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Hem for Bridal Wear

user-93108 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi – I am making a wedding dress for my daughter, and for the hemline, the Vogue pattern says to sew the lining and the fabric together (right sides together) then turn and press, then attach the skirt to the bodice.

However, I am a little concerned that if I do this, the fabric will not drape correctly. My friend has looked on her daughter’s wedding dress and has tried to explain (over the phone)that on the underside and inside both pieces of fabric, there seems to be a strip of about 2.5 cm which she thinks must be stiffening.There is no line of stitching on the outside.

Do any of you out there know what this could be?


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    Those instructions sound a bit wonky to me. I've made a number of wedding gowns and I have to say that it is unlikely that the fabric will drape correctly if you join them together at the hem like that. Unless the "bubble" look is what you're after.

    The stiffening you refer to is horsehair braid (which isn't made of horsehair anymore, LOL). You should be able to purchase it at any good fabric store in a number of widths - dependent on the look you want in the hemline. It is very simple to attach. You can attach the lining and skirt layers together at the hem and then attach the braid, but you risk the two layers moving independently and looking strange (as in the Vogue method). I prefer to hem the lining separately, by machine.'

    1. user-93108 | | #3

      Thanks - yes that's what I thought; I'll have to give it some more thought before I go ahead.

  2. mygaley | | #2

    Dear Jenny, I have done many alterations on rtw bridals and a lot of the hems are done that way now.  It's real difficult to determine the dress length, because you cannot see the fall and drape of the skirt and lining together.  On the plus side, it certainly saves construction time, and it makes a neat finish.  On a stiff fabric like crepe-back satin, it might work.  On my daughter's dress I would use a more conventional finish.  Whatever you do, be certain to use the horsehair braid; it makes a world of difference.  God bless you as you sew.  Galey

    1. user-93108 | | #4

      Thanks for your reply, the only thing I'm not keen on if I do a convential hem is that the stitches may show through on the right side. This other method would be so much neater.I'll have to experiment a little first I think.

      1. mygaley | | #5

        Dear Jenny, I forgot to mention that I always underline Bridal skirts (didn't do it once and it really looked unsupported) and so there is something to attach the hem to without it showing.  Galey

        1. FitnessNut | | #6

          Also, if you don't underline, all your seam allowances will be visible from outside....not a flattering look IMO.

  3. artzyval | | #7

    My sister made a formal for 4-H and hemmed it seperately, and she got marked down because it wasn't hemmed together. This is the new trend to finishing formal wear I believe, and it looks really nice when done right.

    1. mygaley | | #8

      Can we ask the Cooperative Extension (4-H) instructors to send us some directions in this format or do they have a pamphlet we could ask for?  Galey

      1. artzyval | | #9

        It wasn't a specification from 4-H more of an individual judge. However they may have some information, but usually their information is "outdated" at least our extension office was. Sorry I couldn't help.


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