Wedding to Wearable (#3 Trash to Treasure)

Wedding to Wearable

Welcome to installment #3 of:trash to treasure banner

Today I am taking a 70’s (I think) bridal gown and reinventing it into a new              2015 evening gown.

Now, some of you may sigh and think, “Oh, to destroy someone’s wedding dress, how terrible.”

But, honestly, what can one do with a long, white gown that screams “Bridal”?              Face it, you will never wear it again-that’s why I could pick it up at a thrift store for $14.99.      Score one for me!

Here is my find~

origional frontorigional backKate Middleton

I think it is slightly reminiscent of the gown Kate Middleton wore to marry her prince.   OK, just Slightly. :o)

Initially I think I will try to turn it into a Regency gown ~ the time of                              The Dressmaker’s Duke. If I did I could keep it white and would not have the headache and possible failure of trying to dye the thing. But, I bought another wedding dress at the same time I bought this one and I think the other will be a better fit for the Regency gown project (coming soon). So I begin to look at this dress as something I can actually wear someday.

I decide to remove the sleeves (I will turn them into long evening gloves in another project.) And I  take the shoulder seam out altogether, ripping it right up to the neckline.

spliting seams  removing zipper  removing buttonsNext I remove all the buttons from the back and take out the zipper from the neckline to the waist embellishment. I decide I want the back to mimic the front with a slight “V” opening.

HOWEVER, it is still WHITE. Still very BRIDAL.

So, in for a penny, in for a pound, I decide to dye the dress. Fingers (and toes) crossed!

I am not sure what this dress is made of–something man-made for sure. I take a snippet of fabric from the selvage in a seam and see if it will take dye. It does, though when I rinse it becomes appreciably lighter.

In preparation for dying, I wash the dress, And I hack off some of the train. I think about cutting out the under slip, but decide to leave it.                                                                           (FYI, The less fabric you have to dye, the better)

Using heavy duty trash bags, two bottles of teal and one of royal dye, a bottle of white vinegar, and very hot water, I prepare my dye bath in my bath tub.

dyes   dye bath

Moment of truth! In goes the gown. I make sure it is saturated and then tie the bag up. I agitate the bag every so often so that nothing settles too long. I fill the tub around the bag with hot water and let it “cook” for several hours.

Real moment of truth…  I pull the dress out of the bag. It looks pretty darn even!

Blue   I hang it on the shower head and let it drip into the trash bag. Then I notice something BAD. Sweat stains under the arm pits.

stain   Ugh! OK, (I take a breath) and remind myself this is what makes these projects challenging. My mind begins to whirr with possible solutions.

I rinse the dress in cold water several times and let it dry.

Now the dreaded sweat stain. I could take fabric from the shoulder seam and “patch” the area, but this is too labor intensive and might be too bulky. I decide to split the side seam right down to the waist embellishment so that the armhole comes straight from the neck to the embellishment right under the bust. Much simpler since now there is no curve to deal with, and actually I think it looks better. This is a great example of a BAD thing that turns into a GOOD thing. (I LOVE when this happens.)

Then I hand stitch the new armholes and the “V” back.


I play around with some sort of embellishment at the hem line, (silver flower petals) but I really don’t think the dress needs it. There are no stains or flaws to cover up. (I have done this on the dress below. It looked as if a cat had gotten hold of it. Lots of pin-hole tears in the organza skirt. I simply sewed tiny silk flowers over every tear. cat dress Once again, A BAD thing made GOOD!

The $ Tally:

Dress:     (less 25%) $14.99 ……………… $11.75 with tax

Dye:         3 bottles@ $3.99 ……………….$12.00

Total         …………………………………………..$23.75

So, here is my finished dress! What do you think?

front  side view  back

close up

Thanks for stopping by!

BTW, The Dressmaker’s Duke will be Five months old on February 26th! And starting on the 20th it will be on SALE for .99 cents!! But only for two weeks so please take advantage and pick one up or gift one to a friend!

Also, I have 93 reviews! Thanks to everyone who reviewed. I would love to get 100 by the end of this month. So PLEASE, if you haven’t written a review, would you take a moment to do so? If you need help with posting, please give me a shout!

Next month’s Trash to Treasure is March 10th!





About jessrussellromance

Award winning romance writer.
This entry was posted in Jess Russell, Regency author, romance and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wedding to Wearable (#3 Trash to Treasure)

  1. Jackie P says:

    The new dress looks red carpet ready! Love it!


  2. chuichoy says:

    Success! I actually like the before a lot too such a steal for 15$ but your version is definitely more wearable and modern 🙂


  3. Anne Sansevero says:

    Jess, Unbelievable! We need to get you on a morning show or the afternoon Meredith Viera. Who has contacts???
    Anne S.


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