I know, poodle skirts are cliche. I feel almost guilty posting something that borders as a halloween costume here. BUT. My local swing dance was having a retro night, and I really really wanted to wear a poodle skirt. Sure, I could have made a mad-men dress and been all sophisticated and what not. But I wanted to bounce around like a teenager at a sock hop in 1955.
So, I pose a question to all of you vintage experts – were poodle skirts a real trend in the 1950’s? What about sock hops? And if both are real, were poodle skirts worn at sock hops? Because I’ll tell you, swing dancing in this thing was really hard work!
Regardless, this outfit is less about the poodle, and way more about my crinoline.
I tried to do some research into whether or not poodle skirts were really worn during the 50’s, or if halloween costumes have just taught us false facts. From the information I could glean, crinolines underneath were part of the ensemble. And a crinoline was on my list for my 52 Weeks of Sewing project, so now seemed like the perfect opportunity.
The poodle skirt was made from felt and the applique was cut out and ironed on using double-sided fabric adhesive. The crinoline was based mostly on a 50’s petticoat pattern by elegant impressions (available for free from BurdaStyle here). They say don’t use tulle, but I did anyway. It’s cheap, what I can say?
For the bottom two tiers I used 6 inch wide rolls of tulle to eliminate the need for cutting, used my serger to gather the strips and then serged the gathered tulle together. It resulted in using a lot more yardage than the pattern called for, but I wanted extreme poof. I also made the second tier 10 inches wide to account for the slightly narrower 6 inch strips for the botton two tiers. The hem is a roll hem, also thanks to the wonderful hard work of my serger. It contains 54 yards of tulle strips.
My serger is brand new, so I figured now was the time to try and burn out the motor while I could still send it back It was a champ, though!