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Lining a wedding dress

Bohee | Posted in General Discussion on

What is the best way to line a wedding dress that is princess style with zipper in back and has no waist but flares into mermaid style.  Is it best to make two separate dresses and put the two together?  If so how do you secure the lining to the dress other than the neck edge and sleeves.


  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    If this is a strapless dress it can be attached at the waist also with a waist stay that will hold the bodice in place. Actually this can be used with any neckline style. The lining would also be tacked to the zipper.

    1. Bohee | | #2

      There is no waist, the front ends about mid thigh and the back extends to about midcalf and then the mermaid bottom is attached.  The dress has a front, side and two back sections.  It is not strapless so I'm incorporating the lining as a facing as well.  It has capped sleeves which aren't a problem.  The bride dreamed about this dress and so we're using three patterns to make it look like her dream dress and as her grandmother I'm hoping it doesn't turn into a nightmare!  Thank you for your suggestions. 

      1. stillsuesew | | #4

        A waist stay goes on the inside of a dress and holds the dress to the body at the waist. From your description, your dress probably would not benefit from having one since it hangs from the shoulders. Creating something out of three patterns is exciting.

  2. beo | | #3

    I would make two dresses...one in the lining.  I recently altered a costly dress and found that they had used thread bars (created by sewing buttonhole or blanket stitches over several strands of thread anchored in the fabric) to secure the lining to the dress.

    1. Bohee | | #5

      Thanks for your suggestion.  I did make two dresses, but it's only a sample dress, but it worked.  I'm going to bar tack it in a few places down the seams.  Hope it will work of the real deal.  Don't know why it won't. 

      1. cafms | | #6

        I too am embarking on a wedding dress that is going to be a composite of several patterns.  I have some drawings done and some of the patterns traced off for my daughter to try on the tissue.  Next comes the muslin.  I hope your dress works out and that my daughter and I can agree on things. 

        Good luck.

        1. alotofstitches | | #7

          I hope you intend to underline the face fabric.  It supports the face fabric, hides the seam sho-thru on the front and makes the outside much smoother in fit--all better gowns are underlined as well as lined.  Ambience or an acetate lining is more comfortable next to skin as it breathes rather than polyester.

          1. cafms | | #8

            Thanks, I agree totally but I haven't gotten that far yet as we are still in the design stage.  I don't know yet what fabric we are using.

      2. cat42 | | #9

        Those tacks between outer garment and lining should be about 1/2 long in areas above the waist, and longer below the waist to allow for movement. Or you may find you don't need them below the waist until the hem area. At the hem, they should be at least 1" long, perhaps longer. And place them only at seams (or dart seams), so you can sew them to the seam allowance rather than the outer fabric.I think there was an article in Threads in the last year about these tacks...
        NOTE: they are not bar tacks, tho they may have a bar-tack at each end of the length of buttonhole-stitch-covered-thread between the two layers.And I agree with the person who suggested underlining the outer fabric. Silk organza or cotton batiste are your best choices. You'll be glad you did this.Please post a photo when the dress is complete.

        1. Bohee | | #10

          Thank you so much for your suggestions.  The organza is a great suggestion for the outer fabric.  I was going to use china silk like the lining but that may make it have too much static.  I am going to use organza for the mermaid bottom.

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