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Wicked Lady

katexxxxxx in dressdiaries

I finally managed to get back to Vicky's cage crinoline...

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!                          


a tipe for the sewing academy (American civil war re-enactors) the last hoop should be about 10" off the ground. period photos often show the skirt drop for the last hoop, so that backs that theory up.

I am not surprised the plastic didn't work, seen someone else try that before with disastrous results. ye old covered nylon boning too....
I'd hoped it would: I've had excellent resutls before. but this skirt is just too heavy!

Aiming for about 5" off the ground at the back, 6" at the front.
Here's hoping you do for Victorian what you've just done for Georgian! I actually really like the waistcoat shape!

Yes, that waistcoat is a good shape, though I'm glad she agreed to lose the long front tails: they do nothing for THIS gown.
"base over apex"


Lovely silhouette :-)
An expression my dad used... :D

Yes, the skirt is much improved by the new support, even if it's a bit long.
I would remove the brown waistcoat from the pretty dress. (Unless that's historical accuracy, but I think the brown makes the pretty dress so drab). I'd love to wear it and try a hoopskirt.

It's actually black velvet, printed with green and gold tiny flowers! I'm making a whole new one for this dress, in royal blue satin. The original goes with another gown combo.
I think it was an excellent idea to try the plastic boning - you gave it a fair go, and while it didn't work, now a) you know why, and b) we now have the results of your experiment.

And you have a beautiful set of hoops :-) Yay you.
I was trying to save weight as much as anything... And it's Vicky that will benefit, along with any other customers who would like a crinoline...

And the boning will just be recycled into a pair of stays, a boned bodice, whatever turns out to need it!

And thank you. I am rather pleased with them.
I've got a set of hoops (half-finished for years now) along very much the same plan as yours. I've never figured out how to connect the wires together, which has stood a bit in the way, but I'll keep an eye out for those metal connectors, if they really work.
Himself has bought a set of carborundum drills to make holes in the hoops, and we are going to pop-rivet them!
Are the metal connectors no longer available?
Not as far as I can tell here in the UK. Vena Cava have some replacement things that don't look anything like so good and are a hell of a lot more than a couple of drill bits and a blister pack of pop rivets! The drill bits were less than three quid, the connectors two each and I need half a dozen. The rivets came free with the riveter.
Bummer. Maybe Farthingales has them...

I haven't a pop rivet gun, but if I did I would be all over that plan like white on rice (as the kids are saying these days). Re: the storage problem, you can always twist the hoops in a figure eight and fold them back on themselves without putting a kink in the wires. It's a bit smaller, but you have to fasten it together or they try to spring back out.
The Farthingales ones are the ones that are no longer available, I think. Vena Cava's ones come in two different sizes, but are hideously expensive.

The pop-riveter was from Aldi, I think, and cheap as chips!
I'll keep it in mind, for sure.