How to Turn Your Wedding Gown Into Something Else

by Nikki Van De Walle

Remove your gown from the closet and turn it into an heirloom.

wedding gown dress white hanging shoe image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com

Items you will need

  • Wedding dress
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pattern
  • Fabric markers
  • Pins

Your wedding is now over and you have your wedding dress taking up space. If it is too sentimental to sell and you feel that a daughter, niece or cousin would not want to wear it in her wedding, so you want to turn your dress into something more useful. Before taking scissors to your gown, ensure this is what you really want before you commit. You can make a new outfit, a child's christening gown or handbag, or use pieces to make a cover for your wedding album, a bed canopy, linens or a quilt.

Step 1

Decide what you would like to do with your wedding gown. If you plan on doing larger items such as bed linens or a quilt, you will need most of your gown's fabric. A quilt will also require additional fabrics and padding or filling. If you plan on doing a small item like a child's christening gown, you may have enough fabric to also do a cover for your wedding album.

Step 2

Disassemble your gown. Remove the dress seams using your seam ripper, which allows you to carefully remove the seams without causing excess damage to the gown's fabric. Move slowly through the fabric and work in an area with a lot of room and a clean surface. You can also use the seam ripper to remove any bead-work on the gown that you do not want on your new item.

Step 3

Measure the amount of workable fabric you have. This fabric should be free of previous stitching holes, marks or tears. Taking the measurements allows you to know exactly how much you have to work with and if it will be enough to complete your desired project. After you have the numbers, you can find a pattern that works with what you have or you can change your mind about what to make.

Step 4

Choose your pattern or patterns. The pattern you choose should tell you all of the materials you will need as well as dimensions and the lengths of fabric required. Measure the fabric for the various parts of the pattern and mark the outline of the cuts you need to make. Drawing the pattern will confirm that you have enough fabric for your project if you are leery.

Step 5

Cut the pattern from the fabric and begin sewing. If you do not feel comfortable with the construction process, you could take the fabric and pattern to your seamstress and pay to have the items created. If you are having a christening gown created, you will need to have the child's measurements and possibly have the seamstress do a fitting before finishing the project.

Tips

  • If you have a small gown to begin with, know your limitations, as you most likely will not be able to create a quilt or canopy. Lace gowns can create elegant tablecloths or placemats with minimal sewing skills required. Have your gown professionally cleaned before you begin disassembling it. This will remove any dust, dirt or smells in the fabric.

Warnings

  • Fabric markers can stain some fabrics, so be careful when drawing on the gown. You may wish to apply the marks to the underside of the gown.

Photo Credits

  • wedding gown dress white hanging shoe image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Nikki Van De Walle began writing in 2005. She has written articles for Humber College's "Daily Planet" and Guelph-Humber's "Radix." She graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber in 2010 with honors, receiving her Honors Bachelor of Applied Arts in media studies as well as her Diploma in Journalism.