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Wedding Dress Seams

dlk311 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I have been sewing for about 40 years (Yikes! I’m getting old) and know what I’m doing, generally.  Anyway, I am making a wedding dress for my future niece.  She has picked out a beautiful silk chiffon for the dress fabric, and it will be lined with a (also beautiful) silk lining.  The pattern, Vogue 8150 with modifications, actually has the lining sewn as a backing for each of the individual pattern pieces (it has a bodice with princess seams), instead of constructing the lining separately then setting it in.  This is OK with me, but I am not certain how I should finish the seams.   At first I was thinking French seams, but am not sure how that would work given I will actually have four layers of fabric at each seam.  I have a serger and was thinking that may be easiest, but I don’t want it to look tacky.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for your help!


  1. mygaley | | #1

    I looked up the pattern # and it is beautiful.  I wasn't able to access adobe, though, so I couldn't see the "innards".  The short answer is yes, you can use french seams if the materials are very soft.  A bound edge, such as a hong kong binding will also work. Is the ruched overbodice gathered to fit a flat piece of lining?  If this is the case, depending on the thickness and body of the lining, you might want to use a complete separate lining also (of the traditional kind) and then these seam finishes will be moot.  I swore a long time ago never to make a wedding gown without a complete face (chiffon), underlining (silk lining), and lining--that lining doesn't take long to make, you can use it like your muslin and you'll have no regrets.

    The other thing I'm wondering about is the skirt.  If the chiffon and silk are to be hemmed as one in some manner, what will keep the chiffon from bagging down?  There are a lot of chiffon formals in the stores now, and you might have to snoop shop to see what they're doing.  I'm sure you will do a beautiful job, and I can't wait to see the finished product.  God bless you, Galey  (I love the phrase "with modifications".  That is going to be my new motto.

    1. dlk311 | | #2


      Thanks so much for responding.  After I posted my message, I read about the hong kong finish, so I am also thinking that might be the way to go; the fabrics are very soft.  To answer your question, the ruched overbodice is actually NOT lined and I think it will be gathered enough so that, over top of the lined bodice, it will be fine.  I want to minimze the linings/ thickness of the whole thing because the wedding will be in St. Johns in August on the beach  (Yikes!  HOT!) and I don't want the bride to swelter anymore than she already will.  Therefore, I think I'll try to skip the third lining, but thanks for the suggestion.  Should I do the hong kong finish in the same silk lining fabric, but cut on the bias?

      Great point about the skirt!  The pattern has them hemmed as one.  I will avoid that and hem them individually.  The bride wants the whole thing to be "flow-y" anyway, so separating the two should be fine.  BUT, I will "snoop shop" the formals out there to get some ideas. (I love that phrase and will add it to MY vocabulary!)

      Stay tuned for pics!


      1. mygaley | | #3

        Self fabric bias strips is the way I would go.  If you are running out of scraps for this, you could use the chiffon, also.  The instructions for a Hong Kong Binding seem to leave a bias edge that is raw.  If this is unacceptable to you for this special garment, use a French binding instead.  Also, is there any chance that see-through can be an issue?  My friends who have been there tell me there is a breeze all the time, so it isn't as boiling hot as it is here in Louisiana, for instance.  Galey

        1. dlk311 | | #5

          Thanks again for the info, Galey.  I am going to do a bit of a test with the fabrics regarding the see-thru issue.  About the seams, I spoke with another lady who has made many wedding dresses and she suggested trimming the seams to 3/8", serging them with a 2-thread stitch in a light-weight thread (she even suggested embroidery thread), then pressing them open.  I am going to experiment with ALL these options (HK, French, and serged) and see what looks best.  I will keep you posted.



      2. mygaley | | #4

        Dear Donna--I am not the originator of the term "snoop shop".  It was introduced to me by my friend Tammy Loid, who once was the Pfaff dealer in Rapides Parish, and also a wonderful teacher.  Galey

  2. DesignandSew | | #6

    I looked at the lovely gown you will be making and have a different take on what you will be doing.  I do believe a second lining is needed in this gown as the first lining will act as support for your chiffon.   The original designer intended this gown to be made from a slightly heavier fabric for body (chiffon doesn't like to keep soft horizontal and diagonal folds) so it will need some reinforcement from your silk lining.  Your second lining can be a more traditional lining without the folds.  In this piece you can also include some support items such as boning at the sides, center front, below the breasts (never over them) and back.  Boning may seem like overkill in such a soft looking gown but it will maintain the shape of the bodice (couture will usually have boning in soft garments that are form fitting).   I hope this helps and happy sewing!

    1. dlk311 | | #7

      Thank you for your input and help.  One question - what would you make the lining out of?  Perhaps another layer of the silk lining (as it will breathe)?


      1. DesignandSew | | #8

        Definitely silk, why use a light, breathable silk and ruin it with polyester or rayon?  As far the the boning suggested, try them in your muslin and slip them in and out to see where you need pieces.  Good luck.

        1. dlk311 | | #10

          Well, it helps to read the pattern.  I started on the muslin last night and found that there is an underlining AND a lining.  The underlining/lining yardage stated on the pattern is for both, so I will doing them both out of the silk lining.  I'll try the boning and see if it's necessary.  FYI, I mentioned I will be modifiying the pattern to match a design the bride-to-be found in a drawing.  Specifically, I will move the zipper to the center back, and change the back overdrapes so that, instead of criss-crossing the back, they will gather to the center back into a long drape that hangs down the center back.  I will also delete the soft gather, split-front skirt and make it one flat front piece.  Thanks for your advice!

  3. User avater
    paddyscar | | #9

    You might also want to check out the 'Hairline seam' that is shown in detail in "Threads" July 2005


    1. dlk311 | | #11

      I don't think I have that issue, darn it!  I will check the archives on the website.  It might be a moot point now, (see my above response about the lining).  Thanks!

  4. mras6 | | #12

    Pattern Vogue 8150

    I read your comment six years ago regarding the wedding dress for your future niece using Vogue #8150.  I am very interested in your changes to the pattern i.e. the back overdrapes and also the flat front skirt.  Could you please respond as I am using this pattern for my daughter's wedding dress as well and I am a little intimidated by the draping.......Any changes you made to the original pattern would be greatly appreciated. 

    Margaret Raslevich

    [email protected]


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