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Unread 04-03-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Pauline (Champagne Charlie) In-Progress

Well, I finally started on my Pauline gown, from the 1989 miniseries Champagne Charlie, which you can see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT47H...33UswqnJCEXBmv

Although I briefly did some sewing about 12 years ago, I haven't done any since and so I'm back to re-learning the basics.

First up, the 210 inch hoop skirt. I actually did one of these before for my wife's wedding gown, so I remembered the basic construction, and actually altered the pattern so that it was more of dome rather than the conical A-Line.

However, some of the mistakes I've realized already.

Although I made a scale drawing, scaled it up onto tissue and then cut out six panels using that pattern, I didn't cut it out very well (used pins and shears). I think I'm going to look at using weights and a rotary cutter.

Second, I didn't have big enough seam allowances. I planned on using pinking shears to finish the seams, but 1/4" seam allowances aren't enough it seems. Also, the fabric I have seems a bit stretchy, more than I thought cotton would be.

So far the panels have been sewn together and the seams pressed. Tomorrow I'll be working on getting the hoop channels sewn in.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 01:10 PM   #2
ArcaneSpringbrd
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I'm almost finished building my hoop skirt, but I'm having a problem with the hoops bulging at the seams.

Unlike the hoop skirt I made for my wife's wedding gown, which was a-line, I wanted this to have more of a bell shape, so made 6 gores but with convex curves on the sides rather than straight. I'm thinking I should have done more gores since this is a 210" hoop, and, especially at the top, it looks more hexagonal than circular.

But the problem is that the hoops are bending outwards at the seams like in the photo I've attached. Now, I'm wondering if that's simply an issue of having the hoops at their maximum length and following the shape of the fabric, which apparently isn't circular, and if it could be fixed by reducing the size of the hoops?

Or am I basically just SOL.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
ArcaneSpringbrd
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After having some discussions with some historical costumers, I think I'll be re-doing the hoop skirt, reducing it in size to about 180". Plus have some learned lessons to apply.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 07:50 PM   #4
twiterpert
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I'm curious as to what the costumers said? My guess would have been a combination of weak hoops and the fabric being cut too straight. Since the hoops didn't have enough rigidity on their own, they warped to the (I'm guessing) trapezoidal shape of the skirt. Better to start with a smaller hoop as you're planning and build up some layers with a ruffled petticoat.

I'm really excited to see how this all turns out - the original is gorgeous to say the least!
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Unread 04-10-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Pretty much. They didn't say anything about the hoop strength (but at least four of the hoops I'm not sure could be any stronger), but there was definitely a problem with the trapezoidal shape the skirt panels had.

Other lessons:

1. Apparently I can't cut the fabric out the way I did, which was to make most efficient use out of the fabric, but then it didn't take into account the direction of the grain. So when I sewed the panels together, one of the pieces stretched. Also didn't pin while doing that, so that probably didn't help.

2. I need to use larger hoop casings. Was a pain in the butt.
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