Sunday, March 2, 2014

Immense Hoop Skirt of Immense Proportions

My hoop skirt is huge.  No, not huge.  Immense.  Titanic.  Enormous.  Gargantuan.  Monumental.  Astronomical.  Ginormous

It's 117 inches (3 1/4 yds) in circumference.  I could hide a small country under there.


Shaping the skirt was fairly difficult and I ended up with more forward thrust than I intended, as you can see in the picture below.  The back slopes gently until it is almost vertical, but the front continues forward on an angle.


Each hoop bone is threaded through a little channel thing in a specially woven tape and then set in place with a copper "spot."

I've spoken online with people who have had problems with this kit.  For most of them, the problem lay with the spots, which they said would come undone with the movement of the cage.

I can't pretend to know exactly what went wrong for each of the unfortunate women who put hours of effort into the cage only to be disappointed.  However, I can attempt to describe in some detail my experience with the spots.

First, the little baggie of spots contained just as many broken ones as it did useable ones.  The broken ones didn't have long tines like the usable ones, and would not have been able to wrap around the hoop bone.  I separated the contents of the bag into usable and unusable spots.  When I ruined a usable spot (and I ruined quite a few before I got the hang of setting them) by bending it incorrectly or failing to catch the bone, I would move it to the unusable pile and try again with a new usable spot.

Second, there's a rhythm to setting the spots.  My personal rhythm was to bend the top tine around the bone, and then the bottom.  I could set most of the spots in only three or so movements: bend the top tine, bend the bottom tine, pinch around the entire thing.  Once I found my rhythm, I tried to stick to it to build up some muscle memory and improve my efficiency.

Third, it's very important that the tines are bent around the bone so that they "grip" the bone.  Usually the rhythm I described above would work, but on the occasion that I failed to set the spots properly, I would undo the tines, remove the spot, and try again with a fresh one.


The top five hoop bones are set a bit differently in front (and then they are covered by the leather strip).  For this step, I watched the instructional video that came with the kit a few times to get the hang of how the staff at Wooded Hamlet does it, and then I copied exactly what they did.  There's really no trick to this step.


The slight misshapenness of the top of back in the picture below is due to the process of attached the tapes to the waistband.  Those buggers like to move around and they're hard to wrangle thanks to the hoop-y-ness of the hoop skirt.  My advice: mark really well exactly where the tapes go and then make sure they are pinned in place!


And now, for something completely different.  It's also really hard to take a picture of something when your dog is doing his hardest to sit in front of the camera.


How did I test the durability of my hoopskirt?  I wore it while doing typical teenager things (dancing around the house and sitting on the couch watching TV - the two extrema of motion).

It survived the night.

UPDATE: 

The hoop skirt shall henceforth be known as "that collapsable thingamajig."  My sister has a talent with words.

1 comment:

  1. This kit looks awesome! I have an extant hoop skirt (about 1/3 the size of this one) and it has the same sort of connecting spots and specially woven channels. I didn't know you could still purchase such things!
    What a marvelously huge and well-researched collapsible thingamajig.

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