Sorry, I know I promised to post this Wednesday, but I needed to post the final HSF challenge and the Robe de Cour terminology post instead!
So here, without further ado, is my (finally) finished 1860s elliptical hoopskirt:
I based it (roughly) on this hoopskirt at the V&A, because I was so excited by the red twill tape that I found, and I love the idea of having a red hoopskirt instead of the usual basic white ones.
Sadly, I don’t feel mine is as pretty as its inspiration, though it does look better on me than on Isabella the dressform.
I’m hoping I’ll warm up to it, because I was so excited about the project, and expended such a lot of effort on it. Each tape had to be individually hand-sewn to each hoop.
And even before that, there was the shoving of metres of hoop wire into metres of sewn-tape casing, and since the wires are very snug in their tape channels, I got rather sore arms.
I think my next project needs to be something simple and fun that does NOT involve hand sewing!
Still, it finally means I have a hoopskirt that looks right under the Greek Key ensemble, and that’s been a long time coming:
The Challenge: #19: Wood, Metal, Bone
Fabric: 1/2 metre red cotton homespun ($1), 1/2 metre cotton flannel (recycled from a vintage obi).
Pattern: None, based on extant examples
Year: 1859-60. The years of the largest hoopskirts.
Notions: 24ish metres of red cotton twill tape (found at an op shop $1 for the roll), 17ish metres of hoop wire (NZ$50 or thereabouts), thread (and lots of it).
How historically accurate is it? The silhouette is right with a skirt worn over it, but I’m rather disappointed in how it looks. The hoop wires are definitely too wide for historical accuracy. However, there is an enormous range in the style and materials of mid-19th century hoopskirts, and considerable evidence that women used whatever they could afford to achieve the silhouette, so the whole effect is plausible.
Hours to complete: 15. Every single join, and there are 30 of them, had to be hand-sewn, and they took more than five minutes to do each one.
First worn: Not yet, but I’m hoping this means I’ll finally find an excuse to wear the Greek Key frock myself.
Total cost: NZ$52 – which is actually really reasonable, all things considered
Most importantly, how does the resident cat feel about it?
She particularly liked it when I was still working on it and there were lots of dangly tapes to tempt her: