I would like to share what I did with a purchased bridal dress for a woman who was 3 feet tall.
Not only is this woman the height of 3 feet she was born with a disability, she only has one arm with only one finger. She came into the store I work for looking for a bridal dress. The consultant that was helping her called me out to the floor to assist with the choice and also to see if I could do the alteration. As it turned out she bought a dress that was one of the largest dresses in the shop. It had elaborate beading on the top and had 2 layers of crinoline underneath and the top layer which was a pickup layer, it had a very long train as well. I looked at the dress and said I could take it down to her size, she was thrilled.
She ordered the dress which was a 26 womans. The first alteration was to decide how much of the bodice I was to keep. I removed the bottom of the dress so I could to make sure the bodice fit around her body properly. I took out quite a bit of the boning so I could fold it up to fit her height. After I established that the bodice was a good fit I cut it and put the cut pieces to make straps to hold sleeves, because she wanted puffy sleeves.
After finishing the bodice I then took part the bottom of the dress and took out all of the pickups. After doing that I decided to take out the back panel that extended for the train. I took that panel and made a detachable train for the dress. I had to redo the pickups for the train.
I cut down the rest of the skirt to show off the bottom, it had beautiful embroidery on it and I did not want to lose it. I had to measure enough to make the pickups. I pinned the pickups and then tried it on her to get the right measurement. This part took a very long time for me to do because I sewed each pick up by hand. I tried the almost finished dress on her for her last fitting and it was perfect. The only thing I had to do was puff the sleeves like the bottom of the dress.
This woman is mostly in a wheel chair but she told me she was going to walk down the aisle of the hall she was getting married in. I was concerned about the long train being attached to the dress because it was on the heavy side. But at the hall I attached the train to the dress and she not only surprised me be getting out of her wheel chair but also surprised her family. As she slid out of her chair I spread the train out. She asked her father to take her hand and proceeded down the aisle. I don't think there was a dry eye in the hall of 230 people that attended and they all clapped for her as she walked down.