Kerri came to me unsure about the whole re-design process and outcome.  All she knew was that she didn’t want a regular traditional gown.  But after our first meeting she was sold!  To redo her mother’s gown, I took it apart completely.  I tried to use every part that I could and ended up using the original outer fabric and lining as new lining layers.

Kerri said this about her experience with KED and about her very special custom gown…

“I learned of Kira Elizabeth Designs from a friend of a friend, and am so ever grateful that I found her!  I loved the idea of using my mother’s dress for my wedding, and being able to share that heritage and connection with her.  There were many things about my mom’s dress that I loved; however, the dress in its early 1970’s entirety wasn’t exactly what I envisioned for me and my wedding.  I showed her some pictures of dress styles that I was drawn to, and she talked to me about what I liked and didn’t like about my mother’s dress.  And then, as if she could see inside my mind, she quickly drew a sketch of what would become my wedding dress.  She used all the elements I so cherished from my mom’s dress, and integrated my own personal tastes and styles, transforming the dress into something that not only honored my heritage and my bond with my mother, but also encompassed my future.  I had a timepiece dress that I was so proud to wear on my wedding day!”

Kerri did not want a long veil and the original was also very full and the tulle used wasn’t the best quality by today’s standards, so I made a new veil and put the lace trim from the original on that.

veil detail

Because the sleeves on the original dress were so unique and actually looked pretty neat we decided to make a jacket out of them.  We kept the sleeves as is and I sewed a jacket bodice out of the same organza as the skirt of the dress.


The bodice was the most tricky.  The design on the lace was amazing and was something I have never seen before (both today and in other vintage pieces I have seen) so it was very important for me to keep it the focal point of the dress.  Because the original bodice was a completely different shape than the new, I had to take apart all the pieces of lace and form the new bodice pieces from whatever chunks and scraps I could.  It was like putting together a very difficult puzzle.  It was completely worth it though and I was amazed that I was able to make it work that way with the pieces I had to work with.


It was such a pleasure to work with Kerri…and her mom, who got to come to a few fittings.  We all got teary eyed during the final fitting.  My favorite part of doing these heirloom redesign’s is when the mother get’s to see the finished product.  It is unlike any other wedding gown process and I always feel honored to have a part in it.

photo 3

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  1. Kathy Aho in Minnesota

    October 9, 2013 - Reply

    Kira, this is an amazing and beautiful job and BRAVO for the transformation. What a special heirloom dress this is. Lovely, lovely work.

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