Finished Project- and a Study in Silhouette

This weekend I finished up an elliptical hoop and bustle pad as foundations for future projects.


I have wanted to make an elliptical hoop to wear underneath dresses from the late 1860s to early 1870s.  This is the first hoop skirt I have ever made, and I’m actually quite pleased with it.  It was made from a cotton with a thin brown stripe that I bought at an estate sale, and the hoop wire was salvaged from costume hoops skirts I had when I was younger, as well as some wire left over from when I made my bustle several years ago.   The pattern used was from Laughing Moon #112- Ladies Hoops and Bustles.  This is the second thing I’ve made from her patterns (the first I made was the bodice from the 1890s Sporting Costumes pattern) and I have to say that I am always happy with the end product.  These were very well researched and I enjoyed reading her historical notes, in which she describes her research for the patterns and she also gives suggestions on how to wear them.

I specifically wanted this hoop to go underneath the Truly Victorian 1869 Grand Parlor Skirt.  I had made the skirt a few times before and absolutely loved it.  Since I knew I had a skirt handy that was made from that pattern I pulled it out and tried it with the different ways described in the notes on the Laughing Moon pattern to see what sort of effects could be accomplished with my new underthings.  I was considering using Truly Victorian’s Elliptical Hoop pattern but I thought it would be a little too early for the period I wanted.  I still do want to make that one someday, though!

This skirt is from a Victorian ensemble which was the first somewhat accurate historical costume I made, and I originally made a bustle pad to go under it, which I no longer have.

  • In the first image shows the skirt over the bustle I made from Truly Victorian’s Petticoat with Wire Bustle pattern. Since I originally wore this over a large bustle pad it’s probably closest to the original silhouette when I first made the skirt.
  • The second and third photos show the bustle pad and elliptical hoop, with the bustle pad placed on top of the hoop.
  • The last two images show the bustle pad underneath the hoop, which is my favorite option.

Although the bodice is too small for the dress form, here’s the general idea of what the dress looks like all together with the last option- the bustle pad underneath the elliptical hoop.  It’s like a whole new life for an old dress!

Hope you had a great weekend!

11 Comments on Finished Project- and a Study in Silhouette

  1. wacky tacky
    June 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm (13 years ago)

    I am always in awe of your talent. Maybe one day I will get up the gumption to try sewing a historic garment….but knowing me, probably mot. Umtil then, I’ll just enjoy your amazing creations!

  2. wacky tacky
    June 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm (13 years ago)

    Maybe one day I will learn the diiference between “m” and “n” – but probably Mot!

  3. Tasha
    June 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm (13 years ago)

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  4. MissRayne
    June 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm (13 years ago)


  5. Trudy Callan
    June 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm (13 years ago)

    It really makes a huge difference. Absolutely beautiful.

  6. Adalee
    June 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm (13 years ago)

    I remember that dress! It still looks great. And what a difference different underthings make! That elliptical hoop is just spiffy. :)

  7. Sarah Allen
    June 14, 2011 at 1:59 am (13 years ago)

    Gorgeous! You are really talented!

  8. Casey
    June 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm (13 years ago)

    Hooray for elliptical hoop skirts! :) I actually prefer the silhouette over the fuller, bell-shaped ones; they seem more graceful to me. Love that you made it yourself (brave woman–wrestling with all that hoop boning!), and the finished ensemble you have over it is beautiful. You always inspire me so, Lauren!

  9. Heide from ApronHistory
    June 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm (13 years ago)

    Beautiful! Love the striped fabric you made the hoop skirt out of.

  10. Judy
    June 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm (13 years ago)

    Beautiful dress! I love the color and the elegance of it.

  11. The Dreamstress
    June 24, 2011 at 1:55 am (13 years ago)

    I definitely like it better with the bustle pad under the hoopskirt (do we have historical evidence that was done btw?), but I’m wondering if it would look better with the bustle pad over once the overskirt is put on?

    And all of this reminds me that I desperately need to make a bustle pad.

    And, off topic, your new comment form is fantastic and so easy to use :-)

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