A Gift of Wedding Dresses

My cousin Dianne had an old wedding dress that had belonged to the mother of a friend. She didn’t know what to do with it. She didn’t want to cut it up. She doesn’t make clothing. It wasn’t suitable for quilting. She wanted to give it to me. How could I say no? When the package arrived in the mail, Dianne had put a surprise in with the dress. There was a second wedding dress! Not as fancy as the first perhaps, but so unusual. It stole my heart.

The first dress appears to be from the 50’s. It is in good shape despite the years. There is some discoloration, no spots, and no holes or tears. I, too, will have a hard time deciding how to use it. Any suggestions?

??????????The bride must have been tall. Martha is wearing 6″ platform heels and the dress drags quite a bit on the ground. Martha would love to take off the skirt and wear the top with the peplum over pants. She’s not sure she wants to tackle the job, however, because the neckline is too wide and the resizing would be complicated.

??????????It is made of a very crisp organza, probably cotton. The embroidered lace is exquisite.

??????????The back has the traditional row of buttons and loops.

??????????What is an special touch is the deep point on the peplum.

??????????The second dress is much older than the first dress. We think it is from about 1915. Sadly, it is not in good shape. The silk is torn and shredded in several areas and there are a few large stains. Still, there are large areas of usable fabric and most of the lace is fine. I will have to think hard about what I’ll do with this dress.

This bride must have been about Martha’s height. It is a perfect length although too big otherwise.

??????????The skirt is narrow at the hem making it difficult to walk in. The hem is where the largest tears appear.

??????????Putting it on is rather a puzzle. There are several openings with fabric crossing over and under and around in unusual ways all held together with snaps. None of the openings are in the back. They are under the bodice wraps, at the end of the topmost wrap,  and on the opposite side of the skirt.  The two wrap parts form a pointed drape that goes halfway down the back. They are only partially connected to the bodice. They also wrap around the back of the waist and are sewn together there.

??????????Under the point are two snaps that connect the long, narrow train to the bodice.

??????????It is a regal dress. I must find some special project just for it. Thank you, Dianne!

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3 Responses to A Gift of Wedding Dresses

  1. alison cook says:

    WOW! you’ve got some big decisions to make. both dresses are just beautiful. can’t wait to see what you do.

  2. nancyjohill@comcast.net says:

    what a wonderful gift.  What I wouldn’t do to have a gift of the vintage dress that looks like beautiful silk. Please let use know what you do with the dresses. Hugs NJ

  3. I’m sure you’ll be inspired in due course!

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