A Mid-to-Late 1860s Elliptical Hoop Skirt

One of the things that became obvious with my purple 1860s gown was that my underpinnings were no longer doing the job.

Due to shortage of fabric, I cut my 1860s skirt in gores, perfectly period for the second half of the 1860s, but what I didn’t do was make the correct hoop skirt for the job – an elliptical hoop, rather than a basic round cage crinoline.

This lack of correct hoopage caused the skirt to drape funny, and also resulted in horrible lampshade skirt, since my round hoop didn’t have a flounce at the hem, nor did my petticoat. All of these added up to one verdict: it was time to make a proper hoop.

So I fissed and fussed around on the internet for awhile, too stubborn to just order the right pattern, and came up with a plan for making my own. (ladies, just order the Laughing Moon Lady’s Hoops and Bustles Pattern – 1856 – 1900 pattern and save yourself the pain). Luckily it appears to have been a success:

Elliptical hoop, needing a bit of adjustment still for a smooth silhouette


I can see where I need to adjust the hoops a bit to create that nice smooth line. And as always, the Ugly Puffer makes an appearance to help create the right shape:


Tonight’s project (before tomorrow’s event) will be to make a proper floor-length flounced petticoat to further fill and puff and smooth. The one here is not long or flouncy enough, though it does the job in a pinch:

A stand-in all-purpose petticoat, soon to be replaced with a full-length flounced petticoat

The final output is nice, though, and the issues appear to have been solved. I’m still not 100% sold on this particular silhouette, but at least it’s looking more like it should now…

…but it all works together!


Leave a Reply

Discover more from American Duchess Blog

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading