There are many wedding dresses out there just waiting to be made over into something beautiful. Go to your favorite thrift shop and ask to see them. Most of these dresses are a size 4, which doesn't do most of us any good. I found a nice dress with lots of lace, the style was kind of 80's but the lace skirt section was in good shape. I wanted to make myself a nice dress to wear in the summer. I also found a pretty pale yellow satin floor length prom dress that had a good deal of yardage in the skirt. The yellow satin was placed under the white lace. unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the yellow dress before I cut it up. I also made a matching pillbox hat and clutch.
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Step 1: Supplies Needed
Wedding dress with lots of lace, another long dress in a solid color. sewing machine, thread, scissors, measuring tape, dress pattern. It's a good idea to choose a sewing pattern with several smaller pieces as opposed to just a few large ones. It will be easier to arrange them on the fabric that you get from the article of clothing that is used. I have found that using a dress form to arrange the sections comes in handy but you don't need one to do this project. It does help me to visualize the finished product better.
Step 2: Planning Out Your Design
I had both dresses about a month before I actually cut them up. I wanted to think about what design I wanted to go with and make sure I had enough fabric to work with. Another option would have been to make a dress with a full skirt using the lace overlay and just going with a satin bodice. That's another project for another day!
Step 3: Cutting Out the Pattern Pieces
before you cut the pattern pieces out, lay out the pattern sections and make sure you have enough for what you want to make. once you stitch the lace over the solid fabric sections, you can follow the pattern directions.
Step 4: Bodice
For the bodice sections I had to piece the yellow together at the shoulders. I then placed the lace over this and stitched around before I sewed the darts.
Step 5: Skirt Section
cut out the front of skirt on the fold, cut out the back pieces and sew the lace overlay onto the satin. Then sew the back of skirt to the front at the sides with 5/8" seam allowance. press seam open. Mark where the bottom of the zipper will be. Stitch from there to the top of the kick pleat.
Step 6: Waistband
cut out the waistband sections. pin the lace over the satin and sew around each piece. Sew the back sections to the front. I had to piece together the front waistband out of the satin but when I put the lace over it, you have to look very closely to see it.
Step 7: Lining
I used the white underskirt from the wedding dress for the lining of my new dress. Cut out bodice, waistband and skirt sections out of lining fabric. Sew the bodice lining together at the shoulders. Sew waistband together at the sides and sew skirt lining together at sides.
Step 8: Attaching the Lining
Pin bodice to lining, right sides together. sew neckline and armholes. Clip curves. Turn right side out. pin waistband to bodice. Sew with 5/8" seam allowance. Pin skirt and skirt lining to waistband. Sew across. hand stitch waistband lining to skirt section.
Step 9: Zipper
Pin the zipper into the back seam. Baste with needle and thread. Machine stitch with zipper foot and remove basting stitches.
Step 10: Hem Dress
Try on the dress and have a friend pin the hem up. Hand sew the hem. Machine stitch hem of lining 1" shorter than dress.
Step 11: Finished Dress
I'm really happy with the way my dress turned out.
Step 12: Matching Pillbox Hat
I did an Instructable for a Pillbox hat a while back and I am using the same basic directions for that. An empty cereal box for the foundation and covered with fabric, and decorated with flowers on the side.
Step 13: Matching Clutch
The yellow satin dress had a lining that I used for the Hat and clutch under the lace. I figured out what size I wanted the clutch to be and then cut 2 rectangles out of the yellow and lace. I pinned the lace onto the yellow fabric and sewed around all 4 sides. I then pinned these 2 pieces right sides together and sewed the sides and bottom. I also cut 2 more pieces for the lining, and sewed it. I cut pieces for the flap and sewed the lace on this also. I stitched small box corners at the bottom, placed the lining inside the purse and before I pinned it together I cut 2 pieces of plastic canvas to put between the outside and lining. (front and back) Attach velcro or snap for closure.
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