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dizziedobsession's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Hi all.
I have a ton of fabric (approximately 5 yards) and feel like I could pull off making an over-the-hoop petticoat that I need to go towards my Civil War Reenacting outfit.

I have looked online for free patterns (feeling it's not too difficult a task), but none come up. The two pictures I have found (via Etsy and Ebay)
User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.
and

User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.

don't seem to intimidating to me. I believe these would both follow a basic circle skirt pattern (which me and my mom have used before). However... I'm not sure how I would go about adding detailing-- ie what I believe is cording, and surely a ribbon on the other-- like those shown on the above two items. I'm also not sure how I will attach it at my waist... either clips or a drawstring waist.

Assuming I have enough material, is it possible to make the skirt and add details like the cording/ribbon later? Or must they be done all at once? And how would I go about adding them?
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic



It looks more like a gathered skirt than a circle skirt to me, as a circle skirt would be a little more flat with less bunching at the waist.

In that case, all you need to do is make a very wide rectangle (your skirt length by at least double your waist size. Add more width for more poof. You might have to double the hoop size, or a hoop and a half, instead of your waist size though, since the hoop is obviously going to be larger than your waist.). Adding the trim to the bottom of a rectangle would be very simple, and a lot easier than adding trim to a circle skirt.

Both skirts shown here just look like they've had extra wide lace sewn to the bottom, and then the top picture has ribbon woven through the top eyelets of the lace.

As for attaching it to the waist: depends on how "traditional" you want it to be for your reenactment. A cord pulled through tubing at the top (fold over 3/4inch and sew to create a tube), would probably be more likely in that time period. Otherwise, do the same thing and add elastic instead of a plain cord and that's the easiest way to finish the top of a gathered skirt.

dizziedobsession's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Albino Sea Monkey


It looks more like a gathered skirt than a circle skirt to me, as a circle skirt would be a little more flat with less bunching at the waist.

In that case, all you need to do is make a very wide rectangle (your skirt length by at least double your waist size. Add more width for more poof. You might have to double the hoop size, or a hoop and a half, instead of your waist size though, since the hoop is obviously going to be larger than your waist.). Adding the trim to the bottom of a rectangle would be very simple, and a lot easier than adding trim to a circle skirt.

Both skirts shown here just look like they've had extra wide lace sewn to the bottom, and then the top picture has ribbon woven through the top eyelets of the lace.

As for attaching it to the waist: depends on how "traditional" you want it to be for your reenactment. A cord pulled through tubing at the top (fold over 3/4inch and sew to create a tube), would probably be more likely in that time period. Otherwise, do the same thing and add elastic instead of a plain cord and that's the easiest way to finish the top of a gathered skirt.



Thanks for catching that. I wouldn't have realized it myself.
Can you help me visual the rectangle part a bit more?
I believe for my circle (poodle) skirt, we had a few sections that we had to connect. I'm thinking that we will have to cut this into sections (vertical) and connect them in order to make sure the skirt is long enough.

I actually found a tutorial (somehow!) but it calls for 7 yards of fabric, albeit it looks larger than I need and has 2 rows of ruffles that I could do without. I still can't figure out how the rectangle shape works out right now. (Forgive me, it's been a long day.) I can roll out my entire 44" by 5' piece of fabric, but I don't think that's gunna help me right now either.

I will probably do a drawstring waistband.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic

dizziedobsession


Thanks for catching that. I wouldn't have realized it myself.
Can you help me visual the rectangle part a bit more?
I believe for my circle (poodle) skirt, we had a few sections that we had to connect. I'm thinking that we will have to cut this into sections (vertical) and connect them in order to make sure the skirt is long enough.

I actually found a tutorial (somehow!) but it calls for 7 yards of fabric, albeit it looks larger than I need and has 2 rows of ruffles that I could do without. I still can't figure out how the rectangle shape works out right now. (Forgive me, it's been a long day.) I can roll out my entire 44" by 5' piece of fabric, but I don't think that's gunna help me right now either.

I will probably do a drawstring waistband.





Depending on how tall you are and how big of a waist you have, that might be enough fabric. To make a waist to floor skirt for me, I would probably only need 37 inches of fabric length-wise (waist to floor length: 37, and then 1 inch of that would be the top tubing, and then I'd add 2-3 inch wide lace at the bottom.)

My waist is 33 inches (2 3/4 feet). Doubling that to make it a nice and full skirt would mean 66 inches/5 1/2 feet. Add one inch for seam allowance.

So to make a full length, full-bodied skirt, I would need a rectangle of fabric that measured 37x67 inches. This is basically what it should look like before you sew up the two waist-to-floor sides together:

User Image

If you're waist to floor length is longer than 44 inches, you'll need to either get more fabric, or very wide lace to add to the bottom. If your waist is larger than 30 inches, you'll need more fabric period, since 30 doubled would bring you up to the 5 feet you have.

And like I said, I don't know exactly how to accomodate a hoop underneath that. I've only ever worked with petticoats, so I don't know if the waist dimensions need to be changed to accomodate the hoop. I believe as long as your hoop is 5 feet or less around, then you should be fine. It looks like in the images you posted, the fabric is actually rather tight across the hoop parts. It's not nearly as gathered-looking as the waist. (But still has some obvious flow, which is good.)

dizziedobsession's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Albino Sea Monkey


Thanks for that picture! I was actually just trying to draw myself to figure this whole thing out. You are awesome right now :]

I tried to measure my hoopskirt. It's about 30" long, but I'd like my petticoat to be around 35, since that was my waist-to-floor measurement on my actual dress. I have 44" muslin, so I think I can use that as my "length" and adjust it later?

The circumference of the bottom of my hoops was 113"...which is apparently 9 feet? For some reason, that doesn't seem right and I type that out.

Okay...judging by not just attempting to measure around in a circle now but by taking the diameter x pi to find the circumference, it's telling me its 78.5 inches, which would be ~6.5 feet...and ~2.16 yards. If I somehow said I have 5 feet, I have about 5 yards. Whoops.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

Original Lunatic



Aaah, in your first post you said 5 yards, but then in one of the other posts you said 5', which would be feet. haha.

Five yards should definitely be enough!

dizziedobsession's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

Albino Sea Monkey


Aaah, in your first post you said 5 yards, but then in one of the other posts you said 5', which would be feet. haha.

Five yards should definitely be enough!



Sweet, that is good to hear!
Yeah, I kept doing that yesterday myself...wanting to say 5' = 5 yards.
Does yards have a little mark thing?

I'm thinking I may try it. I put on my hoopskirt yesterday, wrapped myself in the fabric, and still had around 75 inches left over?
And with those I think I could try to do some ruffles maybe.

Or, I can hang onto this fabric, make myself the pantalet's I need, and order myself the one petticoat from ebay. Although after checking my bank account last night, I should probably take on this challenge with the fabric I have and save the crotchless pantalet's til later. Or buy those separately since they'd be cheaper than buying the skirt! :]
xena91388's avatar

Enduring Gaian

If it's going to be under the main dress, just make the waist elastic so it's comfortable and easy to wear, take on, and take off. It's not like you're going to be a Civil War stripper so no one will see it or argue it's place in the reenactment.

Here's a web-site with a fantastic guide on how to decorate 1800's dresses from the poor workers to the rich ladies and belles. http://www.ushist.com/victorian_ladies_clothing_f.shtml
dizziedobsession's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

xena91388
If it's going to be under the main dress, just make the waist elastic so it's comfortable and easy to wear, take on, and take off. It's not like you're going to be a Civil War stripper so no one will see it or argue it's place in the reenactment.

Here's a web-site with a fantastic guide on how to decorate 1800's dresses from the poor workers to the rich ladies and belles. http://www.ushist.com/victorian_ladies_clothing_f.shtml


I figure i'll just use the drawstring so I don't have to worry about sizing it to my waist// I can wear it if I ever gain weight, and since it's more historically accurate.

Thanks for the guide, too. It seems that it's really it's more of a buying website than a fashion guide though. No big deal really, since I'm already quite familiar with what I need to complete my costume and have an idea where to buy items from if I can't make them myself (ie my corset, shoes, hats).

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