I was never one of those girls that thought much about what my wedding would be like…the dress, the ceremony. Maybe I just didn’t have enough experience with weddings… maybe by the time Bill & I got married, we had lived separately (he was finishing grad school in FL & I was working in Northern VA) for too long & we were both just ready to get on with our lives together.
We got married in the late 80’s – a time period of poufy sleeves, ruffles, lace – all the bells & whistles. When I couldn’t find something that hadn’t been overly bedazzled, we went to a dressmaker took a pattern of my choosing & added just enough ‘extras’ to satisfy but not go overboard.
Here’s my dress – not in too bad a shape for being 35+ years old.
Headache bands were the popular choice for veils at the time. See where my finger is in the picture below – that point left a dent in my forehead for several days 😉
This is what my dress was stored in…a laundry bag that was made for me by a dear family friend when I graduated from high school. I used that all through college – it made the perfect wedding gown storage!
The Alencon Lace was what I loved most about my wedding dress. A heavy, custom sewn lace – I’m sure this piece was made by machine but originally this type of lace was hand couched with a buttonhole type of stitch. It spoke to my love of needlework.
Fast forward a bit as Bill & I raised 2 boys. Not that I thought anyone would ever wear my dress, I did feel strongly that someday, as Mother of the Groom, I would be able to have some small part in the ceremony with a gift of an item made from the lace of my wedding dress.
When Chris & Taylor became engaged, I knew my time had come!! They came bearing a really large box on one of their visits (no laundry bag for this dress!!)
We unsealed Taylor’s Mom’s wedding dress – the dress was in fact inside…I’ve read about stories where the wrong dress gets into the box (or maybe I watch too much TV). I laid the dress hems side by side. While there were obvious differences in the colors & style, I liked the way the lace edge meshed together…I could make this work.
WARNING: I am cutting into these 2 dresses. 😉 Go no further if that is something you don’t want to see (& please don’t send me emails saying that I killed the wedding dresses. There’s memories in the making here folks!)
I quickly got to work with some cotton sateens & gauzy mesh fabrics in several blends of cream & ivory to help blend the 2 dress shades.
Here’s where you can see my plan start to take shape. Nest the scalloped edges at the center – kind of a metaphor for the two families blending.
I chose a pretty ivory satin ribbon & secured it to the center.
Here I’m constructing the back of the pillow – including a special pocket.
Pretty typical pillow construction at this point.
Trim, turn, stuff, slip stitch closed…
With a nice little pocket so the MOB & MOG can slip a little note inside for the happy couple.
So there you have it, simple but full of memories & good wishes. I’m not calling this a ring bearer’s pillow since they are not having a ring bearer, but it could certainly be used as one. For me, it shows our families being joined together & tied with a ribbon of love (cue music & grab the kleenex).
As I was constructing the pillow, I was reminded of another celebration piece that I designed years ago for JCS magazine. I grabbed it out of the ‘vault’ & made it available for sale here on the website as a PDF. It has charting for several special Anniversaries (20, 25, 30, 40, 50 & 60). I love the simple but sophisticated color palette. Stitch one today for your favorite couple (an aida version is included as well).
Thanks for taking a picture walk with me – I am looking forward to my walk down the aisle very soon, on the arm of my handsome son!
Enjoy the stitch,
Cindy k says
We had my daughter’s dress cut up and made into a first holy COMMUNION dress. It us better to REPURPOSE than let it waste away. You created a treasured item. Have a joyous weekend!
Cathy. I think it is WONDERFUL that you took the plunge and cut up what will never be worn again to make a priceless gift for your Son and Daughter in Love in their SPECIAL day. CONGRATULATIONS to them.
Today my niece is getting married. My sister in law made her daughter, jenna, a dressing kimono from her wedding dress and her mother’s (Jenna’s grandmother) wedding dress. What a keepsake!!!
Jackie Burroughs says
How special and wonderful!!!
what a clever idea! Just beautiful and such a lovely memento of their special day.
Oh my goodness! My eyes are watering! What a special use of wedding dresses that are otherwise just sitting in storage!
What a beautiful idea to have the two moms write notes to insert. A number if years ago i used lace edged handkerchiefs that belonged the two grandmothers of my niece to make the ring bearer’s pillow. And it was quite beautiful.
Diane Haun says
What a lovely Memory for the new couple! I love it! If you are thinking of other ways to use those 2 wedding dresses, there is an orgaNIZATION, called angel gown program that will turn old wedding dresses into gowns for nicu babies that died. just an idea if you have leftovers!
So lovely and heart-warming! I did reach for a Kleenex. 🙂
Best wishes to the groom and bride.
Sue Gress says
This is amazing! I wi I would have done that for my sons. I am going to make 3 for my Grandchild for someday.
Susan Gustafson says
Just beaut! There a gr in my area that TAKES wedding Dresses and MAKES them into gowns for stillborn babies.
Jonnie L Staggs says
Oh Cathy, I applaud you for doing what is/was on your heart. My daughter gave me her dress to do with as I please. Her children asked for a christmas tree skirt, a stocking, a teddy bear and 2 ornaments. If there is anything LEFTOVER, I will make a pillow for my daughter
I did use some of her netting to embellish a quilt I am working on.
Susan Wasiuta says
This brought tears to my eyes! I love everything about this and know this will always be a treasured Keepsake.
Missy reynolds says
What a wonderful, extra special gift! I wish i had done something like this for my son and DIL. I removed some of the Alecon lace from my gown to add to my daughter’s veil at least.
Would you consider designing a 10th and 15th anniversary celebration? Both my kids married late. Not sure if ill make it to their 20th. Id love to make them such a beautiful keepsake.
Kris Jellum says
I am in love with this idea! You are so clever. I wish i had thought of this for the grandsons who are already married. But i have 15 more grandchildren so there are still opportunities 😉 I wore my mother’s wedding dress from the 1940’s and has some beautiful old lace and satin.
Christine greene says
Lovely gift for your son and BRIDE-to-be!
Ok, ya made me cry 😿. What a WONDERFUL way to honor andnjoin 2 families. Save the rest of the dress for a baptismal gown,someday.
Linda Bleil says
What a beautiful story and how clever you are to make such a lovely momento of their special day. No wonder you are a great designer, your mind can see the details that go together to make a special finish every time.
Lorraine Crance says
I will be saying a prayer for all the Wedding party and Families. Such a beautiful addition to her Wedding dress. She is so lucky to have you! Can you imagine naking babies halloween costumes? 🥰 i am so excited for all of you. Blessings and Joy. Lorraine
Hanna Mansfield says
Congratulations to the happy couple and of course all the families involved. Health and Happiness <3