Christmas in August–a new tree skirt from my old wedding dress!

7 Aug

Today I woke up and just knew I was going to do some cool things.  So I ate a handful of twizzlers and a handful of sweet tarts for breakfast.  OK.  Not good.  But delicious.  I ran a couple of errands, came home and took out my wedding dress.


Since we got married 4 years ago and “trashed the dress,”  I have been talking about cutting this bad boy up to make a tree skirt.  I’m assuming I saw it somewhere, but I can’t for the life of me remember where I first got the idea.  There were a few sites I’ve found over the years with pictures/companies that will do it for you, but I couldn’t find any really good directions.  So I’ve hemmed and hawed and dragged my feet, nervous that I would ruin the dress.



Can’t ruin it much more than we did on the train tracks–there’s still grease on the underneath of the train, which makes me smile every time i see it and remember how much fun we had this day!




















But then I realized this morning–it’s sitting in a closet.  For 4 years.  That is insane.  Who cares if I mess up the tree skirt?? There is enough fabric there to make (or attempt to make) plenty of other things.  And even if I mess the WHOLE dress up, WHO CARES??? I am NEVER wearing it again.  I may not even have daughters (I actually really spend a lot of time hoping we have boys–the thought of raising a girl terrifies me).  And even if I do, they will most definitely NOT want to wear my dress–they’ll want to get their own.  And I’m totally cool with that.  [Side Note: I think I’m going to keep a small square of my gown, just in case someone someday would want to wear it pinned to the underside of their gown as a “something borrowed” or “something old” someday.]


Anyway, I laid the dress out on the kitchen table, trying to figure out the best plan of attack–pull seams, cut pieces to make a skirt like the one i have…Then I put it on, just for shiggles.  I had forgotten how heavy it is–all those beads and the layers upon layers of fabric.  It’s a little big in some places, but I realized I could just chop the bottom of the skirt and the train off, making a short party dress, then I’d have more manageable chunk of fabric to work with. 


Around this time, Eric came home from work.  I’m glad he was there to document the process for me.  On the off chance someone somewhere out there wants to make a tree skirt out of their wedding gown, I know how few directions are out there, so here’s what I did.

First, I chopped the bottom of the dress off.  I thought I’d be more nervous cutting it up, but I made the first cut, literally said, “no turning back now,” and kept cutting all the way around til the dress was in 2 pieces–top and bottom.  Then I cut the crinoline and extra layers down, too, to get them out of the way.  I ended up with 4 big chunks. 


Ta-da! In pieces!

So then I had the train/bottom of the dress.  I ended up making an executive decision to cut the train piece off, so I found a section where the swirls and flowers and beads had a very small break, and cut it out.  I goofed a little and didn’t make a very good oval, which ended up working out fine in the long run, but had me perturbed for a good chunk of time…


using an old tree skirt to try to figure out the best “plan of attack.” I stared at the dress for a LONG time before deciding anything, and actually had a few minutes of panic when I thought I’d completely messed it all up!

I realized I could just pin into a circle, so that’s what I did.  Pinned, then sewed around the bottom of the dress, close to the edge.  It was easy going except there were a few spots where I had to go over some beading.  I should’ve just taken the beads off–but I can’t do things the easy way.  So I sewed over carefully.  Then I had a big circle. 

I cut into the circle about halfway–I had to be a bit off-center so I didn’t hit any of the embroidery/beading.  I hemmed those seams shut.  Then I took the buttons from my bustle, using them to make the closure for the  tree skirt.  I just made mine the same as on the cheap skirt I’ve been using for years now–bows looped around the buttons.



I had to see it with the tree.  So I got out our new, easy-to-assemble tree and checked it out.  I love it!  I’m so glad I did this, and I hope the skirt will last our whole lives AND maybe even be an heirloom to pass down some day.  We’ll see.  I have no idea how well it will hold up.  But I like the idea.  There is still train track grease on the part I used, which also makes me smile.  That dress did some things before it got cut up for this!








I wish my camera captured this image better…because it’s really pretty at night, all lit up with white lights!


In other craftiness today–I made a new “What’s for dinner?” board. I have to plan our meals for each week so we can grocery shop, otherwise we spend boatloads of money and buy complete crap on a daily basis. So here she is. The new, improved menu board! the tags all have different meals we like that are healthy and fit with our “no wheat” new diet. And I have extras to add new stuff that I find that we like the rest of this month, as I experiment a bit!


Picasso approved.

Speaking of experimenting, tonight we tried a new recipe–chicken fajita salad–a mix between chicken salad and fajitas.  It was good, although the recipe (linked here) calls for a LOT of onion–I only used 1, and that was a bit much for my taste, and I REALLY love onion.  This seems like something that would be great on a wrap, and I’d intended to experiment making wraps out of flaxseed, but we got home from our trail run at almost 9, so I just wanted to make dinner fast.  Next time, we try a wheat-free wrap of some sort, too.  Not bad, though, for a quick, last-minute, post-run dinner.  Hooray for a very productive day! Tomorrow, I hem up that sexy dress!



3 Responses to “Christmas in August–a new tree skirt from my old wedding dress!”

  1. 1year2boston August 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Love the meal board idea! I might have to steal that….

    • shmeruns August 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      It’s super easy, and I’ve found it to be VERY effective for keeping us on track meal-wise AND grocery shopping-wise. I make my list based on our meal plan, then I can breeze through Wegmans. And there’s never any “what am I going to make tonight?” anymore in this house–I just check the board, pull out the ingredients, and get to work!

  2. Jen August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I especially love the first two sentences of this post. And it’s really cool how you made a new party dress and a tree skirt from your wedding dress. I never understood the point of buying a dress you wear once and then put in a closet forever.

    P.S. Have you seen the commercial, I forget what it’s for, but it stars Shaq and he says “I’m Shaq. I wake up cool.” You should be all “I’m Sheila, I wake up cool.”

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