When Crinolines Attack

Yes…. I am saddened to say my crinoline has officially attacked me.

It all started off with wonderful expectations and a bit of free time.  I found myself between projects and with some free time to fill, so I decided to make a crinoline, at long last.  I’ve had the supplies sitting in my fabric-closet for some time and since I’ll be needing to wear one with my valentine’s day outfit I thought it’s now or never.

Guided by Sugardale’s tutorial I went to work measuring out my fabric strips, applying fray-check, cutting, sewing 2 lines of gathering stitches, etc.

The project I was in between was my valentine’s day dress (where the unpiped bodice is hanging on the back of my chair).

This took forrrrever.  Ugh.  I was so bored sewing this up…

Anyhow, after I pinned the 8-yard bottom tier to the 4-yard middle tier was when I decided to deviate from Sugardale’s instructions, to make the work go quicker.  I didn’t want to sew on ribbon between each of the tiers of the crinoline to encase the raw edges… that’s what my serger is for!  (Nor did I have said ribbon in my stash and I didn’t feel like going to the fabric store for just one thing.)

Being determined to cut down on sewing 4 yards worth of fabric, I thought I’ll just serge it all together; sew and serge in one step, what could go wrong?!.  This is where things took a turn for the worse.

Within the first 12″ of sewing on the serger, apparently I had not removed a pin soon enough when something, somewhere flew out and hit me in the face.  I was stunned to say the least.  But then I was like “mehh” it was only the ball of the pin.  I went back to serging only to find that my fabric wasn’t being cut by the serger and was making a funny noise.  That’s when I realized what flew out and hit me: the upper knife off my serger!  *Gasp*

Yeah… one little pin did that!

Luckily!!! I didn’t get hurt (not even a scratch on my face).  But it was enough to shake me up and I began to get annoyed at my crinoline.

I went online and this little blade is costing me $21.99 to replace.  On top of that, I had to suck it up and buy ribbon to enclose the raw edge instead of using my serger.  That was another 6 bucks.

Now I’m thoroughly perturbed at this whole crinoline business and have come to realize that I’ve put more money towards this crinoline than it would have cost to just buy one online, not to mention hours of my time spent with boring sewing.

At this point, I’ve put too much time and money into this thing that it’s not worth it anymore for me to buy one.  My crinoline has attacked me (aka my serger attacked me for making it sew a crinoline) and now I’m wishing I could attack my crinoline.  But I need it for my dress…. Grrr!

Ever have one of these projects (or days) where things just go wrong???

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (14)

  1. Lauren February 3, 2012 — 8:59 AM

    Ha! I feel your pain about that knife blade – I made the mistake of letting a friend use my serger unsupervised, and despite warning her not to serge over pins, she did it anyway. Broke my serger knife & messed up my timing – it cost me like $80 to fix :( I was PISSED and she still swears to this day that it wasn’t her fault… there were definitely pin-knicks in the blade too. Ugh!

    Sorry you’re having crinoline issues :( Those things are such a bore to sew. But on the bright side – when you finish, you won’t have to sew another one!

  2. Sue C February 3, 2012 — 9:03 AM

    Liz, so sorry for your frustration. I just recently got a serger and now fully understand how careful I need to be with pins! That sounds like a really involved project. I’m sure everyone in your sewing community wishes you well and sends you their support. Hang in there, girl.


  3. Qui February 3, 2012 — 10:48 AM

    I tried to make a crinoline, and my machine didn’t like the flimsy fabric I was choosing to work with. I gave up 3 times(3 days in a row), only to try again the next day because I needed it for Halloween. I finally finished the ugliest, most worthless crinoline ever. But I finished. I wore it for Halloween and then vanquished it to the extra closet in the house, probably to never be worn again.

    It sounds like you have a much better start (and pattern and fabric), so I hope you finish and share the results with us!! Good luck Liz!

  4. I feel your pain! My Minoru is not going well at hence (hence the reason I have been able to focus on my German Pattern Experiment). I first bought this really neat cotton for the lining – it was a world map, I thought it would be so fun to show people the inside of my jacket with this print. Well, I soon realized it was far too thin for lining (more like a lawn or voile) not what you want for lining. Then I had a terrible time finding elastic (going to over 7 different stores – any by that time they were well out of my way). Now as I was trying to desperately catch up with the sew along – all my pieces cut out, I realized there is a large flaw on the fold of the fabric – so all my pieces cut on the fold are no good – and I have no left over fabric. (Why does this stuff only happen to my on sew alongs?). I’m going to persevere, but in the meantime I wish it were easier.

    I have really wanted to make a crinoline using Sugardale’s tutorial. I am sure you will love yours once it is done. (Just erase the painful memories of today and think of yourself frolicking around in a puffy 1950’s dress with a gorgeous crinoline underneath). Have a happy day!

  5. dixie February 3, 2012 — 7:10 PM

    wow, i’m impressed with your persistence! i’ve had a few projects that made me want to tear my hair out and seemed never ending but then again, i’ve never tried making a petticoat. thanks for the link to that tutorial! if I ever do want to brave it, I might give it a try.

  6. Bummer. I made mine by cutting out the poofy part of the lining of an old prom dress and zigzag some elastic on it to make a waist band. And since I was given the dress, all it cost me was a few bucks for the elastic. It’s not super pretty on top nor is it the biggest crinoline ever but it works.

  7. Sophia February 4, 2012 — 9:35 AM

    Oh gosh! That’s one of my biggest fears when using the serger! I’m glad it didn’t hit you in the eye or something.

    Whew, I’m worn out just hearing about sewing that crinoline. It will be worth it in the end, though. I’m looking forward to seeing your Valentine’s day dress.

  8. karen February 4, 2012 — 10:41 AM

    I HATE IT when stuff like that happens, but every time you wear it you can feel a little satisfaction that YOU WON!

  9. Oh, gosh, scary! I’m glad you’re unharmed. I’ve made any number of gathered tiered skirts (although only one crinoline), and I’ve always found it a better idea to gather in one stage, sew in another, and finish in a third. Repetitive? Yes, but a lot more reliable (my recommendation—gather the bottom tier first, after that it gets much more bearable…)

    Good luck!

  10. Gosh I am so glad you weren’t hurt by that blade, I’m always so scared that’ll happen to me! I attempted to make a crinoline for my wedding dress but in the end I gave up after I snapped my gathering stitches for the second time while halfway through gathering several meters of fabric. They’re really hard work! Good luck with the rest of your crinoline, whatever you decide to do with it :)

  11. Jessie February 5, 2012 — 7:05 AM

    Any time my brain thinks the following before I can stop it: “Wow this is going so well.” followed by a warm feeling in my heart my machine immediately breaks, looses it’s needle, gets twisted threads or I realize I’ve sewn something on backwards. Every. Single. Time.

  12. Amy February 5, 2012 — 3:16 PM

    I love this picture of you with the long train of crinoline behind you. At that point my cats would be going nuts! How very frustrating and I know sometimes these things just seem to go wrong all at once. Sometimes I just have to take a step back and not sew for a couple of days or I’ll hurt myself. (Which I have done, cutting my hand with my scissors over WHITE silk. Yelp.)

  13. Casey February 13, 2012 — 6:01 AM

    Yikes! So glad that little piece that broke off didn’t cause you any damage; that’s one of my fears with working with the serger–forgetting to take out a pin! :p I have had more than one project just not go right–lately it’s been fabric error, rather than anything else. But it’s frustrating when I’ve put so much effort into something only to have it fight me tooth and nail! :/

  14. […] I got two comments yesterday asking if my skirt was puffy due to a crinoline or from the horsehair braid and I think it’s high time that I did a recap of my crinoline adventures. […]

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