Having made the
decision to go to Dickens on the Strand in Galveston, I needed
to wear. The decision--to hoop or to bustle. And then, I came across
some pictures in a fashion book and discovered the Elliptical Hoop
which is somewhat a combination of the two. Because I never do
anything the easy way, my choice was made. I ordered an "elliptical
hoop" from Alter Years. After many weeks of waiting, it finally
arrived. Much to my dismay, it did not resemble what I was expecting.
Taking a round hoop and tying the bottom bones together may make
an oval, but it doesn't make the right shape for the late 1860's
hoops. So, I ordered from Truly Victorian their pattern for an
elliptical cage crinoline and set to work on an engineering feat.
Cannibalizing the hoop that I had purchased and boning from some
of my renaissance hoops, this project was probably a little more
complicated than it would have been had I just got the materials
and started completely from scratch.
Also, the pattern is 36” from waist to hem. I am 36” from
waist to floor. Consequently, I needed to raise it just a bit
so that my skirts will cover it and I won’t trip while
dancing (which is hard enough not to do when I’m wearing
pants at our lessons). I raised bone numbers 2 through 8 a quarter
of an inch. Initially I raised them ¾ of an inch, but
when I tried on the initial fitting, it was to my knees so I
had to go back and adjust. That’s three hours of my life
that I won’t get back.
The other problem with cannibalizing the previous hoop is that
the bottom circumference of the skirt wasn’t actually big
enough. So, I cut out a 15” rectangle and inserted it in
the front to widen it. I also had to add a bone to the bag hem.
For that, I discovered that hem tape works fabulously and will
remember that if I ever set out to do something this stupid again.
I now have a crinoline cage to wear under the TV247 skirt that
I am going to make. My husband was very impressed, but being
the perfectionist that I am, there are some things about it that
could be better. However, it will do. I will have to learn how
to sit in it as I cannot sit like a do a regular 4 bone hoop.
But my butt does look appropriate huge and it swishes mightily
as I dance about. Feels like my bottom keeps going even after
the rest of me has stopped.
I set the camera on auto so that it took pictures every five
minutes. The only time I didn’t really have this set was
the 8 or 9 hours that I hand stitched the boning casings to the
ribbons. There’s got to be a better way than that. Although
I did enjoy the five movies that I got to watch while working
on, I am not happy with the sore fingers and aching back.