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How to make a Hoop Skirt/Crinoline? ? Answered

Plastic or Metal? This is for my year 12 fashion outfit. Any tips or instructions are greatly appreciated.


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11 years ago

Method 1 (crinoline):
Get tulle. Lots of tulle. Make an A-line skirt that tapers into your waist (waist measurement about 1.25 times your waist, gathered into a sturdy waistband) but is very full around the hem. Then make at least two more. Wear them one on top of the other underneath your outerwear skirt.

Method 2 (hoop skirt):
Get an old flat bedsheet from the thrift store (as ugly as you like if it's not going to show), lots & lots of bias tape, and either plastic "boning" from the fabric store or 3/4" lumber strapping for stiffening.

Sketch out an A-line skirt to scale (1 inch:1 foot is works well) using your waist measurement & the taper you want. You'll need a hoop of lumber strapping about every 12" down the length of the skirt, boning should be every 6-8."

You'll have to do some math here: the length of each hoop will be 3.14 times the diameter of the hoop (remembering to multiply by 2 if your sketch shows just the front half of the skirt and you've used just half your waist measurement at the top). Add about 4-6" overlap to each hoop for lumber strapping, 2" each for plastic boning (and for the bias tape).

Add all the lengths of all the hoops together, divide inches by 36 to get yards; and that's how much strapping or boning, and bias tape, you'll need (it'll be a lot).

Lumber strapping is strong & cheap (you can often get it for free from the lumberyard just by asking, especially if you smile and tell the lumberyard guy it's for Victorian underwear :) but is a bear to work with (you'll need tinsnips to cut it to length) and will rust nastily if you don't remove it before washing your hoopskirt.

Plastic boning is comparatively pricey and won't carry as heavy an overskirt, but you can cut it with scissors (although not your "good" sewing scissors, please :) and you can just toss your hoopskirt into any washing machine big enough to hold it.

Cut the bedsheet out to your A-line skirt dimensions (plus seam allowances :).
Sew the bias tape to the "wrong" side of the skirt in rows every 6-12" as decided above, leaving a couple inches free at each end.

Cut a 4-6" strip from the extra bed sheet fabric as long as the waist opening of the skirt plus 36" (you can sew two or three shorter strips together if needed). match the center or this strip to the center of the skirt waist opening and sew on. Fold over & sew to create a good, sturdy waistband and two 18" waist ties.

Pin the extra bias tape out of the way and sew up the skirt's side seam, leaving a 12" or so opening at the top. Thread the strapping or boning through your bias tape casings.

- For boning, just tack-stitch the free ends of each hoop together.

- For lumber strapping, first be careful of the cut ends - they are very sharp. Cover the edges with duct tape to protect both you and the skirt fabric. But you don't need to sew them together - just leave the ends free to sip past each other inside their casings.

Sew the loose ends of the casings down over the strapping or boning, put in a hem, and you're done.

Well, you're mostly done -
  • If the hoops show too prominently (and "hoopily") through the overskirt, you may want to get another bedsheet and make another, fuller but unhooped, skirt to wear between the hoopskirt and the overskirt. It'll smooth out the "hoopy" effect.
  • When you're wearing the hoopskirt, if you bend over forwards, the back of the skirt will tend to rise. To avoid giving those behind you a free show, you can wear pajama or other lightweight pants under the hoopskirt; or you can get a third ugly bedsheet and make another skirt, slightly smaller this time, to wear under the hoops.
Now you're done. :)


Answer 11 years ago

Thanks you so much. I'm experimenting with different methods and this by far seems to be one of the best!