This is a tutorial for dying a crinoline. Now, not all wedding dresses require you to wear a crinoline (also sometimes called a petticoat or a crinoline petticoat – go figure), but for some dresses they really help to give the overall skirt portion of your dress definition and extra puff…plus, they're kind of fun.
Hello readers of Kiss My Tulle!! My name is
Kelly and I write a blog in conjunction with my Etsy shop, Lavender Paper Hearts Handmade,
where I like to feature new hair pieces and items from my shop, as well as
share the occasional tutorial, recipe, or great find.
This is a
tutorial for dying a crinoline. Now, not all wedding dresses require you
to wear a crinoline (also sometimes called a petticoat or a crinoline petticoat
– go figure), but for some dresses they really help to give the overall skirt
portion of your dress definition and extra puff…plus, they're kind of
fun. Think late 1800s ladies fashion, or the gimongo ball gown skirts
from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding…
Okay, well mine wasn't that puffy, but if you can work that look, go for it!!
Photo courtesy of: Wikipedia
Photo courtesy of: NY Times article on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
Since we're talking about My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, while
their over the top wedding dresses are admittedly not my style, I would JUMP at
the chance to try one of those bad boys on. I just think it would be fun, even
if I couldn't really walk and or do much of anything other than stand all
day. The ladies who wear the huge dresses on that show certainly evoke
the old saying "beauty is pain," as some of the dresses weigh up to
200+ lbs and the weight of the dresses sometimes scar their hips!!
back to the tutorial…
coloring your crinoline: There are two basic ways of going about dying
your crinoline. Version one is to dye the whole ENTIRE skirt. This
includes the crinoline's outer skirts as well as the tulle underneath.
Admittedly, dying the whole thing is the easier way of going about coloring a crinoline.
If you want to dye the whole thing, skirts and all, merely follow the
directions on the package of dye, starch and steam the heck out of the tulle
section of the skirt, and you’re done. Off Beat Bride has a great DIY
tutorial on how to do this. I found
that dying the whole thing tends to give the crinoline skirt a much darker
color overall, which wasn't what I was going for. Since my wedding shoes
were so bright (see awesome photo below), I wanted my crinoline to
be more subtle in color. Thus we have version two of dying a
crinoline… This version is a little bit more work, but I like that it's
more subtle – go figure!
Random shout out: My shoes are by Miss L. Fire. They're
amazing shoes, and a FANTASTIC COMPANY from over in the U.K.!! They were really
soft leather and were a dream to wear all day! *They also have incredible
- Crinoline – I bought
mine from Angels
Bridal on Ebay – $20
- 1 Box RIT Dye, powder –
$3. You can use an additional box, or liquid if you want a darker
color. I was going for a subtle pop of color. Here is a really useful guide to
mixing their colors.
- Clothing Starch – $3.
I read online that liquid can be more effective, but I used spray
Faultless Premium Professional Starch and had no problems.
- Needle and Thread
- Sewing Pins
- Iron, with steamer
- Lace – $1 at Hobby Lobby
Step 1: Start
by turning the skirt inside out. On the inside of the innermost skirt
(this should now be on the outside) carefully snip away the seam that attaches
the tulle or netting to the inner skirt with your scissors or a seam ripper if
you want to get all fancy. To save yourself time when reattaching the
netting, be really careful not to snip the thread that makes the gathering in
the skirt only snip the stitches that connect the tulle to the skirt. You
may have more than one layer of tulle/netting to your skirt. Be sure to
remove all layers.
Step 2: Set the skirts aside –
you’re going to be dying just the tulle/netting at this point. You’ll
need to thoroughly rinse the tulle before starting the dying process. This helps
to remove the starch that is already in the skirt; it will help the tulle to
take the color, and is an important step that should not be skipped. Next, follow the directions on your RIT dye box. I used a big Rubbermaid
container to dye my skirt. I didn't want to take any chances and accidentally
dye my bathtub or my washing machine (I'm a renter). Once you’re done
dying the tulle, and have rinsed it until it the water runs clear, hang your
tulle up to dry. I rinsed out my tulle in the bathtub so I rigged a
hanging fancy set up in my bathroom…. Clearly, it's very fancy.
When the tulle is completely dry, start to spray spray spray that sucker with
starch. This step will take a while so be patient. Once the tulle is
completely dry (again) steam the tulle, being careful not to touch the tulle
with the hot iron. These steps help to give the tulle back the shape you
washed out before dying. Your completed crinoline won’t look terrible if
you skip this step, but it will be significantly less puffy. Repeat the
starching, drying, and steaming process several times. *I probably did this 4 –
5 times. The more you do, the puffier your skirt will be – which is a
good thing! On the day of my wedding one of my bridesmaids steamed and
fluffed the skirt up one last time since it had to travel from Ohio to
Massachusetts in a bag. (Thanks Melinda!!)
Reattaching the tulle: When your tulle has dried completely, lay out the pieces
and pin them in to the skirt. I attached one layer at a time and pinned and
sewed it back into place, by hand, before starting the next layer. This
will take some time, unless you use a sewing machine. Either way works – I had
an evening of bad tv to watch and thought it would be easier (but slower) to
hand sew the tulle back onto the crinoline skirt.
Step 5: Optional – Add a layer of
lace to the inside of the outermost skirt for a bonus pop of color. I
picked up a roll of lace at Hobby Lobby while it was on sale (mine was 9 yards
long and just enough). It was a $1
addition that I think finished off the crinoline nicely. Pin the lace in
place and run it through a sewing machine or attach by hand.
Happy DYI-ing!! Good luck!!
Kelly is the owner and creator for Lavender Paper Hearts Handmade, an Etsy shop, which is why she started her blog, where she
sells inexpensive wedding hair pieces (among other things). You can also follow her on Facebook.