Modest Wedding Dress for Elsa


Ellie found a Pronovias dress in a high street shop with lace and detailing she loved but some elements of the style and particularly?the neckline were far from her perfect dress so an extensive re-styling was required. Pictures of the dress before all the changes are?further down this page.

Official Wedding pictures by?

The finished dress had a fitted and boned bodice with modest round neckline and short sleeves. The dress was fitted to the upper?hip and then flared gently to the floor. The whole dress was covered with ivory corded lace and heavily embellished with sequins?and pearls. A ruched tulle panel gave texture across the bodice and a silk satin sash with vintage style brooch was added as?a finishing touch. The back closed with cover buttons and loops over a concealed zip. The medium length train was edged with?scalloped lace and came with a hook-up bustle for the evening.


Ellie wrote:
Dear Felicity, Firstly I wanted you to know what a GRANDDDD success the dress was. It was absolutely superb and I still go and unzip the cover and have a peek at it. Sooooo many people commented on it. I am so grateful for all the hours you put in!!!! You did a incredible job. It was exactlyyy what I wanted so thank you. Only you could have done that job.?

Thanks again. Miss the fittings and coming to see you. Hope all is well with you.?

Love Ellie.xx


Design sketch for planned outline shape after alterations


Ellie also had extensive style alterations to her shop bought bridesmaids dresses



The original Pronovias dress, before alterations

Ellie’s church had very particular rules about modesty which were important to Ellie and so the changes we made ensured Ellie?felt both glamorous and respectfully modest on her wedding day. The original dress was strapless and much more fish-tail in skirt shape. The train was also unlined, just shear lace which Ellie felt looked unfinished so she had it lined with satin to match the rest of the dress. As the train was also very long to begin with we were able to shorten it and use the extra lace to help re-make and extend the bodice for the new neckline and still have it all match perfectly.


Pictures of Ellie before the ceremony, getting dressed and just ready…


Ellie wore an antique family veil which was carefully sewn to a modern comb for easy use.




Making Ellie’s Dress

Remaking the bodice meant unpicking all the lace and decoration from the original, and removing the boned under-layers. An entirely new bodice was then cut, fitted and sewn. This was re-attached to the original skirt at the waist seam and covered with the lace and ruched tulle saved from the old bodice. The zip and buttons were also moved across. Ellie bought the Pronovias dress at least a size to big which meant the skirt was not as tight a fish-tail on her as it was designed to be. We took it in at the waist and then graduated the shape so it was slim fitting on the hip and a pretty shape without ‘tucking under’ the hip or bottom.


The third fitting

The bodice has been re-made and attached to the altered skirt, only one sleeve is sewn on so far. A practice sash has been applied but a better colour silk was found to match the main dress in the end. The train in these pics has been shortened but not yet lined or re-edged with the scalloped lace.


Final Fitting Pictures

Felicity Westmacott

I write about all aspects of weddings, dressmaking, fashion history, and the human relation to clothing. I welcome comments and debate.

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Dorking, RH4 1RT241 High Street• Visit the Studio • 07762 543230TOUCHGet in