Allyson’s First Communion Dress


DancingPatternLast 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. ♥


137 responses »

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

    • 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! 🙂

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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  12. 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!

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