A Wedding Dress Transformation

Last fall a sweet young bride brought me a "princess" strapless wedding gown that she bought online.  Lace, tulle (three layers), beads, semi-cathedral train...you name it, this dress had it!  What it didn't have, however, was the lace bodice she was looking for.

With yardage of white alencon lace (purchased on Etsy), scalloped trim, and English net (lining), we transformed it from this:

To this:

Pretty cool, huh?  I used a bodice pattern (sleeveless) from a basic princess seamed dress to get the base and then created a neckline and sleeves from the scalloped lace trim.  Here are the pictures from the fitting when I shaped the neckline and the cap sleeve:

Because of the lacing in the back, I cut the bodice back along the scallop of the main lace yardage to create a pretty opening.  It buttoned at the top. 

(The train is bustled in this picture.  Also, the bodice is off center in the back because it hadn't been tacked down yet.)

I knew I wouldn't be able to remove the beading so I painstakingly cut out and hand-sewed the lace down where it hit the beaded waistband.

The wedding was last month and the report from the mother of the bride was that she looked amazing and everyone oohed and ahhhed over her dress.  Oh, and that the bustle didn't fall down or anything.  I always worry about that!


  1. Wow!! It looks fabulous. I am always amazed that things like this don't make you nervous. BUt then I remembered you worked in a shop (but I still think I'd be nervous to work on someone's wedding dress...)

    1. Thank you! You know what makes me more nervous than anything is having a wedding dress in my house for the time it takes to alter it -- I would feel so much better if it were hanging in a seamstress' shop and not in my closet!


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