I love a good thrift store challenge, and this wedding dress is certainly a challenge! It was purchased for just $20, and while the material is lovely, along with the lace embellishments and delicate beadwork, the overall shape and style of the dress is decidedly outdated. And not in a cool, vintage way.
While some might overlook this dress, especially since not many people go to the thrift store with the goal of purchasing a wedding dress, one brave DIY designer took the challenge head-on! Let’s see what she did to transform this old wedding dress into a gorgeous, modern dress any bride would be lucky to wear!
As with any sewing project, the most important part is to plan ahead. This is especially true if you’re working on a piece like this where you’re hoping to reuse the same material.
Once the designer had a general idea of what she wanted, she deconstructed the entire dress. This seems scary at first, but never fear! As long as you keep track of your pieces and have a labeling or tagging system in place, everything will be fine. The next step is to measure, mark, and pin everything in place, starting with the bodice.
The designer decided to go keep the empire waist, but she changed the skirt to a pleated a-line with a slit going up one side. If you’ve ever worked with pleats, then you know it takes a lot of material to achieve this look. Good thing the original dress came with a detachable train. Once the skirt was pieced together, she had to play around with the pleats to get the desired effect. And let’s not forget about that slit!
Finally, the designer got rid of the sleeves in favor of a more modern criss-cross strap option. She also fixed up some of the beadwork that was on the lace embellishment and sewed that back into the bodice. Take a look at the finished product below! Isn’t this amazing?!