The Spanish Farthingale is a stiffened underskirt that gives Tudor and early Elizabethan skirts their characteristic conical shape. You can make a very passable one with a full length gored skirt pattern (either a commercial A-line skirt pattern, or one you draft yourself), a lot of ribbon or bias tape, and boning.
A simple A-like skirt with two gores will do fine for this project. I drafted this gore with a 73 degree angle to the side seam, comparable to the Alcega farthingale.
Do this on both pieces. I’m making this for a doll, so I’ve marked the hoop locations every 5/8″.
I find it faster and less annoying to rip the seam and resew, rather than remarking the skirt. Once you have the seam in place correctly….
Why do this? It’s going to keep our seam allowances from being pulled wonky as we sew the channels for the boning, but it doesn’t make a large, thick seam that will be hard to sew over.
A ribbon hem is fantastic here, because it will also form the bottom hoop casing.
Now, here’s a piece of advice: do not send someone who knows anything about weed whackers to the store to get your strimmer line. They will get something like this, which is great at cutting grasses because of the crazy profile. What you want is the utterly crap round stuff – the kind that grass laughs at. It doesn’t snag so much going through the channels.
This trick will only work with a gored skirt. It works best if the casing is just barely wide enough to hold the doubled area of the boning. My strimmer is about 1/8″, and I’m using 1/4″ ribbon. The very tight fit acts like a splice between the ends, and it doesn’t really wiggle or shrink. And it’s easy, which I like.