I’ve been planing to start on this costume for how long now? I’m hoping to make and shoot a 1860’s ballgown all before university starts, is it ambitious? Yes but I’ve made a start!
The pattern we’re using is Simplicity 9764 which is apart of the fashion historian collection. It’s an eleven hoop crinoline making it perfect for historical dress and cosplay!
I believe this pattern is currently out of print (no worries as it’s frequently rebranded and sold under new names) so the best place to get one is online. Places like EBay and Amazon are great places to look. I got mine on EBay for £15, unopened. I highly suggest you try and find unopened ones as you can never fully trust how well others look after their used patterns!
Materials you’ll need.
All of this is stated on the packet but here’s a quick run down.
•4m of a medium/heavy weight material. I used bleached Calico.
•24 of twill tape. This is what will be used to create the boning channels.
•27m of 12mm wide plastic covered steel boning. (I used 10mm because I couldn’t find 12mm where the shipping wasn’t insane, it makes no difference)
•Hooks and Eyes.
•Disappearing ink pen (Also know as friction/fabric pens)
•Thread (lots of it!)
•Top stitching thread in contrasting colour
•Top stitching thread in white
•Heavy duty Duct Tape
And of course a trusty sewing machine.The crinoline is made up of five pattern pieces. The waistband and the skirt panels.
The pattern pieces are quite large so give yourself some room and cut them out.
I like to iron my pattern after cutting them out, this makes sure they’re flat with no creases.
Then pin your patterns to the fabric and cut them out!
MAKE SURE YOU TRANSFER THE BONING CHANNEL LINES OVER TO YOUR FABRIC BEFORE CUTTING!!!
I cut my fabric out before transferring the lines over and it was a pain to re-pin them and then trace the lines out. Make sure to use your disappearing ink pen for this!
Also check out my sweet purple fabric scissors. My last pair of scissors died cutting adhesive velcro, RIP.
Once all of the pieces are cut out sew them together making sure to take notice of the seam that’s finished with a narrow hem.
It makes a hella nice cloak when all the seams are sewn.
Back to the narrow hem! This my first time sewing one and although the sewing pattern does explain how to sew one it confused me. I decided to look up a tutorial and found This Tutorialwhich is super helpful and simplifies it down with lots of pictures!
They’re pretty simple, once you know what you’re doing!
This will become the opening for the crinoline.
Next up is the waistband and gathering the top edge. Straight away I’m going to say cut the waistband pattern from the petticoat (apart of the same pattern pack) and double the fabric. The waistband intended for the crinoline is tiny and and just a genuine pain in the ass. I tried following the pattern using the original waistband and it was too small, came apart and didn’t even look like a waistband. I just didn’t work for me, I probably did something wrong but I found the petticoat pattern to be a great alternative.
///Note: I changed the waistbands over after completing the crinoline///
The next step is to gather the skirt up. Now the instructions say to use a long machine stitch with a heavy thread.
Basically two lines of basting stitches using top stitching thread. Make sure to use a contrasting coloured thread.
Now when I did this and stated gathering it all up and the top stitching thread snapped. And I’d used both a bobbin and a spool of top stitching thread so it should have been secure as hell. I brushed it off and thought it just twisted it accidentally which made the thread more brittle. So I sewed the lines of stitching again and it snapped again…
So I decided it would be easier and more reliable to hand sew the gathers myself. This surprisingly wasn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be!
Once all of the gathering is in place and it’s gathered to your waist band size. Sew the waist band on!
The bottom edge is hemmed and this creates the bottom two boning channels.
The others are created with the twill tape.
This is the time consuming part! Yay!
On the WRONG side starting from the back seam pin the twill tape centred over the lines you drew to indicate the boning channel all the way round the crinoline leaving at least an inch over lap when you get back to where you started. Make sure to leave a three inch opening so you can insert the boning later!
I highly recommend doing one at a time it’s a lot easier to manage and if you’re like me you won’t have enough (good🙃straight🙃long) pins to do more than one at a time!
Once the twill tape is pinned in place sew it on either side of the tape as close to the edge as possible.
Then repeat that nine times and try not to lose your mind.
But if you do, that’s okay.
We have a weekly sessions you can attended. This week we have a box of kittens to cheer everyone up after we talk about our feelings.
It took me around 11 hours to sew the boning channels in (with breaks).
It looks so pretty and drapy ahhh. The next day I started on inserting the boning into the channels. I got my boning from Sew Curvy Sew Curvy is run by a really lovely team and I recommend buying from them!
Onto the hoops!You’ll need your wire cutters now!
Steel boning is pretty sharp even with the plastic covering. The sharp edges are sharp enough to pierce the twill tape and your base fabric so it’s best to cover them up! This also makes inserting it a lot easier as it won’t snag on anything. You can get caps to put on the end of boning but heavy duty duct tape works just as well!
The instructions does have a chart to indicate how long each hoop should be,
But I wanted quite a full crinoline so I just inserted the bonging while still on the roll and cut it to size once it made the full circle. Do what ever you feel most comfortable with🤷🏼♀
Before inserting the boning I covered the end with the duct tape. I’d cut of a section wider then the boning and tape half of it to the boning.
Then fold it over and press the sides where the tape meets. And then cut the excess off the sides. And it’s ready to be inserted into a channel!
It’s pretty simple to guide the boning around the channel just be carful where any seams are. When the end meets itself again leave about an inch of overlap. Then tape the end you just cut and bind the two ends together using the tape. You should have some overlapping twill tape as well so pin that over the hole you left for the boning and hand sew in place.
Repeat this eleven times!
Once you’re finished inserting the boning and sewing the channels closed there are just a few things left to do.
You’ll need to sew sets of hook and eyes down the opening and to the waistband to create the closure.
And three laces needed to be sewn on the inside to each of the top three hoops. This will pull the front of the crinoline towards you more and push the back outwards for the 1860’s silhouette. This is of course optional if that’s not the look you’re going for!
Here’s a picture from the instructions to explain the process better!
And with that you’re done! You have your very own eleven hoop crinoline perfect for any princess occasion!!
I’m making the petticoat and corset to go along with the crinoline so look out for future posts on those patterns!
This was a lot of fun to make and was very different from the regular store bought patterns I usually follow. I’m super happy with the outcome of this and I’m so excited to get a dress over it. I’ve just got this costume and my Nightingale Armour to make before I leave for University I really don’t want to be stressing myself too much before then because I’m sure I have a lot to make when course starts. I think my worst nightmare at this point will be my dress form not fitting in my room!
Thank you for reading,