Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wedding Dress to Baptismal Gown

I'm so excited to finally be able to share one of my latest projects!! I was asked to transform a wedding dress into a baptismal gown, which is an idea I just love.

This is really my first time hacking up a dress to make something else. Let me tell you, when you spend so much time creating things, it is NOT EASY to disassemble a beautiful garment! It hurt a bit to make that first cut, lol, but I knew it was for a good cause. ;-)

The dress was a gorgeous vintage style tea length wedding dress. First step was to take out the crinoline.

Then I separated the bodice from the skirt.

Then I unpicked the pleats in the skirt.

And got to cutting up pieces for the bodice!

I used McCalls 6221 for the bodice.

We wanted to incorporate some of the beading and buttons from the original dress. Ideally, we were going for a more unisex look so it could be used for any future children as well.

I just added a bit of the beading around the sleeves. Took a little bit of hand stitching!

On the bodice I wanted some kind of subtle detail. I decided on some monotone stripes. I tried several different ribbons and settled on, of all things, some of my Snug Hug rayon binding. I just liked the texture, and it matched the color so well.

Originally, I had planned to add a ruffle, as seen in my drawing.

But once I assembled it, I found it to be a bit too heavy (the fabric was substantial!) I loved the look, but I just kept thinking the ruffle needed to go.

 I also thought it started to lean a bit more feminine with the ruffle, so I asked the new Mama and we agreed to stick with the simpler style without the ruffle.

Finally, I had to decide on button placement. I knew I wanted the two little buttons on top, and played a bit with placement down the skirt. It came down to a choice between evenly spaced or spaced in twos. I thought the pairs of buttons just added something unique, and I liked how they mimicked the two on top, so I went with that!

The back has a button and loop closure.

I also had enough fabric left to make a simple little bonnet, also included in the pattern.

I was really pleased with how the final product came out.

It's always a little scary when you're not quite 100% sure about what you're going to do when you start cutting up a dress to become your fabric supply! On the other hand, sometimes I enjoy having limitations to guide my decisions, makes them easier. ;-)