Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Biggest Sewing Project Ever

The most important sewing project I have ever tackled is underway. I am redesigning my wedding dress and my mother's wedding gown into a new dress for my daughter. The wedding is in July . . . just weeks from now.

I made my dress in white cotton eyelet in the late 70s. It was not a difficult pattern to follow and not too challenging for me at the time. My mother's dress was made from ivory satin and was created in the late 30s. It is an amazing gown, but no one in the family was ever as small as my mom was when she got married (a 17" waist) so it has never been worn in a wedding again.

My eyelet wedding dress (and my mom) in the late 1970s. 

My mother's late 1930s wedding

Yes, these are two very different fabrics! I am blending them together into one beautiful new wedding gown. Tracy's wedding has a bohemian theme, and one thing going for us is how unique it will be, so a dress like this will be the perfect choice. So far I have taken apart my mother's dress and I even tried to hand wash a piece of it to see what would happen. It did get some of the 70 years of just "being around" clean . . . but it was very wrinkled afterwards and steaming it didn't take out all the wrinkles. I actually like the look of the fabric now, but I am not sure which way to go yet. Wash it all or not? I have also taken my dress apart -- removed the ruffle and cut down the back.

My plan is to use my white dress as the main body and use the beautiful loop & buttoned back from the ivory satin -- I will also make a new sash that will wrap around the dress and end in a big long bow for the back from the satin (and a fun little ruffle in the bodice, made from an interesting part of the dress that I will share next time!) My train was not too long and my mother's is very, very long . . . so I have lots of fabric.

So, if the dress just doesn't work out we will quickly have to find something else for the bride to wear . . . and I know I will not be too sad that I took apart two dresses and have nothing to show for it. It is worth the risk to create something so special.

I may even make the groom's vest from the remaining ivory satin!


  1. Oh I like the idea of the vest!

  2. Marie~
    If there is anyone who could tackle this project it's you! Redesign is in your blood and speaking as one of your students, your forte'. The best part is hearing the enthusiasm, nostalgia and affection you have for such an anticipated occasion. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  3. “if the dress just doesn't work out we will quickly have to find something else for her to wear”


    Just in case!

  4. I was just remembering the Victorian Tea that you and I chaired. I think that it was in 1996. Your mom was there and so was my mom. And Heather wore your mom's wedding dress in the fashion show. Now our moms are up in Heaven somewhere.. Your mom would love your project.