If you're searching for a bridal petticoat hooped skirt that's as easy to make as it was to say, "Yes!" when the love of your life popped the question, you've come to the right place. With a sewing machine and a few supplies you can craft an undergarment that showcases both the beautiful folds of your dream gown and the lucky woman who's wearing it.
Find the perfect pattern for your bridal hoop petticoat based on the number of hoops your gown requires. Shop the pattern section of your favorite fabric store; if you don’t have success in the formal wear pattern group, head for the costume section where hoop skirts and other period fashions can be found. Compare styles and prices found with those on the Internet to be sure you're getting the best deal.
Shop for petticoat fabric, boning and notions to construct your undergarment. Consider the weight of your gown when sampling a variety of boning weights. Eschew heavy, rigid boning that could keep you from sitting comfortably, unless your gown is made from brocade, velvet or another heavy fabric that could overwhelm a lightweight hoop petticoat.
Extend a tape measure across the hemline of your wedding gown from side seam to side seam. Double the number to determine the hem's length. Figure out the category to which your hoop belongs: 94- to 125-inches for minimal flair, 128- to 157-inches for medium fullness and 160- to 188-inches for a very full hoop. If you're going for the Princess Diana look you will need a “mega” hoop of up to 220 inches.
Lay out and stitch the body of your petticoat. Pin pattern pieces to the fabric and cut out the panels (If your pattern skirt style is gored, add extra time to secure multiple seams rather than a few if you're sewing a simple A-line slip). Stitch all seams and then over-stitch them to add strength to the body of the petticoat.
Cut a length of elastic to size for your petticoat’s waistband. Fold, pin and sew the casing at the top of the petticoat, leaving enough room to feed the elastic into the channel with a large safety pin. Secure the ends of the elastic and tack them down so the elastic seam does not poke through the casing and cause you discomfort.
Hem the bottom of your petticoat to create a channel that’s at least ½-inch wider than the boning you’ve selected to create the hoop. Be patient as you thread the boning into the casing, as this will take time. Hand-close the casing with needle and thread so the hoop doesn't budge and even if the wind blows your skirt around.
Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.