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wedding gown redo

MarieCurie | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m considering using my wedding gown to make my daughter’s first communion dress.  I will (obviously) never wear the gown again.  My DD will not wear it since she will be much taller than me eventually, and is going to pick her own style when the time comes.  The gown has yards and yards of white silk train to work with.  Has anyone ever tried to do this?  Any advice before I go any further with this insane idea?


  1. dressed2atee | | #1

    That is a lovely idea...I've heard of people doing it all the time.  It becomes an "heirloom."  My niece wore my wedding gown to the Cotillion.  I just had to take in the seams!  I was so proud to see her wearing it and funny enough it didn't even look like the same dress.

    I would just take out the skirt seams since this is your widest point and make the gown out of it.  If your bodice is beaded you could incorporate that into the bodice or edging....depending how your gown is.  This is a chance to get creative!

    Good luck!  Please post pics...

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #2

    The easiest way is to consider the dress as a source of new fabric rather than trying to refit it much smaller. The skirt can be shortened and gathered from the waist, the extra fabric gained at the top will become available to use with the bodice fabric. Remember to align your grainlines the same way, and watch for stains or pulls, thats the worst of it. They can always be beaded over or lace put over. Cathy

  3. Lilith1951 | | #3

    It's a great idea. Wouldn't it be lovely if, (after she has any younger sisters use it for their Communion, also), someday her baby's Baptismal gown could be made from it? 

    1. MarieCurie | | #4

      No younger sisters, but one younger cousin.  The baptism gown is a good idea, too.  Maybe I should start on both at the same time.

  4. LK2 | | #5

    I do christening gowns from wedding gowns.  I agree that you need to just treat it like a piece of fabric and cut from the largest sections.  I try to use the trim from the gowns and make the Christening dresses resemble the wedding dress.  Not many gowns will have enough fabric to make a communion dress.  There always looks like there is more fabric there than there actually is.

    1. MarieCurie | | #6

      Thanks for the alert about the fabric.  I think DD is going to fuss about wanting a pink first communion dress in the future.  After all, she's only 5 right now, and everything is about pink.  My current parish is ok with a pink dress.  Maybe she'll agree to a white dress with a pink sash.

  5. Ocrafty1 | | #7

    I made an heirloom christening gown last yr. for my new neice.  Mom wanted me to try to use her wedding gown...no luck.  It was from the '50's and had way too much netting with big holes in it.  The taffeta was stained, so there was no way to use it...but.....

    I agree with the fact that you must treat it like it is new fabric.  You'll need to take the seams apart, and measure the fabric using the smallest width area. You will have to really play with the pattern you are using to try to fit the pieces onto the fabric...and be sure that the grain is going in the same direction. 

    You can remove the lace and use it in lots of places.  You may have to piece it together, but that's how they do wedding gown bodices anyway.  

    If there isn't enough fabric in your gown, purchase new fabric and uses bits of fabric and lace from your gown to make it heirloom.  You'd be surprised at how much lace there is in a wedding gown and what you can do with it.

    Don't forget that you can use that same lace to decorate her veil, too...and her shoes if they're ballet slippers.......

    Good luck and have fun with it!!!


    1. Ceeayche | | #8

      I have made two Christening gowns from wedding gowns of my friends.  In one case I simply snipped some of the lace ruffles-- the baby is so tiny I didn't need a lot.  And appliqued it over a silk gown of the same color.  The silk was new.  So the dress is almost in tact!

      the second one I basically used the train.  If Mariah wants to wear the dress for her debut, it should be easily accomplished.

      Finally, don't underestimate whether your daughter will want to use the dress.  My mother was about 4 inches shorter than I, and let's just say I'm not sure if any part of my anatomy would have fit into her very tiny princess wedding dress.  We certainly had different styles.  When it came time to be married (she married at 18, I married at 29), she brought it to me and asked me if I'd like to wear it.  There was no way I was going to be able to fit in that dress.  So I cut all the lace off and appliqued it all over my dress.  Mom was shocked and pleased with my final dress.  She had tears in her eyes everytime I tried it on!

      1. MarieCurie | | #9

        What a lovely memory.  I'm in tears just thinking of my precious little girl on her wedding day, and she's only five.  Right now I adore her tiny kisses as she gets on the school bus.

        My gown was very simple.  There's only one small band of beading at the empire waist line.  The rest is yards of unadorned white silk.  In a way, that makes it easier to refashion into something else. 

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #10

          Please do not be in too much of a hurry to refashion your dress. My MIL washed and took apart her lovely cotton lace dress to DO SOMETHING for her daughter when she got married, and ruined a perfectly lovely fabric and dress. SIL would never have worn it, but grands would! MIL passed away before SIL married, to another man, and I ended up making collars for the flowergirls, ringbearer cushions, and christening blankets, all trimmed in lace salvaged from the dress. It would have been far better to keep the dress intact. Cathy

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