Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Wedding Gown Reveal!


For the back story on when and where I bought this dress, go here.
The lady who sold me the dress originally wore it as a Halloween costume. That's probably why she parted with it for only $5.  Lucky me! =)
Right after purchasing this dress, I made a sketch of what I wanted it to look like in the end and to my surprise it actually looks ALOT like my sketch. Yay!
I've been looking at websites and bridal magazines for wedding gowns and I used the ones I absolutely loved as inspiration for this dress.
Here are a few of those gowns:
A gown from Modern Trouseau

A gown from Alfred Angelo

I know that one of these dresses cost $1500! There is no way I would pay that for something I would only wear once. 
Knowing that the pretty dresses cost that much, I was more determined than ever to turn this $5 monstrosity into the dress of my dreams.
Here's how I made it gorgeous:
The first thing I did was remove all the ruffles on the top of the dress.  Under all the frilliness was a lace covered tank style top with a sweetheart-ish neckline.
It was snug to say the least, so I decided to chop off the very top of the bodice and turn it into a strapless style with a straight across neckline.
My plan for the skirt of the dress was to take off all the lace except the bottom layer.  I was super disappointed to find that the bottom layer of lace was only sewn to the bottom half of the skirt.  The top half was only muslin. So, I had to have two layers of lace instead of one.

This is how the dress looked at this point.

Next, I had to work on the silhouette. With my hips, there was no way I was keeping the full skirt.  I really wanted a mermaid style gown. 
To make this happen, I had to take ALL the lace off of the skirt and I had to put on the dress inside out and pin the excess fabric closer to my body to make a slimmer silhouette.
This part of the refashion was a pain in my tushy. Figuratively and literally. (Hey there were stick pins where stick pins should never be!)
After about the 5th try at doing this, I finally got it right.  However, the end result of this step wasn't pretty. 


Once the silhouette was refashioned, I had to sew the lace back on. Unfortunately, that mess I created with inside of the skirt was visible through the two layers of lace, so I had to sew a panel of lace under my original two layers of lace. Lucky for me that dress came with a ton of ruffles.  It left me with alot of extra matching fabric. This is how it turned out with the panel and two layers of lace when I sewed them all back on:

This picture shows a strap...that wasn't sewed on just yet. It was merely for effect to see if it would look good.  I thought I was almost finished so I emailed the above photo to my older sister Jen for her advice on how it looked. She informed me that the dress, while pretty, was still too poofy.  This led me to taking the lace off the dress and sewing it back on a bunch of times to get it tight enough to not be poofy.
I think it was precisely at that moment when I understood why lace wedding gowns are $1500! =) 


 This is how it looked when I finally made it less poofy.

Next, I sewed a piece of lace into a belt to cover the seam where the bodice and the skirt were sewn together. I sewed it directly to the gown.
The last step was to make some sort of strap or cap sleeve.
I decided on a wide strap, but chose to attach them to the dress close to the underarm instead of right on the seams of the bust.
And after all that hard work, the dress was finally complete!
I don't think I've ever been happier to complete a refashion than I was when I finished this gown. =)
Here are the front and back photos of the completed wedding dress.

I would like to give credit to my 11 year old daughter for taking the after pictures of my gown. I think she did a great job!

Here are the rest of the pictures from our photo shoot....

 Hopefully someday I'll actually get to wear this dress down the aisle. =)

Thanks for reading! 

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***


  1. Replies
    1. Wow such an awesome job you did!!!! Any chance you could help me with mines??

  2. Wow, this is lovely! I just found your blog via pinterest, while looking for refashioned clothing. You do a great job, and I love that you are a regular sized woman. All the other refashion blogs are done by women who are roughly the size of my little finger. You are perfect and gorgeous, and look like a real woman.