So, um, it's been a while since I updated this blog. Oh well, I'm back for now.
So, here's a picture of the initial stage of the "Cabbage" (inspired from the musical Wicked) costume worn at DragonCon. I have to say my sister loved the skirt. And I loved making it. I've made some improvements since then, which I'll discuss below.
One of the foreseen problems was how much the skirt might be weighed down by the peplum of the bodice lying on top of the skirt. The skirt did lose some fluff, but was still pretty big. In this picture, there are two plastic hoops in the skirt. I've added another hoop in the middle and that has added some support to carry the weight. I also removed some fabric at the top of the skirt to make it sit higher on her waist. (Really I just made a new fold for the drawstring casing)
The other foreseen problem was that the bottom layers of tulle rolled inward toward the legs. One tip for this that I read about for real tutus was to hand-tie the layers together. I tried that to a limited extent. I made about 20 ties with regular thread connecting the botton 5 layers and that didn't really seem to do anything noticable. And I just wasn't interested in tieing each layer together (Lay-zee). Sooooo, I added a casing to the inside of the skirt base, just below the bottom layer of tulle, and stuck a piece of plastic "boning" in there. That worked to keep the bottom layers rolling in on your legs - BUT it limits the range of motion in your legs. You can still stand with legs wide apart and walk in big strides, but definitely no high kicks in this thing.
One thing to keep in mind - this free plastic "boning" requires some work to make it work for you in this skirt. It may be because I sewed the casings on before gathering the frills (therefore a lot more casing material to push the boning through), but if the tension on each little section of casing isn't just right, the hoop will rise and dip in spots. So you have to adjust it each time you wear it, and that can be time consuming. And then it will probably need readjusting after being worn.
Sewing the casings on after gathering may be the solution for next time. It will certainly reduce the frustration of inserting the boning. I have no idea how steel boning or the better plastic boning would improve the eveness, but I don't have the bucks to test it.
This is one of my favorite pics - I call it green monster eating my sewing machine
I didn't get good posed pictures of the improved skirt, but you can see how much "perkier" it looks. And the reduced leg ranfe from bottom inside hoop didn't bother her at all.