Hi! I’m working on ‘refurbishing’ my first cosplay, Kurumi Tokisaki from Date a Live. Everything’s going well, aside from the skirt. When I first wore it, I was wearing nothing but the skirt. So the skirt was just kinda pathetically ‘lying’ down. I hoped a hoop skirt would fix this, and it kinda does, but it doesn’t have the same wavy effect as Kurumi’s skirt does in the anime. A regular hoop skirt makes it look like a ballgown. Any idea for achieving this wavy/floaty effect? Thanks!
The issue you are having is that the structure you have (the hoop skirt) isn’t the correct shape for the effect you want on the skirt. I’m assuming the hoop skirt is a bell shape, which means that the circle skirt of the costume would hang over the bell shape and take on that form rather than being held out in a more circular shape. The other problem with a hoop skirt is that because of how they’re made (pieces of steel threaded through channels with the tension of the steel being held in an O shape creating the shape), they won’t be wavy like this.
For something like this, you may end up needing to make custom undergarments. You can try wearing an organza square dance petticoat that has a pronounced A-line shape and wear it low on your hips or create an extra yoke for the top so it sits at the length you need.
Something that would help a lot with the shape is adding horsehair braid to the skirt. I would recommend adding wide horsehair braid to the hem, and also adding some in intervals up the skirt – with how the shape is, I would say that a horizontal band of it at every junction between the orange and black would be a good amount and help create the shape, and the junction would help hide the stitching. This will help create structure and shape even without the undergarments. I would baste the horsehair down while the skirt is laid out flat in a circle so that you can be sure to really get the circular shape. This will also help create some of the waviness.
You can also make a custom hoop skirt, though getting the wavy look would require some of the above methods. Experiment with this if you want more volume than the above methods give you. I would recommend basing the hoop skirt on a circle base, but make it tiered, so that each tier has more fabric (is a bigger circle/more circles) than the last. You’ll need a few tiers towards the bottom so it really curves up into that shape. You will then sew channels into the circles and thread hoop boning through them to hold them out in a circle. Since the fabric itself in this case is creating the shape and the boning is simply holding it there, you should get a better shape than out of your bell-shaped storebought hoop skirt.
Making a tiered skirt with a lot of tiers where the bottom tiers have much more fabric than the top tiers is how the square dance petticoats I linked above work, only those work on layers of stiff fabric holding the shape, not a single layer of fabric with boning holding it in place. You can always combine these methods by making a custom hoop skirt with a custom petticoat or partial petticoat (highly gathered circles of stiff fabric just towards the bottom of the hoop skirt) to further increase volume and shape.
I hope that helps! Good luck :]