Posing in Panniers

It took a while, but this weekend I finally managed to get some pictures of my 18th century panniers which I made for the HSM15 – Foundation back in January.





IMG_5815And it’s collapsible too!


IMG_5843I really love how they turned out,
and can’t wait to finish my robe a la Franchaise so I can take them on a proper outing.

18th century skirt foundation (A.k.a Panniers of pain)

For the HSM challenge 1/2015 – Foundation, I knew I wanted to make 18th century panniers to go under my in progress robe a la Franchise (more on that on a later note).

And since I already had all the material (fabric, metal boning and bias tape) in my stash I started by looking for patterns.1740 panier waughThis pattern from “Corsets and Crinolines” looked good but seemed to be much bigger then I needed.
And I’ve heard from others who made it that it is in fact huge!

I was thinking something more along the lines of this picture.be103b0e94eebfb2dae8a3a825eb33b6That seems easy enough. So I figured I didn’t need a pattern after all.

So on to the tapemeasure I whent, and started cutting the fabric.IMG_4876A green sort of linen/polyester kind of fabric, here cut in double pieces.

Once all seams was stitched together and felled, I started working on the boning bias tape for the channelsIMG_4884 I marked where I wanted the bones to be, and stitched the bias tape on top of the chalk lines.IMG_4888

Then I made a running stitch and gathered the top to be set in the waistband.IMG_4891

To get the oval shape on the panniers I attached rows of ribbons to be tied horizontal across the hoops.IMG_4933

IMG_4902Inside of the panniers before inserting the boning.

I used my regular go-to metal pipe cleaners for boning. IMG_4903 The shape of the panniers whit the bones are somewhat circular…

And the edges of the top most bones makes a slight worrisome edge.IMG_4904

Finished in one night, yay!

Eh, no….


Once tied together the top hoop made the worst shape ever.

Darn it.
How to solve this?
I posted a quick question on my facebook page and in the HSM facebook group, and over night got lots of great suggestions.

Then I started experimenting.

I removed the diagonal bones at the top.IMG_4916 IMG_4917Better, but a long way from perfect.

Once he bones was removed I noticed a excess of fabric at the top front and back. I played with pinning it into a giant dart thous removing the upper bones ability to push out.IMG_4920 IMG_4925There was lots of width to take out.

But once pinned in darts and tied into place the pannier keeps the desired shape.IMG_4929

The problem was I thought of the whole panniers like a big circle/crinoline tied into shape. But what I failed to grasp was that to keep the top hoop close to the body at front/back and wide at the sides I needed to shape the top of the fabric. – just like in Waughs pattern….

Once decisive on the actions on how to save and finish the panniers I also decided that the pale green color was a bot bland. So I turned it inside out and stitched the darts from the opposite side to give it a ore interesting look (including removing all the ties and re-attached them on the new inside). IMG_4930

The finished panniers: (Yay)IMG_4943










Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 1/2015 – Foundation

What: A pair of 18th century panniers.

Pattern: None, I just measured and cut.

Fabric: 1,5 m of green linen from stash.

Notions: Thread, 7 m of metal boning, 7 m of brown bias-tape and 5 m of white cotton ribbon.

How historical accurate: Not much. The fabric is wrong, the boning is metal and I sewed most of it on my sewing machine. It looks pretty good though.

Time: About 8 hours – 2 of which I worked on correcting the upper hoop.

Cost: I would guess about 100 Sek (16 Usd) but everything came from stash so I’m not sure.

First worn: Only around the house for photos. But I intend to wear it with my up-coming Robe a la Franchise at the first chance I get.

Final thoughts: This was meant as a quick project, and as usual those are the ones which causes most trouble. But thanks to some minor experimenting and tips from the HSM hive mind I managed to complete them without to much bad words.

18th century Panniers – Inspiration

This month on the HSM fare focusing on underwear and foundations. So I thought I make a pair of 18th century panniers.

panniers1Pocket hoops are good and all, but there are something extra special about panniers.

be96bd7dda4a5b56201a177db0937182Regular pocket hoops



They comes in lots of different sizes and styles, and they all look fabulous.