Friday, March 16, 2012

That "period shape"

There has been quite a bit of chatter lately on the interwebs about getting that "period shape" when recreating a historical costume. And much of the discussion agrees that the key is the foundation. If one has the correct assortment of undergarment for the period then the resulting ensemble will have a historically accurate look.

One of my biggest pet peeves in historical reenacting is being able to see the bones of ones hoop skirt through the over dress. Which was the specific topic of a post by Jennifer at Historical Sewing this week. She discussed three methods to avoid what she dubs as the " lampshade" affect. 

What I loved most about her post and what I want to share with you was her third tip: just layer on more petticoats! 

It was a tip I took away with me from her costume college class last year, and used heavily when creating my wardrobe for the San Francisco Dickens Faire. Aside from the corset, chemise and drawers and hoop skirt I already had, I made this pictured ruffled petticoat and an eyelet lace petticoat to go over it to smooth out the edges of the ruffles.

The resulting shape was a lovely full bell.

For next year I want to go just a little bit further  . . . Okay maybe a lot further ;) . . . and make a corded petticoat (of which Jennifer also has a great tutorial on) and a quilted petticoat so that I can do an 1840s dress in which they wore only petticoats to achieve the smaller bell shape. 


  1. Oh my goodness! I couldn't agree more with you on the importance of a good foundation! When underclothes are done correctly just about any dress will have "the look"!
    Did you use the simplicity pattern for your corset?

  2. Yes I did use the simplicity pattern for my corset I found it to be simple and quick for a corset.