Sunday, December 30, 2018

An Early Natural Form Tournure & Petticoat

Whenever I dive into a new time period, I like to start from the inside out, making the foundations before I get started on any gowns. When I started getting interested in Natural Form, I knew I'd need a new set of undies, so I jumped into some Pinterest research and found a diagram of a sort of low-bustle/train support that I liked the looks of.  There was also a surviving extant example that looked nearly identical.

I used a cotton twill for mine, which wasn't really ideal. It ended up making the ruffles rather bulky, and the entire tournure is somewhat heavier than I would have liked.

I started with a couple of tapered panels, but found that they didn't have quite the flare I needed. I ended up adding a couple of gores to the center back.

I wanted to include all those wonderful scallops in my inspiration pieces, but I hated the thought of binding all those curves, so I opted to do a facing instead. I sew the facing on with a very, very narrow seam, about 1/4", and then when I turn facing to the inside, I don't have to clip any of the corners. When the edge is pressed, it all just flattens out smoothly, without the need for clipping.

The ruffle was a different story. I just doubled the fabric instead of using a facing on the hem, and it ended up making the ruffle really thick and heavy. I wouldn't do it the same way again. I ended up having to basically cartridge pleat the ruffle to the body of the tournure. I had to do this by hand, once the boning was already inserted and the rest of the garment was pretty much completed.

I may end up making an upgraded version of this tournure in the future, as there are a lot of things I would do differently, but it definitely serves its purpose, and it does give the back of my skirts a nice big of umph without being too bustle-y.

I made an organdy petticoat to go over the tournure. I draped it on the mannequin and didn't use a pattern for it. It has a deep flounce at the hem, with tucks and lace detailing.

I decided to add on a ruffled, detachable train, based off the one in Grimble's "Fashions of the Gilded Age". I added a bit of lace to the hem of every ruffle to give it a little bit of something extra. Once all the ruffles were attached, I bound the edges with a bit of bias tape.

I used a bit of twill tape to make loops that would attach to buttons on the skirt. When the train gets dirty or ragged, I can take it off for cleaning or repairs.

So, that's it! The first of my natural form undies. I still need to make a new corset, chemise, and bloomers, but these are really the bits that I needed to get the right silhouette for my skirts. More to come!

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