A Recycled Wedding Dress

by | Bridal Fashion, Bride, Eco Friendly Weddings


A few months ago, Jessica emailed me for some wedding advice. Jessica was planning to design and make a wedding dress using only recycled materials for her HSC Design and Technology final year project.

For those not familiar, the HSC is the High School Certificate given at the end of Year 12 – the final year of schooling in Australia. Often as part of a subject, a student will have to complete a “major work” from conception to finished product.

I really wanted to share Jessica’s gowns with Polka Dot Bride readers. She has done such an amazing job with the fabrics she chose and the limited resources she had. I think she certainly stepped up to the challenge!

Jessica’s proposed design project was

  • To design and produce an innovative multifunctional wedding gown made of recycled fabrics mainly curtain material and accessories
  • The dress is to have two distinct looks

Jessica designed a gown which was able to be worn in two different ways. The full length formal gown was designed for the ceremony and the gown underneath it is able to be worn at the reception and other special occasions.

The Formal Wedding Dress

The formal wedding dress uses lace from Vinnies (St Vincent De Paul- an op shop or charity store), the skirt is made from sheer white recycled curtain and can be hooked up at the back using curtain tape and hooks.

Jessica hand pleated the sleeve which was made from a recycled curtains.

The Mini Dress

This dress sits under the formal gown and is designed to be worn at the wedding reception or other special occasions.

Made out of recycled ‘sunblock’ curtain, the gown features a low back, bias panel strips of horizontal pleating, curtain pleating on the bottom hemline and hand pleated recycled curtains for the sleeves.

Personally I think Jessica deserves top marks for her creation- I could easily see it being worn by a glamorous bride who decides she’d love to do a sassy salsa at her reception and party the night away. Congratulations Jessica!

Photos by Leila at Summerton Photography

  • Sarah says:
    October 8, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    The dress(es) are gorgeous – and so is the model (is that you Jessica?!!) Well done 🙂

  • one love photo says:
    October 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Both are just beautiful! This could be on project runway.

  • Flowersbyfarha says:
    October 8, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I’ll say– Top Marks!

    Move over Scarlett O’Hara!

  • Jess says:
    October 8, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Thankyou for posting Ms Polka! 🙂 Its great to see the dress up on this amazing blog!

    Yes that’s me in the photos and thanks for the lovely comments! Its great to hear nice feedback and I’m glad you like it! 😀

  • little house on Green says:
    October 9, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Wow! Those are beautiful! I love that they are made from recycled materials but one would never know. Jessica should be on Project Runway.

  • Pretty Bride says:
    October 9, 2008 at 2:43 am

    i love the back of the short dress… stunning!

  • michelle says:
    October 9, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Holy cow! Jessica is tres talented — I’d love the mini as my 2nd dress!! Beautiful!!

  • Amy-Jo Tatum says:
    October 9, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Judging by the close-ups, the lace is a great find. Love to see projects like this that challenge creativity

  • Candice @ Jubilee Events says:
    October 9, 2008 at 6:03 am

    WOW! She is so talented. I am so impressed. she should consider doing this professionally — she has a real organic eye for fashion and design. Major kudos!

  • Janine says:
    October 9, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Simplicity is a ‘Beautiful’ thing!! Absolutely fabulous.

  • Nonna says:
    October 9, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I have seen the dress in real life – it is fantastic! I hope you’ll go far with your creativity and talent. Good luck with HSC, you deserve top marks for this one.

  • kate says:
    October 10, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Oh my, that is stunning!! I too made my own wedding dress and although it was nowhere near as beautiful as Jessicas, I know how much hard work goes into a creation like this! Wow!

  • Jessica says:
    October 11, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Thankyouuu for all your lovely comments! 🙂 Its nice to hear them!! xx

  • Jessica says:
    October 11, 2008 at 10:18 am

    The lace actually was the most difficult to find. I didn’t want the typical ‘curtain’ lace… so I looked around quite a bit when I found this lace unexpectedly! I love it now and can’t imagine having anything else.

  • Polka Dot Bride’s Favourite Posts of 2008 | Polka Dot Bride says:
    January 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    […] A Recycled Wedding Dress […]

  • Green Weddings – Part 3 – The Dress | My Green Australia says:
    February 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

    […] and check out this BEAUTIFUL hand made dress by Jessica (via polkadotbride.com) that was created out of recycled lace and curtains! This dress is a LOVELY gown that can also then […]

  • Alice says:
    June 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Jess it is AMAZING! You are so clever and resourceful, not to mention model material! You could start up your own bridal boutique 🙂
    Al xx

  • Olivia and Nathan | Polka Dot Bride says:
    September 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    […] to you both! Thank you also to Jessica of Silk Truffle (do you remember Jessica and her fabulous eco-friendly wedding dress design?) who gave me the heads up on the beautiful work of Luisa Brimble of Serendipity Photography who […]

  • surekha says:
    December 21, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    a very interesting design idea with the use of recycled fabrics and that can be used for different occasions
    very creative and innovative one

  • Evening Falls Inspiration Shoot | Polka Dot Bride says:
    May 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm

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