Warning: This post will be very wordy. This is my brain in present tense. And boy, I think a lot.
I’m writing this down while munching an early lunch (blt sandwich). My schedule nowadays is just FUUUUU. September is a very busy month for designers. I’m swamped with bespoke orders for weddings, prom and debuts. I’m having fun though. Just anxious if I’ll have enough time to finish my costumes for Cosplaymania.WHICH IS IN 11 DAYS AS OF WRITING KASJDL;ASJDL;AKSDALS
Anyway I don’t know the proper way to make hoop skirts because I haven’t studied it, so I made this based on intuition and common sense. You just need common sense for making clothes or costumes, seriously. And lots of patience.
You might remember the next photos from my previous post.
Anyway the materials I used are Arix Clean System plastic coated steel for the hoopwire and tetoron for the cloth parts. Arix Clean System is a very lucky find. Originally I planned to get a regular clothesline wire (alambre) from Ace Hardware, twist two pieces together for strength and use that as hoopwire.
You know, it’s sometimes sad in Philippines because even if we have the magical land where you can buy almost everything called Divisoria, we STILL lack sophisticated sewing materials such as high quality boning, wadding, suit canvas, hoop wires and even sewing machines. DIY sewing is an underserved market!
Anyhow Ace Hardware is a resourceful cosplayer girl’s bestfriend. When I asked for “alambre” they gave me this 129.75 pesos 20 meter plastic coated clothesline wire. “Ma’am, wala kasi kaming alambre dito”. Sorry naman, jologs lang.
And this thing is heaven sent. It does not lose its shape when bent, bouncy and best of all : STRONG. It’s hell to cut though.
As for tetoron, you can buy that in any fabric store.
A hoop skirt would probably consist of three parts. The waistband, the vertical bones and the horizontal hoops which makes the shape. This is most likely historically incorrect but I don’t give a flying ipis right now.
First step I did was get my skirt pattern, divide it into five sections and measure the length of those sections. That minus 2” is the length of each of my horizontal hoops. I deducted 2” from each hoops’ length because I’m wearing 2 garments over it, both quite bulky. If I don’t deduct the length the poofy-ness would be too much. That’s my theory anyway.
But oh, don’t forget to add 4/8” on both ends of your horizontal hoop skirt, for sewing allowance. It’s width would depend on what wire you’re using. Mine’s 4/8 wide.
You have to base your hoop’s circumference (horizontal hoop lengths) on your pattern. If you just make an estimate, the outcome might not look right and your skirt might look awkward over it. You don’t want your hoop to be larger than the skirt itself.
Cut your wires according to the horizontal hoop lengths. I used two ply for each, because I think one is not strong enough.
Here’s my unsewn horizontal hoops with two extras. (I have a plan for the two extra which I did not execute in the end)
And oh, here’s my feet too.
This is how it’ll look like with wire inside. Sew the ends together, and make it with really strong stitches. Make sure the cloth or wire isn’t twisted before sewing though. Then divide and mark with a tailor’s chalk each horizontal hoops in to nine parts. You’d need that to shape your skirt later.
Next is the vertical parts!
Cut a waistband. Mine’s just a rectangle based on my waistline (23”) + 4/8” allowance on left, right and top side. My allowance for the bottom part is about 2” because that’s where I’m stitching in the vertical bones, and I want it to be very strong. Oh, + 6/8” on the right side too for the overlapping part for buttons.
Here’s how it looks inside out, no ironing.
Turned inside out + button tabs. I top stitched the top and sides. LEAVE THE BOTTOM PART OPEN. You still need to attach the vertical p
Then you make 9 vertical strips. I made mine longer than the intended length (10”) for safety measures.
Everything looks lame when not ironed out. Sew, clip (threads), press. That’s the way of a dress maker, so iron it out!
See? Much better after some pressing, right? Top stitch the sides for strength.
Divide your waistband in to nine parts then attach your vertical bones. You don’t need to add wires inside these bones btw, unless you don’t plan to sit down while you’re wearing it.
Mark 2” across each vertical bones. You’d need this to shape your hoop skirt.
Please excuse my fugly nails. I don’t have time to fix it at the moment.
(in the two photos above the hoop is only held up by pins. I sew it together afterwards)
My mannequin is too large for me so I had to secure the waistband to the mannequin using pins as well. I haven’t bought a size 0 dress form yet, you see. :) This will do for the meantime.
Anyway, attach the horizontal hoops to the vertical hoops using the markings made earlier. Doing so will give you a circle skirt. However since I’m striving for an elliptical one (less poof in front, more bulk at the back) I simply transfered values from front to back using the markings I made earlier as reference to make sure the hoop skirt I’m making will be symmetrical. It’s pretty simple, really.
I don’t have a photo of the elliptical form but here’s me wearing it.
The V shape of the first horizontal loop is intentional btw. I still need to photo finish the front seams and cut and seal the excess vertical bones but that’s pretty much it.
Oh, the best part about this skirt is it’s collapsible.
I prefer hoop skirts over petticoats now. Petticoats are such pain in the buttocks for storage and comfort :P
See you at the biggest cosplay convention of the year this September 29-30 at SMX convention center! I’ll be judging for both days again for third time this year! individual and group competition only. ToRCH judges will always be foreign guests.
Give me your best shot, okay? I will also give you mine <3
For my other WIP entry, check this out.
Cat signing out and is going back to work (NOOOOOOOO!).