Hey Viv! Need a Crinoline?

by Erin on April 30, 2007


Theresa sent me this link to the Hey Viv! store, where you can buy yourself a brand new 50s-style crinoline, for all your swishy-skirt needs. They're about $27, not including shipping, and also come in black, pink, and red.

I'm not a big crinoline-wearer myself — I have enough trouble getting in and out of cars as it is — but I'm tempted to get one. Just for parties, I'm telling myself, although I know if I had one I'm sure I'd try to wear it every day, like a six-old-girl with brand-new patent maryjanes.

I think some of you have sent me links to other retro-undergarmenty places in the past, links I have carefully filed, never to see again. If you feel generous, leave them in the comments?

Hints for actually managing the wearing of a crinoline are welcome, too.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Theresa April 30, 2007 at 8:33 am

Yay! You picked me!I think I like crinolines (at least they way they look) because when I was in the first grade we read Dick and Jane and Jane always had the best dreses with crinolines underneath. I wanted a dress like that so bad! I just have to tell you, I went to a wedding this weekend and SO MANY women were wearing BLACK! One lovely young lady wore a pale green, polka dot strapless with a built in crinoline. It was all bunched up under her dresss — so I HAD to fix it. I just had to. It was making me NUTS! Thanks again!


lindylady1 April 30, 2007 at 8:43 am

Check out girdlebound.com for retro style foundation garments & hose. Just the thing for achieving the proper shape and smooth line under those vintage frocks.


ita April 30, 2007 at 8:55 am

Oh! I hope someone posts a site where I can buy silky full slips instead of the Spanx stuff that’s all I can find in stores. I have some vintage 50s shirtwaist dresses with lace panels that need the opacity.I have a crinoline and quite like it, although I haven’t managed to wear it anywhere other than out to dinner. My main problem is that there’s nothing between it and me, and it’s quite scratchy. But it was a cheapie off eBay, so I’m not complaining.Now I need to go off to Hey Viv!


Shannon April 30, 2007 at 9:28 am

http://scpbanks.blogspot.com/Erin,The link above is to an avid sewer’s website – she’s crazy good, and blogs about it almost nonstop. She just made herself a crinoline and got lots of comments back on how to take care of them, etc., that you might find interesting.BTW, I enjoy your blog very much, and look forward to your POV on dresses every day! Have a good one!


Jonquil April 30, 2007 at 11:01 am

I bought the killer Gap shirtdress (the one with the shirt collar and full skirt), and it is truly a lovely thing. Among other things, it isn’t gathered by anything but the sash. This means that people who are high-waisted or have disproportionate — by fashion industry standards — measurements can belt it to fit. I think it may need a white crinoline, if I can find one short enough not to peek out under the hem. Thanks for the link!I’m also thinking of replacing the self-belt with either a pink or blue satin sash.


Debby April 30, 2007 at 11:04 am

That would be fun to have one for wearing to a party.


Summerset April 30, 2007 at 11:14 am

I see Shannon has been here before me. Thank you, Shannon!Check out http://www.sewretro.blogspot.com, for my post on my crinoline. Just scroll down a post. I’ve also included “without” and “with” pictures to show what a crinoline can do for a dress. I’ve had a few ladies who remember wearing these things in the 50’s and 60’s comment on my blog (Shannon already gave the link) – very neat. With regards to the scratchiness, I seem to recall that people did wear a regular slip underneath so that the netting wouldn’t scratch.


Nadia April 30, 2007 at 11:18 am

I wear a slip closest to my legs, then a crinoline or two (all depends on the shape I’m trying to achieve), then the skirt on the outside. I find a slip reduces the scratchiness and keeps the crinoline from bunching unattractively between the legs.


Susie April 30, 2007 at 11:26 am

LOVE the Rago Shapewear that is sold on girdlebound.com as pointed to by Lindylady1.Rago’s website will tell you which product lines give what kind of control.http://www.ragoshapewear.com/html/menu.shtml


harthad April 30, 2007 at 11:45 am

Great retro underthings at Secrets in Lace, http://www.secretsinlace.com


pirate April 30, 2007 at 11:45 am

I just finished making a full circle skirt for my daughter who swing dances. She wanted a not-so-poofy petticoat underneath so I used Simplicity 5006 (view e). It has two layers of netting gathered onto a dropped yoke. The dropped yoke eliminates bulky gathers at the waistline. I used 1 layer of netting and 1 layer of tulle rather than 2 layers of netting. Instead of gathering the netting to the yoke, I pleated them as the gathering resulted in very unattractive buckling. Pleating the tulle/netting gave me a nice restrained poof rather than a **SPROING** effect. :-) Under the tulle layer, I put a silky layer, which would be next to the skin … completely eliminates the scratchy tulle/netting problem. The reason we didn’t go with a full slip between the petticoat and body is because when she is swing dancing, you don’t want to *see* that full slip; you want the entire petticoat to twirl around as the skirt does.


Robin Edgerton April 30, 2007 at 12:00 pm

i have an old very sophisticated crinoline from sak’s…it’s basically a netting circle skirt, no tiers, in navy blue, tie waistband. I’ve been known to wear it over a slip as a skirt itself. why does no one make such sleek and pretty crinolines any more? they’re mostly ruffly and juvenile. tips on keeping the damn netting (on a regular crinoline) from bunching is appreciated. it seems like in the winter all of the netting ends up in front when you’re walking. Then again I walk everywhere.


Anonymous April 30, 2007 at 12:31 pm

There are a couple authentic true to the era options for the scratchy netting problem. The first comes from an old magazine from the era. Make a full circle underskirt from lingerie fabric and trim the bottom hem with fine lace. Sew the underskirt to the crinoline yoke. That’s the solid part between the waist and the hip. The full circle will swing and twirl with the dress, and the lace is pretty when it occasionally peeks out. Option tow is from an old poodle skirt pattern from the fifties. There’s no name on the envelope, only a pale green label with a line drawing of the skirt. This crinoline had satin ribbon trimming the edge of the netting on the leg side, that is, what we would consider the wrong side. With the satin ribbon, there was no more snagged hosiery. The pattern called it the “can-can” crinoline. (and my aplogies if this becomes a double post)


Lexy Girl April 30, 2007 at 1:01 pm

I have been looking for a place to buy frilly underthings besides wedding stores (hello mark-up)Thanks for the link!


La BellaDonna April 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Ita, if you have problems locating a full slip (or a pretty full slip), consider using a slip-style nightgown instead. They come in lots more colours, and you actually have a chance of finding a silk one, if that’s your preference! I often wear silk nightgowns as slips, and they’re perfect under wrapdresses! I’d passed that suggestion along to a woman at my gym, and she came in wearing a very pretty black-and-white print wrapdress, with a red slip-style nightgown under it. She had on red shoes and a wide red belt, and looked absolutely smashing. Lexy girl, have you tried weddingsforless.com for the … wedding things for less? I seem to recall some pretty affordable prices for floor-length and tea-length crinolines.


Jonquil April 30, 2007 at 1:54 pm

I think this:http://www.secretsinlace.com/product/165/32would get you a very nice halfway between a scratchy crinoline and a limp skirt. Or perhaps I want it because it’s pink.


Gothic Charm School April 30, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Hot Rod Voodoo (http://hotrodvoodoo.com/hrv/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3&sort=20a&page=2&zenid=9f4a7c4f2b0d947578eed91dd506d6a9) is where I buy most of my new crinolines and petticoats. They have a good selection of options for length and fluffiness.As to tips for wearing them: always make sure that you know where the edges of your skirt are, so you don’t knock things off shelves and tables.


Kate in England April 30, 2007 at 3:40 pm

I’m loving the vintage undies links! Gotta get me some of that shapewear…More vintage-style undies (based in the UK this time) at What Katie Did.


AmeliaB April 30, 2007 at 3:53 pm

I’ve wanted to get one forever. Ever since I figured out that skits don’t “poof” on their own. Unless you are constantly twirling or you get a crinoline. :-)~Amelia


stacy April 30, 2007 at 6:23 pm

I found a softer netting that isn’t scratchy or too stiff that I make my children’s fairy skirts/tutus out of. I think it was intended for wedding veils. You can remedy the bunching up problem by cutting it like overlapping flower petals instead of using one long piece. Super easy to make (harder to explain), wouldn’t be too difficult to size it up for an adult. Another layer of (colored) tulle on top of the (white) netting gives a very nice effect, without causing itchies.


Rikibeth April 30, 2007 at 10:02 pm

I’m afraid I can’t offer suggestions on managing crinoline as undergarment — I did that once, for a poodle skirt costume on stage. I have three crinolines, but I wear them as SKIRTS, because that’s de rigeur in goth clubs. They look fabulous with my black leather corset!


Rebecca Haden May 1, 2007 at 8:14 am

A seamstress at teh SewRetro blog showed one she had made using a Vogue pattern, and also showed pictures of her dress with and without a petticoat so we could see how necessary they were. The best part — speaking as a woman who remembers wearing those as a little girl — was that she told hwo she had made it more comfortable to wear.


Anonymous May 1, 2007 at 8:32 am

The one and only time I wore a crinoline was with my wedding dress. I sewed the dress and crinoline, it took four months and is the best sewing I have ever done. The dress is pale pink raw silk, off the shoulders with a big skirt. I wanted an elegant look and I loved wearing the dress. Oh and it has 23 buttons with handmade loops down the back. But I came here to tell you about the crinoline. I made a cotton slip to wear under, and it was quite comfortable.Lucette


Sondra May 1, 2007 at 8:41 am

From one who wore crinoline petticoats the last time around in the 50s…We wore a plain slip next to our skin. Otherwise, they chewed up the nylon stockings, as well as the thighs. The stockings were held up by a garter belt. I can’t imagine a junior-high girl wearing all this complicated underwear to school today.Laundering the petticoats was a production. We washed them carefully, so as to avoid tearing the edges of the net. Then we starched them. After much experimentation and passing of tips, we determined that the stiffest result was obtained by dipping the net in a super-saturated sugar solution. They couldn’t be hung on the line, because that would give them a lop-sided shape. They were carefully arranged in perfect symetry on towels on the floor. Imagine the dining room floor covered with the petticoats of three girls in the family. Around Christmas time, we sewed small jingle bells onto the ruffles, so we not only swirled and poofed; we jingled. We sometimes wore as manuy as three can-cans. Walking down an aisle, squeezing into a school desk or into a car seat required clever manuevering.Thanks for the chance to reminisce!


Anonymous May 1, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Like a previous commenter, I had a crinoline from one of my stints as a bridesmaid. Long since given away. I love the look but in reality wouldn’t have much opportunity to wear it. However I too would love to find silk slips if anyone has any ideas.


Kristel May 7, 2007 at 2:08 am

Here’s a link to a Dutch store that sells petticoats. http://www.suzet.net/petticoat.htm The site’s in Dutch, but check out the gold one.


AuntieShel November 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

I know it’s a year and a half later (that’s me, a day late and a dollar short) but couldn’t help commenting on crinoline’s and slips–I LOVE slips, but they seem to have gone the way of the Edsel these days. I remember when the dresses I used to wear to school had netting sewn into them–quite scratchy as I recall. I’ve not tried any of the “spanx,” products, I hear they’re marvelous, but all I can imagine is that they would ride up and bunch around my waist. I mean, what is keeping them down?


Tanya February 2, 2009 at 8:54 am

Hmm.. perhaps my squeem shapewear can blend well with that crinoline. 😀


Michele December 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm

One way to avoid the scratchiness is to bind the edges of the two or three layers closest to the skin with a lightweight tape.


Anonymous March 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Hi – late Lulu here on the crinoline thing. I make my own crinolines for square dancing. I have a Johnson ruffler machine just for making gathers.There are websites for buying crinolines in may variations just google square dance petticoats.I make them from crystal organza, lame, nylon organdy or lining fabric with net in between the layers, or bind the net with ribbon. Use tulle if you want that net look without the scratchiness on the botton layer of the organza. Zigzag over heavy nylon line in the hem to keep them stiff.wash on gentle, slip it over the agitator – starch and dry over an open umbrella. SD ones are very full, the softie ones are less stiff. Hope this helps.


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