December 27th, 2011

Elliptical Cage Crinoline Help, please!

So since my one show is done, and the next one doesn't start till January, and I'm not working over the Christmas break, I've actually had some time to sew! I've mocked up the elliptical cage crinoline (the large one from Period Costume for Stage and Screen), which will be worn with my 1869 Candy Bustle. At this point, all the intersections are done with safety pins, but the two bags are together, and I've made up the bustle pad. However, the shape is not quite right. I've attempted, for now to lace the front closed by just weaving cording between the rows of hooping in the front, so that might be one explanation. But it seems to me that the front is just swinging too far forward, especially right above and right below the top bag. Has anyone made this crinoline before, who could give me a few pointers? I don't want to start sewing together the 156 intersections if it's going to turn out to be misshapen.

Here are some pictures of the weird shape right now. The first one is with the pad way up where it's supposed to be, and the lacing a little looser across the front. On the second one, I've moved the pad down slightly to try to control the second to top hoop (which seems to be the most misshapen one), and I've laced the front a couple inches tighter.

I'm about to start making a petticoat to go over, so I'll see if that balances the shape out any, too.

Edited to add:
I think I've found the problem, but I have no idea how to fix it. I decided to try it on, to see if it would hang any differently on me than it does on Antoinette, and it does. I think since I've lost some weight in the last month, she's no longer a perfect fit for my measurements. I pinned the twill tapes to the waistband, and I took up about 1/2" or so in a couple of the back tapes, which also seemed to help the shape a little bit. I think the main problem I'm having is that it seems like all of the top hoops (the ones that lace up the front) are swinging too far out. In the first picture below, you can see those hoops poking out. The second picture below shows what it looks like when I press in on them, and it seems to be the shape I'm looking for, but I have no clue how to get those hoops to keep that shape. Any suggestions?

Edit #2: I tried to put some interior lacing across the inside of the back, similar to what the TV pattern calls for, and it seems to help a bit with the shape, though now the front of the hoops are hanging lower than the back. I also added the ruffle along the bottom, as per the book instructions.