Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week 3: Bustle Hoops

Yes, it's been a while since my last post! Lots of life stuff has kept me busy but things are slowly returning to normal. I actually finished the hoops AND took the photos quite a while ago but it's taken this long to get everything posted! So here we go, Week 3: Bustle Hoops

I started this project a couple of years ago, and I really didn't have much to do to finish everything so it was the perfect project to tackle. The pattern used is Laughing Moon's #112: Hoops and Bustles which is a great pattern for Victorian hoops of all stripes. In fact, I made my Dickens hoops using the same pattern--perfect because they are a more natural, everyday hoop size rather than the grand ball hoops.

The fabric is a woven cotton stripe I had in the stash. The two odd seams in the side front panels were the result of me not paying attention while I was lengthening the pattern and having to backtrack and add a bit to those panels! Ooops. But it worked out just fine and the rest was a breeze, just straight sewing and careful marking for the bias tape channels.

One thing I've done that's slightly different than the pattern is instead of using a buckle at the waist tape I lengthened the ties so that it could be tied in a bow instead. I used a buckle on my other hoops but it seems to slip a bit so I think the ties work better. Wouldn't want to suddenly lose my hoops while out and about. :)

The last step was to insert the steel boning into the channels. I left about a 2.5" opening in the middle of each boning channel so that the boning can be easily slipped in. You could sew the channels closed but since the bones don't move and I personally would find it a pain in the you-know-what to seam rip channels to remove the boning before washing the hoops I'm leaving the openings where they are. (And here's a tip: when you do remove the boning, number each bone with blue painter's tape so that you can quickly get those bones back into the right channels without having to re-measure all of them.)

Originally I thought I'd round the boning edges with our sanding tool thingie and then dip the edges into tool dip but when I picked up the project and checked on the tool dip I found it had dried out, drat. I had two choices: buy more tool dip and get used to power tools or make a Lacis run for boning tips and round the edges using tin snips. I chose option number two because I wanted to get this puppy done and didn't want to wait for the tool dip to dry. (Note: ALWAYS wear safety goggles for this type of stuff. I had bits of metal flying everywhere but it was necessary to curve the edges so that they would fit into the tips.)

Here's a photo of the inside. I have tons of the pink cording so it's being put to quick use here. Notice how the inside panels pull the back of the bustle into that lovely round shape. What engineering! There is one tied panel up around your backside and a second one (pictured) around the bottom edge.

Now I can't wait to make the dress!

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