Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Lovely Lady Rump.

Just in time for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #3, I've produced this, a rump.

Majestic, no?

I didn't really think about making a rump for this challenge until I was trotting about in my super pretty gold gown last week and I realized that the shape and relative weight of my current rump wasn't quite getting it. My old rump (oh, how I love those words...) is made of the same pink sprigged cotton duck fabric, but tightly stuffed with rags and sawdust. At the time I made it, 10 pounds of rags and sawdust sounded like a GREAT idea because the hip pads I made four years ago (stuffed with a meager assemblage of bamboo and cotton fluffer-stuff) have slowly deflated like a popsicle in a frying pan. The old rump worked well, but it was bloody heavy.

 The new rump by night. Oooooh, baby.

There comes a time in every woman's life that she questions the wisdom of appearing in public burdened with what feels like most of a corpse tied around her waist. So I needed a new, lighter rump. My mother had given me a wonderfully busted old chair a couple of years ago as punishment for being such a disappointment as a daughter. (This is an assumption based on the relative hideousness of the chair. Hi, Mom!!!) During a particularly misguided bout of craftiness, and largely inspired by the success of RabidGlow, I pulled the chair apart with the intention of re-upholstering it.* I used the discarded padding from the upper back of the chair to stuff this rump. I suspect it's some form of poly/wooly/cottony blend but I have no idea. Its lightweight, it was handy, and it has maintained its original shape for more years than I've been alive.

Yeah, freaking right.

The shape was dictated by a non-specific idea I had about what I wanted it to feel like more than what I wanted it to look like. (I was very inspired by some of the images in the excellent article that was presented on Démodé recently, too! Serendipitous timing.) This is a terrible way to do anything, but there you have it. Other than that, the fabric really had the final say in shape. I only had a small bit left of the cotton duck, and I wanted to make the biggest rump that I could. (Don't we all?)

 Closing the deal. I have made So. Much. Stuff. out of this fabric. It has integrated itself into the two rumps, a pinner apron and the lining of a half-finished coat. I think this is officially the last of it, though.

The seams are all back-stitched for strength. A 30" length of cotton tape was used as a waist tie, threaded all the way through the rump. I quilted 4 channels through all of the finished layers for the characteristic "puffy shell" look seen in 18th century caricatures. That was ultimately the most time-consuming part because I initially thought that I could sew through 4" of puff with a 3/4" needle.

 And we have rump! Rumpus Rumpus! The pink ribbon is not a permanent fixture. I didn't like how boxy the shape was when it was finished, so I tied the ribbons down tight to help round it up a bit. But then, I really liked it so I've decided to use some slightly less plastic-y ribbon on it when I find the right stuff.

In complete defiance of my lifestyle, moral code, spiritual beliefs and genetic proclivities, I finished this thing well over a week early. I know, I know. Something must be wrong with me. I'm looking into it. It was a tender mercy though, because I needed it. I spent part of the past week putting the Jehossee exhibit is back up at the university archives and I needed all the padding I could get for those blasted mannequins. Above, you see the rump already pressed into service to augment the abruptly interrupted charms of the mannequin I dubbed "Assless Boobs On A Stick." (If you don't get it, follow the link. Unless you don't want to get it, in which case you are probably too classy to be reading this. Go you!)

Something new I'm trying. It looks like an 8th grade science project, though. Hmm.

The Dastardly, Deadly Dull Facts:
The Challenge: #3: Underneath It All
Fabric: My last little patch of yellow sprigged cotton duck.
Pattern: None. I referenced a few illustrations and the truly awesome post that Démodé recently published.

Year: 1780-ish is the intended use, but it's currently sitting nicely under an 1850 gown. It's a full-service rump.
Notions: Yes! Finally! I used a 30" bit of cotton tape threaded all the way through it as a waistband. That is totally a notion. The ribbons count too, I suppose.
How historically accurate is it? What to say? It's a functional butt cushion. Accuracy wasn't as big of a concern here due to my desire to have something more practical than strictly accurate. However, it's sized and shaped similarly to several original rumps (as seen in illustrations). The stuffing is highly suspect, and I have no way of verifying the use of cotton duck for rumps. I'll give this one a 5 of 10 for those reasons.
Hours to complete: 3. It could be done in half that, but it took me ages to figure out to use a larger needle for the quilting.
First worn: About a week ago for fitting purposes. However, it has been proudly installed under a cotton dress and petticoat for several days, so technically it's in use now.
Total cost: Zippo Nano. And MAN does it feel good to use up these odds and ends!

1 comment:

  1. Oh this is so cool of you! I laughed aloud several times and had to read bits to my daughter who humored me...
    Love how the new rump makes that petticoat look, especially in how it helps the front hang straight down. Guess that was the idea of the old bumroll in Tudor/Elizabethan gowns, too, something I must remember as I plan for this summer's sweaty Shakespeare in the park.