Heirloom Sewing

When I was approached by my dear friend and godmother to my middle little, T, to make a First Holy Communion dress for her daughter, B, I was excited and honored. And then, when I realized it would be made from her wedding gown, I was very, very nervous.

B and her family chose the pattern (Vogue 7681), and we made a shopping trip to pick up some basics that I’d need to construct the dress. When I noticed how similar the pattern B chose was to her mother’s wedding gown, a few ideas started percolating.


Here’s T’s dress. Isn’t she lovely?


I’m not much of a muslin-maker (for any who don’t know, a muslin is when you make a pattern from inexpensive fabric that has similar weight and stretch to the final fabric that you’ll use). When it comes to cutting apart someone’s irreplaceable wedding gown, I figured I’d better in this case, in order to check fit.


See, there it is. It fit her just right.

I altered the pattern a little in order to really use the lovely scalloped border on the lace that made up the overlay of T’s bodice.


The final touch was removing the lace border that went around T’s neckline. Did I mention that T’s grandmother made this wedding gown for her by mashing together several patterns to realize T’s vision?


The sequins had yellowed a bit with age, but we decided not to remove them since each one was hand sewn on. Not to boast, but this dress has the best invisible zipper I have ever put into a dress (see photo at the top of this post…although you certainly won’t see a zipper!)


And, finally, the big day came, and here’s B. This little girl is as lovely inside as she is outside, and I am so glad I got to be part of her First Holy Communion.


Thank you for reading!


  1. Felicia Balezentes | 11th Jul 16

    Genie, this is amazing! And to be asked to make her dress at all is such an honor!

    • MadebyGenie | 14th Jul 16

      Thank you so much! I think turning Mom’s wedding dress into a truly meaningful heirloom is quickly becoming my favorite type of sewing. <3

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