Satan’s Jigsaw Puzzle- The Pattern

Actually, the pattern isn’t as bad as it looks…it’s just cumbersome when you’re sewing all that material.

So here’s what the pattern piece looks like:


You will need to cut out 12 of them. This is word or two about choice of material. The material I eventually chose to use is a polyester tablecloth material…it came in 120 inch width, so I was thrilled. This choice came after I saw the price on it, which was reasonably inexpensive—which is a good thing. But, if I were to go back in time and speak with myself hemming-and-hahing in the fabric store, I would tell myself to walk away from that material and go and find a less-bouncy type of fabric…preferably, a “sheeting” or lightweight twill…this would be less bouncy and less susceptible to gravity/drag.

After you have cut out your 12 pieces, you are going to want to take your trusty ruler (quilting rulers are great for this!), and mark where you want your rows for your hoops. These lines will run parallel to the hem of your skirt.

The way to decide how many rows you are going need is entirely dependent on you. I have chosen 5 rows of hoop.

So, will need to measure the length of your pattern piece. It this case my pattern piece was 45 inches long….divided by 5…equals 9….I would have to make a line every 9 inches on the bad side of your fabric.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the marked fabric piece, but I do have picture of a section of the skirt.


Once you are done marking all 12 of your pieces….now you get to sew! From the back side of your fabric, the rows you have just drawn are easy way to match up your pieces. You can sew all 12 pieces together from top to bottom.

Once you have sewn all your pieces together you will be tempted to try in on around your waist and spin around your living room….go right ahead, we all do and no one is looking. I warn you though, without the hoops in it, your chances of tripping are very high.

The next step you with either have the experience or use the wonderful internet to look up some instructions, but I recommend this video:

You will need to create about 12 yards of bias-cut casing.  To know the width of your casing, use the width of your hoop steel that you will be using, add ½ inch (a ¼ inch for each side of seam allowance), and then double it, then add a tad.  So this sounds very vague, doesn’t it?…I’ll use my example….my hoop steel is ¾ inch wide, so if I add ½ inch it will equal 1 ¼ inch…then double it to equal 2 ½ inches…then add a tad….I made mine 3 inches wide.

Then you need to fold it in half and iron. After you have pressed it in half, you can finish off your cut edge with either a serger or a zigzag stitch.

A word about hoop steel: This being my first foray into making a hoop skirt, I searched the internet far and wide for ideas about what to use. If you have the resources and money to do it, the  best bet is to buy authentic hoop steel from a costume supplier. I recommend -I’ve used them before and they are very knowledgable and their prices aren’t ridiculous either.

I knew how much hoop steel I would have to invest in and I didn’t want o put that much money into something that might fail. I came up with a great alternative to buying official “hoop steel”—I  went in search of steel strapping that is used as a packaging material. It is literally pennies a foot and since you need over 100 feet, it’s a great alternative. In my search I came across someone who gave me a mostly-full box for free…so I am extremely happy. I got ¾ inch, and if it wasn’t free I would have bought ½ instead….I think it’s most flexible and of course will weigh less.

Ok, go have a drink…you’ve earned one….then come back…this is an endurance test too.

Now is the fun part…and the part that will make you dizzy….sewing on the casing!

I started with the top of my skirt….if you sew casing around the unfinished edge of the skirt that will make your waistband to put elastic into later. At this point in time, I chose to put webbing loops on my waistband fora belt that was going wear to help hold up the skirt.

You’re going to want to start and begin your rows so that they line up together…it’s best that they start and stop at the same seam. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. When you get to where you started, you’re going to want to stop right up against the beginning. Do not overlap your casings –if you do overlap, if will cause you to make kinks in your hoop steel when you’re trying to feed it in…do not overlap.

Before you put in your hoops, it’s a good idea to put in your elastic into the waistband. I used non- twisting eleastic– you can tell it by the ridges….but it also doesn’t stretch as much as other elastic.


When you are done, you can “test your skirt” by putting in the hoop steel….I added about 2 extra feet when I was feeding my hoop steel….this will later allow you to adjust the hoops.


Ok, the moment you’ve all been waiting for….the semi-finished skirt! Feel free to prounce around now.



The Nitty- Gritty of the Skirt…but first, MATH.

When it comes down to it, you’re reading this because you want to know how I did this, –right?

So, it all starts with some math….yep, it does. Sorry.

Basically I wanted a full “dome” look to the skirt…so in order to make a dome-looking thing, I had to sew a dome.

Sounds reasonably easy, right? Nope. It ain’t.

I found out it was the math, and then the design, that made all the difference.

If you’ve been researching “hoop skirt” construction in order to get this shape, you are in for a sorry disappointment. From what I was able to find out is that, historically, hoop skirts were created by joining row after row of gathered levels, each slightly bigger than the one before it. Doing this method of construction will not get you a “dome” shape….it will, however, waste time and fabric….as I did make one.

This is the prototype that I did using this method…it just ended up being a very big bell-shape… and it was ridiculously long.


So let’s get to the math, shall we?

The first measurement that you’re going have to take is your length…from your waist to the floor….you might want to have someone else do this for you because if you look down while doing it, it will change your measurements.  So for this example, let’s use my measurements….mine was 38 inches.

The next calculation you’re going to have to make is how big your bottom circle is going to be…essentially, you want half a globe to make your skirt totally dome-shaped.  You are going to need to know the circumference of your circle (this will also be the size of your bottom hoop btw).

The formula to figure this out is:  (your length  x 2) x  π (or 3.14)

So my measurements went like this: (38 x 2) x 3.14= 238.64 inches or 19.88 feet …or since I’m Canadian… 6.11 meters. J (btw to get the metric equivalent, divide your inches by 39 and that will give you meters.)

drafting 1

So here comes the hard part….scaling and making the pattern.

To make my pattern, I found direction on line for making a paper globe… here

You’re gonna want to print out the paper pattern for the globe on their link….

In order to make your dome/half globe, you have to scale the globe pattern to your size…..

The globe takes 12 triangle-shaped pattern pieces to make the dome….so divide your circumference by 12….example: my circumference is 238.64 inches ÷ 12= 19.88 inches. –so each piece is going to be 19.88 inches (50.91 cm) wide at the bottom.


If you physically measure the wedge from the globe pattern at what will be the bottom of your skirt, you will find that is measures 4cm or 1.57 inches. If you divide 50.91 cm by 4 cm, you get a scaling ratio of 12.72. –that means for every measurement on the globe pattern, you are going to have it enlarge it, or times it, by 12.72 in order to get the correct measurement– this ratio is based on my measurements…yours are going to be different.

Now, you’re going to need about 2-3  yards or meters of brown craft/pattern paper, in order to draft your pattern. You are also going to need a good ruler and a French-curve ruler.

You are now going to need plotting points….fold your craft paper in half. The nice part about this pattern is that it is symmetrical, so folding it in half will make your pattern even on both sides.

I found that when drafting the pattern, starting at the bottom was the best…and working right to left. So the first line you want to draw is going to be a vertical line, 90 degrees perpendicular, on your paper –this is the bottom of your skirt so the measurement will be half of your bottom segment –in my case it’s half of 50.91 cm which equals 25.46 cm.

Using your scaling ratio, measure the spine of the globe piece and translate that into your pattern.

The next step is to get the width of the globe sections and translate that on your pattern piece.

The only thing that you do not need to add is the top section of the globe…this is where your waist will go eventually.

After you are done plotting, use your French curve to get a line with a slight curve to attach all the lines.

Add 1/4 inch around you piece for seam allowance, and cut out your pattern. Hint for cutting out the pattern, pin your paper together so that it doesn’t shift.

Your pattern should look like this.


When you open it up, it should look like this:


Now, go have a drink and relax, until we go to cut out the fabric!

Going with the Wind to get your Star Wars- the inspiration that I never really wanted

When I started this…I didn’t actually start thinking of meshing ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’…..when I started this, I was solely thinking that this would be an American Civil War meets ‘Star Wars’…..there was so much cross over with that…and in actual fact, I’m not even going to pull and imagery from ‘Gone with the Wind’ when I’m character cosplaying….so far the best line that I’ve got is “Come back home safe from war boys!” as I bravely wave our 501st our-post on….

So if you want a comparison of the American Civil War-Star Wars analogy, I’ve got a few things….but before you read on, I want you to understand that I am not trivializing those who suffered and died during the American Civil War. I believe that even through mythos,  we accept into popular culture  that which has its validity in our own very real history….some of us just need that bit of fiction around cruelties that make our past more palpable.

  1. American Civil War was not initially started due to slavery. Economic disproportion was the main issue…and that was due to the use of slaves as an unpaid workforce in the South. It later emerged that slavery became the main focus for the War.

“Star Wars” was started by the unfair taxation of trade routes (Episode I) that lead to economic growth in some worlds, while others were impoverished—which allowed the future Emperor to gain a foothold over those he could use as his pawns. It was later that the Empire’s rules regarding alien bias and alien slavery were some of the reasons for rebellion.


  1. During the American Civil War, there were many deserters from the Southern side as the War progressed –many were small farmers who didn’t wish to fight and die for plantation owners need for a free work force.

Many of the “Star Wars” characters who appear on the rebel side, once had careers in the Imperial forces. So, they essentially, deserted the Empire.

You can see how delving into reality and fantasy is not that much fun?—So, I stopped.  I then looked to a film just as grand in scale as “Star Wars”…and sitting right there, in my collective unconscious, lay the most perfect film…and also one of my favorite films, of all time…. Gone with the Wind….yes, there it was!…just sitting there…my go-to movie whenever I’m not feeling well…heck, I even named one of my cats after the female lead actress (Vivian…Ms. Vivian Leigh) ~sigh~


So here are some of the similarities that I found compelling….maybe you will too…let’s start with just trivia about the movies…

  • Both ‘Gone with the Wind’ (GWTW) and ‘Star Wars’ (SW) are among the top five grossing movies of ALL TIME.
  • Both movies feature scrolling titles at the beginning of the movie, with an outline of the plot descriptions.
  • Both movies are rated within the top ten of AFI’s best movies of ALL TIME.
  • Both movies have the ‘most quoted lines’ of ALL TIME: #1; SW “Luke, I am your father.”(which…since I’m an uber geek, I’m going to point out that Darth Vader never says that…he says, “No, I AM your father.”), and #2; GWTW “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn
  •  Both Directors –O’Selznik and Lucas, were fined by different branches within the motion picture industry; O’Selznik (GWTW) was fined $5000 by the Hays Office for profanity (using the word “Damn”) in the movie (although, this was revoked 1 year later). Lucas ( SW) was fine $250,000 by the Director’s Guild of America for not having opening credits of his cast and crew in his movies –he later quit the Guild.
  • From a technical stand-point, both movies have the most revered special effects scenes ; GWTW has the burning of Atlanta burning which an entire back lot was burned to the ground, and SW has the explosion of the planet Alderran, but slightly more-impressive, is the destruction of the Death Star which was filmed as day-for-night in the parking lot of the production studio. This was because both scenes are considered “money shots”–scenes that only had 1 shot to get it right….it could not be set up to re-take the shot.


So after the trivia, comes the characters….

The Scarlet and Leia Comparison

This is not a very strong comparison…the only thing that binds these two together is that they both love scroundrels….and that they are willing to do things out of their “expected” behaviour to get the job done. Scarlet’s motives are for selfish reasons, and Leia’s motive are for the greater good. Scarlett is also not comfortable with her actions being unaccepted for the social implications of her time, she is always striving to be considered a “lady”. While Leia couldn’t care less about her image as a “princess”, she will literally re-wire a ship and get her hands dirty if she has to, to get the job done.

The Rhett and Han Comparison

Both have serious mad- skills with guns

Both reluctant to join rebel military

Both chasing a woman out of their social class

Both Rhett and Han say,  “you could you a good kiss.”

I’d like to thank  with some of the ideas that inspired this comparison

And then, of course, are the movie posters…..

Gone with the Wind




Getting Started…which involves some back-tracking

Ok…well first off…thank you for looking at my blog….I promise I will try to keep it interesting. I’ve read other blogs, and quite frankly the idea bores me…I just wanted to yell “Get to the Point!”–so that what I’ll try to do…is get to, and keep to the point. I will warn you, brave reader, about 2 things….first, I ramble on–I will try to curb this, but I can’t guarantee you won’t get caught up in my rants……second, I am a bed speller.–always have been, always will be…Bad Spellers of the World Untie!–I will try to curb this too, but it probably will slip through from time to time.

This is my blog about this outfit that I decide to make. I did this drawing last year….at first it had no real teeth to it…it was a nifty idea on it’s own, but I had not the time or the gumption ( I will be inserting mildly “Southern” phrases/words from time to time–try and find them…I mean, seriously, when was last time you heard someone use the word’ gumption’?) to make it.

I had no real intention of combining the esthetics of different movies ( or sagas)…. I was wanted a Death Star Skirt that would strike fear….nah, terror,…nah, lust into the hearts of C4 Comic Con attendees.

So this was my idea…..and Death Star Gown. …not just a skirt….although Thank you Jennifer Landa–you did an amazing job on yours….so you are slightly to blame here. :/

This is where the story starts….with a drawing.

The drawing I did last year...that start this whole darn thing.

The drawing I did last year…that started this whole darn thing.