Yes, you read the title right! I reconstructed a 65-year-old wedding dress. When I was approached to alter a 65 year old wedding dress for my dear neighbor Amanda, I was honored. I knew that the project needed special attention because the dress was very sentimental for the family. Plus, considering the age of the dress it would definitely require great care. The family did an awesome job preserving the dress which made my job a breeze. The 65 year old dress would be worn eight year old Gabby the great-granddaughter of the owner of the dress.
To alter the dress I started by taking Gabby’s measurements. I measured her chest, high shoulder point, waist and where the dress would end. I then measured the dress itself. I laid the dress flat inside out and measured it from seam to seam. Then I did the calculations to determine all the measurement differences. I also had Gabby try on the dress and I pinned the sides. I carefully removed the bodice from the skirt and then altered. I also had to adjust the armholes and make them smaller.
Amanda also wanted the dress shortened and the tulle petticoat removed so it would be less cumbersome for little Gabby. This dress still had layers from the lining and extra tulle so, when I cut it I had to cut each layer one by one to shorten it. For the skirt I made a gathering stitch and gathered the dress to fit Gabby’s waist. The dress was so well preserved the original fabric buttons were still intact. The buttons had previously been removed and that’s probably what kept them in such good condition. I sewed the buttons on by hand. It was tedious but rewarding since the dress was vintage it’s integrity wasn’t compromised by putting on new buttons or even a zip.
When Gabby came back for a fitting the bodice was still a little too big. I then realized that I would need to take the dress in at not only the side seams but the front and the back darts. I pinned the darts in deep since a 8-year-old doesn’t have breast I needed to take in that extra fabric. I had to adjust the back darts also since a child’s back width is not as wide as an adult’s back. Once I adjusted the darts and we were in business Gabby’s Holy Communion dress was ready!!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you guys think. Also, to see more fabulous designs by me check out the off-shoulder ruffle dress click —> here.