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The Bum Shop

Before I could start patterning my new 1780s gown, I needed a new and improved skirt support.

"The Bum Shop",1785. Lewis Walpole Library.

With my previous attempt at this style, I wasn’t entirely happy with shape of the back of the skirt. I used my standard bumroll, which works for some outfits, but doesn’t give the dramatic hip flare or accentuate the bottom bodice point like you see so often in portraits and fashion plates of the mid to late 1780s. When I saw the divided bumroll that the Colonial Williamsburg milliners made to go under the Italian gown worn during the March conference, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. A complete ah hah moment! That is how you get that shape!  Using "The Bum Shop" print, as well as the CW milliner’s version as inspiration, I decided to try my hand at this style of skirt support.

My new rump is made from pale pink striped linen (to match my petticoat and other undies, because I’m cool like that). It is two separate pillows attached to a half petticoat. Each piece was assembled separately and then the pillows were whipstitched to the petticoat waistband. I have no idea if this is how it was constructed in the period, but it seemed logical to me.

 I’ve never made a skirt support with an attached petticoat, but I was pleasantly surprised at the extra fullness it added to the skirt, as well as the way it actually supported the pillows, keeping the close against my back instead of slipping down like my others always do. I also made it with a wide waistband instead of ties to help keep it snug against my waist/hips and keep the pressure off my lower back.  Both features really helped make this the most comfortable 18th century skirt support I’ve ever worn. I can’t wait to experiment with more styles and see if this theory holds true!

Posted: 9/5/2014 3:20:43 PM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1780s
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Project Details

Blue Stripe Italian Nightgown