I'm going to make a wedding cake and was thinking about having the bottom layer covered in a textured fondant that is gathered so that it look like a skirted table. I'm attaching a photo that will show what I mean. Is this done by rolling the fondant into a rectangle and then gathering it on the top of the cake, or do I need to shape the fondant on something prior to putting it on the cake (I've seen some of the tutorials for making swags using dowels). Should I use 1 long piece, or several pieces with the seams hidden in the folds? Also, how should I secure the fondant on the top of the cake. Underneath I have a non-crusting meringue buttercream (all butter). Thanks for any help.
It's done with separate panels layered on one another with the edges folded under. Each panel is no more than a couple of inches wide. Once you start putting them on the cake, you'll understand why.
You can attach with gum glue, royal icing, melted chocolate or piping gel. Your panels should be rolled fairly thin, so they won't be very heavy.