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Train to a wedding dress

karencreswell | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am making my daughter’s wedding dress and cannot find instructions for the train. I have read somewhere in the last two years that you sew a ruffle on the underneath side to help the train glide over the floor. I cannot figure out where I read these instructions. Did anyone else remember seeing these instructions?


  1. sewslow67 | | #1

    I don't know if this will help much, but you might give it a try.  At least, it might help in figuring out what kind of train you want, and you could go from there.  Here's the link, and good luck.  And ...enjoy the process.  It sounds like a challenge, but a delightful one.


    1. karencreswell | | #2

      Thank you for the article on trains. My daughter's dress has a sweep train. She is not 'princess-like' at all. She wanted something subdued for a garden wedding. The dress is assembled but I cannot remember where I read about putting a ruffle underneath to help the train glide along the ground. If anyone has seen these instructions please let me know. Thanks.

      1. sewslow67 | | #3

        I used to have a book titled (something like): "Sew a Beautiful Wedding" that I think was published by Palmer and Pletch, but I gave it away.  I don't recall the exact title, but it had a lot of good information in it and, as I recall, it also had information on trains.  Maybe you could check it out at your local library?  Just a thought.  I'll check in my library here at home too, to see if  can find anything that might be helpful.  If so, I'll get back to you.

      2. sewslow67 | | #4

        Here's a link to the book I mentioned.  You can check the table of contents to see if it has what you are looking for.  Good luck.

        PS:  The book is only $8.95 - so it might be worth trying it.


        Edited 4/19/2009 1:25 pm by sewslow67

      3. KharminJ | | #5

        Hi, Karen ~ You're not hallucinating - I read about that neat little trick, too, in the last couple of months! Can't remember though, if it was in a "Threads On-line Extra", or in a site linked from a discussion here...IFIRC (if I recall correctly), it involved adding a fairly full gathering of 3- to 5-inch wide strips of tulle or hexnet along the inside of the lining hem. Either from side-seam to side-seam, or all the way around. Maybe the author of that ezine article has addressed this - there seems to be LOTS of info on that site! Good fortune in your searching - Kharmin

  2. Ocrafty1 | | #6

    I remember seeing an article on this as well, but my memory isn't what it used to be, so I don't remember where I saw it.  I came across this site a while ago and have it bookmarked.  The author is great about responding to questions. She makes gorgeous custom wedding gowns and accessories.  You might want to contact her through an email link on her site.  Here's the link.  Hope it helps....if it does...please share the info per the ruffle here for all of us.



  3. BridalTamer | | #7

    What fabric did you use to make the gown? A sweep train usually doesn't need a  lot of support. Adding horsehair braid to the hem all around the dress may be all you need. It comes in many widths, but I think a 1" to 1.5" would work. If the dress is chiffon, the horsehair would be too heavy.

    1. karencreswell | | #8

      I purchased dual silk satin ( a two sided satin silk) at a specialty wedding fabric shop in New York. They also sold me the horsehair braid for the hem. It is a synthetic, in fact it looks like white plastic but I presume this is what is usually used. I have no idea how to insert it in the hem any suggestions would be appreciated. The ruffle that I was asking about is not so much for support as it is to keep the hem out of the dirt. Thanks, Karen

      1. sewchris703 | | #14

        Depending on how you finish the hem, the horsehair (actually a plastic braid) is sewn right next to the seam when seaming the satin and lining at the hem. Understitch through the horsehair and the seam allowance. Turn right side out and iron the hem. As an option, the other edge of the horsehair can be stitched just to the lining. Or, if doing a hand stitched hem, stitch the hem inside the hem allowance with one edge on the hem fold. The hem is the same width as the horsehair. Then fold up the hem and hand stitch. You can also stitch a lace hem tape to the edge of the hem to finish it off in style instead of just a serged edge.Chris

  4. KBTsewer | | #9

    The ruffle may be attached to the lining of the train--the side that has contact with the floor.The ruffle needs to be about 2-2.5 inches wide( but this is up to you) and made in a figure of 8-- sewn down the centre to hold the shape before attaching to the train lining.If the train has a sewn in lining then the ruffle can be attached first by machine or hand, over the previous middle stitching line. Attach the ruffle so it's between 0.25" and 0.5" from the outer finished edge of the train.I would tack in place before sewing so it looks the same distance from the hem edge when viewed from behind--(back views are just as important as front views)If the lining is loose the ruffle can be attached when the garment is nearing completion,as mentioned above.
    Net/tulle would be the fabric to use.The edges can be left raw or finished with a rolled hem etc. If you're not lining the train then attach the ruffle to the hem--which would need to be extra wide.No stitches should show on the outside.
    The other alternative is to use a ready made ruffled lace, the kind that is sewn to a straight band.Two or more, depending on preferences, overlapping layers stitched to the underside of the train and/or its lining achieves a similar effect for less effort.
    Hope this helps.

    1. karencreswell | | #10

      I think I understand most of the instructions but was not sure of how the ruffle forms a figure eight. Thanks for all of your help in adding this ruffle to the train. It is an outdoor wedding and I don't think my daughter wants this beautiful silk to be dragging in the dirt. Thanks, Karen

      1. KBTsewer | | #11

        Think of a line of box pleats made with a strip of fabric and stitched down the middle.When finished you get 'boxes' on both sides.
        Does that make more sense?? If not I'll send a drawing tomorrow. I'm not doing very well here am I ??

        1. karencreswell | | #12

          Got it! Thanks!

          1. KBTsewer | | #13

            Good, pleased about that.Think you'll find that stiff net will work best.The weight of the train squashes the net just enough to keep it off the floor.Hope all goes well.

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