How to Make a '50s Crinoline

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The '50s style crinoline is used to make dresses bell out from the wearer.
The '50s style crinoline is used to make dresses bell out from the wearer. (Image: Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Crinolines were used in the 1950s to make full skirts really stand out from the wearer's body. A crinoline is a petticoat made of stiff material, worn under a full skirt to keep it belled out, according to Dictionary.com. Made of yards of net or tulle and simple items found at most hobby stores, anyone can make a '50s-style crinoline for just about any occasion.

Things You'll Need

  • 9 yards of stiff nylon net, 72 inches wide
  • Scissors
  • Coordinating thread
  • Fishing line
  • 1-inch-wide elastic
  • 1 package coordinating satin blanket binding, 1.5 inches wide
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Safety pins

Measure your hips where you would like the finished crinoline to fall. Cut a length of the satin blanket binding four inches longer than your hip measurement and set aside. Cut a length of the elastic 1 inch longer than your hip measurement and set aside.

Cut your net into three tiers. The first tier will be your waist measurement plus four inches at double thickness, with the fold at the top. The second measurement will be that length doubled with single thickness. The final tier will be the length of the first tier tripled, again with single thickness. If your waist measures 30 inches, for the first tier, cut 34 inches around; for the second tier cut 68 inches around; for the third tier cut 106 inches around. Each tier should be 7 inches wide. Set the first and second tiers aside.

Sew a length of fishing line onto the top of the netting working with the last tier first and using a zigzag stitch. Leave 3 inches of fishing line at either end of the long strip. Repeat for the second tier. Set both aside.

Sew your first tier across the top, 1 1/4 inches from the fold. Insert the elastic into the looped fabric, holding the ends in place with safety pins.

Pull the elastic taut and sew the satin blanket binding over the elastic, taking care not to sew through the elastic, so that satin is on both sides of the elastic. You have created the top tier of the crinoline with a satin waistband. Leave the safety pins in place until the last step.

Pull the fishing line from both ends to ruffle the second tier until it is the same length as the first tier. Layer the second tier over the first tier and sew through both tiers, taking care not to spread out the ruffles, to sew the second tier onto the first tier. Once you have sewn the tiers together, clip the ends of the fishing line.

Repeat Step 6 with the third tier, sewing the third tier onto the bottom of the second tier.

Fold the unfinished sides of the tiered skirt together and sew down the seam, allowing 1/2 inch for the seam and taking care to sew both ends of the elastic together. Remove the safety pins from the elastic. Turn inside out and your skirt is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you would like to finish your crinoline with a satin hem, use 1-inch-wide coordinating satin ribbon and sew it along the edge of the third tier before you pull the fishing line to make ruffles. Fold the ribbon in half and sew over the unfinished edge of the net.

References

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