Friday, November 6, 2015

Giant pocket hoop tutorial - Lisa

If you are seeking historical accuracy, quit now.  Giant pocket hoops are NOT a real thing as far as I can tell.  I wanted to make some, so I did.  I started by looking at the pattern in Corsets and Crinolines, but they were far too small for what I planned.  I wasn't sure giant pocket hoops would work.  Holding up a big skirt is typically done with a pannier hoop, but my pocket hoops worked pretty well.  And they pack up small enough to fit in a carryon.  Barely.  Mine are packed away and hard to reach so all numbers are estimates.  Your mileage may vary.

Black muslin - fairly heavy weight, about 3 yards (don't remember, mine are from leftover yardage
3/8 inch flexible PVC plastic tubing - about 10 yards
1 inch twill tape for waist ties and boning channels

Figure out how wide you want each hoop.  You might choose about the distance across the front of your hips for a fairly accurate court gown silhouette.  You will then be about 3 times wider than normal.  Fun!    Diagram shows how I got my measurements.

Hoop width - 20 inches (X to B)
Outside perimeter - approx 47 inches (A to B to C)
Side - approx 10 inches (A to C)
My hoops are about 15 inches tall (1 to 3)

If you want a different width, draw a line the width you want (X to B) and bend some tubing into the curve shape (A to B to C).  This will give you your perimeter.  No math required.

For each hoop:
Cut a rectangle 47" by 35" PLUS seam allowance.  Sew in boning channels with 1 inch twill tape at the bottom (leave a seam allowance below the channel), up about 7 inches, and up another 7 inches.  Sew an angled channel that goes from 2A to 1B to 2C, in between the top two boning channels.  Keep the curve gentle.  This provides support for the other channels.  Leave about 5 inches of sewing open at the top of each channel so you can put in the tubing. There is extra fabric at the top.  Ignore it for now.

Cut a rectangle 10" by 15" plus seam allowance.  Sew it along side A from 1 to 3 and side C from 1 to 3.  Now you can put in your tubes and tack the channels closed.  You can close your hoops at the bottom.  I traced the shape on fabric, cut it out and tacked it to the bottom seam allowance.  If you want to skip that, you can.  I think it adds stability.  If your tubing is too curly, you can straighten it by dipping it in boiling water.  It straightens up beautifully.

Now for the really technical part (kidding)....  Easiest on a dress form but you can borrow a friend.  Wrap twill tape around the waist and start pinning the extra fabric.  Start at A and C about 4 to 6 inches above your top boning channel.  Pin to the twill tape.  Then start wadding/folding the rest of the top fabric to the twill tape.  Try to get a slightly tighter than 90 degree angle because this will stretch when you put your dress on it.  And it will stay stretched.  There is no right way to do it so don't worry about doing it right.  I made a 'sort of' channel at the waist so my twill tape waist can slide thru it because my waist fluctuates.  Most important is that each hoop is level with the other at the outside edge.  They won't be perfect but get as close as you can.  Trim any extra fabric.  I put twill tape across the back from 2 to 2 that rests against
my backside when I wear them.  I also have ties from 3 to 3 in front.  This keeps them from sliding around while I'm wearing them.  Mine close at the waist with the twill tape.  Tied in a bow.

The top on my hoops required a bit of fiddling to get right.  And then they stretched and I took big tucks.  That part really is an ugly mess.  I hand sewed it because it's easier than trying to get it just right to machine sew.  Despite being a fugly mess, the hoops worked perfectly.  And collapsed on themselves and fit in a small suitcase.

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