July 9, 2011

Wedding Upcycle!

Since I’ve been in a wedding planning mood lately, I thought I’d write about an old wedding project I did. 

When I was in college, each fall the theatre fraternity I was a part of would throw a themed costume party.  One year the theme was Famous Teams Throughout History.  I went as Envy in a group of friends who did the Seven Deadly Sins.  I wasn’t really sure how to show envy.  My best idea was to copy someone else’s costume and just make it all green instead, but that would have needed a lot more planning in advance than we had time for. 

One of the best parts of growing up was the costume chest that my parents had for us to play with.    Lots of our Halloween costumes came from there over the years.  It was filled with clothing, hats, wigs, props, etc.  One item that was in there was one of my mom’s bridesmaid dresses from her wedding.  They were a light green as you can see.  (I cut out the bridesmaid’s head for privacy reasons)

Since the dress wasn’t going to be used again in the state it was in (the fabric was shredding and falling apart), I decided to upcycle it into my costume for the dance.  I didn’t have a pattern to use, but I had just received a dress form for my birthday.  I went to work designing the new dress on the form. 

I had to remove all of the fabric that was stained or had holes in it.  I took the skirt and shortened it to knee length in the front and a bit longer in the back, while still keeping the accordion pleats.  I used the top to create a v-neck dress and a series of straps along the back.  Even as I was sewing the fabric continued to fall apart.  I had to add a line of lace under the bust to hide the holes that the seams were creating.  But you can’t tell by looking at it.

Don't worry, there is a bottom to this dress.  It just wouldn't fit over the dress form's shoulders since there is not zipper in the dress.

 The dress turned out really well, though it needed lots of alterations.  It was my first time sewing without a pattern.  I haven’t worn this dress since that dance, as there aren’t many places that you can wear something that daring.  But I guess the moral of this story is the amazing things you can do to upcycle an old bridesmaid dress.

Now I just have to do the same thing to the hot pink tube top and floor length black skirt that I was supposed to wear as a bridesmaid…

Here's my mom, grandpa, the bridesmaids, and my grandma hiding in the background!

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