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Embellishments for a wedding dress

Marissa | Posted in General Discussion on

In an effort not to freak out, I’m looking for a creative solution to cover a fabric flaw.  Three years ago, I bought some beautiful silk mikado fabric to make my wedding dress.  At $45.00 a yard, I should have checked it with a fine tooth comb before purchasing.  But I didn’t and now have two creases that run across the front of the skirt panel of my dress that will not iron/steam/scratch out.  It looks like a pulled thread that has puckered up the skirt.  Because of the sheen of the fabric, it shows up in every photograph.

I don’t think I can find the fabric to replace the front, so now I’m looking for embellishments to cover up the flaw.  I don’t need anything across the whole crease, just something to break up the line so it does not appear so obvious.

I’m not up for embroidering, and the dress has very clean lines so no pearls/rhinestones/heavy lace etc.  So far I have come up with well placed groups of matching silk roses in different sizes, but that seems pretty 1980’s or little velvet cut out simple flowers scattered across the top and skirt, which I have no idea how to do in matching multiples.  The top is strapless with a cuff of lace, and that is it for decoration.  I’ve racked my brain.  What am I missing?  Any helpful suggestions to save my wedding dress?  


  1. alotofstitches | | #1

    Marissa, Hind sight is always 20/20!  We've all made mistakes like that at some time or other and sometimes the "mistake" made for better results in the long run.  How about adding twin needle pin-tucks, several rows to equal a strip about 2 1/2 -3 inches wide?  Pin-tucks are used on silks in heirloom sewing, they add embellishment in a very classic way and would go with your clean lines, I think and best of all they are not costly.  I'd use Schmetz 2.0mm wide, using a fine heirloom cotton thread sew right down that crease, providing it's straight.  If it's not straight, then sew down a straight line and then using the presser foot as a guide nest to the first tuck, sew rows on each side of the first until you get the width pin=tuck panel that is desired.  If the crease isn't straight I think sewing over it will camoflauge it.  Be sure to sew all the tucks in the same direction.  Good luck on this!

  2. mygaley | | #2

    Dear Marissa, My decorating/sewing friends have a saying "when it's fabric, you can always do something", so please be encouraged.  Without knowing the style or width of your skirt, I'll say I once re-styled a child's flowergirl dress with a similar problem by changing the skirt from two panels f&b to 7 panels cb, sb, sf, f, sf, sb, cb.  In this was I able to move the offending part to the side back and nothing showed from the front or in the pictures.  I understand the problem is a "slub" done in the manufacturing process.  If you have a scrap you can work with, try spraying it heavily with spray starch and blocking it into place as you press it with a press cloth.  If this changes the texture too much, you could have a cleaners try doing the entire skirt--where I live the local cleaner has 4 daughters and is very sympathetic!  I also like the tucks idea.  Let us know what you decide.  Galey

  3. mem | | #3

    Have you got more of the lace? . I used cut outs of lace scattered over the front of my silk wedding dress and then augmented this with little seed pearls and crystals. The other option would be to cover the panel with the lace so that the  silk becomes the lining for the lace panel to keep the clean lines you could include the lace into the seams . Why dont you post a drawing of the dress and where the flaws are ?

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    If the flaws are horizontal on the skirt front, you probably don't want to do the pintucks along them, but across them so that you get more flattering vertical lines.

    Occasionally, I have disguised fabric flaws by finding a thread that is very, very close to the fabric fiber and stitching on top of the flawed part with a very tiny machine stitch. If you can unravel a long thread from a scrap of the fabric, it will completely match and cover the flaw.

    If you are covering it with group of anything, an odd number (especially 3) looks best, and if you make additional groups in other areas, the first looks intentional. Since you don't really want to call attention to the skirt, maybe a motif that is very close to the fabric rather than contrasting would be best.

    I'm wondering if these flaws will be less obvious once you are wearing the dress; the weight of the whole skirt may pull the fabric flat, or the folds/ wear lines may make them less noticeable?

    Finally, flaws in our work are almost always much more noticeable to us than they are to anybody else; have you checked with a more neutral observer about the appearance of the dress?

  5. User avater
    paddyscar | | #5

    Hi Marissa:

    Sorry, I hadn't read that the flaw was going across the front of the skirt, so most my comments don't really apply.

    Have you tried the dress on and duplicated the light you will be in - i.e daylight, candlelight, dim hall lighting?  Is the flaw most visible as you look down the skirt while you are wearing it?  Is it as noticable reflecting in a mirror or as seen by someone looking at you while wearing it?

    Since you don't want to add pearls, beads or heavy lace - have you thought of doing some pulled thread work?  If you have a scrap, you could try pulling lengthwise threads to create a space of about 1 1/4 inches. 

    You would have a 'ladder' of crosswise threads.  Mark the ladder every 1 inch.  Gather the 1 inch of crosswise threads and wrap the centre of each gather of threads together, forming the look of a series of bows within the fabric itself.

    Also, if you go with the pin tucks, you could make the centre ones the length of the skirt, and pintucks on either side of the centre set could be done in a 'step-down' look.  If your skirt is 30 inches, the centre set would go to the waist line, the next 20" up from the hem, the next 10" up from the hem. 


    Edited 3/18/2006 10:00 am ET by paddyscar

  6. SewTruTerry | | #6

    You say that the "flaw" runs across the skirt, could you add tucks along this area and actually bring out the "flaw" as a design element.  If there are only two of the "flaws" tuck those two and add a third between them.  Of course this would mean that you are shortening the dress but you could add more of the lace if you have enough to the bottom edge for the hem.  Or if you really only need to do this to the front panel then you could angle the hem towards the back so that you have a bit of a train to the hem. 

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #9

      I once saw a talented presser in a dry cleaners press out a flaw letting it completely cool down before moving the fabric, chiffon I believe and it really did an amazing job of getting rid of the pull .


  7. Julie B | | #7

    One other thought I had is this: if you have a waistline seam where the bodice attaches could you cover the skirt with a layer or chiffon/organza -- something sheer that would not change the overall look of the dress but would make the flaw less noticeable?

    Julie B
    No Va

  8. sewpro | | #8

    If it is a pulled thread that has caused the problem, you could take it to a reweaver and see if it can be fixed. Reweavers in my area work magic!

  9. solosmocker | | #10

    If it is actually a pull that is the problem, not a crease, I have had success fixing pulls in the following manner. Turn your skirt inside out so you are looking at the wrong side. Starting at the selvedge, push hard with your thumb toward the opposite edge. This may take a few passes but can almost always push the thread back into its home. Hope this helps. Its worth trying before you start further embellishing on the skirt.

    If this did not work for me I would purchase some silk organza and use that as an overlay to the skirt. I would do some practice seams and tend to think that treating them as one may be the way to go. It actually could be lovely and in keeping with the simplicity of the garment.

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