How to Make a Hoop Skirt for a Costume

Written by megan smith
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How to Make a Hoop Skirt for a Costume
Use a hula hoop to make your hoop skirt. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

When you are dressing up as an antebellum Southern woman, a queen or a Renaissance woman, a hoop skirt might be just the thing to make your costume look even more authentic. Real hoop skirts from a dress shop can be extremely expensive, so consider making one yourself. Making a hoop skirt for a costume is a process that you should be able to complete yourself.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hula hoop
  • Skirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric tape
  • Tulle
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Hook and eye closure
  • Three snaps

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  1. 1

    Choose a hula hoop that is the appropriate circumference for your hoop skirt. You will use the hula hoop to create the hoop, so make sure that it will fit just inside the hem of the skirt. Measure the circumference of the hem of your skirt and choose a hula hoop that has a circumference of about an inch less.

  2. 2

    Place the hula hoop underneath the bottom of the skirt and gather the bottom of the hem just over the edge of it. If you need to, let the hem out before doing this so that the hem of the skirt will still be long enough.

  3. 3

    Stitch the hem of the skirt over the hula hoop in several places using a needle and thread, so that the hula hoop remains in place. Fold the hem of the skirt toward the inside, over the hula hoop so that you can stitch the fabric and keep the hula hoop in place. If you are not a skilled seamstress, use fabric tape instead. Peel the backing from the fabric tape and place it on the skirt's hem and the interior of the dress.

  4. 4

    Purchase another long skirt at a thrift shop if you don't want to attach the hula hoop to the skirt of your costume dress. Attach the hula hoop to it and wear it underneath your costume.

  1. 1

    Measure your waist so that you know the proper size of your waistband for the skirt. Because hoop skirts are large A-line skirts, the bottom needs to be much larger than the waist. Allow for about 1 foot of fabric at the bottom for every inch of your waist.

  2. 2

    Measure from your waist to the floor so that you know how long the skirt should be.

  3. 3

    Cut an A-line skirt shape from the tulle using the measurements that you took. The skirt should look roughly like a large U shape.

  4. 4

    Sew a 1-inch wide fabric waistband to the tulle skirt. Sew on a hook and eye closure so that you can close the skirt when you are wearing it. Add three snaps about 1/2 inch apart down the skirt to allow you to pull the skirt up over your hips.

  5. 5

    Sew the sides of the skirt together from the snaps down to the bottom of the skirt. Follow the instructions in Section 1 to place the hula hoop on the interior of the bottom of the tulle skirt. Wear the hoop skirt underneath your costume.

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