Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days to Happily Ever After – Day 1 – Cutting up the Gown

Last February our only daughter became engaged to her sweet boyfriend. The wedding date is set for October 20, and we’ve been busy these past several months with arrangements and making stuff.  
There will be many personal touches, that while simple, are what will differentiate Jess’s and Scott’s wedding from anyone else’s. We’re DIY people, so many components for this celebration are handmade.
One of the personal touches involves using part of my wedding gown.  Jessica was  not interested in wearing the dress at all, and even though it was professionally cleaned after Greg and I got married, it wasn’t boxed and sealed, thus has not aged incredibly well.
 wedding gown 001
May 23, 1981
While I’ve known for quite some time that I was going to disassemble the dress, when it came down to making that first cut, I had to take a deep breath. One evening late in April, I turned to my Facebook friends for support and took seam ripper in hand. The dress was taken apart in about an hour.
DSCN2819Here it is the next morning, in a pile on the kitchen counter. You can see the ribbon is brown and stained, though that all pretty much came out when I soaked everything in some OxyClean and cool water, then hand rinsed it all.
Though there is a nice pile of fabric and lace there, we only ended up using a tiny bit of the dress. I’ll show you tomorrow.
After the holidays I plan to use up the rest for some keepsakes that can hopefully be passed on down in our family.  Awhile back I found myself in conversation with some email friends over the possibilities. A favorite choice was to make a christening gown and/or a teddy bear. Another suggestion was to make a ring bearer pillow. I’d love hear your ideas for using pieces of the gown since I still have lots of dress left to do something with.



  1. hi Tammy
    my mom did not cut up her wedding dress as she still had some of the fabric scraps from when her sister sewed it for her.
    Mom used some of the scraps to sew our ring bearer pillow and I still have it. She also made my garter.

    You were a beautiful bride, but man have gown styles changed over the years. :)

    Hope your week and month go smoothly and happily.

  2. I think we all had that same gown back in the 80's, high neck, long sleeves, etc. But I like it soooo much better than the current styles! I often look at today's bride and think "What if you want sleeves on your gown, is that not allowed?" I don't get it, why do they all have to be strapless? LOL Christening gown was my idea too. A hanky for her something old, a valance over a kitchen sink, a doll dress, a trim on a vanity chair, a throw pillow, etc.

  3. That would be so hard to cut up your wedding dress! I have mine in a storage box - never did get it professionally cleaned and boxed. Don't know what I'll ever do with it, seeing I don't have daughters and I'm not a seamstress! Robin gave you some great ideas for what to do with the leftover pieces. Can't wait to see your daughter's dress!

  4. I love this post. Our second daughter is planning her wedding, and will not be wearing my wedding dress. I'm ok with that - it isn't her style, her color (she's looking gorgeous in ivory!), etc. And I am at a point in life where I am absolutely ok with the thought of 'un-doing' my wedding dress so I can share the love and the memories.
    I'm taking note of the terrific ideas that have been shared already.
    And I'm thinking we must have worn the same dress! You were a beautiful bride :)

  5. What a beautiful bride you were! I am anxious to see all the finished projects that will come from your dress.


Thanks for sharing!