Last month I told you about my “biggest refashion ever” . . . making a first communion dress from a wedding gown. It’s done! I would never attempt a tutorial, because every gown is different, but here is a summary of the steps that worked for me:
- I used the bodice from the Butterick 3350 pattern, cutting it from the gown train.
- I also used the Butterick 3350 sleeve, cutting it from the beaded top front of the gown.
- I was able to use the gown’s skirt (taken in at the side seams and shortened, of course) and preserve the back of the gown (including the original zipper!) by stitching it right onto the new bodice.
- I made a sash from the extra buttons going down the gown’s back through the train.
- Finally, I snipped the beads from the remaining remnants and handstitched them around the front neckline.
My only advice is to (1) spend quite awhile thinking, planning, and sketching before you start, (2) baste everything (and let your special little girl try it on!) before sewing anything permanently, and (3) keep every little bit of fabric and embellishment, because you might use it. Thank you for joining in my excitement over this once-in-a-lifetime project! P.S. I couldn’t resist using the “Radiance” effect from PicMonkey on the photo below. ♥
What a beautiful communion gown you have made. So special. My mum cut down her wedding dress to make my baptism gown and made debut dress. I think it is a wonderful idea.
Thank you! And your family dresses sound so special, too . . . I would love to see photos of them! 🙂
You have truly outdone yourself! This is GORGEOUS!!!
Thank you, Heather! 🙂
Wow, that is simply beautiful. How sweet is it that you were able to reinvent such a special, treasured dress? I envy your sewing skills. Thank you so much for sharing this special project.
Thank you for such a lovely comment! Hugs, Katherine
Hope you got a big hug for completing such a challenging project and ending up with a gorgeous dress for a young lady to wear on such a special day. Wonderful memories thanks to you. 🙂
I DID! And she looks so beautiful in it that I got all teary-eyed. Thank you, Judy! 🙂
You did a wonderful job… I love the idea of making something so special from something so special…Just lovely!
Thank you, Marilyn! 🙂 Hugs, Katherine
truly …so pretty…
That is really beautiful.
Thank you, Jessie! 🙂
Such a wonderful, special dress!
Thank you, Kathy! 🙂
Beautiful and very special 🙂
Thank you, Miss Daisy Bell! 🙂
It is gorgeous:)
Thank you, Vicky! 🙂
Wow! The best refashion EVER! Beautiful!
I truly never would have attempted it without being inspired by your amazing refashions, Beth! So thank you for that! 🙂 Hugs, Katherine
You are so sweet to say that. I think the best refashions have meaning like yours does. Have a great Sunday!
I bet that was a scary project but you did a wonderful job!
It was, Jenny . . . it took a long time to make the first move. 🙂 And thank you for the lovely compliment! 🙂
It’s beautiful! You did a great job! I would have been so afraid to attempt it. I’ll bet the little girl looks beautiful in it and I know the Mom is so happy to see her daughter wearing a special dress made from her special dress. I applaud you.
Thank you, Ginny! The special day is later this month so I hope to be able to post some photos of beautiful Allyson in her dress. 🙂
Thank you, Tami! 🙂
What a beautiful dress!!
Thank you, Lisa! 🙂
You did such a fabulous job! The refashioned dress is gorgeous! 🙂
Thank you, Susan! 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous! I’m always amazed at your refashioning projects, but this one is extra-fabulous!
I love how you used the wedding dress embellishments for the sleeves and the back. That is one lucky little girl!
Thank you, Joan! I was so happy that I was able to save so much of the beading, since I do love bling! 🙂
Beautiful dress you made Katherine! you are so talented; you made this dress out of the wedding dress; the mother and daughter must be excited about this! so beautiful!
Thank you, Ingrid! I can’t wait for the big day to see Allyson in her dress and accessories. I hope to get lots of photos! 🙂
You’ve outdone yourself Katherine, she’ll treasure it always.
Thank you, dear Boomdee! Allyson has a little sister, too, so she’s excited to be able to pass it down to her in a couple of years. 🙂
What a beautiful dress Katherine, absolutely gorgeous WELL DONE!!!
That’s so sweet, Izabel . . . thank you! 🙂
you did such a beautiful job!
Thank you!!! 🙂
Wow, that’s beautiful! What a fantastic job you did on this! And I think the idea of making something new out of the wedding dress is wonderful too.
Thank you, Lindy! 🙂
Thanks Katherine for the DIY, because I wouldn’t have the slightest clue whether this dress was bought or made by you with upcycling skills. You Remade it wonderfully. Be Blessed with your talent. Mtetar
You’re so sweet, Mtetar! Thank you for such a lovely comment. Hugs, Katherine
Katherine, you’re most welcome! Be Blessed, Mtetar
What a lovely dress and such a wonderful & poignent idea to make it from the wedding dress!
Thank you, Trixie! And now that this big project is finished I hope to get to the cute kit you sent me! 🙂
Wow! You did a beautiful job! Amazing! Thanks for sharing it with all of us x
Thank you, Natalie! 🙂
beautiful! I think you are rather brave too
Thank you, Joelle! 🙂
The dress is stunning. You are braver than I would ever be to undertake such a delicate project. It turned out so nice.
Thank you, Marlene! 🙂
That dress is gorgeous, you did a fantastic job. Even with your words of encouragement I would never touch a wedding dress out of fear.
That’s okay, Lois . . . you have your own amazing refashions/upcycles! And thank you for the lovely compliment! 🙂
You are welcome it really is beautiful!
It turned out beautifully. I am confident that everyone was in awe.
Thank you! The big event is the 27th! I know it will be a special day for all of Ally’s family. 🙂
Thank you! It was really fun to work on . . . and I’m SO glad it fits!!! 🙂
Wow Katherine! Such a wonderful job! it’s beautiful! 🙂
Thank you, Kenley! 🙂
Oh my gosh this brought tears to my eyes. What a great idea. Your work is exquisite. I bet your little first communioner (I don’t think that’s a word) looked precious. My first communion dress did not compare. I had to wear one of the dealie’s on my head too!
That is just the sweetest thing to say! Ally’s service is on the 27th, and she’s really excited about it all! I’ll try to post some photos! 🙂
This is really lovely,,, very very nice idea,,,
Thank you! 🙂
I so enjoyed looking at it. It is so lovely. I will feel uplifted all day!
How sweet, Sharon! Thank you! 🙂
Incredible! You did an amazing job! I can’t imagine how scary it would’ve been making the first cut into the dress though 🙂
You’re right! 🙂 But once I got to the point of no return, it was fine. 🙂 And thank you for the lovely compliment!
Thank you, Linda! 🙂
Beautiful. And the back is just spectacular! What a great job you did; it is sure to be treasured.
Thank you, Lisa! I love the back, too. And it was REALLY nice to be able to use the existing zipper instead of putting one in on my own! 🙂
This is such a great way to get another use out of a wedding dress…and the project outcome is even more beautiful than I initially imagined! Brava!
Thank you, Lauren! 🙂
This is an amazing refashioning projects. You should get a medal on how to spend some thoughts and not money.
What a sweet thing to say, Orit! But you’re right about the money! The total expense was $15 for the little girl’s dress pattern plus dry cleaning/pressing, so we were all happy about that little perk! 🙂
It turned out great, all the details are just right! 😀 I especially like the way you used the buttons as a sash, so creative!
Thank you, Janneke! I was originally going to make a regular tie sash but I didn’t have quite enough of the train fabric left, so this worked out great! 🙂
It’s beautiful! Absolutely lovely 🙂
Thank you, Claire! 🙂
How pretty!! And what a special gift from her Grandma. You are great, Kathy! xoxoxox
Thank you!!! I was so honored to get to do this for Ally.
It’s beautiful – you did a great job.
Thank you! 🙂
Katherine – It came out soooooo nice! It’s beautiful!
That’s so sweet of you to say! 🙂
Such amazing and beautiful talent you have – this is so unbelievable!
What a sweet compliment! Thank you, dear Antoinette!
It looks amazing! What a special dress 🙂
Thank you, Stefani! 🙂
Thank you, Patricia! 🙂
Great idea! Love a challenging sewing project. Found you when you liked a post on The Joy of Caking. She is a good friend of ours and often shares her blog posts on our site. Nice to meet you! Certainly will be back to check out more of your great ideas. All the best! Denise
Thank you, Denise! And it’s so nice to meet you! 🙂
Gorgeous, well done. Linda x
Thank you, Linda! 🙂
A very ambitious creation Kathryn lovely details …
Mission accomplished Beautifully .
Thank you, Poppy! 🙂
It’s so beautiful, the beading is amazing and I love the self covered buttons too. You are very clever!
Thank you, Jen! All the beads and buttons and bits came from the original dress . . . I just had to put them together in a little different way! 🙂
It turned out beautifully! I love how you kept the feel of the original dress, and yet it’s also completely appropriate as a first communion dress. Well done!
Thank you, Staci! I’ll be delivering it to Allyson this weekend and going back for the special occasion on the 27th. I’ll try to get photos! 🙂
Stunning! What a special dress…made by a very talented lady!
What a sweet thing to say! It was a real honor to be able to make this for Allyson. 🙂
It’s an amazing transformation and such a great idea to turn a wedding dress into a 1st Communion dress. It is really a beautiful keepsake too.
Thank you, Wendy! I’m so glad that Allyson and her mama love it! 🙂
It turned out so well! Well done, that can’t have been easy!
Thank you! I’m delivering it to Allyson this afternoon! 🙂
Hope she liked it!! 😀
Wow! What a beautiful re-fashion! Great job!
Thank you, Jeanna! 🙂
Thank you, Chrissi! 🙂
What a fantastic idea! Especially considering as both wedding and communion dresses are so expensive and usually are only worn once! Back home in Ireland, it’s quite a tradition to make a Christening robe from the wedding dress, I had never heard of making the Communion dress from a wedding dress. You have two beautiful dresses there.
Thank you! Several people have recently told me they have Christening robes from their mothers’ wedding dresses . . . I think that’s such a lovely idea! I can’t wait to see Allyson on her special day tomorrow! 🙂
Have a lovely day!
This is so wonderful. I don’t recall hearing anyone has done this in my circle of friends and family and it’s such a great idea.
Thank you, Lillian! Allyson looked SO beautiful . . . and not just because of the dress . . . she’s simply a lovely, sweet little lady! 🙂
What a lovely way to reuse such a special gown. But it must have been hard to make that first cut!
It WAS Elizabeth! I thought about it for a LONG time! But once I started, it was really fun. And it fit perfectly . . . YAY!!! 🙂
Beautiful, unique and very special gown. Thanks for sharing! Love the special details and your great advice. Not that I sew or will be cutting up any wedding gowns, but still, seems spot on.
Thank you, Dianne! I’m sure I’ll never do this project again myself! But it was an honor to make Allyson’s dress, and she looked beautiful in it. 🙂
Absolutely amazing. I am so impressed!
Thank you!!! She looked stunning . . . but then, Allyson is stunning no matter what! 🙂
This is just so gorgeous, wow!!
Thank you, Claire! Allyson looked positively angelic that day! (Of course, she’s always an angel to me!) 🙂
Beautiful detail on the first communion dress. Its very lovely
Thank you! The dresses in your store are gorgeous, too! 🙂
Beautiful! Really lovely work 🙂
Thank you! Her little sister will be ready for it next year, and she’s a tiny little thing, so I’ll be doing some nipping and tucking I’m sure! 🙂
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I know this is an older post, but it bears one more comment: What a wonderful heartfelt idea. I still have my dress – – it survived my daughters playing dress up in it. If I ever have a grand-baby, I am following your DIY suggestions. What a priceless heirloom!