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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Wedding Dress: 3 years later. What to do? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Wedding Dress: 3 years later. What to do?
Dress is a street size 12, and I'm now a 6/8. It's lovely, but taking up room, but I don't want to part with it!
Heidilea
Heidilea
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Date: 5/8/13 10:09 AM



Edit: Since the photo won't link right, here's the Flickr set: StarlaImp
I hope someone can help me on this. The photo is me in my wedding dress 3 years ago. I've since lost 30 lbs. I know people save their dresses for posterity or try to sell them. I personally have both my grandma's (1949 cocktail dress in gabardine) and my mother's (1979 white cotton Gunne Sax, which I would have worn if it fit me), but I don't really want to keep mine the same way. I'd like to either remake it myself into something I can wear for dressier events or have someone else do it.

It's a 2008/9 Jovani prom gown. The dress flares out in a mild mermaid at the knee and is strapless and boned in the bodice and has a waist stay. The lining is nylon and the overlay cotton battenburg embellished with clear sequins and white bugle beads. The battenburg lace at the hem is "dagged" or pointed.

I had the dress cleaned in late 2010 and the lace didn't seem to handle it well: it's wrinkly and some of the "strings" in the lace have broken. Since then it's been in it's garment bag just hanging out in my closet except for the one time I took it out after I lost weight to try it on. It's a formal size 14, and now I'd probably wear a formal 8.

I would describe my sewing skills as "mildly intermediate," perhaps a formal wear project is outside my ability.

What say you ladies and gents? Can it be done? Have you heard of this happening before?
-- Edited on 5/8/13 10:13 AM --

LuceLu
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LuceLu  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/8/13 12:03 PM

You could probably reverse engineer it, cut it down to your size but why? Unless you want to harvest the lace from it for another garment but that is tricky. You lost 30 lbs! Celebrate it and make a new lace dress. Unless you made this dress or your mother made it, I would sell it or donate it and reclaim the room it is taking up in your closet. I had a lovely dress that ulimately, I let go back into world. It was lace/tulle and very old fashioned but I have no daughters and we have been married over 20 years. It was not trendy for the new brides (high collar, long tulle sleeves, no princess skirt)--more 1909 ish.

LynneH
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LynneH
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Date: 5/8/13 3:03 PM

I know the dress takes up space. However, before you alter or donate your dress make sure it is something you really want to do. I work with Seniors and some of them still have their dresses and take great delight in showing what they wore in their day. It always brings a smile to their faces and we have even had a local fashion show of bridal dresses from days gone by. One dress was 65 years old. A long time to hold onto a dress but the teenage wearing the dress and the bride of many years prior both enjoyed the dress. I know at one time or another all my daughters liked to put my dress on. Whatever you decide to do with your dress make sure it is right for you. Good luck with a very personal decision.

Tarrbaby
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Date: 5/9/13 7:32 AM

Christening gown? Boudoir/bath towel decorating? Blouse, lingerie?

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Dawn T.

LuceLu
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Date: 5/9/13 8:18 AM

Maybe just give it another 5 years. Have it stored in the box with the preservative paper etc. and put it in the attic or something. That seems to be what the young women I work with do with their gowns. See how you feel about the dress then.

I guess I am just not that kind of person and don't understand sentimentality over clothing and other material items in general (dishes, figurines, etc). Plus, I am a cynic about the wedding/bridal industry. I'm probably the person who should have married in my best dress at the courthouse. I didn't even want an engagement ring (we were struggling and I was like, let's see how long this lasts before we take on any more debt--surprise me with an anniversary ring when we are a cute old couple) --kind of person. I'm sorry if I was insensitive.

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Heidilea <<


Date: 5/9/13 9:14 AM

Do I remember Gunne Sax! Cute dresses from the 70's. My suggestion is to re-engineer it. Maybe make a top out of the lower portion? Use the original dagged hem for your hemline and go up from there. A nice scoop neck top with 3/4 length sleeves.

I re-engineered my wedding dress by taking off the length, (from gown to opera length) adding a scoop neck, shortening the sleeves and removing the ruffles. I had it for many years as a nice "going to weddings" dress.

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Heidilea
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In reply to LuceLu <<
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Date: 5/9/13 9:43 AM

I wanted to remake it because I love the lace and would like to wear it again sometime.Even if I were to take it in, it would still look like a wedding/prom gown.

I can get why you're cynical about the wedding industry. It's 90% of the reason why I bought a prom gown (I tried other colors, but white was the only one I liked best). If this dress was marketed as a wedding gown probably would have cost 3 to 4 times what I paid for it. I didn't want to be anti-wedding and have it with nobody at the courthouse (my sister pretty much did that, and I found it depressing), but I didn't spend an arm and a leg, either.

The dress was important to me because I never had nice clothes growing up. My prom gowns were free and $25. I loved them, but if I could have had something different, I would have. So I was determined to have the dress I wanted for my wedding, with no compromises.

Waiting another 5 years sounds like a good idea. If I still want to remake it, then my sewing skill might be good enough to attempt it!

Heidilea
Heidilea
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In reply to Miss Fairchild <<


Date: 5/9/13 9:45 AM

This is my intention. I'm even open to dyeing the lace, since it's cotton and wearing white to weddings is frowned upon.

I LOVED my mom's gunne sax. I still love it, but even at my size now, I'm too big for it (broader back than my mother). I'm not kidding when I say I would have worn it if it fit.

Vivienne
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In reply to LuceLu <<


Date: 5/9/13 2:34 PM

I loved your answer, I wish I was more like this than my hoarderish tendencies.

------
Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

arianamaniacs
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Date: 5/9/13 6:03 PM

I repurposed an old wedding dress as a petticoat for historical dresses, if youre into that sort of thing.

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