Monday, April 8, 2013

Sewing My Wedding Dress: the Skirt

 Finally, here is the construction of my skirt! My final inspiration was a mermaid style skirt, which is the look I wanted with the vintage McCalls pattern that I just could get. Finally, I gave up on that waste of time and I pulled out the pieces to Vogue 1183, that I had recently used to make a wool dress. The skirt was about right for the waist and hips: seams, not darts and it fit decently, if I added a bit of room.
So I made a muslin, adding about an inch at the center front and back so that it wasn't as tight as the wool dress (duh I am not a 6!). Then I tapered the pieces in at the knee and flared them out into a fan shape at the bottom. Then I added a godet to the center front. As you can see below, since it was cut on the fold, it lacked the flare of the other points. The godet gave it the same shaping, while also eliminating the need for a center seam. 

BG: before godet

Masterful iphone pic
At that point, I had about 2 weeks until the wedding so it was like "Let's go!"

The skirt is three distinct layers. China silk lining, silk charmeuse underlining with the shiny side in, and then of course my top layer of lace. After some internet snooping, I decided all the layers needed to be distinct to give the best floatyness. 

Here you can see the flare of the final skirt and the center godet. 
Here is a close-up of the joint. I did a really wonky job on the two lower layers, so for the lace I did french seams on one side and then top-stitched down the left side to be sure there would be no puckers or bumps.
I made french seams on the lace skirt, but did not finish the seams on the underskirts because they are hidden. Lol, I never finish seams, why would my wedding dress be any different?
french seams
Somehow I miscalculated on the French seams, though and it ended up being too snug. The lace was tighter than the silk layers beneath. It was really only tight over the widest part of my his, just below where the zipper ends. I would have just left it as is, since time was getting short, but I felt like it was distorting the lace and might tear it. I ended up adding a tiny insert to the center back seam below the zipper, which you can see between the red pins in the picture below. Very hard to see, and no one would even notice.
I was able to use the scallops on the hem, which turned out to be the perfect way to hem the lace. It gave a very nice finish and I am really happy with the final look. The underskirts are both machine hemmed in a shoddy and molly-like way. Aka, no one can see them! ;)
I hemmed it at just the right length where it looked nice with the heels I bought for the ceremony and then still didn't drag on the ground after I switched to flats. Bam, genius!
See, works with flats too!

Nice swish when I walked

Overall, I would say it cost about $300 and I am not even going to guess how long it took if you count all the muslins and fittings. I am super proud of myself and am happy to say "I made my own wedding dress!!!"


  1. You have every reason to be proud! The dress is amazing. Love the scalloped hem. And also love that you didn't finish the seams :)

  2. This is just ridiculously amazing! Love it

  3. Gorgeous, definitely worth all the muslins and fittings it took as the result is perfect

  4. It's a beautiful dress, so well fitted and the fabric is lovely. You did an amazing job

  5. Wow, the dress looks gorgeous. So amazing! You've done a fantastic job.

  6. You should be proud! That skirt turned out gorgeous and I love how swishy it is when you walk. I think it was worth all the effort, time, and muslins!

  7. Really gorgeous!!


  8. I didn't know all the details to the skirt, very interesting! It turned out to be so well fitted and looked beautiful. What can I say I am a very proud mama!

  9. Just found your blog.... and this dress is totally WOW amazing! Well done you!

  10. wow amazing.. i was looking on mermaid style tutorial that drag me to this blog. Love your effort! (How i wish i can repeat my wedding day so that i can sew my own dress..hehe)

  11. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You.
     Bridesmaid Dresses


Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!