We have just finished the anniversary celebrations of the young couples in our family. I am reminded by them every year, of the sewing marathon that went on in my home in preparation for those weddings. Oh my, I was so thrilled when my niece, Beth, asked me to make her wedding dress. She wanted a simple dress for a garden wedding. I set about to find antique or vintage lace. While traveling, I happened upon a small shop that was filled with many beautiful things, and hanging in the back were two very old wedding dresses.
I asked the shop owner if I could purchase both dresses and she gave me the group price of $75! I practically jumped over the counter to pay her, took my treasures and left. The lace alone was worth so much more to me because it would make my wedding gown creation very special. Beth could choose the one she wanted and then I would save the other gown.
One dress was a very old French lace gown that was barely intact. I knew the lace could be selectively cut and it would be perfect. But it had to have tender loving care. The other was a couture gown from Bergdorf Goodman with the date 1974 inside.
Beth and I set about to design her dress using the French lace in the godets of the skirt. She preferred the French lace and it was perfect for the look she wanted.
About the time that we were settled into our plan, my son Eric asked his girlfriend, Katie, to be his bride! Now we had two weddings, and the festivities were about to begin. Katie loves vintage fashions and after a lot of subtle hints, I figured out that she wanted the other gown. So we made our plans to remake and revise the Bergdorf gown.
Did I mention that they set their wedding dates 5 days apart? And one bride was in Tennessee and the other in New York? It was actually so much fun. We mailed photos back and forth and settled on ideas for Katie’s dress. Long before the days of texting, this was our only option!
Beth came to Birmingham often for her fittings and, thank goodness, Katie moved to Birmingham several months before the wedding. To add even more fun, my sister Janice (Beth’s mom) was making the bridesmaids dresses for Beth’s wedding. As the weeks progressed and the dresses were all coming together, we pulled in my Mom to do the “finger work” as she called it. I remember the three of us sitting in my sewing room working our hearts out and laughing about this.
The week of the weddings came and Beth was first. When she came into the garden, I thought I would burst into tears. How could this little girl grow up so fast and now be walking through the garden in her princess dress? She was lovely.
When her wedding was over, we all packed up and went to Louisiana for Katie and Eric’s wedding. It was a beautiful day and I was overwhelmed at thinking that my son was grown up and getting married. We all have experienced these emotions. It is a joyful time in the lives of families.
At each wedding, crazy thoughts kept rolling around in my head. Did I hem the dress straight? Are the ribbons long enough? Did I use the right lace trim? Then I thought it’s just as it should be. There is nothing more beautiful than a bride on her wedding day.
Have you or someone you know reworked a vintage wedding dress?