In movies, books and TV shows, whenever a bride to be starts looking for a dress and it turns out her mother, grandmother or aunt has been waiting for just such occasion, when the woman puts the dress on it fits as if all the women in her family were of the same built and height for generations. In real life, it usually turns out that as lovely as the vintage wedding dresses is, it's too small, too big or too short.
Crushed by the realization that you can't wear the same dress other women in your family have worn on their big days, you might immediately start looking through hundreds of designer wedding dresses in search of one that is as similar to the one that doesn't fit you or to find one that won't even resemble it so you don't feel like wearing a knockoff. However, before you make any snap decisions, you might want to talk to the generations of women in your family, because there is a way to make that vintage dress fit you, and that is through turning it into a new wedding gown.
If your predecessors agree that the dress should serve a new generation in an unprecedented way, you should look for someone handy with sewing machine, whether it's your bridesmaid, your coworker or a professional dressmaker, and make a deal with them to create your wedding dresses. Remember that it will take time, so you don't want to wait with asking or plan on first fitting too close to the big day. The more time you'll have to turn your family's vintage gown into a new dress tat could compete with different designer wedding dresses , the better the chances you'll be happy with the results, so make the arrangements as soon as you get a green light from your family.
Before your sewing guru starts cutting the old dress to turn it into your wedding gown, take a good look at it to figure out the best way to utilize what you have. The dress might have exquisite rouching around the neckline, intricate sleeves or beautifully cut skirt that could all be used in the new dress as whole; there might be big areas of never cut or sewn through fabric that could now serve as the basis of the new design; lace or beaded parts of fabric could be taken and used in the new dress in the same or completely different manner. So before you cut any stitch or the fabric, make sure that is the only and best way to go.
Adding length with a flounce, going up a size with lace inserts or updating the style by turning the dress strapless are all quite simple fixes for someone with sewing experience.