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Adding a Train

My wedding dress has a short brush/sweep train that is only a couple inches long. I was wondering if it would be possible to lengthen the train a little bit. Is it do-able to attach some sort of matching fabric underneath to sweep out and form a train? I don't sew at all, but it seems like since the dress already has a short train it wouldn't be too difficult to have a 2nd longer layer underneath it. 

Does this make sense? Is it possible? Other ideas? 

Re: Adding a Train

  • I don't know, but I would definitely not be doing this myself, especially if I didn't sew. I would ask a relative that sews or ask a seamstress to do it.
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  • Why not wear a long veil.  That way you can get the length you want without having to reconstruct your dress.
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  • Lengthening the train you would definitely have a seam showing. Jagore has the best idea of why not using a longer detailed veil. Its hard though without a picture of the dress. If you really want pro advice I would take it to a seamstress and ask they will be able to tell you what is doable and what is not.
  • I asked about adding to a sweep train on a dress by Alfred Angelo and the shop owner made a phone call and was told no.  They could lengthen or shorten or even elimate any train except that one. It has something to do with the pattern and cut of the material.
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  • If you havent ordered the dress yet you should see if it could be ordered with a longer train, I will be ordering mine to be made with an extra 12" of train
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  • Adding a train can be very difficult.  Doing a long cathedral veil is often an easier less expensive route to go do create the illution of extra length, plus you can always take if off at the reception and not have to worry about carrying around the extra weight all night.  If you have your heart set on adding a train, make sure you speak with a seamstress with experience in bridal to make sure it is even possible.  You will want to order material from the same company that is making your wedding gown to make sure that fabrics and dye lots match.  If you simply add on from the current train you will have a seam however, depending on the style and beading on your gown that can easily be covered.  Adding on under the train to have a "layered" look may be possilble but again make sure you talk with a seamstress before you do anything.
  • WhatawagSBNyWhatawagSBNy member
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited March 2010
         They will often make one with a longer train on request.

         If they won't, but are a company which makes matching material available,  for many style dreese it is easier and more attractive to leave the dress as is and add a detachable train in the form  of a back overskirt with a long train.

         But instead of then paying to bustle it,  you wear it with the train when you want, and unhook it when you don't want ir.

        Most often detachable trains attach at a back waist seam.  Not good for mermaid dresses.   This Maggie is manufactured with a detachable train.  As you can see, it looks natural.


         I had my wedding shop call MS and order my dress hemmed floor length and a detachable train made as a special order, and it was great.

         I did special order alterations and special cuts for a gown manufacturer a while back.

         Post a pic of the dress with name and model or a link to the website.   The design of the dress tells the story.
    Just adding an extension usually looks bad.
  • WhatawagSBNyWhatawagSBNy member
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited March 2010
    If you are LDS - I have only altered a few gowns for LDS members, but since you are using Eternity, you may be.
    (If not LDS, you may do any of these, and also permanent alteration at bottom.)

    They have a Temple rule on trains.

    If you want a more elaborate train for photos and a reception, LDS require that the actual dress not have it, because it would not be allowed in the temple, but they approve having detachable trains of any length made to be attached after the Temple service.

    If not LDS, you can wear the detachable whenever you want it.

    Two ways to do this.
    For this sort of silky charmeuse  gored bias cut dress, I would prefer a detachable train.

     1. An overskirt in keeping with the narrow skirt of the mermaid, that would make an extended back: 

        Because Eternity will only sell enough  extra  fabric to make swatches and trims, you cannot count on matching the charmeuse exactly, though you can get a swatch from your dress shop  and try..  If you buy any fabric  that is similar,  not matching,  and a lace fabric  or organza too, and treat them as one when sewing (called an interlining rather than a lining)  the lace/ organza fabric will disguise the fact that the two fabrics  do not match  and will add a pretty soft contrast..    A lot of dresses are made with a base shiny fabric and a lace overlay  to begin with, so it will add a back panel that is pretty.

    You sew the 2 layers together to make a simple back drape piece, the length from back waist or other point just above or below, to bottom of skirt plus inches for train length.  lower edge is curved, narrow hem on sides and bottom edge.  

    Top is gathered like an apron with a band of lace or trim on top.

    You can attach it 2 ways, buttons or hooks.

    Using a 1 inch strip of fabric taken from the bottom of skirt near a seam, so it matches the dress, 3 covered buttons, 1 at center seam or beside zipper placket, one on either side of back, at waist level.  these are not noticeable when tain is off.  loops to attach are on the underside of the train at top.  May need 5 buttons.  I prefer buttons.

    Some seamstresses like hooks which are out of sight tucked in seams ( I don't.)
    Since the skirt does not have a seam at the waist, to attach it:
    open a .5 inch place, reinforced so the seam does not split open, on the vertical side or side back seam.from the inside, you sew a little ribbon with a hook on the end, like used for a bustle.
    You sew a little loop eye on both sides, top, underside of train.

    Carry a small crochet hook - Mom or MOH.  Put the hook in the open seam .5 inch space, pull out hook, on each side.  Hang the train from the hooks.

    Any seamstress who has ever made a bustle can design this.

    If your dress has any pleats, ruffles in the right places, hooks go on the outside, out of sight under a fold of cloth.   Some seamstresses put a very thin stripe of ribbon right on the outside of the dress with hooks underneath.  With a charmeuse gown, this might look out of place, though if you add any embellishments, you can hide tiny white hooks.

    2.  Adding a train with a petticoat,  or adding one permanently if not worried about LDS rules -  some people buy Eternity gowns just for the modesty but do not marry LDS.
    This link is to a costume pattern.  If you ever wondered how they added trains in pioneer days, when people walked in dirt and took off trains between a church and home -  either a detachable train,  or they pulled on a petticoat.


    The add on like  your dress pictured that had a lower ruffle.

    To add directly to the dress:
        Make a similar one of lace or organza and charmeuse.   Make it with a layer of fabric lace or organza sewn right to  a layer of   the charmeuse extra fabric..

    It will have the new ruffle and train sewn 2 inches above where the original hem on the dress was, just under the edge of the main dress  new hem, hanging down.   As little as a 2 inch ruffle in front, or whatever you like, and increasing to a train length gradually starting at side or side front seam area.

    Just cut the back as long as you want it, in a curve that starts to angle  down starting at the front side seam.  In the front, a lacy ruffle will show, instead of the plain one on the dress pictured.  In the back a froth of ruffles will hang back an additional 18 inches or more.

    I'm better with a needle and thread than drawing, sorry.

    The cable connect and power are out where I access this email (storm a few days back) but within a day or 2   I will respond at [email protected] , so email me  if these directions have not made sense.  :)    Wag
  • Thank you ladies for all of your help! 
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