Today I started a brand new project. A friend of mine asked me to remake her daughter’s wedding dress into a christening gown. She picked a Simplicity pattern. I set to work tearing the dress apart to harvest fabric and trim for the baby’s dress, slip, bonnet and shoes.
My mom thought I was crazy but I bought a large fancy box to store all the trim, fabric and scraps as I worked on the dress. I told her once I cut into the dress and pattern, I needed to stay organized so I would not loose anything. The next thing I am going to do is buy a padded hanger for the christening gown. The fabric wrinkles fast and I need to preserve the fresh pressed look .
I took pictures of the original gown before I took my scissors to the dress. The first cut was hard because the dress was beautiful. I cut off the bodice to work on the shirt sections. The main dress is an organza with lace appliques. There is a dress lining that I will make the slip, bonnet and slippers from. I cut the dress shirt along the seams to be able to see the open patches of usable fabric. I had to feel for the straight of grain when laying out the patterns. Each step of the way, I would study the construction and fabric grain to make sure I was making the best cutting decision. I steam pressed all the fabric before cutting any pattern pieces. It took me 4 hours to cut the 24 pattern pieces and the dress. I left the accessories to cut last, as they only take small amounts of fabric.
Cutting the front of the christening gown was easy. The wedding dress shirt is cut high in the wedding dress front and long in back for a train. That meant I had to cut off the satin trim from the hem on the train. I will then reapply the satin trim and lace to the back bottom edge of the christening gown. The Christening gown will reveal the design of the wedding gown in the hem.
Once I was able to evaluate the project, the next step was to order the notions needed. I ordered threads, elastic, ribbon and lace. Since we have very little in wedding dress supplies in Salisbury, MD I was forced to order on line.
I embroidered the grandmother’s and grandfather’s initials on the slip 1st. The embroidery says, “All because 2 people fell in love” and includes the grandmother and grandfather’s initials.
My final sewing decision was to line the organza. It added to the shape of the bodice and the flow of the dress. I have included pictures of the whole sewing process for you to see. My mom helped me by holding the dress for pictures before I cut. I think the dress is a masterpiece. See what you think?
If you have a special project you would like sewing help with you can send me an email using the form below.