07 November 2011

It All Started With A Recycled Wedding Dress

When my oldest daughter Tara tied the knot, I decided to make the ring bearer pillow for her wedding celebration. For all you moms out there who think your daughter's will want to wear your old wedding dress, lets just say, I've yet to see it happen. They grow up and embrace their own trends and styles.  In other words, they get their own sense of taste and their own opinion on clothing (and everything else imaginable).  I hate when that happens, in my experience, around age two when they become enamored with the word NO and are not afraid to use it.

What better way to recycle something that is just taking up space, than to make something meaningful and new out of it? My wedding dress had been hanging in the closet gathering dust for years because, I was too busy putting kids through private school to have it hermetically sealed and boxed for $800 bucks.  I breathed new life into it per-say.  So, I used some of the material from my own wedding dress to make the ring bearer pillow for my first daughter Tara's wedding. I wish I could show you a picture of it but, I'm too afraid to ask her if she still has it.  I'm a little over emotional-like right now.

Now that my second oldest daughter Kate, is getting married, I got out my scissors and recycled my dress once again.  I'm not a seamstress, (I may have mentioned that once or twice before) but I can sew a somewhat straight line in a pinch.  I cannot measure worth a darn, so I eyeball the project and hope for the best.  I've got three more kids to marry off and I hope to force them carry on the tradition of making from my own wedding dress, their ring bearer pillows with my own little hands.

My wedding dress was ivory satin with a sheer overlay.  I let Kate choose some of her favorite sea shells to embellish her pillow.  They were a salute to all the happy memories she has had living here, from bright days basking in the sunshine, to competing in many surf competitions all through high school, and to bonfires and parties by moonlight. I'm just guessing about the bonfires and parties by moonlight because I'm pretty sure her father and I didn't sanction very many of those.

Kate and her favorite surfing partner, her baby sister Maggie.

I used the satin material from my dress to cover a pillow which I formed from batting.  I then glue gunned her favorite shells right onto the pillow before I covered it with the sheer overlay and ribbon.  Do you think it is appropriate to use the terms,"glue or gun" when one speaks of weddings?

This is Kate and Justin when they first met at college three years ago.

This is them all in love and mushy-like, just before they got engaged last February.

Last summer I snapped this photo of the love birds and if only someone would get the engagement pictures off their fiance's computer and email them to their mommy, I'd have some really, really, cute official engagement photos to show ya.  You guys are always so patient with me though, so I know you'll hang in and when you're a captive audience again, I'll have all the engagement pictures, various parties and such and the official wedding pictures to share very soon.   Because you know I love you like that.

Of course my pup Saint Kieran, was "helping" by giving me moral support through my entire pillow project.  He made sure that none of the batting got away!

I'm not sure what kind of help this gal was.  Perhaps she was supporting me in spirit.

Oooh, so many pearls to choose from. I sewed the (faux) pearls on by hand during the many hours I have spent sitting on the sofa watching Mr. Cottage By The Sea, pace the floor and say bad words while watching The Charger's lose football games this season. OH FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY CHARGERS - BRING IT ON!  A woman can only take so much pacing.  The man is beating a path in my rug.

We held auditions for the job of ring bearer, and although this guy was a close second...and very hard to resist -

This one succumbed to the tickle monster and won out in the end.

This is what the website, "The Knot" has to say about the duties of the ring bearer.

The ring bearer, traditionally a small boy aged four to eight, walks 

down the aisle just before the flower girl (if there is one), carrying a 

pillow with two rings tied to it. Since it's not the greatest idea to 

entrust gold rings to a rambunctious 6-year-old, the rings are usually 


Are you the trusting sort? Well, if you trust the little tyke with your

jewelry, at least have someone hand him the pillow replete with real

rings just before he begins trekking down the aisle. If he gets hold of

them too far in advance, it's more likely he'll lose them.

Nicholas are you reading this?  Nicholas can you read?

All I can say is, Nicholas fits the description above.  He's a small boy, age five, and he is definitely rambunctious.  In answer to that question in the second paragraph about being the trusting sort, lets just say I think we're gonna go with the fake rings on the pillow.  Not that we don't trust him,  look at that face, it's just that he is rambunctious and ... well... Nick will be accompanied down the aisle by one of his older brothers Dayne, who is eight.  Accompanying them will be their little sister Emma who will be our flower girl. Big brothers Ty and Cael will be altar servers and baby Abigail will be the topping on the cake as always, with all her adorable cuteness.  Nicholas calls her "Honey Heart" and it sure does fit, don't ya think?

 It's Honey Hearts momma for whom I made that first pillow so many years ago.  It must have been good luck because Abigail Rose is their 6th child.  I like to think it's all because of the prayers I prayed for their marriage whilst making that first ring bearer pillow from my wedding dress.  I'm hoping it will be the same for my daughter Kate and her new husband Justin. If you want lots of wee grand babies this cute just let me know and I'll see what I can do for ya. 

For a DIY project that started out on a wing and a prayer, I think it turned out real purty.  A tad bit of hand embroidery to further personalize with their names and wedding date, and a pillow is born!

  Kate and Justin

Much more to come...


mimiomimi said...

I love your pillow and your cool tradition! 5 days and counting! We can hardly wait.

kerrie of sea cottage said...

So very special. I bet you shed some loving tears while sewing this treasure too. I don't know if my girls will use my dress, but I could never ever cut it up! Oh my..it is just too pretty. I don't mind if one of my girls want to alter it to their taste...like I think it would look more in style now if it was strapless. My gown is modern so it could easily be altered to look like it was currently purchased ....my girls have both said that they might want to use it. But I would completely understand if they don't. Your daughter Kate is going to be a gorgeous bride! Can't wait to see all the photos. Congratulations...happy happy wedding day. ox

Julie Harward said...

I think your little pillow is perfect! What a special thing to have made it from your wedding dress too! I have a friend who sews and she made a baby's christening dress from her wedding gown. PS that little guy and the sweet baby...so cute! :D

unique weddings said...

Wow! You have a brilliant mind to come up with this beautiful treasure.

Sharon said...

What a lovely story and that Nicholas, I get your meaning....so cute butter wouldn't melt in his mouth! Lovely photos of your soon to be married daughter and son-in-law. I've yet to get there with my two daughters..

Connie ❀ said...

Oh, you must be so busy as it's this weekend. Great idea for the pillow and ring. Never thought of using a fake ring temporarily.
Please keep us posted. Good luck with your plans !

bichonpawz said...

What a beautiful pillow! It is just perfect and will mean so much more to your daughter! It is interesting the date she picked out...my daughter will be getting married on 11.12.13.

Will be thinking of you as I'm sure it will get a little crazy and a little emotional for you over the next several days! Can't wait to see pics and hear all about it!! Blessings to you Tia!!

shani z said...

LOVE the pillow!
LOVE the Bride to be and
her ultra creative mama.
LOVE nick and can;t wait to see his performance on saturday!

Karen said...

That is BEAUTIFUL!!!.. what a nice thing to have as a family heirloom!.. Have a wonderful wedding day!!...

Amy said...

What a lovely sentiment! So thoughtful! Everyone should be blessed to have such a caring momma!

Have a wonderful wedding weekend:)

misssrobin said...

It's beautiful. What a great idea.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend. I hope everything goes beautifully!

Thanks for visiting on my SITS day. It was a really fun day for me.

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Love this idea. I keep wondering why I'm keeping my wedding dress all boxed up as I'm sure my daughter won't want to wear it either. But something like this is just perfect!

Toyin O. said...

What a beauitiful story, the pillow is gorgeous. Congrats to the lovely couple.

Nigel Fletcher said...

Love your site and what you are doing

NauticalCottageBlog.com said...

Your finished ring bearer pillow is fabulous and I just love the idea of using your wedding dress as a little keepsake for each of your children's weddings.

I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving.


Alexandra Rose said...

When my daughter was christened my mum unearthed my christening gown and made a few adjustments, and it meant so much that my daughter was able to wear the same gown my brother and I had worn when we were babies.

So I think the idea of this cushion is just wonderful. I'm sure it means a great deal to your children and you've done a fantastic job. It's really pretty and elegant. It must have been hard making that first cut into your wedding dress. But all for a good cause :-)


Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Tia! I'm all goose bumpy, getting excited for you and all the fam for the big day! I know you will have included old traditions and looks like started new ones for the nuptuals. I just know you will have a perfectly PERFECT wedding. Enjoy!

danneromero said...

hi tia... thanks for sharing....
i am passing on THE LOVELY BLOG AWARD to you.. all you need to do is stop by my blog to pick it up....

Caren with a "C" said...

Great job! Congratulations to your family! I cringe at the thought of cutting up my dress. Maybe that will change down the road.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Oh, that's such a lovely idea :)

Tricia Rose said...

Your pillow is beautiful: you must now officially stop saying you can't sew. You DO sew.
Could you put some grandchildren prayers in for me please? Probably prudent to ask for a couple more marriages first.

Lisa said...

That is a great idea. Seeing that my wedding dress is straight out of the 80's, I know that my three daughters will not be wearing it. I also have heard of recycling wedding dresses into christening gowns for grandchildren.

Love your blog!