After trying on wedding dresses it was pretty clear I was going to need a petticoat, and a big one at that. Since I was already certain I would be making my dress...bridesmaid dresses....and a bunch of other stuff, I looked at buying one to save myself a job.
However they aren't cheap. Most I found were at least £50 and some over £100. I also didn't like that many seemed to do the first tier in cotton without much gathering, it made the fullness start too low down rather from straight away at the waist.
So I decided, why not have a go at making one. A practice run. I was planning on wearing my Betty dress to a late October wedding so thought a petticoat would give it a bit of oomph (and an added layer of warmth!)
After a bit of research I found the best tutorial was this one from Sugardale. The basic premise is to double the length of the fabric for each tier. So I did the bottom one at 8 yards, then 4, 2 and then my waist. To get a fuller petticoat, you need several layers, each with the three tiers.
I decided to make my petticoat out of navy coloured net and ribbon as it would match my Betty dress.
Also i'll let you in on a secret...I'm intending on having a navy petticoat under my wedding dress. It'll match the bridesmaids, be my something blue, and also just make it a little different from your standard white dress.
I used some stiff dress net fabric I bought from eBay and satin ribbon to bind the edges. As net doesn't fray I didn't really need to do French seams or cover the raw edges with ribbon as she does in the tutorial, but I decided to anyway as I like the fact all the raw edges are hidden away.
All in all I found this to be a dead easy project, it was just a bit time consuming measuring out, cutting and pinning when you're dealing with up to 8yards of fabric. I did decide at the last minute to add an under layer of cotton. I cut a piece 10 inches wider than my hips and gathered it to fit the waistband.
So you can see the savings I made by making one, here is my cost breakdown:
4 metres of dress net - £6.20
16m ribbon - £2.20
Twill tape - £1.85
Thread from stash.
Total cost - £10.65
If you have even basic sewing skills, and the time to do it, I'd definitely recommend making your own. You can choose the exact colour and length you want and save yourself money at the same time. And you really should get a petticoat. Everyone should. They are so much fun to dance in...you float along when you walk, and they give you a stunning 50's silhouette. What's not to love.
I think for my wedding dress petticoat I will be looking at doing at least 3 layers, maybe 4 to get the full skirt effect!