hem on wedding dress

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Can someone tell me how much extra to cut (for hemming) on a satin wedding
dress, and what would be the best stitch to use please?

Would the lining be cut the same length or shorter?

Thank you

Re: hem on wedding dress

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Is this for the Simplicity New Look 6468 you have written
about recently?  If so, as I recall, you are making it
"longer".  That pattern probably calls for a "narrow turned
up twice and machine stitched hem".  I would not do that for
a wedding dress.  Since it has a flared hemline, I'd suggest
no more than 1"-1.5" hem allowance, and let the dress hang
for a couple of days before someone helps you mark the hem.
Then cut the hem allowance to the same depth all around,
ease in the fullness, clean finish, and hem by hand, using a
blind stitch.

The lining should be at least a half inch shorter, and it
can probably be machine sewn, although a well done hand
stitch would be nicer.

All of this depends a little on what the fabric is, too.  If
the fashion fabric is chiffon, I would do a hand rolled
narrow hem.


Re: hem on wedding dress
Thanks for the reply Beverly, you have a good memory.

Yes it is that pattern, and the lining is sort of taffeta, but more
lightweight that the old fashioned thicker one.

Yes you are right, if I was making a day dress I would just hem it normally.
I would like to do this dress hand stitched hem. I don't mind doing that.

I will look up how to blind stitch. Thanks for the suggestion. Also I have
decided to try and make spaghetti straps (as I would hate the dress to drop
down to her waist:-) ) and found some transparent snaps, so she can decide
if she will attach them or not.

She is now in another State and makes it hard for the fitting. I will take
the dress to her a few days before the wedding, and hope and pray it all
fits :-)

Thanks again

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Re: hem on wedding dress
jones wrote:

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There are several very good instruction in my library of
sewing books:

Roberta C. Carr "Couture the Art of Fine Sewing" p. 64

"The Vogue Sewing Book" c.1975 pages 337-339

Susan Khalje "Bridal Couture" pages 82-83

Susan E. Andriks "Bridal Gowns - How to Make the Wedding
Dress of Your Dreams" pages 133-135

Adele P. Margolis "Fashion Sewing for Everyone" p. 60-62

Claire B. Shaeffer "Couture Sewing Techniques" pages 61-72

Reader's Digest "Complete Guide to Sewing" c.1995 p. 304 and
for the lining p. 309

If you have room or budget for only one sewing book, I
highly recommend the Reader's Digest "Complete Guide...".

Good illustrations and instructions on the bottom of this


Re: hem on wedding dress
jones wrote:
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Aaaaccckkk!  Just read that again.  If you are making a
strapless dress, surely you have boned the bodice?  If
properly boned, the bodice would not droop.

Transparent snaps will *not* be strong enough to keep straps
in place, you should be prepared to hand sew them in place
if the bride decides they are necessary.  Worst possible
outcome would be if the bride reaches to hug someone and the
snaps pop....

Also, that pattern does not appear to show yardage for a
lining, so I assume you are adding one.  Are you making it
separate, so that it hangs free at the hem, or are you
sewing the lining pieces all-in-one with the fashion fabric?


Re: hem on wedding dress
Now I remember what blind stitch is - thanks.

I didn't even feel confident in the first place making this dress, but my
son told her I can sew, and she has no one else, and they are struggling
financially (but I know they are sensible with money) - and well I find
saying No and meaning it quite hard :-(

Lining - yes I will line it. Have the lining material already. That was my
next question. Do I line it all in one, or attach it in strategic places
only?  Which would be the easiest to do.

The Burda pattern (where I took the bolero from), isn't very clear in the
instructions for lining either.

At least I am weeding out pattern companies that aren't that good with their

When my wedding dress was made (by my auntie), it was almost neck to ankle
:-) and puff long sleeves.  I wish my DIL picked something with a bodice
that won't have a chance to fall off :-)

ok I will forget the idea of straps and transp snaps :-)

Thanks again for all your help Beverly. Very much appreciated. I usually
only just sew for myself.


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Re: hem on wedding dress
jones wrote:
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I would also find it hard to say no to a future DIL.  You
will do fine, and she'll love the dress.  I bet she tells
everyone at the wedding, "My mother-in-law made my gown!"

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For that dress, I would create a separate lining, then join
the fashion fabric and lining at the top before you sew on
the band.  Leave the lining open for the zipper, and hand
tack it after the zipper is sew in.  And in that case, the
lining will be free of the fashion fabric at the hem, so
each will be hemmed separately, with the lining about 1/2"
shorter than the outer fabric.  You might want to make loose
French tacks at each seam of the hem between the lining and
the fashion fabric, so that the lining stays in place.
Scroll about half way down this page for a description of
loose French bar tacks:
Lesson 222.

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If she really wants strapless, and you don't feel confident
in boning the bodice, another option would be to sew the
dress to the (hopefully well fitted) foundation she is going
to wear.  A few well placed stitches at the front, securing
the dress to her strapless bra, would probably work fine,
have her try both on, and use tiny safety pins to secure the
anchor spots until you stitch it.  Those stitches should be
at the seam allowances, either in the lining only, or in the
double fabric of the band seam allowance.  This could be
done well before the wedding, provided that she can still
get hooked into the bra, or just do it while it's on her the
day of the wedding.  You'll do well to make up a
"Day-of-the-Wedding Sewing Repair Kit", with some needles,
tiny silver safety pins, buttons, spot remover, etc., and
she'll love you for it.

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You are very welcome, Good Luck!  This is a wonderful
opportunity to cement a loving relationship with your future
DIL, I admire you for taking it on.


Re: hem on wedding dress

You are such a motivator. Thank you for the added boost of confidence.

Will keep you informed, and thanks a million for all the tips.

Looks like I will be by HER side on the day of the wedding, and not my

She is a sweet young thing, only 5ft tall with corkscrew curls and a
beautiful smile. Inside she is nice too :-)


"BEI Design" <
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Re: hem on wedding dress
jones wrote:
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I'm sure she thinks you're very nice, too, for stepping in
and doing this for her.  Sounds like you each found a lovely
new in-law.  ;-)


Re: hem on wedding dress - url
Thanks Bev,

That url is soooo interesting.


 You might want to make loose
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Re: hem on wedding dress - url
jones wrote:
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You're welcome, Kath.


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