Sunday, June 6, 2010

An Altered State

....for my dress, that is!

I'm actually pretty grateful that we didn't have to do too many alterations to my wedding dress. I've heard so many stories of brides stressing because their dress has to be taken apart and put back together to fit right, but luckily I didn't have to go through that.

But we did have to shorten and bustle it!

And luckily, I have two aunts who are home ec teachers, and a mom who has been sewing her whole life, so my alterations were F-R-E-E!

First my dress had to be shortened by about 6 1/2 inches, even with the 4 1/2 inch heels I'll be wearing (and it still needs another inch or so off after I tried it on again a few nights ago).

Here is my aunt working on the shortening of all 8 layers of my dress:

The dress got to sit in its own chair at the dining room table while being shortened:

Then it was time to work on the bustle.

Except for with my dress, I didn't care for the traditional bustle that is done on A-line dresses, where the train is gathered up to hang off your rear end. My dress already has a lot of gathering at the back near the bottom of the corset, and if I was to add the bustle on top of that, I felt like I looked like
I had a waterfall butt!

Here you can see the gathering already on the back of the dress:

I'd never been able to find a picture of my dress with a real bustle anywhere online, so we had to experiment a bit. And what we came up with was a way to make a "no bustle bustle" (that's totally a technical term, right?).

First my mom crocheted loops from a strong thread. She used an old spool of button and carpet thread that was in my grandmother’s sewing supplies.

Then Mama Cola sewed the loops around the inside of the train on my dress, just above the hem.

And sewed buttons on the underside of the dress. The dress is bustled just by hooking the loops onto the buttons. I believe she did a total of 15 bustle points/buttons.

The end result is a sort of hidden/invisible bustle (aka, no bustle bustle), sort of along the lines of a bubble skirt in the back. I love that I won't have to sit directly on the bustled fabric, and it poofs out much further down the skirt than a traditional bustle. No added waterfall butt here!

And just for fun, here's a picture of the front of my dress, you know, in case you all forgot what it looks like (don't worry, I won't hold it against you!). As you can see, the front needs to be shortened a little still, so my purple shoes will peak out when I walk.
(all photos in this post were taken by the Cola family)

Did anyone else luck out and get free alterations from someone you knew?


  1. You're lucky, my alterations are going to almost double the cost of my dress :(

    Also, I love the color of your gown!

    Way to go Cola-chicas!

    I am amazed on so many levels - the alterations, the gown, the bustle, the YOU LOOK AMAZING!

    You are so going to wow your guests on the big day!

  3. Wow, what a great solution! And bubble hems are so "in" right now too :) I'm hoping I won't really need a bustle, since my gown barely has a train at all. But if I do, I'm going to ask my seamstress to do a "no bustle bustle" as well!

    Great job Mom and Aunt Cola!!!

  4. GORGEOUS!! I love that bustle so much!
    I wish that my alterations had been free. Alas...yeah they weren't.

  5. Thats so good you had someone to do the alterations for you.

    My seamstress sewed ribbons into my seams at different points for my sister to tie up which worked well.

    Very good idea to have so many buttons too in case someone steps on it and 1 comes out etc.