Sewing Tutorial: Sew A Crinoline

crinoline-Crinoline or petticoat is easy to make, really!!! Well, at least it is so much more easier to make compared to the queen gown below.

Crinoline when worn under a skirt, makes it look domed and inflated, especially for gown of special occasion. You can get crinoline easily in some countries but they normally came in white or black. Now, you can make it yourself, if you need a specific color to match your beautiful gown.

Crinoline mainly came in 2 types, hoop or full fabric/tulle. The one I am making is hoop with tulle, so it is a mixture of both. The reason behind this combination is that I want the crinoline look soft yet is able to hold the skirt of the gown in a good shape, yet easy to stow away when not in use. If you look closely at hoop crinoline being worn, you will see the “skeleton” of the hoop if the gown was made of soft and thin fabric. Full fabric/tulle is a good choice but it would be difficult when comes to storage as it is very bulky and isn’t like the hoop type where we can simply take out the resilient plastic strip of the “bone”.

See, the gown is happy and smiling after being given a “lift” by the crinoline!

Material you will need:
(this is for little girl’s measurement, you would need more for an adult.)
1. 3 meter of tulle, I bought the stiff tulle as it expends better
2. 2 meter fabric to make into an A-shape skirt
3. Elastic band for the A-shape skirt
4. 12 meter Resilient plastic strip (some call it corset bone or fish bone)
5. 1 roll of cotton bias-tape (about 10 meter)

crinoline-wip1Divide the tulle into 3 equally parts by it’s width. Cut. You have 3 strips of 3 meters x 1/3 width of tulle.
Cut one of the strips into half the length, become 2×1.5 meter.
Sew the 1.5 meter to one of the 3 meter tulle to make it 4.5 meters.
Now you have 3 strips of 1.5m, 3m and 4.5m.
Sew the ends together to make into ring. The long side of the measurement become the width and the short side become the height.
Fold the height into half.
Divide the width into 4 equal parts and mark their position by sewing red threads on them.

crinoline-wip2Use the biggest spacing of straight stitch, sew 2 lines 10mm below the fold side of the 3m tulle.
Pull the thread to create gathers until the width of the gathered tulle is 1.5m. Pin the red thread markings to the 1.5m tulle (only the bottom layer). Spread the gather evenly and secure it with pin. Sew a normal spacing stitch to hold it.
Repeat the same to the 4.5m width tulle. You might increase the marking to 8 to achieve a more even spreading in the gathers.
Lastly, gather the top of the first tulle to the desired width of the A-shape skirt.

crinoline-wip3This is an A-shape skirt with elastic waist band and the resilient plastic strip is beside it.
Sew 4 rows of biased tape at the wrong side of the skirt so that you could put in the plastic strip into it.
The spacing between each strip is about 150mm. You can increase the spacing for adult crinoline, anything between 150mm to 250mm is fine.
Remember to leave the ends of the biased tape open so that you can slot the strip into it.

crinoline-wip4The wrong side of the skirt showing the biased tape.

crinoline-wip6Attach the tulle onto the right-side of the A-shape skirt.

crinoline-wip5Slot the resilient plastic strip into the biased tape. The plastic strip will expand the A-shape skirt to its fullest.
TIP: If your gown is heavy on the skirt side, you may want to add another strip of plastic to the last 2 rows of the biased tape, this is to further strengthen the “expansion”.

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9 comments... read them below or add one

  1. You are so cute! I love how you started this whole project with…I’m really not an experienced sewer….and you have this amazing dress and crinoline?!!!! You are amazing!

  2. Wow, I don’t think I’d ever take on this project. You did an awesome job. Making your own crinoline= very cool.

  3. Oh my! You are so creative! Awesome! Now, I know who to call when I need a beautiful gown! :D

  4. This looks like it would be SO much fun to wear! Thanks for the how-to, I’ll be linking.

  5. i so much like this.

  6. For a rockabilly skirt, could I use a slip bought at the thrift store to which I could attach the constructed tulle skirt? Would I still need the “bones”?

  7. THANK YOU for this tutorial! I’m wondering about the tulle overskirt. Is it meant not to have much gathering? I’d made one in the past, but it didn’t have very many gathers, nor hoops, and it had very little flounce to it. I’d like to make something more worth the while for my daughter to enjoy!

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