Op shop Wedding Dress

For Breakfast at Tiffany’s I challenged myself to make a “Wedding dress” out of only what I could get at the local op shops. I had seen dresses made of doilies and found them to be mostly horrendous so I had set myself a difficult task.

I used a mix of tablecloths, doilies, White business shirts, lace trim from tissue box covers, bed linen and lace from the sewing supply section. These came from Op shops from Pambula to Bega and every town in between.

Scrap Hexagon dress

Scraps of fabric take up a lot of space and I have never been sentimental enough to waste any of mine on a basket of scraps. I have however cut hexagons out of most of them and kept them for quilting.

For Breakfast at Tiffany’s this past year the theme was inspired by using recycled materials and I was inspired to see if could make them into a dress.

Hexagons like this always need to be sewn together by hand. Very time consuming but has the advantage of being portable so I can work on the couch.

I pieced the hexies together over my dress form set to the measurements of the model for the bodice. She came over for a fitting to refine the shape around the neck and arms. The skirt was one large rectangle draped into pleats at the front and joined at an angle at the back allowing the skirt to flare out more and create a little train.

Before and after wedding dress

A recent lovely project has been to take apart and re-imagine a 70’s wedding dress for a modern bride. It was her mothers dress which has great sentimental ¬†value in the family, a lovely addition to a wedding day.

The skirt was removed and kept almost complete except for a revision at the hem where I trimmed around the lace and stiffened the edge. I also added an underscore of bridal tulle.

The bodice and over jacket was taken apart and turned into a sweetheart neckline with sheer tulle straps that closed at the upper back leaving the lower back open. Motifs from the lace were trimmed out and hand applied to the tulle straps.

Bridal hairpiece

This bride was incredibly lucky, the sales assistant where she purchased her dress gave her some scraps of lace when she collected her dress. As she came to me to make her dress smaller and not larger the lace wasn’t needed for on the dress.

Along with the leftover lace and a scrap of chiffon trimmed from her hem I made this lovely hairpiece.

Below images show chiffon petals being sewn into a rose and wired lace wrapped in white florists tape waiting to be combined.

The addition of 4 little comb for flower girls came later when I realised there would be more lace than needed. These also included some blossoms made from the mesh between the lace and some vintage pearl stamens.