Sunday, January 22, 2017



Goal was to get it done before the new season of Mercy Street and it's done. I finished it last week but didn't get around to taking pictures for a blog post until today. Mostly because I've been obsessing over caftans lately and I am sick of the 1860's at present. And it's a pain to put on all those undergarments. Ugh. I couldn't find my civil war chemise so had to use my regency one for these photos.

It's about 110" around the bottom, which is about the maximum I'd ever want for a cage. My little covered hoop is around 90", I think, so this is a big jump up for me. It fills out the skirts of my blue dress quite nicely and definitely supports better than the little hoop. I still like the little hoop, though. It's perfect for active wear and takes the place of multiple plain petticoats quite nicely.

The new cage is made of two kinds of wire. One kind was left over from the rolls of hooping steel I bought a few years ago. One kind was heavier and thicker. I used the heavier wire at the bottom and the lighter at the top. I sewed casings for each wire out of a heavish blue-grey cotton upcycled from a curtain. The casings are suspended from seven 2.5" wide straps and placed about every 2". It took a lot of both math and eyeballing to get the shape right but I am happy with the final result. 

I kinda want it more boufy in the back. For that, a cloth bustle would work quite well. The WWG has instructions for a few different kinds of bustles, the simplest being a double flounce gathered and sewn to a waistband. I may make one before our first event, and I'd like to make some new petticoats, too.

Yay for a new cage! I never want to make one again! So glad this is finished. Now, back to caftans. . .


  1. ooohhh. This is fantastic. It really does make a difference in how the garment looks. I am a beginning sewist so a project like this is a ways off, but I want to make one in the future. I always enjoy reading your blog.

    B of Life on the Flying V.S. Farm

    1. Thanks so much! Hey, if you can sew a straight seam you can sew one of these! The hard part is the finagling of the shape (mine is sill not quite right but I decided it was good enough ;))


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!