Tutorial: De-Poofing a Petticoat


What? Me, writing a post about wanting a petticoat to be less poofy? Since school has started, and I have to sit on tiny chairs all day, having a big, poofy skirt has been impractical, so I’ve been liking a more subtle look more and more. However, I don’t really have a petticoat that gives a subtle 50s shape, and I was scared to cut one of mine and have it fail miserably! When I saw Modcloth was having a sale on their short purple petticoat, I bought it, and then proceeded to pretty successfully tone down the poof to a more suitable for everyday amount.

I started with this Hell Bunny petticoat from Modcloth.


It is a basic bell-shaped, two layer petticoat. Each layer has 3 tiers of ruffles (the bottom of which is a small ruffle). It was so poofy I had trouble even getting a photo of the whole thing in the mirror!

I separated the top and bottom layer from each other, securing the top layer with a ribbon so it wouldn’t get in the way. Then, I began removing the two bottom tiers of the bottom layer.


I made sure to cut just under the serged seam that joins the two layers, so there wouldn’t be any problems with fraying. So I started cutting… and kept cutting…. and more….

Finally. I was done. There was so much fabric just in those bottom tiers!!


This is just the fabric I removed.

And voila! Suddenly I had a much less bulky petticoat!


It still has the poof to hold up a heavy skirt, but no longer doesn’t fit in my mirror.


This probably took 30 minutes altogether, and could be done with most petticoats. If you were worried about fraying, you could quickly pass the nylon edges over with a lighter to seal them. If there was still too much poof for you, you could definitely cut out the entire bottom layer, leaving only a one layer petticoat, but I decided against that because most of my winter skirts are quite heavy, and need some extra poof to support them.


  • Cut your petticoat in tiers, not entire layers at once, because you can always take more out, but you can’t put a layer back on (at least, not without significant hassle)
  • Between each cut, try a medium-weight skirt on over your petticoat!
  • Run the cut edge over with a lighter (the same technique you use to heat seal a ribbon end).



  • Don’t use kitchen scissors! You need sharp, sturdy scissors to make good cuts without ruining your petticoat.
  • Use your absolute favorite, expensive, beautiful petticoat. Test this out first on something you won’t be heartbroken if you accidentally ruin.


So simple, right? And now I have a lovely new, bright purple petticoat to wear to school!




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