Making a Petticoat

Hi all! Hope you’re having a wonderful soon-to-be New Year.

Looking at my striped dress, I really think the skirt needs a petticoat to make it poof. All the effort I put into pleating the skirt isn’t being shown because the fabric is just kinda falling. So: I need to make a petticoat. (Preferably cheaply)

Going back to the wedding dress I got for Christmas (which is apparently going to be the subject of like every post from now on)… specifically the petticoat.

It’s two layers: the bottom one is polyester with a 15″ layer of tulle gathered over the bottom half and the top one is all polyester, gathered at the top. It’s way too long and too big around my waist.

Originally, I was planning on just modifying the skirt, but that became impractical pretty soon. There’s just so much fabric there and the shape of the petticoat isn’t what I want.

The Planning

Since modifying the skirt is out, I decided to cut it up. A few minutes with my favorite Ginghers later, and I had a huge tube of tulle and the original bottom layer, cut down to the length I wanted.

petticoat 1

I put the plain tulle aside and started working on the bottom layer. It’s basically a petticoat already, just way to big around.

Right now, I wanted to test out how the skirt was going to look if I just gathered up the top edge of the bottom layer, added a waistband, and called it done. So I pinned it to Pinhead with clumps pinned together to simulate gathers and tried the striped dress on over it.

skirt w/ petticoat

I really liked how it looked. The shape wasn’t quite right because of my hasty faux-gathers, but I was satisfied with the body it gave the skirt.

The Sewing

The wonderful thing about the sewing process was that all the difficult work was done for me already. The tulle was already gathered and sewn onto a polyester base (that was already hemmed). So all the work I had to do was on the waistline (on the polyester, not the tulle). Seriously amazing 🙂

I started by gathering the skirt to my hips’ width and stitching over the gathers to keep them in place. I really wanted the gathers to be as even as possible, which is why I gathered before adding the waistband.


Then I cut a 3″ strip of white fabric and folded it in half for a waistband. I sewed it to the skirt so that it would fold up as a casing.

I threaded the elastic through the casing and sewed the opening shut. I serged the open edges and was done!

the finished petticoat



I have to say, I’m actually really pleased with how it looks. It’s got the body I want it to have, it cost me nothing, and all the hard work was already done for me. So yeah, I cheated a little on my first petticoat … haha. No regrets 🙂

The only problem is that it’s a bit too big in the waist, but I figure that’s not a huge deal. Plus, my waistline has been fluctuating a little so I don’t want to take it in and then accidentally suffocate myself.

Now it’s time to finish the striped dress and try them on together!

Thanks for reading


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