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Detachable skirt?

georgegabriellecouture | Posted in General Sewing Info on

A friend of mine wants a detachable skirt for her wedding dress, she’d like the long dress for the ceremony, and she’d like to have cocktail length skirt for her reception.

I kinda have idea about the design, I’d like to make a tier skirt or mermaid style with detachable bottom. Anyone have any experience making this type of skirt? What kind of zipper should I use for this? And where should I put the zipper in, in the lining? If yes, what kind of lining would you recommend? Any pattern available out there for this type of skirt?

Sorry for so many questions :), thanks in advance for the help :).


Ning-georgegabriellecouture (previous gathering’s screen name: craftymomma)


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    Just tossing around ideas....

    What about a scalloped pattern on the straight skirt a couple of inches above the hemline. Small functional covered buttons could be incorporated into the scalloped design. The mermaid skirt could be attached to the buttons. It might look like more finished than a flounce that attached in a straight line.

    Just brain-storming...

  2. BernaWeaves | | #2

    What about a separate train, like they used to do for "court dresses" back in the Victorian era?  I'm visualising something like Audrey Hepburn's dress in Sabrina.   You know the one that looked like a straight dress in the front with big poofy sides and back.  This could be attached at the waist with a belt (lace or ribbon bow).  The front could be the short dress.  Or the whole skirt could be long, and the short dress could be hidden completely underneath, like a slip.  The overskirt could train or be floor length.  With the long skirt sitting on top of the short dress, you don't have to deal with any attachments. 

    Or how about she just changes dresses?


    Edited 4/1/2008 10:05 am ET by BernaWeaves

    Edited 4/1/2008 10:05 am ET by BernaWeaves

  3. suesew | | #3

    I made just such a dress for a client some years ago. Now I would make a longer underskirt on a separate waistband. Much of it could be made of lining fabric as only the bottom would show. Then the "top" dress is completely seperate and you don't need to worry about attaching the two.

  4. dollmarm | | #4

    Sound neat ! 
    I personally like BernaWeaves idea of the dress and the skirt that you take off and it not look like it is a separate skirt  

    There are so many designs you can go with this with making the shorter dress and then having this really beautiful band attached to the waist. 

    While living in India - there was a group that made these really neat wide wrap belts in all these really neat colors ( I think I bought one in every color).  

    I also have one they made using this really nice silky black material with trim and a design embroidered.  It hooked in the back you could see the where it started and stopped with the design.

    The belt fabric is solid and they hand-stitched these gorgeous flowers that would match with other colors in whatever I  was wearing.   

    You could make this band/belt out of the fabric you make the dress and skirt or a matching color of the color in her wedding.  You can it beaded or a simple tiny design with colors of her wedding.  

    This detachable band  hides the fact it is a skirt over a dress.  
    There are so many ideas with this. 
    Oh this sounds like such a fun project I would love to be a part of.
    Oh please do let us all know what you decide and show pictures if you can. 

    Happy sewing and enjoy this wonderful project :~)

  5. Teaf5 | | #5

    I like the other ideas, but you could also make a separate top and two skirts instead. A cocktail length skirt will look funny with a full-on formal wedding gown bodice, but a bustier or cami-style top can work with a short and a long skirt. There are a lot of evening wear patterns featuring separates, and separates tend to be much easier to fit and to wear.

  6. Josefly | | #6

    Check out this Vogue pattern, 2963. I think it could be adapted to make the bottom tier attached to a separate slip-like lining. So much depends on the style of skirt your client wants - straight, full, etc.

    Depending on the fabric, also, I think such an underskirt would have to be secured to the dress somehow besides just using an elastic waist under the outer dress. The weight of the fabric might pull down somehow. This pattern has something interesting going on at the waist which might help disguise an internal underskirt attachment.

    Edited 4/2/2008 9:45 am ET by Josefly

    1. thehat | | #7

      It would really depend on the style and how much fluff she wants the more fluff then the add skirt with a lot of bows so you would never know then at any time she could retreat and untie and walk out and still so very beautiful with her orginal dress and it took no time to take it off

  7. From my Stash.... | | #8

    I fyou can get a copy of Susan Khalje's Bridal Couture, she has a dress that has a full length skirt for the ceremony and then a short fitted cocktail dress for the reception.  The book goes through how to sew this type of gown

    Good luck with the dress. 

  8. georgegabriellecouture | | #9

    Thank you so much ladies for the ideas. I told her all about the choices she has based on your ideas. It looks like she is interested in doing a bustier with two skirts, one short and one long.

    Thank you so much once again, you're all the best group of ladies :)




    1. dollmarm | | #10

      Thanks for sharing this all  w/ us and we would love pictures if you can.  SO please to be apart of us crafty ladies and many great inputs and gain new insights as we read each ones ideas.  Again thanks for sharing,  Enjoy the sewing and all the prepartions of this grand event :~) 

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