(Closed) Wearing my grandmother's 1950s dress… How should I alter it?

posted 6 years ago in Dress
Post # 17
Member
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s wonderful that you’ll wear your grandmothers dress!

Personally I would try to alter the bodice so that it’s straight, like this. I would also consider cutting the sleeves shorter (for balance, it’s so very dressed right now), raising the waistline and make it straight. If you want to keep the length, could you alter the skirt so that is slightly less voluminous – but with multiple lace layers? I think something like this could look great! Perhaps even something with a train?

Post # 18
Member
4047 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Wow. That is just so lovely. Stunning! I don’t have any suggestions, but I had to say you are so lucky to have such a beautiful dress from your grandmother. Excellent choice.

ETA: Don’t touch those sleeves! Keep them long, and keep that neckline. It really adds to the charm of the dress.

Post # 19
Member
2437 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@erinandbear:  add a belt and straighten the waist. I actually love the ruffles.  I would not want to change too much of the dress, bc it is quite perfect as is.  If you do away with the ruffles I would suggest just having straight tulle underneath :).

Post # 20
Member
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I love the idea PPs have suggested of making it tea-length! Removing some of the layers underneath might also de-emphasize the basque waist by decreasing the volume arouthe where the skirt meets the bodice. What a beautiful dress!

Post # 21
Member
4998 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It looks so lovely on you!! I think you could leave it as is, but you mentioned not liking the bottom of the skirt. This may be a totally bad idea, but could you have that top layer of lace on the skirt removed and a new longer piece of fabric put on so it covers the other layers of fabric that stick out at the bottom? It would look a little more Kate Middleton style. I would probably have some of that fabric removed too so it’s not so puffy. Then maybe use the lace for a veil or something so it’s not a waste? 

 

Post # 22
Member
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

What a gorgeous dress! How special for you and your grandmother. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing! Have it altered minimally so that it fits you like a glove (it almost does already!), and rock it!

Post # 23
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Love the top and sleeves. Agree with the suggestions about the waist. While I agree it would be adorable tea length, my personal preference would be to find a way to keep it long. I’m not big on tulle, but I actually kind of like the bottom of it. A good seamstress can find a way to incorporate the lace overlay into the skirt in a way you like – either doing away with the tulle completely or using both.

Whatever you do, I would try not to make any dramatic changes. The dress looks great on you, and you don’t want to lose what makes it “that” dress, if that makes sense… I’m being sappy sorry. Haha.

Post # 24
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would shorten it to make it stop where the lace ends and possibly lower the top part of the bodice so it’s more like this, sloping toward the armpits, not ending in a point at the arms.

Post # 25
Member
1680 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@erinandbear:  Oh. My. Gosh. I love it!! You are so lucky to have such a gorgeous heirloom to wear 🙂 The only thing I would do is make the sleeves 3/4 length and maybe add some sequins on the bodice (if you’re into that sort of thing)

Post # 26
Member
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Wow, you lucky girl!!  I would alter the waistline to straight across and possibly remove some of the crinoline underneath the skirt.  I love the layers so I would leave those as is.

Post # 27
Member
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I think making the neckline straight like @eocenia:  suggested would look great.

Mainly I am following this to see how it all goes, I think it will look stunning in the end and I love that you are using her dress!

Post # 28
Hostess
7556 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I love it! Can a seamstress even change the waistline? Have you talked to one? 

Post # 29
Member
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

The lace seems a bit busy so, I’d take the sleeves off at the shoulder where the seam naturally lies so that you still have a lace illusion neckline but it modernizes it.

 

 

I’d also lower the solid fabric around the sweetheart bodice so that it doesnt extend so high up and come to a point near your armpits.

 

 

No sure how the back looks but this would be beautiful.

 

 

 

For the skirt, I’d have some of the pleating removed and the waistline changed to  a straight, natural waist. I’d then add a solid layer of straight tulle or organza to the skirt (under the lace) to cover the exposed tiered tulle silimar to below.

 

 

Post # 30
Member
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Wow! That looks fantastic on you! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Post # 31
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Personally I wouldn’t do much to change it. If you change it too much, you lose the vintage charm it has. I think it is one of the better looking vintage gowns I have seen, and I think it suits you quite nicely. If you really don’t like the waistline, maybe you could add a belt or sash to change the focus there?

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