Some sort of support is needed underneath
the large skirt and heavy coat. After visiting FIDM I learned
that a farthingale is indeed worn underneath the skirt. It
is made of a dark purple silk fabric that looked like satin.
The channels of the farthingale were filled
with something softer than steel boning. The 'wires' were
collapsing and caving in under the weight of the dress. Perhaps
something like nylon boning was used? There isn't any kind
of petticoat worn over the hoop skirt. The outer skirt rests
diretly on top of it and I suppose since the hoop wires are
so flimsy they don't show through to the outside of the garment.
The Elizabethan Lady's Underpinnings - Margo
FABRIC USED: White cotton broad cloth
DYE: 2:1 ratio of Midnight Blue:Ultra Violet Procion
Fiber Reactive Dye from Dharma
HOOPS: Plastic coated steel hoop wire.
NOTES: The diameter of the farthingale
is approx 3 ft wide (36 inches). I chose this pattern partly
because it seemed to have the closest diameter to what I roughly
calculated the Senate Dress in the movie has (an approximate
diameter of 36"- based on enlarging a photograph to full
scale size and measuring the width of the bottom of the skirt).
It's not necessary to dye the farthingale, but I thought it
would be fun and good practice before dyeing my velvet.
After seeing the costume in person at FIDM,
I believe the circumference of my farthingale is slightly
smaller than that used for the costume worn in the movie.
Perhaps this Simplicity
#8881 farthigale pattern would have been closer in size.
The weight of the velvet coat, and large
velvet sleeves in the back of the dress tended to push my
hoop skirt forward and upwards when I put the costume on.
In order to counter act the weight in the back I sewed about
one dozen lead drapery weights under the hem along the front
of my hoop skirt.