Wedding Dress Upcycle Project

At the end of August, the boyfriend and I got engaged. As soon as the ring was on my finger I had a dozen plans envisioned. We’re planning a wedding on a very small budget, so I will be crafting several do-it-yourself (DIY) projects over the next several months. My first big project is the dress.

Casablanca Dress

I found this dress on eBay for $130. It’s a sample gown from Casablanca Bridal. You can see it modeled here. I love this dress! It’s silky ivory taffeta with pearls, beads, crystals, and a fabulously long train. The only real defect was that the zipper head was missing.

To make the dress more personal, I decided to add some colored tulle to the underskirt and exchange the zipper for a corset back. I’ve seen tons of articles about dying crinolines to match the wedding colors, but I didn’t want to mess with dye. Instead, inspired by this post, I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and loaded up on navy netting and medieval blue tulle. I ripped the seam that connected the underskirt to the dress lining and sewed on a few layers of the blue tulle. This is the petticoat removed from the dress. Plain white. Blah.


I ripped out the zipper so that I could add in a corset-style back. Here is the back as it looked originally. The zipper was quite boring.

Wedding Dress Back

Here is the back just after removing the zipper.

Zipper Removed for Corset Back

I’m following the instructions found here to add a corset back. The modesty panel will be in a matching ivory silky taffeta. I plan to see what it looks like with blue or silver lacing, but may likely end up with matching ivory lacing. I sort of like the idea of a secret splash of color just in the underskirt, but we’ll see.

After adding eight yards of blue netting and tulle, I sewed the petticoat back into the dress. I wasn’t quite satisfied with the amount of blue though, so I got some more tulle and will be adding it in soon. Here’s what it looks like so far.

Tulle Underskirt

This is such a fun project! It makes me wish I had a professional dress form and more time for sewing. I’d love to make all my own clothes!


One thought on “Wedding Dress Upcycle Project

  1. Thanks for adding the link to my post on my blog. I really appreciate you giving me the “credit”. I hope your dress turns out just the way you want. It is beautiful so far! (Linda from Sewfordough)

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