I can't find an entry on the earlier stages, so I'm thinking I never managed to write them up. Well I was a tad busy last year...
I started with these pictures:
There were also some nice ones folk had made that were good for ideas. I particularly thought the idea of filling in the lowest gap was good: it might stop Vicky putting a hoof through the gaps and turning base over apex!
I started with a diagram to help me work out just how big it needed to be, and how long each hoop needed to be...
After cutting the waistband, I cut all the vertical tapes. There are 8 of them. I cut a double tape for the top section of the center back, where I made the opening. Then I cut double tapes for each circle. Unfortunately I was having a problem with the camera at this point, and have lost the pix of the Big White Spider Web that was the result of sewing the tape boning channels to the vertical tapes... As I was planning to use the trifold plastic boning in all but the bottom hoop, I made the channels from a light weight cotton tape. I thought this would be fine, as I wanted to keep the thing fairly light. It was not as successful as I hoped. As the bottom hoop is made from heavy duty metal boning, I made the channel for that out of heftier herringbone tape.
I cut all the bones for length, giving them a bit of an overlap. The bottom, hevier bone got the Farthingales hoop connector...
Each of the six hoops was numbered, as were the channels... At this point, there was a hiatus while we got Masquerade and a couple or three other projects out of the way, like the suit for Mum's funeral and the Daphne costume...
Yesterday, with Vicky and Peter getting here at about 10, I started putting the bones in the channels... We, it soon transpired that while the metal hoop at the bottom was excellent and worked well, the plastic boning just wasn't man enough. It buckled in under its own weight, never mind that of a skirt, and the Big Frilly Blue Skirt, while made of light weight fabrics, is VERY big and full, and would squash this altogether.
Hm... Thinks: try replacing the plastic bones with the light weight metal boning.
OK. That worked! I recut all the plastic bones in 10mm flat steel, and that works well enough. It works fairly well in the light weight cotton channels. It doesn't make it TOO heavy for wearing.
It gives the skirt a really good shape!
As you can see, I need to take it up all the way round, and by about 3" at the front. The gown is shorter at the front to stop Vicky treading on it. We still have to fix the ends of the boning... I think what I'll do is trim the boning down to an exact 3" overlap and get Himself to pop-rivet it together. The waistband will be closed with a hefty skirt hook.
I also need to add that anti-tripping infil to the bottom tier... Still, altogether it wasn't an exercise in total futility, and next time I make one I shall make sure that:
I plan and price for metal boning throughout.
I use the heavier twill tape throughout
I buy connectors!
While it 'pops in' a bit if you squash the skirt, a quick shake and it pops out again, recovering the full inverted teacup look.
The other thing I've been asked to do for this gown is make a sort of waistcoat to go over it, a bit like this one:
I love the way this pleats at the back... It's made of very cheap velvet, printed with something textured and Ikky, but the shape is fun. Er have agreed to shed the stand collar and lapels, and those long front bits. It'll be made in Royal Blue satin to match the ribbon trim. Personally, I feel it's gilding the lily, but if that's what she want... And I did say she can always take it off if she gets too hot!
Peter was very good at holding the boning in place while I cut it to length, but made many comments about Vicky doing a Mary Poppins act and floating off to France when the wind got under her skirts in this big crinoline! We'll have to file a flight plan fopr her... At least with all this steel, they'll pick her up on RADAR!
I did a new set of measurements of Peter for his Naval Captain's uniform, and for the gray suit he also wants. The one on the far right:
So lots of exciting stuff to look forward to!