Today is the day I take a pair of scissors to my wedding dress

by Leah Taylor on September 27, 2010

I’ve been putting this day off for weeks now.

I’ve decided to put my wedding dress to good use, rather than collecting dust (and, let’s face it, taking up far too much room) in my wardrobe. I am going to make my daughter a christening gown from it. Eek!

I decided I wanted to do this pretty much as soon as we started thinking about E’s baptism. My wedding day was a deeply special day for me, topped only by the birth of my gorgeous baby girl, and as she was a product of the love between my husband and I , there is a beautiful symmetry to re-cycling the wedding dress for the baptism – even moreso because the vicar who will be baptising E is also the vicar who married us.

It’s a gorgeous dress, and my only hesitation in converting it is that one day E might be interested in seeing it as a whole, or even trying it on. But then when I think about it, a christening gown made from it will see far more use and be more cherished. I love the thought of us using the christening gown for the baptism of all of our (as yet unborn :-)) children, and who knows, maybe it will even become a bit of a family heirloom… ahem, I am really getting ahead of myself here considering E isn’t even out of nappies yet and I am already marrying her off!!

The biggest difficulty so far, other than making the decision in the first place, has been in finding a suitable pattern. Because the dress has lots of lace sewn in at the hemline, which will become the hemline of the christening gown, I want a nice and simple design – I don’t want the christening gown to be too fussy. I have found it really really hard (actually, impossible) to find a pattern for a baby girl’s dress that incorporates cap sleeves but that doesn’t gather the skirt to the bodice in some way.

I wanted to avoid gathers because I am not sure how the heavy satin material will take them, and what it would like like with the sewn-in lace. So my first task will be to chop a bit of the dress off (gasp!) and do a test run to see what it would look like with gathers. I also want to see if I can cheat and sew seams with the lace already sewn on to the fabric, or if I am going to need to remove the lace before sewing the seams.

After I have decided on my pattern, I will need to clean the dress. I never actually got my dress dry cleaned after the wedding (£100+ just for cleaning something I know won’t be worn again??) so there’s lots of grubby black and, somehow, bright pink stains along the hemline.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress. For now, I’d better stop procrastinating, and get the scissors out. Wish me luck!!

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From Wedding Dress to Christening Gown — into the sewing box
October 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicky Johnson September 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

How exciting. I wasn’t brave enough to use my wedding dress for my daughter’s baptism. Really looking forward to seeing the final result!

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Tabatha Tweedie September 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

Wow! Good luck. Can’t wait to see the finished result!

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claire September 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

This post is so lovely – it is such a beautiful dress and such a beautiful idea, I can’t wait to see the dress as a christening gown.
As the mother of 4, I am a great believer that you should only keep something if it will in fact be used again. (no boxes of school books for my boys – 11 years at school excluding kindergarten x 4 = upwards of 44 years worth of papers and books!!!!) The reality is E, or any of your subsequent children are unlikely to want to wear your wedding dress, so this way, to me, is simply the perfect solution.
(my wedding dress was put on ebay so I did not have to store it – far less romantic..I don’t regret it (4 boys who’ll want it….) but *sigh* I wish it was living on in an easier to store way!!)
one more thing (then I’ll go away, I’ve taken up so much of your time!!) have you thought about getting it cleaned after making it up?? That may bring the cost down from £100….

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