Krinoline Dress for Western LARP

This Krinoline Dress was made for our other hobby: Western LARP. Besides cosplay I enjoyed very much playing Western Life Action Role Playing – and of course I enjoy very much to design and sew outfits for our LARP characters. As we currently focus on LARP in the Wild West setting of course some victorian style dresses are in order. Today I show you my Krinoline dress I made for my character Anna Svenson. She is working as a seamstress in the fictional town of Fred Ray City in Texas. So, being not rich and having a decent work her dress needed to be not too sexy or extravagant, but of course showing a bit of her skills as the sewing person of the place.

Costume inspiration

I chose the krinoline for two reasons: I never made a dress from that early times (most Western LARPs are taking place after the time setting of the US Civil War) and I was inspired by an old John Wayne Western called “Fort Apache”. I love the flower prints and the light cotton fabrics they used for the movie back in the days. And – true story: I found some really old beddings from my granny (or even great grandma) being all white with lavender flower prints. How could I resist?  Living in Bavaria, Germany I have the advantage of sometimes finding old fabrics, often linen beddings etc. on flewmarkets – vintage fabrics are amazing treasures and I’m always beyond happy, if I find some. So if you have a project with vintage fabrics in need, go hit a flew market and check if you find something there!

My costume inspiration: Beautful cotton gowns with mille fleur prints in the ball scene from “Fort Apache” (1948)| Source: Irish Film Institute –


About creating Annas Krinoline dress

If you are interested in joining me creating lovely dresses from the 19th century I can recommend to start with the famous Burda pattern with the number 7880 – it may not be the perfect historic reference pattern, but I use it for ages now and take is as a starting point for a lot of my original designs. The bodice pattern is fitting pretty well and the sleeves are easy to adjust. For Annas Krinoline dress I just made another style for the skirt using a big circle skirt in place of a bustle skirt. Part 1 was a circle skirt, that was knee length, then I added as part 2 and 3 ruffled fabric  stripes to make the seam wider to have a big skirt in the end. Actually you do not need a pattern for this, just make a circle skirt and attach ruffled stripes – so easy it can be to sew a Krinoline fitting skirt! For the bodice I chose a high-necked blouse with sleeve caps with the 7880 as base. I was thinking about bishop sleeves, but for a seamstress I found tighter sleeves a little bit more practical.

What to improve

There are some lessons learned for me: As a belt I wanted to create a Swiss waist inspired accesory. I thought it would work just with a textile solution, but: A Swiss waist needs real metal bones. When you watch the picture below you’ll see that the belt is always a little messy, that is because I just took some solid fabric and iron on reenforcement. So this is a plan for next year – sew a new belt, this time a real Swiss Waist with boning and create a proper belt for Anna’s Krinoline dress that way 😀

Krinoline dress for LARP


xoxo and YEHAW!


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