Special occasion transformer dress

With my brother’s wedding approaching I needed a dress. After a lot of deliberating I decided to pull my wedding dress apart to make some changes. Yes, pull apart my wedding dress! Below is a photo from my wedding, the original dress in this story. Blogged about here.

DSC_0053Since getting married I’d decided that the gathers on the skirt are more boofy than suits me. And what do us stitchers do when we think an outfit we made needs some changes? Well, we change it.

Taking the un-picker to my wedding dress felt really wrong at first and I was really nervous. Even though I was the one who sewed it in the first place.

I decided to keep the bodice intact and just change the skirt. I had a lot of fabric left over so made a whole new skirt. Several toiles later I went with 4 pleats front and back, and a modest slope on the side seams as I still wanted it to hang fairly straight at the side seams. I wanted the skirt to have an A-line shape but not be too full as I think this is what suits my shape the best.

The main (shell) fabric is an expensive polyester satin that is fairly heavy with lots of drape. The skirt is interlined with a silk organza. I’ve put hem lace on it and hand stitched it just to the organza interlining so there are no visible stitches at the hem. All of the internal seams have been pinked and then hand basted just to the organza. Then there is a synthetic lining on the skirt as well. The bodice is lined with the same shell fabric and has lots of boning in it.

After, option 1:

blue evening dress 2

But that wasn’t to be the end of it. I also decided that it would be good to have the dress not be strapless so I decided to go with a sheer over-dress. The most suitable fabric I could find was a black organza with embroidered daisies. This part was really easy to make. I used a bodice pattern I have used previously for a different outfit and then the same skirt pattern I made for the first dress. It is all French seams to make it neat and the edges (neck, arm, and hem) are all trimmed with a really narrow satin, bias binding. It secures just with tiny press studs at the left shoulder and left side seam. This means that these seams look exactly like the rest on the dress. A zip would have been obvious with all the other seams being really thin. I originally designed it be the same length as the blue dress but then decided I wanted more blue peaking through.

After, option 2:



These two photos above are taken at the same event. When I first got dressed I was too warm (excited probably) for the overdress but then as it cooled I put the overdress on. I took along different jewelry for just such an option 🙂

Left over from pulling the skirt off the original dress is a black mesh and sequin piece of very expensive fabric which was the overlay on the skirt. My plan is to attach this to a black satin band that I can just pull on over the basic blue dress and secure by tying it up at the back with a big bow. So then the dress will have three options! Basic blue, overlayed skirt, or full overlay. There is also the original blue skirt which I will make a waistband for out of the same fabric and wear just as a skirt. I will be totally sorted for special occasion wear then!

This project took quite awhile but I really don’t mind spending ages on one project, especially for a special occasion dress/s. Though my next projects will be some quick wins before starting a longer project I have in mind…


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7 Responses to Special occasion transformer dress

  1. marjtrundle says:

    Gorgeous Julie, all 3 styles. You will have to wear this dress to Frocktails on the 8th November.

  2. Ines says:

    Wow! That’s so neat how you ended with three completely different versions, they are all really pretty! Very creative of you!

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi Julie – I didn’t know that it was your wedding dress revisited – so great to be able to rework and rewear a special dress – pays not to be traditional white…

  4. Summerflies says:

    This is so clever. I love all the options. Look forward to seeing it at Frocktails.

  5. Wow – what abgreat idea, that is so inspiring! I love the idea of using snaps on the over dress, I’ll bet they look very neat up close too.

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