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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Mother of the Bride dress!

Not, not for me, both my daughters are married but a friend of a friend asked if I would create a dress for her from an existing dress she loves.  Why not?  I can do this, right?  Insert what was I thinking face here!  I've never done anything like this before, but I thought that I could find a similar pattern and tweak it.  Well, that didn't happen so I made a pattern from her existing dress and then transferred it to the lovely fabric she chose.

I wish I would have taken a lot more pictures but I didn't so you'll just have to read about what I did!

To make the pattern, I found a very light weight fabric with a good deal of body that wouldn't stretch out and that I could see through to drape over the existing dress.  I laid the existing dress on my cutting table and pinned the fabric over the top, drawing notches and such for the collar seams, the button placement, waistline and such on the fabric with a fabric marking pen.  Next, I unpinned the fabric from the dress, added seam allowances to the muslin and cut.  I sewed the dress and had her try it on.  As I was noting alterations, I made marks with the fabric marker all over so I would remember what I needed to do and when I took it off her, I made even more marks!

Next came the scarier part and that was to transfer what I needed to alter to the main fabric.  She chose this lovely black and ivory stripe from Hancock and it draped beautifully so that is what I went with.  I used Fashion Sewing Supply Interfacing in black and the lovely buttons she chose as well to give it a bit of sparkle.

The original dress was very casual with a great deal of topstitching on the button bands, around the armholes, and collar and I didn't want that addition so I left off those details and instead used either hand stitching around the armhole facings to hold everything in place or a blind hem along the button bands and the hem to hold things securely.  One of the things I noticed right away from the original dress was that there weren't any darts to give the bust line shaping so I added those and to give the back a little shape, I added darts as well. She didn't want a fitted dress, so this is more of a semi-fitted one.

Now that I look at the pictures, I should have straightened her collar a bit more, trust me, there isn't that wrinkle there when it is properly sitting on her neck.

All in all, she is very happy with the dress, which makes me very happy too!

So, have you done anything like this before?  Taken an existing garment and made a pattern from it, and then a finished dress or whatever you cloned?  It truly wasn't as hard as I thought it would be!  Now that being said, this was a super simple style.  Something more tailored might have given me a lot more headaches!

I hope to have a few 'professional' pictures soon of her all glammed up and wearing the dress.

Thanks for reading!


  1. You did an excellent job on this project.. The dress is lovely.. I have never done this and DONT want too.lol

    1. Judy, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and thanks for your kind words!