Aug 2, 2011
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!