Armed with that knowledge, and knowing she likes 1850s the best of the entire Victorian era, I suggested she has a full hoop, stopping at her knees, and with pick ups on the front of her skirt revealing her scanties beneath. The pick-ups would lift no higher than her lower thigh- short to be sure, but not the burlesque "is that supposed to be a belt or a skirt?" short. Her scanties were required to include knee socks and a pair of poofy knee-length bloomers. Even in dead of summer. The frame of the hoop and a couple rows of boning would be visible giving her the revealed "architecture," but the overall shape would still be young and girlish.
See, even I can compromise.
We are still on a strict goal to make the costume entirely out of objects found in our home, and as it would happen she had a two-boned hoop skirt I made for a gala dress a few years back. Phew.
I decided not to do a proper tutorial for any of these costume segments. I have 5 costumes to complete by the Dutch Steampunk Conference in one month's time and frankly I have zero time to write anything detailed. But, in the current spirit of compromise, I figured I could at least do a few pics and descriptions along the way.
The material I am using is a plain cotton. It could be a cotton blend- who the heck knows? It's the underside of a duvet cover, the top of which I am using elsewhere in the costume. I ripped 8 strips 1.5 inches wide and 27 inches in length. There was no math or general cleverness in figuring out the length. I already made part of her over-skirt and it ended up 27" long, so I made the strips to match the length. I want the hoop a wee bit shorter than the hem of the skirt, and it will shorten a wee bit with the seam allowances. Perfect.
I then ripped two pieces 2 inches wide- one about 140 inches long and one about 120 inches long. It's all very much eye-balled in. I didn't bother hemming any of the pieces because as time goes on they will fray and get more and more "rustic" looking.
I folded the longest strips in half, and ran a stitch at 5/8" from the folded side, along the length from one end to the other. I chose 5/8" because my boning was 1/2" and needed to add in a smidgen more wiggle room for its thickness.
I then ran the boning through, overlapped the edges by several inches making it into a circle, and scotch-taped the hell out of it to keep it from slipping. Last, I sewed the two ends of the channels together making two fabric-covered boned hoops. One hoop was somewhere around 118" in circumference, and one was around 105". I distributed the excess fabric around the hoop, making a bit of a ruffled effect.
I started working with the bottom hoop only. I pinned 4 of the strips opposite each other.
Then pinned the remaining four in the gaps between those. All of this was eyeballed in, no measuring was done. Once in place, I sewed each one down.
I laid the second, smaller hoop just inside and pinned it to the strips as well.
This part I did measure- 6 inches of "strap" between the two seams. I wanted to gap between the two bones to be even. However, there was no math in determining the gab- I only arrived at the 6" measurement because "it looked about right" and whole inches are easier to measure than fractional ones.
Finally, I made a simple waist band with a 3" overlap (the overlap would make the button closure area). Using the same formation, I pinned the straps in place and then sewed them down.
Before I made the button hole and sewed on the button, I did a quick "final fitting." All looks good!