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Aug 2, 2011

Time to make the crinoline!



Good morning, readers, and welcome to MPB, home of the crinoline!

I am happy to report that I have pushed past my sewing block and the crinoline is underway.  Here's what I've done so far:

Laying out my net and weighing it down with books, I cut six 9-inch wide strips of net, each slightly more than 4 yards long.  (The total width of my net is 54".)



There was no need to use Fray Check on the edges, as recommended in the tutorial I'm following (thank goodness!) -- this net does not fray.  It would have set me back days and that stuff off-gases like nobody's business.

After I cut a 4-yard strip, I rolled it up to keep things neat.



The plan is to make four gathered tiers: the longest 10 yards (the bottom tier) long, then 8 yards, then 4 yards, then 2.  This adds up to 24 yards, which is the amount of net I was able to cut.



Since the net was originally a little more than four yards long, to make a 10-yard strip I had to attach two 4-yard pieces and then an additional 2 yards.  I attached these by creating a french seam, which I then edgestitched down.  The seams are very strong and smooth.
 

Finally, I attached both ends, creating one huge cylinder, 10 yards in circumference and 9" wide.  Michael helped me roll it up (see top pic).

Rather than pinning folded-over ribbon to the bottom edge of this largest tier, I simply stitched the ribbon on, wrong side up, and then folded it over and topstitched.  I couldn't imagine pinning ribbon to 10 yards of net!

I've been doing all this on my featherweight, btw, which has been performing flawlessly.  One of the things I love about this machine is that the motor is silent.





It took a few hours, but I finally got the ribbon trim on the edge.  This wasn't difficult, just a little tedious.  I used a fine stitch length which helped keep the ribbon feeding slowly.   Then I ironed the ribbon on a cool setting.



Finally, I rolled up the whole thing again and went to bed.



Today I gather, gather, and gather some more.  I'll likely do this with my ruffler attachment, which I've had a lot of luck with.  Gathering it by hand sounds more difficult to me and harder to control.

I'll then attach the top (ruffled) edge of this bottom, 10-yard tier to the unruffled bottom edge of the 8-yard tier, and stitch ribbon over the seam allowance.  Then I will ruffle the top of that tier, and attach it to the next highest tier.  (All raw edges will be enclosed with ribbon.)  See where this is going?  But I'm getting ahead of myself!

I still haven't decided whether I want the top of the crinoline to be net or fabric.  I think a fabric top would be easier to adjust should Cathy want to wear this crinoline with a shorter dress -- she'd just roll the waistband down a few inches.  We'll see how it goes.

Friends, that's it!  Needless to say, we'll be talking crinoline tomorrow, and hopefully I'll have something finished -- or nearly finished -- to show you.

Happy sewing, everybody, and keep the good crinoline karma coming!

38 comments:

  1. As soon as I get rid of the girls tonight, I'll be doing something similar. Only I'll be using the rolled hem stitch on just about every edge there is for an attached net petticoat. I may still have to make another--it depends on how poofy the skirt is once I'm done!

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  2. Laura, are you doing the rolled hem with a serger?

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  3. That's a lot of crinoline! It's going to look impressive once done.

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  4. I love my ruffler attachment more than any other sewing thing. I am a terrible hand gatherer, but I love that ruffler even more than my gathering foot.

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  5. That is going to be one huge petticoat... I once tried to follow the Alice Lon petticoat tutorial with the 48 yards of nylon net and it was about to turn out a disaster. I think my net was too stiff and the 48 yards would have been overkill. I'll give it another go with the softer net and hope it won't come out a poofball again...

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  6. Hello Peter,
    If you have posted this information already, and I scanned it without looking I am sorry- but what width ribbon did you use? Do you recommend grosgrain over satin? I would like your opinion.
    Thank you and the crinoline looks exciting!
    JoanneM (MissMuslin)

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  7. Oh! You might want to consider hand-gathering after all--ruffler attachments are wonderful, but you can only gather a set amount. Some are adjustable, but not all. It depends on how much you have to gather!

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  8. Thanks, Laura.

    Joanne, I'm using 1" poly satin ribbon. I think you could use any ribbon provided you could fold it in half. I think rayon seam binding would work too, depending on the width of your seam allowance.

    Paula -- I realized just this morning that my 10 yards are WAY too much for this stiff net. I've decided to cut the whole thing in half and make a double-layered petticoat. Wish me luck!

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  9. Bravo for tackling the crinoline! You are very patient to attach all that ribbon...I usually run straight to the serger and use a narrow rolled hem. Because petticoats and such were in their heyday before the advent of the home serger, sergers are seldom mentioned in instructions; they can be a huge time-saver in these kind of projects though. I wear these kind of underskirts a fair amount in costumes, and also agree with you that having a fabric waistline (and a built-in slip underlining for that matter) is more comfortable than having netting right next to the skin. But I love the look of your ribbon edging and eagerly await the unveiling (ha) of the finished crinoline.

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  10. It's been a while since I've used the ruffler, so I may be imagining things, but I think it's possible to ruffle and attach in one step, with the straight fabric on the bottom and the fabric that you want to ruffle on the top. In case you want to try that.

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  11. I agree with Bratling, I've found I've had to go back to hand gathering with petticoats as my ruffler won't gather the net quite enough. It seems to gather net less tightly than woven fabrics. That might just be my old Singer one though. I've also tried feeding a piece of narrow tape through with the net, which helps a bit. It's one of those things you never know until you start.

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  12. that's a lots of notions and fabric. Would you give us the estimate ($$) for this project?. I can't wait to see the end result!

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  13. Yea crinoline!

    You do know Michael is a treasure, all that help with your sewing is just awesome!

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  14. Raquel, the net was cheap: $2/yd maybe, not more than that. I bought a whole roll of 1" ribbon which I think was about $10, but I'm not entirely sure how much I'm going to use. Otherwise it's just a little fabric and some hook and eyes (and/or a zipper). Not really that much $$.

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  15. I once used the ruffler to gather some fabric and made a few test samples first, but I found that I either got too much or two little length based on the different settings I used. I don't recall the exact numbers but to get a finished length of 48" ruffled I think I had to use about 4 times (192") that amount unruffled. Not an exact science...I had to guesstimate...Also couturearts is right you can ruffle and attach the ruffle to the next layer at the same time but you may have to have extra yardage available based on your ruffler settings...the ruffler is far easier to use but I think you have more control in adjusting the length by hand. Peter I am looking forward to see how this comes out for you. Anyone else use the ruffler and have an understanding of the settings...?

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  16. Have you ever thought of donating your unwanted finished projects to a little theater group or a high school drama club? Just an idea.

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  17. My new Bernina ruffler has settings for taking a tuck/ruffle every stitch (1), every six stitches (6), or every twelve stitches (12). I am fond of broomstick skirts & find it is difficult to be exact. I do the ruffling and attach at the same time to the flat fabric on the underside, then serge the seam. When I have all the horizontal rows done at a ratio of about one to three, then I make one vertical seam to even things up. It is faster than trying to match everything, as straight seams are easier than closed round ones. I use the narrow hemmer on my sewing machine to finish the hem, before broomsticking. Voila! K.

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  18. Peter, you are truly amazing! Nice to see Michael as your lovely sewing assistant. I miss his blog :(

    I am truly amazed at your sewing prowess! A petticoat is something that I probably wouldn't attempt. Go, Peter!!!

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  19. Thanks, all.

    Anonymous, I'm not sure what show could be costumed with my Cathy castoffs, other than "Auntie Mame." LOL

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  20. I don't think I've ever seen a pretty crinoline - but yours looks like it will be beautiful. Good luck on the modifications!

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  21. I also eagerly await the unveiling of the grand crinoline. It's going to rustle! How romantic!

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  22. Someone named Carla C. has a great tutorial on how to figure out ruffler settings. It was on a free book site, IIRC. My downloaded pdf is called rufflerunruffled. I don't remember the site unfortunately; but maybe this will spark someone else's memory.

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  23. Ah, a simple google found it, here's the link:

    https://www.youcanmakethis.com/info/featured-products/free-the-ruffler-unruffled.htm

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  24. I haven't used a ruffler foot but have used a gathering foot and could never get it to gather to the correct measurement, so in the end I resorted to gathering with gathering threads for all my petticoats. Plus I love getting those gathers nice and even! I used to gather each quarter separately as the threads would snap over too long a length, but the thread ends were handy to line up with the CF/CB/side seams.
    Also I used to gather from the top down - I just found it easier to do it that way for some reason. You could try a bias lining yoke, with a waistline casing and tie - it would sit fairly flat while worn, but stretch enough to slip on without an opening.
    Have fun!!

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  25. It's going to be amazing when it's all done.. but i dont envy you for all the work and time that has got to go into it! haha, good luck :)

    http://www.houseofslater.com

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  26. Looking fabulous as everything you make, Peter! I believe that I would go with a fabric top if I were making that crinoline. I would use a keyhole closure with hook and eye. That way, there would be no elastic bulk.

    Waiting for tomorrow's post!

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  27. Thanks Treadle27 I downloaded those instructions and they look pretty detailed. I'll read through them later...thanks for the help

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  28. this whole project is amazing. I have problems gathering a sleeve cap. I can't imagine gathering yards and yards. Thanks for sharing this adventure!

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  29. I’m with Mainelydad. Ruffling is not at the top of my skill set, so I am in awe of your “boldness!”

    I also agree with ParisGrrl. A fabric waistline and a built-in slip underlining would probably be best for comfort. It’s been quite a while since I’ve worn any crinoline, but I remember the scratchy scratchy feeling against my skin.

    Thanks for allowing us to learn along with you. The dress is going to be AMAZING!

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  30. Peter, good for you for pushing past your comfort zone and going for it! This looks like it will be a splendid project and I can't wait to see it completed.

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  31. You are amazing and brave to tackle all that netting! I would NEVER try it! But I have had good success gathering with my serger. If you have a book on serger techniques, you should be able to find it in there. Test, test, test.
    I think the fabric at the waist and a little slip underneath to keep the net away from the skin is a great idea. If you use a light weight stretchy knit and elastic at the waist you can accomplish this with very little bulk. The stretch fabric can be the same as or smaller than the body measurement.

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  32. You're welcome William; I haven't tried them, but they made sense to me.

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  33. Peter, what did you do with the dogs while you were working on the net? Maybe your pups don't "mess" with stuff that you're working on. There's no way I could work on a project like this with my 3 cats roaming free. It would take a closed door, and there would be much screaming and pound on the "cat" side of the door.

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  34. I made a pettiskirt for my daughter and used a ruffler foot. It didn't do as well with that type of fabric than it does with a heavier fabric. When I made a second one, I came up with my own cheater method of gather. I pinch the fabric by hand and hold it in place while I send it under the presser foot. You can't do this at high speed, but it beats the heck out of hand-gathering with the pulled thread method and you can control the fullness of your gathers.

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  35. I'm glad to see Michael in the first picture. I haven't seen any cooking posts from him lately, and wonder how I could possibly post more food messages than Michael.

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  36. You are brave! I would have just gone to a Western store that sold square dance clothes, and bought the darn petticoat!!!

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  37. Peter, you have so much patience! I don't think I could tackle anything that tedious and time-consuming...especially for a garment that goes -under- clothes. I'm impressed!

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