Rewondered: Before and After – Prom Dress To Wedding Dress

The Rewondered: Before and After series will feature some of my favorite transformations in rewondering.  I’ll show you what I started with, tell you what I did to rewonder the item, then show you the finished piece.  We’re starting with my wedding dress.

I picked up this silver prom dress at Goodwill for $5.  It didn’t look very exciting on the hanger, and I figured I’d use it for the fabric or something.

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Front

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Front

BEFORE - Silver Prom Dress on Hanger - Back

BEFORE – Silver Prom Dress on Hanger – Back

It’s not easy to see in the pic, but I like the gathering on the back around the zipper.  I decided to try the dress on and was amazed at how well it fit me, and I began to envision what I could do to it to turn it into my dream dress.  I had originally planned to do separate pieces: a corset top, layered skirts, a shrug to cover my shoulders, etc.  I (badly) drew my idea in a notebook while I was in Florida last March:

Wedding Dress Design Idea

Wedding Dress Design Idea

So with a little tweaking of my design I got to work on a lot of tweaking of the dress.  First, I fixed the halter strap, which was missing a hook and eye to keep it together at the back of my neck.  Next, I sewed elastic under the front seams of the skirt, causing it to gather.  It didn’t end up as short as I wanted, so I tacked the edges of the hem up at the waist underneath, forming more of a bubble skirt.  I decided to leave the back as is, but the front needed something, so I took eye pins from my jewelry supply stash and made hooks that I hand sewed to the bodice along the front seams, then threaded a dark grey ribbon through them, corset style.  I found this adorable white tulle with silver stars on it and made “sleeves” instead of the originally planned shrug.  I ended up with this:

AFTER - Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

AFTER – Finished Wedding Dress on Hanger

Add the multi-color tutu petticoat I made earlier underneath, and this is what it looks like on me (without my hair done or any makeup on… I’m a great model, huh?)

AFTER - Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

AFTER – Me Wearing My Wedding Dress

I still need to do a few more tweaks to it.  A couple of the hooks came off (as you can tell in the picture if you look closely) so I need to fix those and rethread the ribbon, and work on the sleeves a bit.  I’m thinking about removing some of the tulle or making a new petticoat that is a little less full.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Also, for any of you superstitious folks that are going to freak out about Lorne seeing my dress before the wedding if he reads this blog (which he does), it’s far too late, as he’s the one who took the pictures.  We don’t believe in any of those superstitions, and we already feel like we’re married, we’re just making it all legal and sharing the day with our friends and family.  Besides, if he took a picture of me doing “I’m a Little Teapot” while wearing this dress, and I post it on the internet, it must be love, right? 🙂

I'm A Little Teapot

I’m A Little Teapot

Monday Musings: Milestones

Last night, I watched the streaming video of Oregon State University’s commencement ceremony, hoping to catch a glimpse of my Dad, who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History (will be upgraded to summa cum laude after summer term grades are added in).  As I watched, I worked on my wedding dress, and it struck me how surreal this all was.  Seven years ago, I was living with my Dad and his wife after I got divorced, and neither one of us could have predicted we’d be where we are now.

My Dad turned 17 a couple of weeks before I was born, and graduated from high school a few months later.  He joined the Air Force but left two years later when his own father passed away.  He took a few college courses, but time and money were in short supply and he didn’t really have any idea what he wanted to be when he grew up.

I took a handful of college classes between my junior and senior years of high school, and another handful after graduation, but like my Dad, time and money and any idea of what I wanted to do with my life just weren’t available.  I got married, worked a variety of temporary jobs, tried a couple of those home party sales businesses, and finally tried college again just before I turned 30.  But everything got shook up when I asked for a divorce.  My nine years of marriage had left me with a distaste for the institution and I vowed it would take someone very special to convince me to try it again.

So in 2005, I started my life over.  I eventually ended up in Virginia, working in a call center as a customer service representative.  In 2008, I moved to the Chicago area and started working for a non-profit agency.  In 2009, I decided to give college another try, and began taking classes online through Columbus State Community College, majoring in Business Management – Entrepreneurship, with the idea of starting my own business someday.  That “someday” came sooner than I expected, as I was laid off in June of 2009.  I’ve had some fits and starts and lots of trial and error to get to Rewondered and upcycled fashion design, but I feel I’m on the right track now.  I’ve decided to take another year at CSCC to take some classes that will specifically help me with my business, then transfer to Granite State in Autumn of 2013 for my Bachelor’s degree.  If my plans work out (and we know how well my life goes according to plan!) I should graduate after Summer term of 2014.

Unfortunately, my Dad also got laid off in 2009, but that was the catalyst for him to go back to college.  His wife asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and as he sat down and seriously thought about the question, his love of history, particularly World War I aviation, took the forefront.  He’s worked very hard over the last three years, and that all paid off yesterday as he sat in a crowd of nearly 4000 other students waiting to be handed their degrees.  I caught a glimpse of him when the camera panned the crowd already at their seats during the processional, but he wasn’t facing the camera.  Then the first shot of the crowd when they asked everyone graduating with honors to stand was centered on him.  I yelled out “there he is!” even though I was the only one in the room at the time.  Lorne and I tried to catch him actually being handed his degree but with six different cameras to watch and no idea where he was in line, we weren’t able to.  But I stole this picture off his Facebook this morning:

My Dad, the Grad

My Dad, the Grad

The ceremony was pretty long, and afforded me the perfect opportunity to work on the hand sewing I needed to do for my wedding dress.  I have it mostly done, but there are a few tweaks left before it’s perfect.  I’m still planning to make it the first entry in my Rewondered: Before and After series, so you’ll get to see pictures.  My vision is definitely coming together!

So my Dad is now a college graduate (woohoo!) and I am getting married again in about two months (eek!) and I’m still sitting here in a bit of shock and awe.  We’re growing up so fast!  😛

%d bloggers like this: