View Full Version : Building a hoop into a skirt?

06-27-2011, 10:22 AM
Hello all,

What I'm working on right now isn't a cosplay as such, but rather a historically inspired dress for a play I'm appearing in.

I'm basically using this tutorial as my guide, though I plan to change it a bit: http://steamfashion.livejournal.com/791377.html

I probably won't have the top layer, so it'll be just the bottom layer of the skirt I want to make.

I'm pondering the effects of building a hoop into a skirt like that? Hoop skirts cost money I don't want to spend if I can avoid it, so I was wondering whether inserting a hoop into the skirt itself would give the same sort of effect? I was considering using plastic boning which is used in corsets to make the hoop with. Also, is one hoop likely to be enough?

Good idea?

06-27-2011, 02:45 PM
The only thing you could do easily would be to put a channel in the hem of the skirt (Or make the hem a channel) and put a hoop in that, where it would be hidden by the ruffles. Any other hoops, without the overskirt, would be easily visible. That would create a very straight a-line shape. With a skirt over a hoop, you can have flounces and folds in the fabric on the top layer that you are not going to have with the hoop built in - it will be completely flat. It's a viable idea if you're happy with that shape and look.

I like hoop steel, but you can easily use good continuous plastic boning, or indeed plastic tubing, to make hoop skirts.

06-29-2011, 01:58 AM
One hoop most certainly will not be enough, at the hem it will make the skirt in fact fall in and you'll wind up with a trumpet shape. Remember gravity is pulling the skirt straight down the hoop will not counteract it all. If you want a minimal amount of hoop you actually put it at the hips. It's why we have cushion type bustles and short panniers that tie at the waist.

For that style avoid a hoop altogether. Make an extra petticoat. I recently made one from 4m of calico (muslin in the US) and it has been the best investment of under 20 I have made for my gowns ;)

I took three widths and sewed them selvage to selvage as a tube. Then marked the centre of one panee as centre front and use the seam directly opposite as the back seam. I made two slashes in the sides and then pleated the top a little and made a drawstring casing along the top front and back. This means I can tie it at the sides and pull the strings to make all the gathers fall at the sides, at the back or evenly all the way around. This means I can wear it under almost any style before the 1890s.

I used the left over fabric and tore it into strips about 20cm high(about 5") and pleated them then sewed them to the hem. I have only two layers and it helps hold the hem out away from my legs. Turning the ruffles in works best for my Reinette and having hem out helps hold the pleats in the hem of my Daae dress:

Petticoat alone

Blue dress, sorry you can't see how the petticoat works but it works very well under that.

That petticoat is made of hair canvas and it holds out skirts very well also but can be folded flat for storage. Not quite as good as rear hair canvas but also not $200 per metre for something an arm length in width...

08-24-2011, 11:03 PM
I have a friend who is found out how to build a hoop skirt out of hula hoops because of expenses. They even have the flat sided hoops at walmart.