Shell’s dress: a winter-wear petticoat

I’m almost done telling you about Shell’s dress; I just need to parse out the last few posts so that I can show you finished wedding photos on the very first day I’m allowed to!

That day is the day of Shell’s second wedding.  As an American bride and a Kiwi groom, they are having the official wedding here in NZ first, and then a second reception in the States so that family and friends there can be part of it.

As it will be winter, and cold, for the second wedding I made Shell an extra petticoat that can be worn under the dress for another layer of warmth.

It was the perfect thing to make out of that stretch cotton that we bought with all the other wedding dress fabric  just because it was so cheap, and the perfect colour.

I cut the petticoat as a restrained version of the dress skirt: two less front panels, two less back panels, and narrower panels all round.

Narrow back panel, two side back panels, and a dreadfully messy room

The petticoat is still very sumptuous: I wanted it to be beautiful in its own right if she picks up her skirt.

Looking down the narrow back panel

Finished, it’s so pretty it could almost be worn as a skirt on its own.

The front two panels, with a centre front seam

It looks like it trails on the ground on Isabelle, but it shouldn’t on Shell, who is fabulously tall.

Swoosh! (and yeah, a bit of crumple)

The invisible zip sits to one side of the centre back panel, so it doesn’t interfere with the back buttons.

I rarely work with stretch fabrics, but sometimes they are so easy.  The stretch will allow this skirt to smooth over her hips without any bumps and with a minimal wasteband.

A simple bias-bound waistband. In blue of course!

The stretch also meant I could pull out Gemma, my too rarely used overlocker, and thread her with all the greys and pale blues I own to make pretty overlocked seams.

Overlocked seams - only on stretch!

Just as in the skirt, I narrow hemmed the bottom.  I’m not sure if I like the lettuce leafing quite as much on this fabric.

Narrow hemming

And for a final pretty touch, a blue bow at centre front, so she knows which way to put it on!



  1. Could you do a tutorial on narrow hemming? Or point me in the direction of one, if you know of it? I’m looking at your skinny hems with such envy! I have the rolled hem foot and everything, but I don’t have much success…

    • Can do! I have an excuse to do another rolled hem within the next day or two, so I’ll take lots of pictures and do a tutorial. A lot depends on the fabric, but there are definitely some tricks that can help, and extend the range of fabrics you can do it with.

  2. That bow being on the front would totally make me wear it backwards. I’ve always had markings denoting the back…never the front! I look forward to seeing the wedding pictures of this dress 😀

    • How odd! The front is the traditional place to put bow on undergarments, a carry-over from the bows that tied busks in place on the front of corsets. What sort of garments did you have that had bows in back?

  3. Shell says

    Eee! So excited to get the petticoat (and to be warm on the day – it was 2deg last night)!

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