Petticoats and Hoopskirts

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#1 lunaflora on 2 years ago

So, I'm in the process making a massive petticoat comprised of 15 ruffles/layers of increasing length. I'm on the 5th layer now, and I'm finding the layers are caving in, pushing inwards and getting "all up on" the legs. I've been avoiding making a hoop skirt because I'm not fond of the "bell" affect when walking, how it just looks hollow, and also making going through doorways and other tight spaces less convenient (though I suppose it's the same with a massive petticoat).
However, given that the petticoat is collapsing, I feel I am forced to either make a hoop-skirt to support the petticoat, or try to make a stiffer underskirt to go underneath the petticoat. Either that, or leave it be.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

#2 Mangochutney on 2 years ago

Make the hoop. There is a reason that women switched en masse from huge layers of petticoats to hoops, and it wasn't because somebody told them to. Actually there are lots of reasons, some of which you're currently experiencing.

If you really REALLLLY don't want to make a hoop, a corded petticoat as a base layer will help keep it off your legs. Use thick, stiff cord, such as rope, in multiple horizontal channels at hem level and knee level. It will be heavy.

You're not going to like going up stairs in it. You're not going to find it much easier to get into tight spaces, either. But you'll probably be able to walk without the skirt hitching up between your legs.

I would so very seriously just make the hoop. If you hitch up one side a little when going through doorways, the diameter decreases and you can swan through like it's nothing. I wear hoops and panniers for costumes on the semi-regular. A little practice and you won't even notice. Make your own and you can also control the shape in order to emphasize the outer contour you want more easily.

EDIT: You can also mess with the type and shape of your underpinnings to get the results you want.
So here's a [URL="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/0c/ed/28/0ced2839cef88322017577beba4e597b.jpg"]corded petticoat[/URL] I was talking about.
[URL="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/a7/94/63/a79463aae017b46781957642160ff3a2.jpg"]Here's panniers[/URL]. Just holds the skirt out at the top so the hem still swishes naturally.

And [URL="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3c/20/6b/3c206b764711a5f9010bb1d04dedce5d--tudor-fashion-renaissance-fashion.jpg"]here's what happens when you combine a corded petticoat and a farthingale[/URL]. Cool, huh? Gives fullness at the top and a little stiffness at knee and hem to keep leg-binding at bay. The farthingale is a particular and kind of extreme shape, though; you can still combine a corded petticoat with a short hoop (more like the panniers) or layer it over a big fat [URL="https://i.pinimg.com/736x/1a/4b/62/1a4b629a2621bea8f731ef63804b8241--dress-in-a-well.jpg"]bum roll[/URL].

So. I was a little brusque about the hoop, but I still think it's the easiest way to get what you want as an end result. But if I've misapprehended what you want, check out all this cool shit you can work with to get big skirts just the way you like 'em.

#3 lunaflora on 2 years ago

. Thank you for the insight and input. A hoop-skirt is probably the best way to go, I think, despite my efforts to avoid it. haha. It really makes me wonder how the ballgowns and wedding dresses that you see from the couture houses are made. Maybe it's just me, but I see the models kicking out the skirt as the walk, and it's as big as Moon. Of course, they all have their secrets

#4 Penlowe on 2 years ago

lunaflora do you pinterest? I have a board called "Sewing Reference Library" and in it are several links to museums with photos of historical garments of all types and various complex underpinnings. The Victoria and Albert and the MET both have full catalogs of their costume collections available for viewing on-line and it is a fantastic resource.

That said, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by wearing a hoop. They are quite easy to function in, keep you cooler in hot weather, and when paired correctly with a petticoat make a beautiful silhouette.

#5 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=Penlowe;5060309]lunaflora do you pinterest? I have a board called "Sewing Reference Library" and in it are several links to museums with photos of historical garments of all types and various complex underpinnings. The Victoria and Albert and the MET both have full catalogs of their costume collections available for viewing on-line and it is a fantastic resource.

That said, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by wearing a hoop. They are quite easy to function in, keep you cooler in hot weather, and when paired correctly with a petticoat make a beautiful silhouette.[/QUOTE]

I used to have a pinterest, but ended up never using it. Wasn't very fond of the constant popups I get... Do you mind linking me to your board? I suppose it's time to register again.

#6 Penlowe on 2 years ago

Sure :) I'm pretty sure it can be viewed without an account too.
[url]https://www.pinterest.com/penlowe/sewing-reference-library/[/url]
It's a little bit of everything, I teach sewing to beginners as well so there's easy stuff that I have as lesson plan help, but most of the historical stuff links to big museums or schools.

I turn off notifications on nearly every site and app I use, I totally get that. I like it because I used to have a wall of magazine and newspaper stuff that I wanted to save, this is SO much tidier. Been trying really hard to convert my mother and make her throw out decades worth of gardening magazines.... I also got my husband on board, we have shared boards about things we want to do (or have done!!) in our house. It's less shopping and wishing and more organizing of ideas for me.

#7 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=Penlowe;5060343]Sure :) I'm pretty sure it can be viewed without an account too.
[url]https://www.pinterest.com/penlowe/sewing-reference-library/[/url]
It's a little bit of everything, I teach sewing to beginners as well so there's easy stuff that I have as lesson plan help, but most of the historical stuff links to big museums or schools.

I turn off notifications on nearly every site and app I use, I totally get that. I like it because I used to have a wall of magazine and newspaper stuff that I wanted to save, this is SO much tidier. Been trying really hard to convert my mother and make her throw out decades worth of gardening magazines.... I also got my husband on board, we have shared boards about things we want to do (or have done!!) in our house. It's less shopping and wishing and more organizing of ideas for me.[/QUOTE]

Ahh Thank you so much. I love love love seeing the inside of gowns, it's so beautiful with all the boning channels. It's almost better than the outside!

#8 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[IMG]http://68.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7dikj8idO1qfk5vjo1_500.jpg[/IMG]

It almost looks like the "hoopskirt" (not sure what it's called) in the background is made of spiral steel bones? I have never handled that long a length of spiral steel so I'm not sure if it collapses like that, but it seems like it would. So interesting. Maybe that's what I see on the runways!

#9 Mangochutney on 2 years ago

I doubt it's spiral steel. I doubt it's even steel, honestly. It is a one-off runway showpiece and is not constructed to be worn many times and bend and twist under tension like a corset. It could be reed, plastic, something else...hard to say. The main reason I assume it's not steel, especially spring steel, is weight.

It's less a hoopskirt and more an armature. The huge folds you see aren't the bones collapsing, but are the fabric sewn into that shape and reinforced with boning.

Thinking of your underpinnings as an armature is helpful if you're not worried about historical accuracy. An armature can be any shape, made of all sorts of materials, and the most important part is getting the right shape.

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