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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Wedding dress train construction: underlining, lining, petticoat, etc... ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Wedding dress train construction: underlining, lining, petticoat, etc...
Coluber42
Coluber42
Member since 4/5/09
Posts: 9
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Date: 4/5/09 2:14 PM

I'm making my sister's wedding dress, and making my own pattern for a design that she and I are working on together, and I'm looking for some resources on train and hem construction. I don't usually make dresses, since I don't wear them; I can think of lots of ways to handle this, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.

The outer fabric (I hate the term "fashion fabric" for some reason) will be dupioni silk or something similar, with some sort of underlining like organza, and a slightly heavier lining, and will have some tucks or pleats or some similar business in the skirt, TBD.
Here are some possibilities I have come up with. I would love some input and advice.

1. Lining stops at the floor. Outer fabric and underlining make the train, plain hem with horsehair braid and catch stitch. My concern with this one is that a catch stitch hem that drags on the floor seems to be asking for trouble.
2. Same as 1, but with a little bit of a ruffle sewn in with the hem to help keep it a little bit off the floor
3. Lining stops at floor, but underlining and outer fabric hemmed with a sturdier hem, perhaps by turning the raw edges of outer fabric and underlining to the inside and topstitching through both very close to the edge. This makes a very crisp hem edge, but is difficult to control when you get to parts that are closer to a bias.
4. Lining goes the full extent of the train, and is tacked to the top fabric in a few of places to keep them together. Lining has a sturdier, machine-stitched hem. This way will make it more difficult to bustle for the reception, I think.
4. Lining stops at floor, but the train is reinforced with netting or another layer of organza or something. This could be a facing that goes all the way 'round the bottom of the dress, catch-stitched to the underlining somewhere higher up than the floor. It might also replace the horsehair braid. This one seems like a good idea provided good treatment of the top edge of the facing.

Any other possibilities? Are there standard or typical ways of doing this? Can you refer me to any photos of the underside of gown trains?
Thanks!

MarthaA24
MarthaA24  Friend of PR
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In reply to Coluber42


Date: 4/7/09 6:50 PM

It sounds like you are on the right track, though I don't think there is any one right way.
Your concerns are some of the very ones I have been thinking about. There is a thread not too long ago talking about a detachable dust ruffle that I thought was a good idea. It could be detached for bustling. My main concern was just how dirty the train of a white wedding dress would get, but the hem catching is another valid concern. I have made my DD muslin for her wedding dress and I am now at the point to getting started on the "real" thing.
Never having made a wedding dress before, I can't give you any expert advice as to what works best.

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Martha

Cisa
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Cisa
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Indiana USA
Member since 1/27/09
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Date: 4/7/09 7:30 PM

I'm starting my wedding dress very soon and I was wondering about the very same thing. I am planning on trying the detachable dust ruffle mentioned in the thread that MarthaA24 mentioned

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Anne Frances
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Date: 4/11/09 12:22 PM

I have made two wedding dresses with trains ( if not very long). Both had a lining that fell from the waist and stopped at the floor. In one case the main fabric was not interlined and the hem was turned to the outside (!) and then covered with a 2" wide heavily beaded trim ( which cost as much as the rest of the dress put together!!). This meant that the skirt and train fell nicely because of the weight of the trim and the inside was very neat which mattered as it showed slightly when the train was lifted by a wrist loop for dancing afterwards (the design didn't lend itself to bustling). The other was underlined with silk organza (the main fabric was a heavy silk marocaine crepe) and the hem was turned to the inside, its edge neatened with a narrow stretch lace and this was handsewn to the underlining. It wasn't stiffened with horsehair or interfacing, but since the style was a fairly drapey one this wasn't necessary. Again this looked reasonably neat, but the train was a little fuller and wider than the first one, and even though I had done carefully hong-kong finished seams they did show when the train was lifted. I thought afterwards that if I were to do it again I would cut all the back and side back pieces in a heavier lining than silk organza and bag the whole train so no seam allowances showed on either side. I hope this is clear and gives you some more ideas to think about - good luck
Anne Frances

EHW
EHW
Member since 4/8/09
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Date: 4/19/09 6:53 PM

What is the best way to bustle the train of an empire waistline, 6 gored, slightly flared wedding dress made of silk satin?
EHW

Maripat
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Date: 4/20/09 6:55 AM

I just discovered a website by a seamstress in Cincinnati. I think she belongs to PR. The site is leanna.com and this link will take you to her bustle DVD page. I don't have the DVD, but her pictures look great and this might be a start.
I'm also starting a bridal gown. My DD is getting married in Sept.
I think I'm taking Susan Kahljie's class here.

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"You are in charge of your own ride!"

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