First, I have to say, THIS WAS NOT MY IDEA. It's a great idea, wonderful actually... but so, NOT MINE. All props go to Cousin B., who stood up in a wedding last summer, and came up with a great use for her bridesmaid dress after-the-fact! Cousin B is also a reader of this blog, so leave your compliments/questions in the comments for her to see!
Here is the dress: a lovely, tea-length, sea foam shantung with navy ruched cumberbund. I carefully cut into the dress, using nearly all of the skirt, to make 4 rectangles approx. 14"x18" (enough for 2 pillows). I used the navy cumberbund from the just the front, since the back was seamed. I cut it lengthwise into 2 equal strips, to re-gather, and decorate the pillow front. Here's what I had left after cutting. (Sorry, Cousin B, I hope that isn't too painful of a picture to look at. But, it sure was fun tearing into and inspecting the construction!)
I hooped the shantung (along with tear-away stabilizer), and embroidered the happy couple's initial's and wedding date in navy thread. I hemmed the long edges of the navy strips, then gathered and reattached the strips next to the embroidery. I stitched the front and back (plain) together, slid the pillow form inside, and hand-stitched it closed.
This one will be given as an anniversary gift, and the other will decorate Cousin B's couch and be a wonderful keepsake of a memorable day. Great idea, Cousin B, I hope your friends love it!
I have another "important dress" reconstruction to do, but will leave you guessing until I reveal more details soon! I love to keep you guys guessing...