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Wedding Dress sheer fabric suggestions?

Footsox1 | Posted in General Discussion on

I am sort of adding onto an existing wedding dress. The dress is a basic strapless satin A-line. I would like to add a sheer fabric sleeveless top onto it in some sheer fabric. I am looking for suggestions for what type of sheer fabric to use. Also, I would like to have this same fabric extend over the entire dress to the floor. I had originally thought about making a piece for the sleeveless top, and then hand sewing it onto the dress, just inside the top edge, but now, since I am thinking of having this sheer fabric extend over the entire dress, I am thinking of making a separate “dress” of the sheer fabric, and then it may just be worn over the strapless dress, OR I could hand tack it within the side seam lines of the dress in a few places, so the seams don’t “wander” across the dress when the bride moves.

The dress will have some alencon lace at the top in random places, and across the horizontal line of the strapless top, so it will cover any strange edges that occur with my sewing.

So, can you suggest fabrics for this? I was originally thinking of organza, but I am wondering if it may be too stiff if it is over the entire dress? Chiffon doesn’t seem like it will be the “expensive-fabric-look” and I am thinking of. Is there anything besides Organza and chiffon? It is a beach wedding and the bride wants something that will “flow in the breeze.” I must admit, I do a lot of home decor sewing, but never a wedding dress. I need all the suggestions you guys can give me. Thank you so much!! (I will post a separate message asking about what the best way to cut this out and sew it — but right now, I am just looking for fabric suggestions.) Thanks!


  1. mygaley | | #1

    Last summer I found some fabric that looked like embroidered organza (but with a softer hand) at Joanne's.  The embroidery was very "spacy" and it really looked pretty over the satin dress.  You could still add the lace to this fabric; just be sure the embroidery is really little compared to the lace. I know it wasn't expensive, because we were on a really tight budget.  We were doing what you are doing, making a sleeveless top for a strapless dress.  You will have to anchor the seams, or the sheer will walk.  I suggest stitching in the ditch down to the waist on the bodice seams.  If the bride wants flowing, consider adding fullness to the skirt by putting in godets almost up to the waist or at least to above the knee.  Also, We used french binding technique (using the sheer) to finish the armholes, neckline and center back opening of the sheer overlay.  PS it just came to me that you could put some of those bias ruffles in the vertical seams; a lot of patterns show them now and talk about flowy!  Galey

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    How about georgette? It is sheer and soft, flows nicely, and is a dream to wear. It is, however, a bit of a pain to work with, as it is so very slippery! Since it is polyester, it is not very expensive and comes in a lot of colors, including white and off-white.

    I used it for a 7-year-old's dress, and she wore it constantly, loved it, and it held up to a very active child's playtime. I used French seaming on it. Silk georgette is even more wonderful, but I imagine it would extremely expensive.

    1. Footsox1 | | #3

      Oh Gosh! You guys are way ahead of me on the terminology! What are "godets?" I have no idea! (I am thinking they are pie shaped pieces from the hem pointed up toward the tope of the dress? Did I get close on that one?Also, I have no clue on what "French seams" are. Or what french binding means to finish around the armholes. Can you explain it to me? Is there any wedsite that will show me pictures on how to do this? or at least what it looks like? Also, I have a really basic machine. About the most it does is zig zag. How should I finish the seams of the sheer stuff, that goes down to the bottom of the dress? Just trim them close? Of should I turn them under once or twice? So they don't ravel? Gosh, this dress will only be worn for a few hours.. I don't have to make it with fabulous sturdy techniques... but I do want it to look professional. Thank you so much for all your advice. As you can see, I am not too versed in making wedding dresses. :-)

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        Sorry to get so technical, but yes, you can find all kinds of sewing techniques online by searching for these terms. You're right on the "godets" definition. French seams are a double stitched seam that encloses the raw edges inside, so that both the inside and outside of a sheer garment look neat. Before zigzag was invented, that was one of the only ways to make a neat finish. On sheer fabrics, zigzagging the seam allowances tends to pucker the seam and allows so much shredding that it looks messy. You could bind the edges of the seam allowances with a pretty lace or binding, but that's fairly difficult and might be too heavy on a sheer. French seaming is not hard to do, but it's a bit hard to explain. Most How-to websites and sewing books have great photos that make sense, but here's a summary:To French seam something, you put the garment pieces together right sides out and stitch about 1/4" away from the edge of a 5/8" seam allowance. Then you turn the garment wrong side out (as you normally do when sewing), press those seams, and sew along the 5/8" seam line, which is now about 3/8" from the pressed edges. This second seamline seals the raw edges within what looks like a thin tube. Although french seaming means you have to stitch each seam twice, it's easy to do, and the effects are great. Try it on some scraps before you try it on the garment, and you'll see how nice it is.

      2. mem | | #6

        I would use a silk georgette as it wont be as slippery as the others made out of polyester. I would use a satin biased bound finish around neck and sleeves and you could bind the opening at the back and use pearls and loop closures I would sew it separtely and then wear it as a separate dress as otherwise it might pull on the underdress when the bride is moving about . Could you borrow an overlocker which does a rolled hem as that would be the best way to finish the hem and you could even use it to sew your seams .

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #5

    You would be surprised at how nice chiffon can look over satin!  Can you take the satin dress with you to the store?  Or better yet if it isn't made yet, just some of the satin? Would the bride be interested in considering a very soft color over the white satin? My third daughter's wedding gown skirt was chiffon over taffeta, very lovely and the flower girls had colored chiffon over white.

    You don't need a fancy machine to pull this off, just a heavy dose of patience.


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