Monday, March 12, 2012

A New Dress from a Wedding Dress

Wow, is that your wedding dress!?
My eldest is at that delightful age where she thinks anything is possible. If I tell her that something isn't, she asks why and then asks why about that answer too. I'm sure this sounds familiar to most parents of a child under the age of five. However, my daughter seems to have that extra little bit of determination when it comes to thinking up things for us to do, and then making sure we do them. She likes to carry out ideas immediately or a big wave of disappointment flows over her. She looks at me with a hopeful spark in her eye and says "Maybe, we can........" or "I know, why don't we ..........." Excuses don't work as she always remembers my exact answer long after I've forgotten. I have to be very careful to get my story straight if we can't do something, right from the start!

"I don't know where she gets that from" I say to my husband with a slightly (entirely) sarcastic voice. It's like holding up a mirror to myself, although when I was younger, I thought that the mirror I was going to be holding up to myself was going to be a little more rounded than square.

Of course when my daughter has a brilliant idea, I can see lots of reasons as to why we can't do it. But when I have an idea myself, I can't see any reason as to why we can't do it.

Last year I had a wedding to attend, where I was giving a reading. For the last couple of years at all the weddings I have attended I have worn maternity tops or dresses (not just for the fun of it I might add as no one would wear maternity clothes just for the fun of it, right?). So I wanted to wear something new. I thought about going shopping and finding a fabulous dress and then remembered what luck I usually have when trying to find an adult dress that doesn't have to be taken up or in, in several places. 

I looked through my wardrobe to search for something that I could perhaps wear again and then I spotted the black bag that held my wedding dress. Excitement took over me as I tried it on to see if it still fit (yes it did, perfect) and then my mind started to wander. 'I don't wear my wedding dress anymore', 'I am never going to need to wear it again' and although I am very sentimental, 'I definitely am not delusional enough to think that my daughter will want to wear it one day'. If she is as independent and determined as she is now, she will want to do her own thing, and good on her! So 'why not turn it into something else that I can use now' ....... a new dress to wear to a new wedding perhaps?



So the idea was all clear in my head. ' ...... turn wedding dress into new dress'. It couldn't have been simplier. I could visualise what I wanted straight away. Now came the hard part. Take the idea to my mum who could actually sew, and convince her to make it happen for me.

I had to tread with caution. I couldn't go in saying, "Mum, I've had this really great idea, and guess what you are going to make it happen for me'. A little confronting. So I had to ease her into it. And so I started saying "Maybe we could ........" and "I know what we could do......."

At first I think my mum looked at me as if I was completely mad, and then when the shock wore off, she said very firmly, "Okay, but you're making the first cut into your dress".

And we were off! I had managed to get my mum onto the sewing run-way, which was the most important thing (she was the pilot after all). Mum wanted to be prepared and did some pattern research, but decided that she was going to have to do it without a pattern and sew solo. She decided this from her experienced judgement, not because I was helpfully telling her we didn't need a pattern, because we could just 'cut here', 'pull here' 'gather here' and 'tie some sort of bow here'.

Mum did a fantastic job at sewing solo (she even made the first cut into the dress herself). The journey was smooth flying, although there were many alterations along the way because we wanted it to fit nicely, which is hard without a pattern. And we both landed safely. Me with a smart new dress to carry off the run-way and mum with the realisation that I think she can do anything (selfishly for me).




I even landed with extra baggage that I didn't board with. My mum had the idea to create a matching clutch purse out of the dress material. The pattern she used, was the Shell Purse, by Nicole Mallalieu DesignYou Sew Girl. And yes, this is something that I can pass onto my daughter!



A more detailed account from the sewer's perspective of our wedding dress transformation can be viewed on my mum's blog Threading My Way. 



Little Ladybird



40 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. :) You do have the gift for writing. I've enjoy reading your blog very much.

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  2. I enjoyed reading this!!!

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  3. What a pretty conversion. I love the grey fabric you guys used for the skirt.
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

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  4. Beautiful! I don't think I'd have the guts to cut up my wedding dress- but it turned out gorgeous! Thanks for sharing at Manic Monday!
    -Melissa

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  5. Nice to read a little more about how this dress transformation came about! I've admired the new dress (and your mum's courage to cut your wedding dress) on her blog previously!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  6. What a great transformation! I'd love for you to stop by Etcetorize to share this with all of my sewing followers, I know they'd really enjoy it. The party is going on here: http://etcetorize.blogspot.com/2012/03/make-it-great-monday_11.html . Hope to see you there~

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  7. It all turned out beautifully. What a great idea!

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  8. Whilst reading this I thought to myself I must of read this before, but was sure I hadn't. Then as soon as you said about your Mum it all clicked into place lol. Tash you looked absolutely stunning and what a fabulous way to upcycle your dress and the little purse is divine and I can already imagine your daughter using it on her wedding day, very special indeed.

    <3 Bec
    Pretty Things Distract Me

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  9. I'll ever find the courage to cut into my dress! You are brave! And it paid off... what an adorable new dress! Props to your seamstress, too! Thanks for sharing!
    Found you on Flamingo Toes
    Visiting from Well Rounded, leahkoenig.blogspot.com

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  10. PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT. Just fabulous. Love the top you made, love the belt and the handbag to match. Classic elegance! What a great way to wear that wedding dress over and over again. Must make you so happy!

    Thank you for sharing it at our party at http://www.finecraftguild.com/party/ and, in advance, for linking back to the party, when you do.

    Have a happy, creative day,

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  11. Thank you for sharing this! I'm getting married later this year and have wondered what I would be able to do with my dress afterwards!

    P.S. I will be hosting a linkup on tomorrow. Feel free to stop by and share a post from your week:D

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  12. This is beautiful! Your mum is so talented. I wish I could do this with my old dress.

    Christine @ Projectsaroundthehouse.blogspot.com

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  13. wow, amazing makeover! great to meet you and thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

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  14. I like the idea to do the little clutch purse. I've been thinking about my wedding dress, which I haven't even gotten out of the bag since I was married 4 years ago, and I'm not sure I have the guts to start cutting it.

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  15. This is a great transformation. I wish I was a good enough sewer to have a go at my wedding dress.

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  16. This turned out so perfectly. Well done to you and your Mum :)

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  17. I think these transformations are wonderful. Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday!

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  18. That looks lovely! And what a nice wedding dress you had! Simple yet very elegant :) Love the little bow on the skirt part of the new creation too as well as the earrings I must say. Maybe you can even reuse the skirt part of the original dress to make something else as well?

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  19. Very Nice...and love the matching clutch! It's a great way to re-look at what's in your closet!

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  20. I love the wedding dress and I love the new evening dress too. Great transformation. Thanks for linking up to Terrific Tuesdays.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

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  21. SUch a great idea! Never would have thought! I featured this post today, thanks for showing off!

    Carlee
    www.ladybirdln.com

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  22. WOW!!!! That is SO lovely! I really love what your mom was able to do. How did she get all the sequins off the top? I would be too sentimental to cut my own dress, but I really love how you're able to re-wear yours! Thanks for sharing this at Shine on Fridays!!

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  23. L O V E this.. Soooo pretty.. I am totally featuring YOU tomorrow via Pin'Inspirational Thursday.. Hope you stop in.. THANKS SO MUCH for linking up last week.. YOU are AWESOME.. Wishing you a perfect week.. xoxo.. Marilyn

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  24. FANTASTIC recycling!!! Andof course, I love the purse!

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  25. beautiful! I love how it turned out!

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  26. You and your mom did such a fantastic job. This is probably the best upcycling I've ever seen! I love the clutch purse and how that can be passed down to your daughter. She will treasure this blog post down the road :)

    -Marissa @ The Modern Austen

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  27. Love your blog as much as your mom's! She did do a fantastic job on both the dress and the purse. It's not easy to 'fess up that the chances of your daughter being willing or able to use the dress are slim. Kudos on being willing to make the change! The refashion can be used again and again--a go-to dress for special occasions.

    Passing on the purse is also such a great and special idea.

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  28. Such a great thing to do!! The dress looks fantastic!

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  29. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing x

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  30. This is gorgeous! Fantastic job, both of you, and I hope you enjoy the wedding!

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  31. This is excellent. I love your blog, such a talented lady. jess x

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  32. Beautiful! You look like a runaway model :))

    I feel sad sometimes that i'm not going to wear my wedding dress any more, but i'm not at the stage yet, where i'll allow scissors near it :))

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  33. What a lovely clutch! Great idea!

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  34. Oh, how clever! That turned out very lovely!

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  35. I can see how this was a popular post. You look amazing in the dress both ways and I am envious of your slim figure. The dress idea was genius.

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  36. Amazing! I knew your mom was a talented seamstress from her blog, but I hadn't seen this one yet. You look beautiful in it too!

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  37. Your Mum is amazing, I've just read through the posts about your dress on her blog and wanted to read it from your perspective too. You look amazing in every version of your wedding dress and the bag is to die for, how wonderful to pass it on to your own daughter. I have my own wedding dress still and intend to make it into three items, one for each of my own children but haven't decided what to make yet - not sure my two sons would appreciate a bag ;D

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  38. My mother could make anything. She copied a bridal gown off the cover of a bridal magazine! Sewing was so easy for her...sounds a lot like your mother. Your "new" items made from your gown look gorgeous!

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