Mary got married in 1979 and looked gorgeous!
Here is Mary's gown in 2013 when I received it, overall it is in pretty great shape, just a few stains on the train and the lace that is on the bodice and skirt front has started to become unglued.
It is a classic wedding dress style for the 70's-- Natural/slightly elevated waist, high neck, long sheer sleeves, gathering at the center back waist. This one is less structured than many of the Edwardian style gowns seen then, perhaps because it is at the end of the decade and moving toward the super fluffy Princess Di era of wedding gowns.
Here is what this dress went though... (deep breath!)
Removed the sleeves, removed the back zipper, removed (and saved) much of the lace, cut down the front and back neckline, removed the fullness from the back at waist maintaining it at the knee, shaped the skirt, established a style line for the bottom of the skirt, separated the skirt at the knee, reshaped the back bodice, added a corset to the back, gathered the bottom of the skirt, added tulle to the bottom of the skirt, reattached the bottom of the skirt, bustled the back skirt, re-positioned the lace, reattached the lace, added crystals to the lace areas. Whew!
It was a BIG project, but Mary is thrilled that it can be worn again!
So here is the recap:
If you are getting married or have an heirloom dress in your possession that you do not know what to do with, consider a restyle! Wedding gowns have so much fabric they can be made into all sorts of gorgeous pieces in addition to just new wedding gowns- Christening gowns, party/cocktail dresses (perhaps for an anniversary?), picture albums! I will post more of these in the coming weeks!
I'm Denise Meyer, apparel designer in State College, PA, saving the world one clothing problem at a time!