Wedding Dress: Part 4 (Skirt Lining)

Hi folks, hope you’re still following this series and haven’t gotten too bored with the whole thing! Today’s post is a quick one about the skirt lining and some of its features.

Full disclosure: I wasn’t planning on having a skirt lining at all, the dress was going to just be on top of the underskirt with a regular hem. I bought horsehair braid for a nice crisp hem and everything. But then I changed my mind.

I wanted a bubble hem – to keep the volume of the skirt all the way down to the ground and give it more of a rounded, bubble appearance. To get the bubble effect, you make the lining narrower and shorter than the skirt, and join them together right sides together. The skirt is gathered onto the lining and the whole seam is hidden on the inside.

The point is, this can only work with a lining because it has to be held up from the inside all the way round. So, I cut a lining, following the shape of the original skirt (luckily I had metres and metres of fabric).

Here it is, wrong side out over the underskirt. You can see that I’ve made it narrower at the hem by simply tapering the seam allowance. Note that this only happens in the bottom fifth of the skirt as the underskirt tulle wants to be unimpeded to produce the volume required above that.


Here it is the right way out, with a waistband made of ribbon. Look at that bubble shape!


Note the second line of ribbon below the waistband…


This is something I came up with while I was making it. Since the lining holds up the hem of the skirt, I wanted the option to shorten the lining in order to shorten the skirt in case that was required during the day (in order to switch to lower heels, for eg dancing).


The ribbon is held on to the back lining with ‘belt loops’, not sewn on.


The idea is that the lining can be hoiked up inside the dress by pulling it up and tying a bow tightly around the waist with the second row of ribbon. This will shorten the dress by about 10cm if done effectively.


You just untie the first set of ribbons, pull on the second set, and tie a new bow.


This obviously distorts the shape of the skirt, but I figured, since it would likely be towards the end of the evening, it wouldn’t matter.


What do you think? A reasonable idea or a pointless complication?

Next post on the dress itself coming shortly!



  1. Pippa

    I am really enjoying the wedding series of posts! Congratulations. Can’t wait to see final dress. I like the addition. I’ve seen dresses you can shorten by hooking the train onto buttons on the dress, think it seemed a good idea. :-)

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Pippa, thanks for commenting! Yes, it’s quite a normal thing to have some way of shortening a wedding dress by pinning or buttoning the train under the bustle. I’ve just adapted it for my unusual shape skirt ;-)

  2. kellyannwashington

    That’s such a clever solution! My wedding dress had a bunch of hooks & eyes that took about a half hour to assemble so that the dress didn’t drag on the ground. Of course, mine didn’t have a bubble hem, so there wasn’t a way around it. In any case, I can’t wait to see it all come together!

  3. Connie

    I’ve been enjoying your posts for a couple years or so. I have really loved watching all your refashions and seeing you develop a line of patterns. I really can’t wait for the big reveal.

  4. Kellie

    I so enjoy all of your posts and projects. This wedding dress series is especially fun….and I’m dying to see the final dress!!!!!

  5. Yarnbeth

    We are at risk that you will do this suspense thing more often if we tell you this….but I suppose you deserve to know the truth, I have been totally reeled in by the wedding series and can’t wait to see what come next!!! Like others have said, all of your posts are some of my favorites, I have been lurking around for a few years now, but had to come out of hiding to tell you the TRUTH! hahah

    • charityshopchic

      HAHA thanks so much, Yarnbeth! Such a kind comment, that really made me smile! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series and can’t wait to show you the final dress. Just a couple more posts!

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