Sunday, December 1, 2013

Simplicity 9764

I started my sewing for the 150th Anniversary of Remembrance Day by sewing my very own hoop. I decided to make the hoop myself for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons was because of all the "lamp shade" skirt warnings that many people said came with the purchased hoop skirts. And my OCD being what it is, I thought it was less trouble to make the skirt than the overwhelming paranoia I would suffer if I purchased one.

I used Simplicity 9764. It seems to be out of print, but it's still fairly recent enough that you can find fairly priced copies on ebay or etsy. I only made view A, which is the actual hoop. I didn't have time to make the petticoat.

 Here's what mine looks like:


TIME: this hoop skirt took me 15 hours. I decided to finish the inside seams. This added time, but it made sense to me to do it. The fabric was fraying like crazy (and I don't have my own serger...yet). Finishing the seems also just made it look nicer on the inside. I figured I was only doing this once, I needed to make sure I has happy with it.

ALTERATIONS: I purchased my 1/2 inch steel from Farthingales, and they also sell steel hoop connectors. This saved me from having to use an awl or ice pick (no lie, the package says to use an ice pick) to make holes in the hooping. This did require me to change the length of the steel to account for the connectors, but that wasn't any trouble. The top three bones are not full circles, and I used Tool Dip to finish the ends instead of end caps. So far the steel hasn't pushed through the fabric, and seems to be holding up fine.  The bottom of the hoop pattern has two rows of bones very close to one another. I only did one of the lower bones. I hadn't liked how the fabric was folded up to make the two channels, and I was starting to worry about the weight of the hoop with all that steel (it was heavy, but makes a delicious sound when it opens).
EASE OF INSTRUCTIONS: These instructions were great! I didn't come across any steps that confused me. Of course I didn't follow their steps for punching holes in the steel (seriously, those connectors are GENIUS). Just transfer those markings and everything falls together very nicely.

I would suggest making a small bustle pad to go under this hoop. Luckily the day dress I made had one included, and I found wearing it under the hoop just helped with the support and keeping the hoop in the right place. It was a bit of an adjustment learning to sit in this.

I should say that several of the ladies I went to Gettysburg with did indeed purchase a hoop, and they did not have the lamp shade look. But I did see many when I was there, so I think it's a matter of finding the right pre made one if you don't want to fuss with making your own.