There is something so special about refashioning a vintage wedding dress. Especially one with personal history. Refashioning my moms wedding dress for my own wedding was such a unique an unforgettable experience. After the wedding I sort of put out into the universe that I would love to do more projects like it. Thats when I got a Facebook message from an old friend who was soon-to-be-married and wanted to wear her grandmothers dress. The dress needed some major updating and alterations for a better fit. Without hesitation I told her I was her gal.
Frankie brought me her grandmothers beautiful dress with high hopes. The tiered ruffle skirt was just too full, not to mention torn in several places. But the bodice had so many simple and elegant details that she really wanted to keep. Frankie also wasn’t all about going with the all white look. She wanted to have a dress that was both classic and unique with a little bit of color. I think its safe to say we achieved that goal.
The structural changes we made to the dress were many. The original skirt was removed while keeping the under layer. Frankie needed a little more room in the bodice so the top had to be let out. Luckily it had previously been taken in so there was plenty of room at the bust. I also opened up the under arm to be a “v” shape and give her a little more breathing & moving room. Then the bodice needed to be reshaped. Frankie wanted an almost corseted style shape, so we found a lining that matched the aged color of the original ivory to add the point in the center front. I also added a small wedge at the side seam to open up the waist.
Then came the fun part. Frankie found a purple lace that very closely matched the pattern of the lace on the original dress. I also had the top most layer of the original skirt which was trimmed in lace. I used these to add a lot more lace and texture to the bodice, letting some of the lace “hang over” the seam and onto the skirt. We tied in the purple even more with two other shades in chiffon for the skirt. Again going for that corseted/victorian vibe I created a soft bustle at the back. For the front skirt we used an ivory and cream chiffon to really blend everything together with two slits for a sexy modern touch. Then at one of our fittings the inspiration struck to trim the slits and front hem with the purple lace, which really turned out to perfectly tie everything together.
This was such a fun project and I’m happy to say that Frankie loved the outcome of her dress. I love refashioning vintage, and when its a wedding dress? All the better. It was quite interesting and a stretch of my creativity to do a project like this for someone who has a different style then me. All the handwork was time consuming but relaxing. This is me putting out in the universe again that I’d love to do more projects like this.
I’d love to know what you think of the transformation in the comments!