Here is most of my research I found on Dress Hoops via the interwebz. I'm posting it up in the journal incase anyone else finds it difficult to get their heads around dress hoops, much like myself. I'll be providing as much info on my methods of making as possible so that other Cosplayers may use some of the same methods to help in their own works.
Hoops became all the rage in the 1850s, when finally women were liberated from layers of heavy petticoats. These full cage hoops harkened back to the panniers popular in the latter half of the 1700's but with a new bell shape.
Our full circle 4 bone hoop skirt is made of 100% cotton. Approximately 40 inches from waist to bottom hem. Bottom hoop measures approximately 39 inches diameter, 119 inches circumference. Perfect for a full look or for warm summer days when a full petticoat will be too warm.
Ideal for later 1880-1900 period this versatile hoop skirt features 1 REMOVABLE hoop 4 inches from the bottom of the skirt. Skirt is also lined with approximately 12” of netting for fullness without the hoop. Hoop maximum circumference is approximately 89 inches.
The following Info is from http://trulyvictorian.com/catalog/60cat.html
The Elliptical cage crinoline was the main support foundation for the later- and post-Civil War period of 1863-1868. Called a "cage" because of the cage-like appearance created by the hoop wires and vertical support tapes, this type of crinoline offers maximum support capabilities for a perfect shape, combined with flexibility for comfortable wear. Our Elliptical shape is narrow over the hips, close to the body in front, and dramatically expanded to the rear; the most popular shape for 1865-1866 skirts.
Our crinoline is 126" in circumference at the hem, 36" in length to hem level, and has 12 hoop wires to support the weight of heavy skirts. The self-supporting, elliptical shape is maintained by strategically placed vertical supports, as well as ties on the inside of the 4 top hoops. A "bag" at the hem keeps the wearer from stepping through the hoops.
Fabric: Use broadcloth, muslin, calico, etc.
--- 45" wide or greater, 1¾ yards.
--- 44" or less, 2 yards.
Bone Casing: 14¼ yards. Use ¾" wide bone casing or other tubular casing.
Grosgrain Ribbon: 7 ¾ yards. Use 7/8" wide ribbon.
Hoop Wire: 28 ½ yards (three 12 yard rolls). Use 1/2" wide, plastic coated hoop wire.
Belting: 1½ yards. Use ¾" wide, thin webbed belting.
Tie strings: 4 yards. Use narrow ribbon, laces, etc.
Notions: one buckle, ¾" wide, must fit belting and hold firm. Eight (8) ½" U-tips to cover ends of hoop wire.
This crinoline is given as one-size-fits-all, and can be easily adjusted to size by letting out or taking up the tie strings inside.
This skirt is of the style used during late and post Civil War period. It is designed to be worn over TV103, Elliptical Cage Crinoline. The front and sides are gored, fitted to the waist with a pleat at each seam. The full back is tightly gathered into a few inches. This skirt has 9 panels in all, and is about 185" at the hem The placket is in the center back seam. A pocket is in the right side seam. The hem is 42" long in front, lengthening in back to 49", for floor length all around the elliptical cage.
Fabric: 45" wide fabric, with nap: 6 ½ yards all sizes.
Yardage without nap may be less
Notions: Hook and eye closures.
Wide belts were very popular through the 1860's. Belts with long tabs were a favorite in 1864-1866. They look wonderful with a blouse, and also with a Spanich Jacket. A belt can also dress up a plain bodice. They can be either the same fabric as the skirt, or a contrasting fabric to define the waist. Period examples were used for both day outfits and dinner or evening dresses.
This belt has two long tabs in the front, and 2 longer tabs in the back. The center back has a laced closure. It fits very nicely over the TV103 elliptical hoop, but can also be worn with a round hoop. Decorate with braid, beading, or lace for very pretty results.
Suggested farbics: Twill, velvet, silk, brocade, etc.
Fabric 45": 1 1/4 yards - all sizes
Fabric 60": 1 yard - all sizes
Lining: 1 1/4 yard - all sizes - may be either fashion fabric or a lining type fabric
Interlining (optional): 1 1/4 yards - broadcloth or other tightly woven fabric.
Yardages given are with or without nap.
Notions: 10 Grommets, 2 yards lacing, ¼" wide steel stays (bones) in the following lengths: One (1) stay 4½" long, and 6 stays 5½" long.