Thursday, August 29, 2013
Close to Nowhere
Fashion in the “old” days
I’m making a Pilgrimage dress and am having a blast with it. The only problem has been the hoop skirt.
I bet you didn’t realize that really big hoop skirts were hard to come by, did you?
I’ve always loved making things like Pilgrimage dresses and christening gowns. Martha Pullen, with “Sew Beautiful” magazine, has a gazillion gorgeous christening gown patterns, children’s heirloom things, and lace by the tons! I am a Martha Pullen groupie! Appropriately enough, a Martha Pullen seminar is where I met and fell in love with quilting. One of these days, I’m gonna make myself an heirloom quilt -- because I certainly can’t see myself wearing those clothes.
But, back to my hoop skirt. I’ve made hoop skirts before, usually for little girls. This hoop skirt is for a teenager.
We’ve had a time trying to borrow a hoop skirt big enough (maybe I should say poofy enough?)
The perfect solution was to make the durn thing. How much trouble could it be? Yeah, I’m laughing now.
Actually making the skirt itself was a breeze. It’s the hoops that made for the blue air around my sewing room.
I don’t know what I’d have done without Mike Moore and Garrie Colhoun at Booker Hardware either.
After much research and pricing, I decided that wire hoops would be best for our purposes. Boning and such just was not going to hold out such a voluminous skirt.
So, as generations of hoop skirt makers have done before, at least in Holly Springs, I headed off to Booker Hardware. There’s very little you can’t find there.
Mike gave me advice on the actual kind of wire and how to join it together (duct tape is a wonderful solution to many problems).
I wish I’d paid more attention to Garrie’s advice sooner. He wisely told me to number the hoops, so when we took them out to wash the skirt, we could put them back in the right order.
When we tried the hoop skirt on, we decided that it wasn’t poofy enough, so back to Booker’s I went for two more wire hoops.
Here is where I wish I’d paid more attention to Garrie’s advice -- but I wasn’t washing the skirt, just adjusting the poofyness.
Wire hoop No. 4 is the biggest one (150 inches). I put No. 4 in the pocket for the No. 3 hoop and was very puzzled for a bit.
I’m just grateful that Mere’s friend Samantha was visiting this weekend. She held hoop wires and skirt and never once complained as I tugged and pulled.
Now, we have a very poofy and pretty hoop skirt!
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