Updated Wedding Dress
This dress was brought to me by some one who purchased it for a pittance. It was a beautiful silk wedding dress with extensive beading over the entire bodice and a 14" beaded lace encircling the hem and cathedral length train. The reason she was able to purchase such a wonderful dress for so little is that it was a relic from the 1980s with a broken zipper, sleeves that could be mistaken for earrings, a lot of shop wear and a giant bow with tulips on the butt. EWW
The results of the make over were wonderful. I started by giving the dress shoulders so that the sleeves could begin on her arms rather than at her neck. Then I added the simplest sleeves at her request. Replaced the zipper, re spaced the buttons down the back to cover the gaps and removed the smashed silk tulips and bow. The next trick was the hem. We took a few inches off the front and about 3 ft off the back saving all of the scraps for the restoration. Putting the lace back on was no small task. To curve a 14" wide boarder around a hem required a good deal of cutting and reassembly of the lace. The last trick was to bustle up a dress that wasn't designed to be bustled and have it look level and natural (images #4 & #6).
As you can see it was very rewarding. I would give a finished wedding dress entirely of lustrous silk with such heavy beading, lace and handwork market value of between $1500 and $2000. The actually price tag was much lower. I would recommend this route for anyone lucky enough to find a dress with real potential. Portions of my wedding dress where also made from a dirty wedding dress from 1980s with a broken zipper.