Saturday, 2 March 2013

Bum Pillow

It's finally finished. Actually it has been finished for almost a week, but I kept forgetting to take pictures.
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.
 I sewed it together by machine, leaving a space for the stuffing. I stuffed it with polyester because a big bag of it came with Grandmas fabric stash and I want to use it for things where it's synthetic horribleness will be hidden away under many layers of fabric.

Lots of nasty polyester being hidden away.
A close up of a bum pillow being sewn shut by hand.
After being stuffed, the pillow was quite round.

 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.
I used some thin cotton cord to sew a few rows of big stitches through the pillow so that it would fit around my real bum and give the skirt the proper shape.

From the top
 Now it's shaped more like a croissant or a travel pillow, which is why I'm calling it a pillow instead of a bumroll, it's not remotely roll shaped.

(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.
This is the silhouette I'm trying to get, I'm almost there.

Magasin des Modes, December 1789. (source)

The bum pillow, under a petticoat from the side. Almost the right silhouette.
Clearly I need more petticoats. They will have to have a slight train so the back of the skirt slopes downward at a steep angle instead of being perfectly vertical. They need to be longer in the back anyways, look at how uneven the hem of this one is when worn over the bum pillow.

An uneven hem.
 Here is an amusing quote on bum padding. c.1785

"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)

No comments:

Post a Comment