Wooded Hamlet Cage Crinoline Kit

I finished my hoop skirt just a few nights ago.  I'm very far off my sewing schedule (thank you, internet) and so I'm absolutely stressed out at the moment in terms of making things.  (But I mended a few things on my Darth Vader gown, which made me feel productive, so yay!)

Like I said in this research post, I used the Wooded Hamlet Cage Crinoline kit.  Most people say the kit is ridiculously hard to assemble, and even the staff at Wooded Hamlet recommended I watch the accompanying DVD several times before so much as starting to construct it.  

The kit has a reputation for being a bitch to put together but being a beautiful cage once complete.  As I have made no other hoop skirts, I have nothing to compare the experience against.  The kit has its tricky moments, but I'm fairly sure all hoop tutorials have their moments as well.  I was surprised with how little sewing the kit requires - I had to attach the buckle to the waistband, finish the bottom of the tapes, and then attach the tapes to the waistband.  That was it.  The rest of the hard work was done with pliers.  (Fortunately, having started my artistic career in metalworking, I'm pretty darn handy with a pair of pliers.)  The hardest thing was setting the first few spots, the little metal crimps that hold the bone to the tape.  I almost gave up a few times, but actually enjoyed the experience once I got the hang of it.  (And I set 224 of those things, so I got a lot of practice.)

I owe a shout-out to my wonderful friend who helped me cut out all 29 bones and then stayed after school (perhaps the most telling sign of true friendship) to help me spread the bones out on the tapes.  (Coincidently, she's also the same friend who looked lovely whilst I derped out over here.)

Setting spots while watching movies

The artsy pictures are courtesy of my little sister

The challenge: #4 Under it All (which is the best name for an underwear challenge and I now think of my undergarments as the Under it Alls.)

Year: 1857ish to 1864ish

Historical accuracy:  10/10 for materials used, not quite so for construction methods

Hours to complete: The Little Princess, Atlantis, the first half of My Fair Lady, about 3 episodes of Phineas and Ferb, about 20 minutes of The Usual Suspects, and HOURS of punk rock radio on Pandora.

First worn: just for fitting/fiddle-y purposes


  1. I purchased the Wooded Hamlet kit last year when I was in Gettysburg. So far I have only read the instructions and watched the DVD. Sadly it's not very high on my list of sewing projects as I don't have many opportunities for 1860s era events. Authenticity is important to me which is why I finally broke down bought the kit. That and I hate the hoop skirt I normally use.

    By the way, I just found your lovely blog through the Civilian Civil War Closet FB page.

    Emily's Vintage Visions


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