Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bridal Petticoat tutorial - 9 simple steps

I finished making a bridal petticoat (for my Halloween costume)! I know just how expensive petticoats are to buy (or even rent) so, I'll show you how I made mine in 9 simple steps and for really cheap.

Quick & easy petticoat tutorial for bridal gown:
(total cost about $8 which is really cheap compared to store bought)

Fabric of choice to make lining (about the size of a full length skirt)
Elastic for waistband
10 yards of netting

1. Choose a fabric to be the base lining of the petticoat (which will basically be the size of a full length skirt) I used muslin, because it was cheap and I had some on hand.

2. Cut fabric to roughly the shape shown below. Keep in mind, the length should be roughly that of a full length skirt on you, and the waist should be cut wide enough to be able to slip the petticoat on.

3. Sew the sides of fabric together & sew the bottom hem

4. Cut an elastic band at a comfortable yet secure length to fit around your waist and sew it to the waist of your skirt lining

5. Mark 3 horizontal lines across the fabric lining (front & back) as shown below in the diagram by the blue dotted lines. These will be the lines you will sew the netting to.

6. Prepare your netting: (mine was 54" wide to begin with)

a) Cut 3 lengths of netting: 2 yards, 4yards, and 4yards.

b) Starting with one piece, fold netting in half length wise (this is usually already done for you, if it is straight from the bolt)

c) Fold that netting in half again, length wise (essentially dividing the fabric into fourths)

d) Baste all 4 layers of the netting together lengthwise about 1" from the folded edges

e) Repeat with the other two lengths of netting

7. Attaching the netting:

a) Mark the front and back center points on your skirt lining at each of the three horizontal lines you previously marked for the netting attachment sites

b) Divide the netting pieces into fourths width wise and mark those points

c) Starting with the bottom of the skirt, match the markings on the netting with the centers and seam markings on the skirt and pin in place at those points

d) Gather the netting to fit around the skirt at that location

e) Sew in place following the lines

f) Repeat the netting attachment steps for the middle and upper horizontal netting attachment lines, using the other 4 yard piece of netting for the middle row and the 2 yard piece for the top row.

** It is much easier to attach the netting from bottom to top **

** Make sure the rows of netting overlap each other a bit. Ex: The middle row overlaps the bottom row a few inches and the top row overlaps the middle row a few inches. **

8. On the bottom edges of all three rows of netting (not the part sewn onto the skirt lining) there will be one folded edge left over, instead of a raw edge. Cut the folded fabric apart creating two raw edges in place of the fold.

9. Fluff out the netting layers

Your petticoat is complete!

**Note, you may want to stagger where the ends of the netting meet up while attaching them to the skirt lining to create a smoother look**


  1. Wow! I could have used this about 15 years ago. I will file it away for future use. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have been saving my petticoat for two years now. Don't know why when I can make one this easy. nice.

  3. Wow, great tut! i just got finished re-making a 1930's wedding gown and probably should of added a slip! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Cute blog missy! I am your newest follower! Come follow me? :)


  5. Great tutorial! Thanks for linking @'Sew Cute Tuesday'!

  6. WOW this is intense! I could not even imagine making my own bridal petticoat! great job! Thank you for linking to Sew Woodsy last week! Keep on linking great projects!

  7. Does the muslin feel stiff? I have an old bridal petticoat as an example and I am trying to make a new one. I have the can-can (netting) but I can't figure out what the lining material is. It's kind of stiff and thick.

    1. The fabric I used was pretty lightweight and soft. I think I know what you're talking about but can't think of the type of fabric that is normally used. That thicker fabric would probably give a nicer structure, but I actually kind of like the softer material better when wearing it. Good luck making your new one!

  8. Hi there. Just want to confirm that I understand the instructions about folding the netting. So let's say your fabric is 54" wide. When you fold it in half, it is 27" and when you fold it again it is 13.5" and 4 layers thick. The top edge is folded, and the bottom edge has one folded piece and two open pieces. You are basting it together at the folded edge and then lining up the folded edges with the lines you've drawn on your base layer. Do I have that correct?

    Also, I want to make this with a drawstring (and potentially open at the back), so that it can fit 2 very different sized girls (it's for a costume to be used in a musical). Do you foresee any problems in doing it that way? Thanks for your help! This is the clearest petticoat tutorial I've found so far.

    1. Hi! Yes, you are correct :) Great idea to add a drawstring. The only thing I can think of is that wherever the drawstring bunches up it may cause the fabric of the dress above it to not lay as smoothly(depending on the fit of the dress) I doubt it would be that noticeable though. You could also consider doing a Velcro closure waistband to accommodate the different sizes.

      Good luck!

    2. The first one turned out great - exactly what I had in mind. The instructions were very clear and simple to follow, but it still took me a few hours to make it. Hopefully the next one will go quicker. Thanks again for the instructions.


I love comments and advice! Thanks in advance :)