Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How much use can you get from a wedding gown?

I'm well on my way to finding out.

It all started with a wedding 5 years ago. A beautiful gown was purchased and worn on a fairy tale day. It was carefully packed away with few thoughts of what it would become. Three years later, along came a precious baby girl. The search was on for the perfect Christening gown. I asked if mommy had plans for her wedding gown or if I could re-purpose it to baby's Christening gown. She thought about it and called me a month later and asked if it could still be done. Sure! The gown was brought to me and I went to work. I couldn't find a pattern that worked well with the layout of the beaded appliques so I made my own pattern carefully cutting to get the best use of the adornments. In places I carefully removed pearls, glass beads and sequins and undid appliques so they wouldn't be in the way of seams.

I then stitched the appliques back in place and redid the beadwork. When I finished I had a gorgeous long Christening gown and bonnet created from Mommy's wedding gown. Parents were very, very pleased. We talked about making a little boys outfit from the remains of the gown sometime in the future if it was ever needed. This conversation was quickly forgotten by very busy parents.
Two years later along comes little boy. After a short conversation about what the new little one was going to wear for his Baptism out came the remains of the wedding gown. I realized during the conversation that mommy had forgotten that I still had enough gown to make another outfit so I went to work and made a little boy's outfit. This one was a surprise for Mommy and Daddy. I didn't tell them that I was making it. When the came to town the day before the Christening I gave it to them. I was so gratified seeing the look of happiness on their faces.
And now, mommy had some future ideas. During a conversation last evening she asked how much gown, if any, I still had left. I actually still have the entire front bodice and a generous portion of half of the train. She is already thinking about having me use it when it's time for First Communion-thinking bodice from the gown with perhaps a tulle skirt, or some variation there-of.
And maybe a little boy's tie from the gown. Sure wouldn't want any frou-frou for the little boy for First Communion but a plain tie from the silk would be appropriate. Fortunately I have a few years before I need to figure this out. So now, the remains of the gown are tucked safely away and the two Christening sets are being cleaned and put away to wait and see if there are any more babies. The antique doll modeling the outfits used to belong to my Aunt and is now a doll that is a special treasure of mine.


Anonymous said...

Oh Ellen, these outfits are so beautiful and the work you did is stunning. You are truly a master.

Loretta said...

Ellen, your outfits are simply gorgeous! What a wonderful seamstress you are, and what a lovely thing to do with the wedding gown!