Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bridesmaid Dress Refashion

Not only did I get to play florist for my sister-in-law's wedding, I also got to be a bridesmaid!  I was honored to stand by her side on such a special day.  It was also fun walking down the aisle with my husband again!

Second time down the aisle in 2012!
She was gracious in her selection of bridesmaid dresses (Watters Camellia Style 2255).  Navy looked great on all of us, and it doesn't scream BRIDESMAID like some colors can.  Rather than taffeta or chiffon which are very bridesmaidy fabrics, it was made from a pretty lace.  The open-back detailing was gorgeous!

I'm on the left!
That said, above-the-knee hemlines don't jive my with those American thighs I inherited.  Also, flared skirts don't do good things to people who are petite and short-waisted.  So while the dress had a lot going for it, I knew a few post-wedding changes would make it amazing.

My Mom did the original alterations for me.  She confided in me that this dress required more difficult alterations than any dress she's ever done.  Coming from a seamstress who has been doing weddings and costumes for 30-something years, that is a serious comment.  Watters, you need to work on your patterns!!!  Those dresses are only gorgeous if they can be altered properly.

The alterations issues were mostly due to two things.  First, in some seams, the lining and lace were sewn together, but in other seams they weren't.  So you couldn't just separate the dress into lining and lace, the whole thing had to be dismantled.  Second, the lace had some "give" to it but the lining did not, so you couldn't just take up two inches of both - more of the lace had to be taken in.

But my Mom is pretty much amazing, and she altered the crap out of the dress.  It fit like a glove on wedding day!

When she hemmed the skirt to match the other girls, rather than cutting inches off the bottom (which would have ruined the scalloped hem), she took the inches off the top.  She left the extra material inside the dress, with the knowledge we'd be lengthening the skirt at some point.

To re-alter the dress, she started by removing the skirt and all the tucks included in it.  She then laid a pattern for a longer, fitted skirt on top, and cut the new pieces.  She sewed everything back together, and ta da!  Awesome dress I can wear all the time.

I wore the dress last week when I took Tommy out for his birthday.  I love that it's fancy, but not formal, so I can wear it to dates, weddings, or fancy-pants events like the symphony.

Thanks to my sister-in-law for her thoughtful decisions.  And thanks to my Mom for her amazing work!  I love it!

1 comment:

  1. This dress was a great choice all around! Bravo to your mom and sister-in-law.


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