A bridal petticoat is critical to making certain wedding gowns stand out as they are designed to do, so brides often pay hundreds of dollars for this essential undergarment. But if you are a relatively experienced seamstress, you can make a bridal petticoat for yourself or for your favourite bride. In addition, you can add special details such as ribbons, pearls or other embellishments, for a special bridal look. In an afternoon of sewing, you can take a bridal gown from flat to fabulous. And you can create an heirloom that can be passed down through generations of happy women on their wedding day.
Determine how long the petticoat should be. It should be at least 1 inch shorter than the inner skirt or slip of your bridal gown. Add 2 inches to the total length to allow for seam allowances.
Draw lines to cut out two 4-yard-long, 16-inch wide strips of fabric. These will form the bottom tier of your petticoat. If you are using crinoline, be sure to apply seam sealant on the pencil lines before cutting out the fabric.
Then draw the lines to cut out one 4-yard strip of fabric. Cut this strip in half so you have two 2-yard strips of fabric. These will form the middle tier.
Finally, draw and cut out one 2-yard-long,16-inch-wide strip in half so you have two 1-yard strips. These will form the top tier.
Sew together the two 4-yard strips using French seams to make an 8-foot long bottom tier. Finish the seams by covering with the ribbon and sewing. Sew two rows of basting stitches at the top of the tier so that you can gather the fabric later.
Repeat Step 3 for the two 2-yard strips of fabric to create a 4-foot long second tier, and the two 1-yard strips for the final top tier.
Make a notch in each tier at the centre point, and line the tiers up together to attach them. Gather the bottom tier and attach to the bottom of the second tier. Attach with pins and sew with a half-inch seam allowance. Sew ribbon to cover the seam. Repeat this step on the second tier.
Cut a seam at the middle point of the top tier that is long enough to accommodate stepping into the petticoat and pulling it up to your waist. Hem the seams with ribbon to finish. Cut the twill tape the same length as your waist measurements, and gather the material at the top of the tier to the tape. Sew.
Cut a piece of the ribbon 3 inches longer than the twill (or waist) measurements, and fold it over the unfinished twill seam and sew. The extra ribbon will be used for the hook and eye closures, so once you have sewn it over the twill seam, continue to sew the extra ribbon section to finish it.
Sew the three eyes of the hook and eye closures spaced evenly on the extra ribbon flap at the top of the petticoat. Sew the hook on the inside of the edge of the open seam on the back of the top tier, so that you can close the petticoat at your waist at the desired tightness.
Tulle is itchy, while crinoline is softer to sit on. If using tulle, you can skip the seam sealant. Snip any remaining threads for a clean finish. Embellish with hand-sewn pearls, bows or embroidery for a special bridal touch.
Make sure the twill seam is not wider than 3/8-inch; that way the 7/8-inch wide ribbon will perfectly cover it.
Tips and warnings
- Tulle is itchy, while crinoline is softer to sit on.
- If using tulle, you can skip the seam sealant.
- Snip any remaining threads for a clean finish.
- Embellish with hand-sewn pearls, bows or embroidery for a special bridal touch.
- Make sure the twill seam is not wider than 3/8-inch; that way the 7/8-inch wide ribbon will perfectly cover it.
Things you need
- 8 yards of white tulle or crinoline
- 16 yards of 7/8-inch white satin ribbon
- Measuring tape
- Seam sealant
- Sewing pins
- Sewing machine
- White thread
- 1/4-inch twill tape equal to waist measurement
- 1 hook and 3 eyes