Vintage Wedding Dress Upcycle for Madelie

lace sleeves added to vintage wedding dress

Madalie came to me for a vintage wedding dress upcycle. She had her mother’s beautiful 1970’s wedding dress and she wanted to wear it, made anew, for her own wedding day.

The dress Madalie brought to our consultation meeting wasn’t the right size or style for her modern wedding day. We agreed to unpick and reuse the skirt section and the trim as a way to upcyle this vintage wedding dress. I designed and made her a new bodice in new, matching materials. I enclosed the preserved bodice pieces of her mothers dress inside the layers of her new bodice. So in a sense she was wearing the whole of her mother’s dress on her wedding day.

Madalie’s dress redesigned had a lightly boned bodice made in duchess satin and chiffon. I cut it with a square neckline and straps. I gathered the chiffon into the underbust seam and a waist panel had an upward pointed seam feature. Madalie sourced beautiful embroidered tulle lace which I used to create a second neckline and delicate short sleeves. The lace neckline came up to a standing collar, almost like a bolero jacket. The lace was hand cut around each flower and finished with an uneven organic edge, with longer fronds hanging down from the curling edges of the collar.

The back of the dress closed with a zip and I sewed lots of little cover buttons all down the back. A chiffon sash tied with a bow as a pretty detail.

Madalie’s vintage wedding dress upcycle used her mother’s original chiffon skirt, which was cut in graduated tiers with a curled hem. I added a new layer of the delicate floral lace on top, cut in petalled points each with hand cut and sewn extra flowers to soften the edges. I sewed a tiny daisy trim along the bodice neckline and added individual daisies on to the lace.

handsewn Daisy flower lace for custom wedding dress
vintage wedding dress alterations

Designing the vintage wedding dress upcycle

Madelie came to me with many ideas, which I love! A pintrest board, magazine pages or even a clients on sketches are all very welcome as part of the design process. We already had the style and shape of her mother’s wedding dress skirt as part of our upcycle design. So we then looked at lots of different options for the bodice, neckline and sleeves.

The Final Design

Final dress design

To see another vintage wedding dress restyle visit Sophie’s wedding dress

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