Can my mom's wedding dress be salvaged?

posted 2 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would definitely remove the sleeves and the peplum at the waist. I would make the waist a straight line not the V shape.

I would also change the neckline to a sweetheart neckline. You might need to add some spaghetti straps for support as it was not designed to be strapless.

Is the dress long enough to add a tulle underskirt to make it fuller? It’s hard to tell as you are lifting it up in the pic.

Post # 3
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Ceremony and Reception: Historic mansion on the water

Oh you could definitely do something with your Mom’s dress.  I am no seamstress but I bet if you found a great one and took some pics of dresses you like to her/him they could do a wonderful job.

You should definitely try to get on the show Something Borrowed, Something Blue.  You seem to be the perfect candidate.

Good luck!


Post # 4
5081 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2050

thesummerangel:  I think it would be beautiful! By “flappy part” do you mean the peplum at the waist? I wasn’t sure if you were talking about that, or maybe the lace neckline. I would fully support removing the peplum, and probably also support removing the lace neckline if that’s not your style. But if that’s the “bateau” that you like, then after alterations and removing the poof sleeves, it should probably look fine. What a touching and meaningful idea, and with the changes you mention, I think it will look perfectly appropriate for a 2016 wedding!

Post # 6
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think something could totally be done with this dress, personally, I would do the following :

– I would chop off the sleeves, and everything above the white line in the picture below [so basically, it would be a sweetheart strapless]

– take off the waist side flare things

– add boning & and additional pearl beadwork to the bodice

– chop off the bottom and replace with a tulle skirt to match the color of the dress [can’t tell if it’s white or ivory]

I think this dress would look great as a ballgown.

None of this would be cheaper than buying a new dress, but if it’s sentimental, that’s all that counts!

Post # 7
349 posts
Helper bee

How great that the dress is in such good shape! I think it would look beautiful altered. I actually like the neckline with the lace. I think what really dates it are the sleeves and the peplum, which would be easy to change.

Post # 8
42157 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

thesummerangel:  If the skirt is too short, you could make a tulle overskirt that just ties around the waist.

Post # 9
2106 posts
Buzzing bee


I might remove the bodice entirely and have a dress maker construct a new skirt. Then also remove the sleeves/peplum. I actually like the scallop illusion neckline its very pretty.


Post # 12
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Please upload a pic when the dress is done! I think this is a lovely idea!

Post # 13
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

I would try and restructure the top into a sweetheart top, but i would keep the lace for sure. Perhaps the sleeves and peplum could be used to create an illusion neckline with the lace? I personally dont hate the skirt, once ironed out I would add some tulle or something to add volume under it, or maybe even split the skirt and add more lace/tulle underneath like a peekaboo design?

Similar to this top

and this bottom

Post # 14
2563 posts
Sugar bee

 If you remove the bodice, the skirt, the peplum and the sleeves…what’s left?

Post # 15
155 posts
Blushing bee

I know everyone is focusing on the peplum and sleeves, but the feature that dates the dress the most is actually the v-waistline. I can’t tell if the skirt is long enough, but if you’d prefer a tea length dress this could be perfect. Without having a closer look at how the sleeves are constructed, it looks quite fixable. There are also other things you could do to lengthen the dress to compensate for the waistline change. Whatever you do, it’s a beautiful dress and the lace appliques are stunning 🙂

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