After your wedding day is over, there seem to be few uses for the most important dress you've ever worn. However, if you have no illusions about preserving the dress for posterity, there are several uses for the gown that will keep it from collecting dust in an attic. Some of these ideas will also work for heirloom gowns, if your family has a dress that you want to transform into something new.
Give the gown a second life by converting it into a baptismal gown for your children. You can either have a professional seamstress do this for you or convert it yourself using a pattern. This method allows you to retain some of the best portions of the dress while freeing yourself from the dreaded wedding gown preservation box. Additionally, because christening gowns are, for the most part, genderless garments, you can use the gown for all your children and even grandchildren.
If you are working with an heirloom gown that is torn or stained, one option is to only use small portions of the gown. Some options include wedding day purses and charming cushion covers. Or, if most of the gown is intact, you can convert the fabric into baby bedding. A third option is to cut the gown into squares and make a wedding day quilt. To offset the pieces of your gown, you can add fabric used in the creation of your bridesmaids' dresses for a lovely effect.
Alter the Gown
Depending on your gown's style, you can remove a tier or have it shortened to a cocktail-length dress. Additionally, if the color is still too reminiscent of a wedding gown, take the dress to a dyeing service and give it a new hue. Do not attempt to do the alterations yourself unless you are experienced, however. Because the gown is your treasured piece, it is important to invest in it so that you are actually able to wear it again.
Christmas Tree Skirt
Converting an old gown into a Christmas tree skirt allows you to put the dress on display at one of the high entertaining periods of the year. Not only will you be able to show off the gown's expansive skirt and delicate embellishment, but you will also allow visitors to appreciate the gown in a new light. The best way to convert the gown is to remove the bodice from the skirt and drape the skirt around the tree's trunk.
Andrea Hamilton has enjoyed being a writer since 1996. She has been published as a poet in "Fine Lines Magazine." Hamilton holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Iowa State University and is pursuing a Master of Arts in creative writing from London South Bank University.