Seamstress stitches past and present in Duluth bride's heirloom wedding dress

For Megan Alanen, owner of The Stitchery in Superior, Wis., the delicate gown of satin and lace has become a passion project.

“I want to respect the dress,” she said.

This is the busiest time of the year for the seamstress. She tailored dresses for 18 June weddings and has 22 brides getting married in July, 16 in August and 21 in September. Yet she’s poured hours into restyling the handmade gown.

“I just think it’s really special,” Alanen said. “I wish I had my grandma’s dress to wear.”

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The Stitchery owner and seamstress Megan Alanen works on pinning the collar to the top of an antique wedding dress at her shop Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Superior. (Jed Carlson/

Three generations of Laura Bechard’s family have said yes to this dress. It has carried the wedding day hopes of three brides since it was first worn in 1956; Bechard will be the fourth.

“I thought it would be a neat concept if it worked

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