upcycled wedding gown, part two


Meet Toes, wearing a gown refashioned from a 1957 donation to the Great Wedding Gown Recycling Project of 2012.  Saucy got a friendly response from a lovely lady who has carried this gown with her to seventeen homes over the past fifty five years of marriage and decided she'd like to see something done with it... now that she and her husband are downsizing.


Saucy apologizes for the iPhone photos... she's not trying to make it look worse, intentionally photographing the makeover subject looking all sad and dejected before the new hair and makeup.  This isn't the Today show.  This was legitimately a tired old dress.  The sleeves were torn and worn out, and the sequins on the bodice had yellowed with age.  Some of the beading turned a funny shade of grey.


The skirt was immaculate, though.  It had a nice, swishy, fifties vibe that Saucy decided to capitalize on.  Generally, the shape of the dress was classic and timeless (she really loved the boatneck neckline with mesh and wanted to work off that, but it was just too crooked to keep).

Enter the complete makeover of the bodice.  It's now a halter top... and a bit of a daring one at that.


It took some bravery to cut that bodice away.  Bravery on the part of Toes, who allowed herself to be a human mannequin as Saucy took the scissors to the dress while it was on her person.


Bravery for Saucy because, it could have gone really wrong for the dress.  It might not have kept its structure.  It might have been too daring... it might have caused a wardrobe malfunction.  Saucy just cannot have that if she's taking photos of Cheerios.


It's a good thing that as a flyer for The Cheerios, Toes has no fear and she's up for anything.  Like having Saucy snip those shears right next to her skin, and then jumping right up to the top of a tree for photos.



No, Toes doesn't have a tattoo.  Saucy drew it with some of Kat Von D's tattoo liner and they called it a day.  It sort of rounded out the entire hippy, bohemian thing going on.


That's one cute bohemian hippie, don't you think?


The butterfly bouquet... the tutorial for it is on the post below.  It's just sweet and fresh and light.  Kind of like Toes.


Oh, and Saucy actually sewed a whole new neckline for this dress, using some of the lace pieces from the discarded sleeves as trim.  From straight-across boat neck to somewhat plunging sweetheart style.


 Down at the riverbank, Toes took a dip in the cool water.









Saucy picked off every one of the old yellowed sequins and grey beads.  It took one pair of magnifying glasses, a pair of tiny scissors, one viewing of The Wedding Singer and half of The Help.  It was so worth it.




The dress?  Still wearable, ultimately.  But there are few girls in this world as petite as Toes or the sweet original owner of the dress who Saucy hopes enjoys the result.  Saucy may re-invent the skirt in yet another form, depending on her mood.  It is a pretty fabulous skirt.

Proving... yet again... that you can look fabulous without spending a fortune on a wedding gown.

Would you say yes to this dress?

17 comments:

Erica said...

Gorgeous once again! And "Toes" is simply lovely!!!

Anonymous said...

I would say YES to this dress!! for sure!

Kerrie said...

It's inspirational... again. I don't know how you do it, plus you make it look easy-peasy! If I were to get married again, I'd seriously look for a vintage gown to "upcycle"!

Mary Cannell said...

This was my old wedding dress and I am so delighted with what has been done with it...absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but it is a little daring for a wedding! This is a beautiful girl, is she in modeling? She should be. What a great job you did, you are so talented on so many levels. thanks, Mary in NY

Saucy said...

More daring than we intended to make it...! The zipper side of the bodice had been ripped and repaired with a cotton panel long ago. The zipper was too long for the dress and was tucked under the underarm. When I removed the sleeves, about four inches of heavy zipper was hanging there. The dress actually fit Toes to a "tee" but it looked unfinished, with exposed zipper and cotton at the side panel... so when we decided to cut it to a halter, it was less daring on one side than another! Oh well, all in the name of a cute photo for fashion. My only sadness was in cutting it to a halter it couldn't be refashioned yet again later. It seems so final. Now I have to figure out a whole new top to use that skirt... and I will, because it's so gorgeous! I wonder if I could dye it...

cathy @ma vie trouvee said...

what a beautiful dress and shoot. And yes "toes" is adorable! I love stopping by to see what creative adventure you are up to! What lucky lucky girls...to dress up and be photographed. Cathy from the bird swap many moons ago!

Terri said...

This is SO beautiful! Oh my goodness. Maybe a "little" daring, but so unique. Simply stunning.

Shelley said...

A little daring for a traditional church wedding but not so for a beach or so many of the non-traditional ceremonies people do nowadays. It would be just right barefoot on the white sands of Jamaica, and I'm looking for one! Too bad I'm about four sizes larger than "Toes" who looks to be a size zero-zero!!

Anonymous said...

Just stunning. So gorgeous for a beach or island wedding.

ChrisD said...

Love it and the way it works with the butterfly bouquet. I think the skirt would look lovely with a really bright top!

The Coveteur said...

Perhaps the next step for the skirt is to dye it and cut it short... wear with a tee a la Carrie Bradshaw.

Raffaella said...

Love what you did with the old dress - it's great! Lovely set of images with it too.

Cassandra said...

What in the world is going on in Canada?? These girls are just gorgeous! I think you're putting something in the water up there!

Anonymous said...

I would say yes to this dress for sure, it is stunning... and so is "Toes" she looks like the daughter from Modern Family :)

Andrea C said...

I'm getting married in September in a hippie chic backyard wedding. Is this dress for sale??

Saucy said...

Andrea,

If you want it, I can sell it to you for a very minimal cost. I would just like to cover shipping/postage and maybe make back some money for the ribbon belt so I can do another project with another one of the girls. I think the original owner would be thrilled it it were worn again. Shoot me an email at

sasha dot libby at shaw dot ca


If that makes sense to you and I can list it on Etsy and get it out to you.