The first thing I tackled on my Katrina Van Tassel costume was the false rump. It’s such an important component in creating her period silhouette. I wasn’t sure which of the many styles of late 18th century rumps was going to create the right shape so I decided to make a few and try them out. So after Foundations Revealed (and a distracting, still unfinished stays project) was over, I put myself to the task. I started with three different kinds, in the hopes that I’d have a Goldilocks situation on my hands, and one would be just right. It didn’t quite work out that way.
The first style I tried was the split rump from The AD Guide. It’s basically two pads that create one big shape. But it was both the wrong size and the wring shape. It makes the skirts dip between between the two pads, ideal for that CB point found in Italian gowns, but not right here. The volume of the bump also starts quite low down. Both of these factors mean the skirts of Kat’s pierrot wouldn’t have enough support.
The second style I tried was from Patterns of Fashions 5. It consists of a pasteboard supporter and a small pad. I used stiff buckram in place of the pasteboard, which worked perfectly. It took me a minute to work out exactly how to put it on, but I got there in the end. This one is actually my favourite. It gives a lovely round shape, and it’s size can be adjusted thanks to the secondary ties on the supporter. However, it creates no shaping at the sides. Great for late 18th century styles but not for me, which is a shame because the back was perfect.
The third style I tried was a bit more experimental. I borrowed the shape from The Lady Victoria’s blog, which in turn is based on the 1785 the satirical print “The Bum Shop”. I guesstimated the dimensions, sewed and stuffed it. I’d sort of guessed that the previous two styled wouldn’t give me enough volume at the sides, so this shape seemed more suitable. It does give the best shape at the sides out of the three, but still wasn’t perfect. The bump starts higher up than the split rump, which is good, but it’s too big, and doesn’t create a smooth shape under the skirts. I think a ruffle would help with this, which I lazily omitted from the original.
I had a little go at altering the shape of rump no. 3, but I couldn’t get it right. After despairing for a little while, I figured out, from examining a few other costumers’ rumps (if you’ll pardon the expression), that the pattern I needed was American Duchesses’s Simplicity 8162. At first I didn’t want to buy the whole packet for just the one pattern, but boy am I glad I did. It does create the right shape for Katrina, and that means I’m one more thing down on my endless to do list!
For more 18th century rumps style adventures check out this blog post on Démodé.
What’s your favourite rump style?