The Legacy of a Wedding Dress

My wedding dress has been sitting in my closet, uncleaned, for over seven years. I wanted to pass it on to my daughters in some way. My oldest is almost as tall as me at seven years old — so it’s not likely that she would fit into my wedding dress when she’s older.

In the beginning of the year, I realized that Mya would be having her First Communion in May or June and it was a perfect opportunity to give my wedding dress a new legacy. But before I cut into it I had to have one last hurrah:

(Yes, it still fit! And it was LOOSE! Yay!)

 

I did a lot of searching for patterns that would work with my dress. Luckily, the A-line shape lent itself for several designs. I settled on a pattern from McCall’s #M6238. It was simple enough – although my dress had many more layers than what the pattern called for.

I started by making a muslin dress with the pattern using basting stitches to keep it together. I placed the skirt on top of my wedding dress to see if it needed to be modified, which it did. I had to narrow the skirt a little. Once sewn, it fit Mya perfectly. The next step was to cut up my wedding dress.

Before it went under the knife.

Beading Detail

It took a strong stomach to do it.

But layer-by-layer…

I did it:

I ripped at the seams and cut around beads where they would logically split.

My dress was pretty dirty. It rained on my wedding day and I was dragging the bottom around puddles. I needed to clean it before I sewed, so I threw the layers in two separate delicates bags and ran it through the wash in with Oxyclean. It worked! No need to go to the dry cleaners!

All Lots of beads.[/caption]

I’ll spare you the details of sewing it together. I will say that I purposely didn’t follow instructions. I had four layers of tulle, two layers of organza along with the satin and lining. It’s a different process since you have to baste the layers together before sewing the whole skirt to the bodice. I also didn’t like the way the pattern instructed how to do the lining. It left raw edges on the inside, which would be itchy when worn. If you have a kid, I’m sure you’ll understand what whiny-ness comes from that. So I modified it so that there are no exposed raw edges (I hand-sewed the lining on the inside to cover it).

When the dress was sewn together the final details were in the beads. I continued the beading pattern just slightly above the waistline – by hand and eyeball. It took FOR-EV-ER. I didn’t want to go all the way up the bodice otherwise it would be itchy on the arms (see a pattern here?).

In the end, I was pretty happy with it. So was Mya. Now my dress can live on. Maybe Solana will fit into this when it’s her turn for her First Communion. If not, I still have a train for this dress that I haven’t even cut into. That’s A LOT of fabric.