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Flared Half Slip (Underwear)

happygrand | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi All, can someone give me step by step instructions to make a flounce underslip?  I am making a retro dress with a circular skirt and need to have the skirt flaring out.  Am I making myself clear?  Thanks for your help.




  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Do you mean like a crinoline with the netting on it to make the skirt stand out, or do you mean like a petticoat with the gathered ruffles of fabric?  Both will give similar effects, but different looks depending on what you want.  Please clarify for me.  Thanks.  Cathy

    1. happygrand | | #2

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for responding.  It's like your first question.  A crinoline with netting.  Thanks.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #3

        Ok, great.  Just made one in a prom dress. 

         Use an A-line skirt shape for the slip.  Make it up with either an elastic casing or turned under grosgrain waistband with hooks and eyes.  You don't need a zipper, but it does need a sturdy waist if it becomes heavy.  Turn and stitch the S.A. at the opening where a zipper would go to finish the edges neatly and reinforce stitch across the bottom of the opening with a few back stitches. 

        I use the craft netting as it is stiffer than tulle.  It usually is sold folded over 2X.  Cut 3 or 4  pieces 12" by full width, depending on how full the slip hem is. Figure on about double fullness or a bit more rather than less.   Seam each 12" side by overlapping and zigzagging with a narrow zigzag on a medium stitch lenghth.  This does not need to be exact. Gather using  3 rows of long stitch, Breaking threads at seams. 

        Divide Netting into quarters and gather evenly onto skirt, lininig up evenly with hem of slip at bottom.  Stitch Down netting using wide ZigZag Stitch. 

        If you need more fullness, repeat with another, longer layer of netting, sewn above the first layer, say 18" long. 

        If you still need more fullness, then you need to add horsehair braid to the hem of the slip and a full lenghth of  netting at hip level.  this is as full of a crinoline as you could probably go for comfort, weight and ease of movement.  If you need any clarification, please ask.  Happy to help. 

        1. happygrand | | #11

          Hello Cathy,


          Wow this is just what I needed.  Thank you very much.  I also thank everyone else who wrote in.  I  am making a 50s dress and wanted to have the right touch.  Thanks again, everyone.



          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #12

            Sew happy to have helped. I have had to make several this way and they are comfortable and easy to wear. Just a note, double fullness is just a starting point for the fullness on the netting, the fuller the net, the more it stands out, so feel free to experiment with how full you want to make it. Cathy

      2. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #7

        When I was in high school in the late '50's my best friend got a new store bought crinoline that was beyond the reach of our budget. My mother copied it for me. It was made of net and was a two-layered, double circle and each layer was that was tiered. It had a plain elastic band. The bottom tiers were made of different colors of netting. Each color probably started out about 24 inches. That was doubled so that the folded edges created the hemlines of each of the two layers. Each of those pieces were gathered onto the previous tier and butted up to another piece of another color to form the bottom tier. The effect as you looked at the bottom of the petticoat was a frothy rainbow of color. I recall barely being able to get all the volume stuffed under my desks at school. I loved that petticoat, as you can tell since I still remember it so vividly!

  2. BernaWeaves | | #4

    Well, you could buy a square dance petticote, or just look at them.  They're exactly what  you need.

    Elastic waist.  Circle skirt as an underskirt.  Then several layers of flounces on top.  3 or 4 layers, with each layer being 3 times the length of the previous layer and gathered into the previous layer.  Perhaps lace trim on the bottom layer.

    Depending on what you make the slip out of, will depend on whether you want to line it and/or have a lining layer on top.  The square dance petticote I've owned was nice soft nylon, and didn't have a lining or top layer, because it was soft and slippy slidy.  My mom's old 1950's crinolines were stiff nylon net, and scratchy, so they had a lining of cotton in a circle skirt sort of pattern, and an over layer in soft nylon lace so that the real dress didn't snag on the gathered net flounces.  Sometimes the over layer was a circle skirt shape, and sometimes it had soft flounces, too.  Mom used to wear 3 or 4 of these crinolines at the same time, so hers didn't have a lot net to them, but you could put a lot of net into one crinoline and just wear the one.

    There are two ways to go on this.  You can sew each flounce layer to the circle skirt used as the lining; or you can have the lining separate, and sew each flounce layer to the previous flounce layer (which is the way my old crinolines were done).

    Crin = horsehair.   The original crinolines from the Victorian age were edged with horsehair braid to make the hems of the flounces really stand out, because it's very stiff.



    Edited 6/10/2008 10:07 am ET by BernaWeaves

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #5

      Good point Berna.  Didn't think of circle or semi-circle slip.  Same basic construction principles as I mentioned above tho.  Definitely would need to use horsehair braid for hem in slip to keep it out tho.  Thanks for the reminder.

      1. BernaWeaves | | #8

        Oh, I didn't mean the circle was held out like a hoop skirt (although you could do that).  I meant that the lining was patterned on a circle skirt shape, but was just a lining to keep the netting away from your legs, as the netting was scratchy or could bunch up between your legs without a lining.


        Edited 6/10/2008 2:39 pm ET by BernaWeaves

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #9

           I meant that the lining was patterned on a circle skirt shape

          Yes, I understood. I thought that was a good Idea. 

          Full circle crinolines seem to need the horsehair braid to keep them from bunching up when you walk if they are full length.

          The netting stays outside of the slip, between the dress or skirt and the slip.  The horror of wearing all that netting next to my skin is making me itchy just thinking about it. 

          Rows of gathered netting make a good crinoline as well, especially if it is for a skirt for square dancing.  You still need to wear some sort of slip or lining under it for comfort.  Might just as well build it all into one was my thinking.  Also by not having gathered netting at the waist, just keeping it below the hip, it is a nicer silhouette at the waist, less bulk.

          I guess it all depends on what type of fullness and kick you want to the skirt. 

          1. BernaWeaves | | #10

            Ah, yes, I see what you mean about using the horsehair on the lining layer.  Makes lots of sense, although none of the old ones I've seen had that feature.

            I did get a square dancing petticote about 10 or so years ago that looked just like the old crinolines, but was made of yards and yards of very soft  transparent silky nylon.  I didn't have a dress to wear it with.  I just got it to twirl around in (never grow up, never surrender).  It had the advantage of NOT being stiff or itchy.



          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #13

            I'm never going to grow up. I like swishy things too! After working in the bridal part of the fabric store, I learned a lot about different kinds of crinolines. Some are built softly for a drapey fullness, using tulle, others stiff, like a hoop effect without the hoops. It is often a matter of figuring out the silhouette that is required to fill in underneath, kind of like a padded bra. ;) Horsehair braid can also be sewn on in rings around the gathered netting for further support and stiffness. It is amazing how 2 different crinolines can make the same dress look so different. Cathy

          3. fiberfan | | #16

            I chuckled at the twirl around comment.  For a couple of months I have been wanting to make a twirly skirt.  I haven't figured out details - it has to be appropriate for a 40-something woman but a twirly skirt is in my future <g>.

            Edited 6/11/2008 10:15 pm ET by fiberfan

    2. GailAnn | | #14

      BernaWeaves, I really admire your wealth of knowlege.  Gail

      1. BernaWeaves | | #15


        It's not really a wealth of knowledge.  It's more playing in my mom's closet and wearing her petticotes for years, even when they weren't in style. 


  3. sewchris703 | | #6

    Check out bridal slips.   They come in different amounts of fullness.  You could even check out thrift stores and find a used on cheaper than making one.  If you decide to make one, you might want to consider a drawstring in the waist as these slips can get very heavy.  An elastic waist might not be able to hold up the slip.


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