Friday, September 26, 2008


Have you always been the bridesmaid and never the bride. Do you have a collection of wedding clothes that have been worn once and never used again. Don't throw them away. Don't give them away. Recycle them.

My Daughter had this fabulous dusty pink silk bridesmaid dress. It was very high end but that does not make it wearable...just expensive. It hung in her closet for 5 years along came her Little girl. I asked her if she'd mind if I cut it up to make something to go in the granddaughter's pink bedroom. She said, "will I like it?" I said, "I don't know and am not going to tell you what it will be." She relented, with apprehension, complaining how much she paid. I said, "for goodness sake only the closet has worn it for 5 years."

She was due to be gone on a trip for 3 days (that's why I was there, to sit for the kids). After I got the kids to bed I went to the garage to retrieve a 3 legged round table I had seen out there. One of those you can buy at Wal-Mart for 4 dollars. It already had a piece of glass for the top. I made a puddled on the floor table cover for the night table.

The following is how I did it. Measured the skirt of the dress and it was about 4 inches short the measurement of the height of the table. I had bought already some pink check quilted fabric to make pillows for her bed. It became obvious the fabric would never make it into a pillow. I took the round top and traced around it on the wrong side of the fabric. Then I cut it out adding about 3/4 inch all around (this is the seam allowance.) The rest of the fabric I cut into strips 5 inches wide and joined them so I had a strip the length of the circumference of the top of the table. Allowing an extra 2 inches for seams on each end. Next step was to hem each end folding over 1/2 inch and blind stitch down. (You only fold 1/2 inch because you will want to make an open lap seam in the back.) At this point remove the skirt from the bodice. I did not do it carefully. I cut it off the bodice leaving at least a half inch of bodice on the skirt. BTW. The dress had a large bow on the back. I removed it first.

I carefully removed the zipper. Try not to cut the fabric when you remove the zipper. Stitch the seam allowances down so they don't start fraying. (you could put seam tape of the back of them if you wish and then stitch them down.) Fray check might even work. (that is a name brand sealant for raw edges of fabric.)

Now is the time you attach the skirt to the strip that goes around the circumference of the table. My daughters waist is much smaller than the circumference of the table. so I went around the waist cutting vertical cuts in the waist to release some of the gathers. I did it dividing the skirt in equal sections so the gathering would stay even. I ended up taking the strip, gathering the side that would attach to the skirt. Basted the edge with large stitches taking it down just a little (look at the pic and you will see the skirt hangs a little under the edge of the table). It is sucked in. I then attached the right side of the skirt to the right side of the band on the basted edge. I hand basted them together instead of using pins to pin it to the strip. This made it easier to feed all the bulk under the presser foot of the machine. (I didn't have the pins fighting and sticking me.) You join them with the edges of the strip even with the opening of the zipper. Stitch over the basted stitches joining the skirt to the strip. Now fold the seam towards the strip and top stitch 1/4 inch from the seam. When finished top stitching, go to the wrong side and trim off the excess straggly fabric to within a 1/4 inch of the top stitching.Attach the strip/skirt to the round top....I hand baste this first too. You have one boucou amount of fabric and the pins just don't hold it. When attaching don't forget to overlap the edges of the strip. This is your closure to fit the skirt on the table. When finished you can put a snap on the edge where the strip joins the skirt (so it stays closed, nice and fitted.) If your dress came with a bow or you have sleeve fabric to make one. You can put snaps on it and attach it to cover the opening and now the back will become the front. lol And Voila your little princess has a princess table for just your labor.

I have used bridesmaid dresses to make the costumes you see in my photos. The pink dress also has a lined cape. I was able to find two matching satin dresses at a resell it shop (only 5 dollars each and I had over 14 yd of satin.). If you notice the Dora dress has a pink ruffle. That ruffle was left over from the second dress. Batman is also made from wedding satin recycled.Have fun thinking of what you are going to do with your old clothes. BTW I recycled old flannel shirts and flannel PJ's into the greatest quilt.  The following blog is about those quilts.

The wig was made of yarn.

This was the year after the pink dress. She was still in a size 3 dress. The pink princess was a cut down 3 pattern.

This is the painting I painted for her room. I used it as a model to make the dress from.

Batman, The shirt was a jersey from wall mart and the pants were pj bottoms from there. The cape mask and Hood (which you can't see) were from a wedding dress. The cape is fully lined.

This is the princess dress from the two bridesmaid dresses. There is a huge bow on the back at the waist. The skirt is permanently secured so the lace petticoats show. They crinolines were so heavy underneath I had to put straps on them to go over the shoulders to keep the slips from sliding off her. BTW..this is only a size 3 dress.

 New Article on my blog: 
A mystery quilt designed with the novice in mind
First Clue to be presented October 16.
Other blog sites by me:

Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle
New Blog:

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission


Coleen said...

You are one very clever lady!

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Those things are absolutely wonderful.
They give recycling a very classy meaning.
I recycled a friend's wedding dress into a first communion dress for her daughter. She was the most beautiful little girl at the 1st communion out of 40 other little girls!