Sew Scary {repurposed wedding dress}

I remember on my wedding night a good friend came up to me at the reception and said “I LOVE your dress, it would be a beautiful baptismal gown” and that little seed was all I needed.  I knew that my wedding dress was not going to get “preserved” in a box.  But after our wedding night, I balled it up and threw (GASP– right?) it in a bag.  A few months later I  took it out of the bag and hung it up in my closet.  About 2 months ago, I thought it was about time to jump into this project before it was too late.  Since I hadn’t even had it cleaned, I did some research on how to do it myself.  (For a tutorial on how to clean your own wedding dress without the hefty price tag go here).  I decided it was time.

I should share a little story here.  I have always been a thrifty girl and our wedding was no different.  I bought my wedding dress from China for $20, I sent my measurements and it was made to fit me (not suggesting that I endorse 3rd world sweatshops, so be nice).  With shipping and some minor alterations it came to about $200.  (For more on some thrifty ideas from our DIY wedding go here).  I have a hard time thinking my daughter would wear my dress when she got older.  Who knew I’d even have a daughter. Who knows what the style would be in 20+ years, not to mention that I’d hate to impose my dress on my daughter for her wedding. Before I cut up my dress, I did remember to grab a few pictures of it (don’t mind that it was at work in the hallway).

Back of dress:

(the lighting wasn’t ideal, so I did some editing to this picture to help bring out the details a bit more)


Front of dress details:

Details of the train:

Thankfully I have a friend is a much more reliable sewer than I, who was willing to help a friend in need.  She had a basic pattern (that we modified of course) to help us piece together the gown.  Here’s a few pictures of the “during” process from wedding gown to baptismal gown. The first cut wasn’t as scary as the first attempt to sew a hem.  Seriously my palms were sweating.

Today my wedding dress shares space between a pile of remaining fabric in a bag for something amazing in the future (not sure what that will be yet) and my daughter’s baptismal gown.

Despite my fear of sewing, I am very excited about how this turned out.  While I tend to be the adventurous type, chopping up my wedding dress isn’t something that I do everyday, so I wanted to make sure every tidbit of fabric was used purposefully.

So there you have it.  I challenged myself to tackle one scary thing, and am overjoyed with the results.  I hope this gown will be one I can hand down to my grandchildren some day to keep the material items from our wedding alive for years to come.

Oh yes, my daughter in her baptismal gown…sure thing 🙂
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Little-d-Tales: EllaMae 3 MO. &emdash;
Linking to:

Funky Junk Interiors, Home Stories A to Z, Sugar Bee Crafts, Not Just a Housewife, Todays Creative blog, Sew Chatty,  Best DIY project of 2012



Filed under Before/After, DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Repurpose, sewing

9 responses to “Sew Scary {repurposed wedding dress}

  1. What a beautiful gown you have created. You are one talented seamstress!

    • Haha, Thank you…. but let me remind you of my VERY KIND friend who was over my shoulder to use a seam ripper on my mistakes and change the tension on the machine, or coach me as to what I should do when. Everyone needs a good friend like that 🙂

  2. Deb Dressler

    I just did the same. I made a first communion dress for my granddaughter.
    My gown was from 1968.

  3. Oh my… seriously?! This is so incredible! To use something so special for a 2nd special event.. priceless. And look where it took YOU.

    This could truly turn into something much bigger for you. I hope you do more. What a brilliant idea!


  4. What a wonderful idea and you did an amazing job! It’s simply stunning!

  5. I gasped when you said you were going to cut up your wedding dress…but when I saw the baptismal gown…I really gasped! Breathtaking!! What a wonderful, thoughtful idea!

  6. That is a SCARY thing in all caps! Wow! You did an amazing job, and it’s so cool that your wedding dress will get to be used again. Terrific, terrific project!

  7. That is lovely! Before my first grandchild was born almost 3 years ago, I asked a couple of professional seamstresses if they would make a christening gown from my wedding dress and they refused! Neither wanted to cut up my gown. Now we’re preparing for my daughter’s wedding and she doesn’t want the dress, but wants to use the lace, so I have disassembled the dress myself. That first cut was tough, but I’m so happy to have something from my wedding in hers.

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