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need opinions regarding lining a skirt

rrp | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I mostly lurk, and have learned quite a bit from these boards. 

I am now in the process of making a long skirt for my daughter. It is a heavily ( literally! weighs a LOT!) embroidered, beaded piece of fabric, also embellished with crystals. When cut out, it would be a semicircle ( waist and hem), with only one side seam.  There is no other way to cut this fabric. The lining fabric is a thick satin, and I have about 4.5 yards. What would be the best way to make the lining? Cut it the same as the skirt ( half a circle), or make a gored skirt with several panels? The latter would be easier to hem, I would think.  Thanks in advance!


  1. GailAnn | | #1

    You could hang a "barrell" lining inside.  Just make a straight or slightly A-line skirt of the lining and hang it inside out on the wrong side of the skirt, prior to attaching the waist band.  This would be simple, perhaps more comfortable for the wearer AND would allow the heavy skirt to swish arround the lining a little. 

    I'm worried about her sitting on the cristal beads, hoping it's just for dancing!


    1. rrp | | #2

      Thanks for the fast response. That is a good thought, but not sure it will work with the outer fabric which is very sheer-- almost like fine tulle. I think it will might need a fuller lining .  The material for the skirt was pre embroidered and embellished -- it was her choice for the outfit  she will be wearing for the reception after her wedding. Most of the crystals and heavier embellishments are towards the bottom of the skirt.

      1. denise | | #15

        May i ask a question as an australian i am wondering do brides always change for the reception.

        that is not the custome here.

        1. sewchris703 | | #17

          It all depends.  I live in San Diego, CA (USA) and do alterations at a bridal shop.  Some ethnic brides (usually Asian) do change gowns, sometimes as many as 4 times.  The reception gown is a shade of red.  But we have non-asian brides who also change for the reception.  One bride wore a red wedding gown (very full ball gown skirt with a long train) and changed into a less full, no train white gown for her reception.  Another bride wore her grandmother's gown for the wedding and changed into a modern gown for the reception as she didn't want to chance ruining grandmother's gown.


  2. sewchris703 | | #3

    Dont' have an opinion on the lining but, from my own experience in rehemming a heavily beaded chiffon (or any beaded light weight fabric), don't hang the skirt.  Always fold it in acid free tissue paper or well washed muslin at all times.  Even when working on it.  The paper/muslin keeps the beads from snagging on each other.  And not hanging it prevents the beads from stretching the fabric.


    1. rrp | | #5

      Now why didn't I think of folding it in muslin! It does snag very easily and is difficult to handle. I will post a picture of the fabric -- just returned from work and too tired for anything right now. I do not have a pattern for the skirt, but the work on it is such that there is only one way to cut it - half of a circle skirt. I got this fabric from India during our travels last year. I drafted a pattern for the top based on what my DD wanted, made a muslin, and it fits. The material for the top also has some embellishments on it, but is supposed to be on the sleeve. Well, I'm making a sleeveless top, so will carefully cut out some of the embellished areas and stitich in on the top. I had posted on another board too asking for ideas, and someone suggested using the skirt as a pattern to cut the lining. I went ahead and cut it -- too late for second thoughts! -- I'm letting it hang for a day. May have to trim and even the edge after that.  I agree that the seams from a gored skirt lining would show through -- but it would have been a lot easier to hem than the mess I will probably have when I take down the lining from the hanger!

  3. Gloriasews | | #4

    The fabric sounds gorgeous!  If it's that sheer, though, I don't think I'd go with the gored satin underskirt, as the gores would show through, wouldn't they?  Is the waist gathered or A-line?  (I'm trying to imagine a semi-circle with just 1 seam, & can't figure out how you can do that with the border being all embellished).  Do you have a picture you can post of the pattern?


    1. rrp | | #7

      Wanted to post this picture a few days ago, but am only getting around to it now. The skirt material is folded in half. I've cut the opening for the waist. When unfolded the entire piece of fabric is a semi circle. I've also cut the lining the same and will be working on it today. I wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions --- I really appreciate getting different perspectives. Even if I don't use them now, it's something to consider for future projects.

      1. Gloriasews | | #8

        Wow - what absolutely gorgeous fabric!  Love the colour, too.  Is it heavy with all that embellishing?  It'll be beautiful when you're finished - to post a picture of the outfit when it's done.  Good luck!


      2. sewchris703 | | #9

        That is one gorgious piece of fabric.  The skirt is going to look fantastic.


      3. GailAnn | | #10

        How beautiful!!!!!

        No wish to offend anyone's sense of modesty, but, I wonder what it would look like worn over a flesh collored, what we used to call, a leotard, perhaps, "body-suit" is now the proper term.

        Only mention this because it's very "sheerness" is such an integral part of it beauty.  Gail

      4. Teaf5 | | #11

        Oh, that's incredible!  I doubt that anyone will notice anything about fit with that beautiful beading...

      5. denise | | #13

        O what absolutley exquiste fabric,  was the beading already attached.

      6. stitchagain | | #19

        wow! really a beauty

        i would line it totally with a light fabric (think same fabric without the beads)

        part of its beauty is the shearness and multiple layers of the same fabric would create opaqueness quickly

        just my two cents

  4. Teaf5 | | #6

    It's almost always easier to make a lining exactly the same as the outer layer, especially with a sheer. That way, the seams line up and the lining seams echo the lines of the outer skirt, and you can tack the lining seams to the skirt seams to prevent twisting of the two layers and make it easier to lift for walking.

    Hem the lining so that it falls close to but not even with the skirt hem. If you hem the lining too short, the shadowed gap area will create a banded effect that will detract from the lovely beading.

  5. denise | | #12

    I am making an A line skirt in a beautiful wool cause that comes nearly to my ankles

    made with an elastic waist.

    I have on hand some polyester that resembles satin it is much thinner than satin,  so

    should i incorporate the lining in the fold of the main fabric re the elastic waste, or should i attach after i have put the elastic through the main fabric.


    I thought the lining may give the fabric more depth.


    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #16

      How heavy would the skirt be if it were to be lined is the question I'm wondering. If it isn't going to be too heavy with the lining, I would attach the lining. A lining gives more body to the drape of a skirt, and almost always looks better. If it is a foldover casing, baste the lining in on the stitching line for the casing. When you stitch the casing, the lining will be held in place. If it is a separate, sewn on casing, just sew in on the seamline. This will reduce bulk in the casing, as placing the lining at the fold line will add another layer of fabric in the casing. The main deciding factor for you might be whether the skirt becomes to heavy to be supported by an elastic waist, and how much gathering the elastic is going to have to do, as the lining will make the gathers a little fuller/bulkier at the waist. Then a separate slip would be better. Something to consider anyways, Cathy

    2. Teaf5 | | #18

      I would line at least the waistband of the skirt, as wool tends to be itchy against the skin, and slips tend to rest below the waistband slightly.  Wool has a lot of body without a lining, but a full lining can help extend the wear significantly (consider men's suits and trousers), and if you line it, you won't need to wear a slip at all!

  6. denise | | #14

    I am wondering about a slip made in fabric that is a bit thinner made exactly as the pattern before you make up the fabric that matches and see how it looks.

    I am wondering with the bejeweled fabric it may look better draping rather than

    having heavy lining underneath.  It may fall softer.  You can always change your mind if you make a slip first.

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