Wednesday, June 25, 2014

HSF#12: Shape and Support

This week's Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge was all about changing the shape of the human body.

I decided to make a 16th century bodied petticoat to wear in lieu of a corset. I do have a nice wool one but sometimes it's just to hot for wool!

The Challenge: Shape and Support
Fabric: Cotton duck for the inner layer, linen rayon blend for the bodice outside and skirt, cotton for the bodice lining, poly felt for the skirt hem support
Pattern: self drafted
Year: mid/late 16th century
Notions: ribbon for lacing, 6 steel bones
How historically accurate is it? well, the materials are iffy but it gives a nice shape
Hours to complete: eep, did not keep track
First worn: not yet
Total cost: ~$20 (I reused an old petticoat for the skirt and the lining and felt were left overs from other projects)

 One thing I wanted to try with this project was hem stiffening. I was inspired by these two articles on stiffened hems (1) (2). Now, I didn't get quite as amazing results as these ladies did but I can tell it makes a difference!

 The skirt I used was too long so I sandwiched 3" of felt between the hem allowance and the skirt. It actually gives a nice shape for a lower/middle class. I have high hopes for trying it in a less drapey material such as taffeta!

As far as the bodice shaping, I did the same 6 bone layout as in my grey wool kirtle. There is some slight curvature in the bust but it still does a great job and you won't be able to tell under another layer. Plus it's so much more comfortable with out all the extra boning I'd need to get a perfectly flat bust.

This piece was designed to be an undergarment, but now that I see it with my chemise from challenge #9, it looks very cute and generic peasant-y. The skirt does gape in the front so I'll need an apron or something but I'm getting excited!


  1. Love the setting for these pictures! :-)

  2. You remind me of the milkmaid in Vermeer's famous painting. Lovely outfit:)

  3. Wonderful location to use for a historical costume shoot. One can almost imagine that you were on the steps of a Renaissance era Italian villa.

    ♥ Jessica