cost $20, because there was a lot of lace. I don’t actually remember that detail. Thanks for sharing the picture…it was exactly the one I used for inspiration!
That is SO COOL! I really love this dress. Thank you for sharing!