For the pattern, I just drew a big crescent shape that I thought would fit around my lower back. It seems to have worked.
For the inside layer I used a stash fabric of unknown origin and fiber content.
|The pieces being cut out.|
|Lots of nasty polyester being hidden away.|
|A close up of a bum pillow being sewn shut by hand.|
I pinned a couple of cords to the ends and tried it on to see how it looked under a petticoat and the results were just as bad as I predicted. The skirt was puffed up way higher than it should be, and the shape was wrong. I don't have pictures of this, but I did draw a diagram.
|A cross section of the "before" and "after" silhouettes. The pillow without shaping on the left, and the pillow after shaping on the right.|
|From the top|
(If you would like to read about such things, Demode has a remarkably long article on bum padding in which 8 different incarnations of bum pillow are tried on 2 different sized models. Definitely worth looking at if you're planning on making one.)
|Bum pillow as seen from the side.|
For the ties I used a piece of petersham from my stash, it was just the right length and was already hemmed at both ends.
In order to cover up all the dimples and the ends of the ribbon I covered the pillow with a second layer of fabric. I tried a thick drapery fabric, but it was too thick. It got lumpy and wouldn't wrap nicely around the pillow structure. I chose a green quilting cotton instead. Now it looks like a giant pea pod. (I apologize for the slight blurriness and weird orange light. My Media Explorations: Photography class just ended and I had to return the super awesome camera.)
|You can see the shaping better now that it's smoother.|
|It sticks out like a shelf, my younger sister found this very amusing.|
|Magasin des Modes, December 1789. (source)|
|The bum pillow, under a petticoat from the side. Almost the right silhouette.|
|An uneven hem.|
"Ladies, old and young, at this period, wore preposterous pads behind; and, as if this fashion wanted a counterbalance, enormous false bosoms were contrived of puffed gauze, so that they might be compared to pouter pigeons."
- Henry Angelo, Reminiscences
What do you think, might I be compared to a pouter pigeon?
|A pouter pigeon. (source)|