Bum rolls

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Mad Mab
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Bum rolls

Post by Mad Mab »

Hallo,
For all those 17th & 18th century re-enactors out there. Looking for advice/sources on the wearing of bum rolls. I tend to go for outfits suitable for lower-class, farm wifey types (unless I'm in apothecary mode) and was wondering whether a bum role would have been apropriate/practical.
I have cartridge-pleated petticoats (and fairly broad hips to be honest) which means that, with the right number of petticoats, I do have the large hip to waist ratio without said item, the question being, would I use a bum roll anyway or would it be more in the manner of men's calves (ie. If they were the right shape and size anyway, they wouldn't have to pad them!)
Any recommendations on books about 17th century clothing and 18th century clothing also appreciated.
Apologies if this post is a little confused, my brain is a little addled this morning but I know if I don't ask now, I'll forget and then hem the blinking petticoat anyway,
Thank you muchly,
Mab
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Eve
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Post by Eve »

Jane Huggett has done some research on 17th cent wills & inventories of women & she has found no evidence of bum rolls being mentioned. (she has a little book published by Stuart Peachey but I can't remember the name of it & haven't time to search for it at the moment).
Now she concludes that bum rolls had gone out of fashion & should not be worn.
Personally I think that women of a 'certain age' ie me and of a lower class wouldn't have bothered with bum rolls. After all how many modern women would wear an unnecessary item of clothes to do the housework or gardening? Although if they were going out then maybe they would.
I think age, status and occupation would have a lot to do with whether bum rolls were worn or not.
I'm afraid I can't help with 18th cent though. :)

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Post by Mad Mab »

I was kind of hoping that might be the case. Have tried wearing a bum-roll before and it felt like I was being followed the whole time (on the other hand, you want your clothing to be as accurate as possible)
Thank you muchly,
Mab
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m300572
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Post by m300572 »

Have tried wearing a bum-roll before and it felt like I was being followed the whole time
My other half had that feeling at one event - turned out she DID actually have a stalker, a Slovakian chap who kept taking her photo (including in Tescos when she went for some stuff for the site) then turned up at the LH site and presented her with a small bag of fruit - only some time later did she open it to find his business card and hotel room number written on the back!

From memory its likely that if you were a young woman at the time when bumrolls were fashionable you might well go on wearing one into your mature years (think Grandma Giles who was still dressing in Edwardian garb in the 1970s) - this would probably apply to a lot of your clothing (and your other halfs) unless you were moving in fashionable circles - fashion changes in the past were a lot slower than nowadays.

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

Agree with Eve - why would working women bother with bum rolls? and indeed there seems to be no evidence for them. I have managed to locate the Jane Huggett books amid the post-Detling kit explosion in my living room - "Clothes of the Common Woman 1580-1660' (book 2 gives patterns). Paul Meekins has these, as do Caliver I think, as well as Stuart himself of course.

In my experience lots of petticoats (with pleating) give the desired effect and are comfy to wear. Bum rolls give a kind of shelf-like effect which looks odd.

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Post by m300572 »

Bum rolls give a kind of shelf-like effect which looks odd.
Perhaps to modern eyes but presumably the 'odd' effect was what was required and some contemporary illustrations (probably reproduced in the reference cited) appear to show that shelf effect.

'Does my bum look big in this?' has an acceptable answer which has changed over the centuries.

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lidimy
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Post by lidimy »

this is some info you might find useful that i got off a site when wondering the same;

due to the heaviness and quantity of material used in these dresses, wearing a bum roll can help weight distribution and therefore serve to balance you out when standing up for a long time.

also, when making them, (if you want to make it authentic) make the basic shape then fill it with scrap material that you get during the production of your dress. the skill is to not make it lumpy!! the alternative, if you are not too bothered about authenticity as long as it looks ok, is to fill it tightly with cushion filling material, a bit like cotton wool.

enjoy!! i hope this is useful!
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Post by frances »

Umm, clothing did change quite a lot over the 200 years you mention. Do you have a particular date, or an event, in mind? 17th century did have a higher waist at the beginning and there was some form of padding to give the required silhouette. Mind you the waist returned to normal quite soon, but then the bun-roll effect did return at the end of the century. 18th century had circular 'farthingale-type' petticoats at one point, but also the sideways panniers. Then in around the 1770's the heaped-up overskirt look necessitated some form of bum padding again. The 1780's and 90's had huge amounts of bum roll in three sections to get the narrow-waisted look that was fashionable then. My advice is to find a portrait that you like and then try to copy that. Post here and you will be overwhelmed with advice.

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Post by Mad Mab »

frances wrote:Umm, clothing did change quite a lot over the 200 years you mention. Do you have a particular date, or an event, in mind?
Oops! :oops:
You get so used to the specifics of which time period you do that you forget that people outwith the group will not neccessarily know! Apologies for that!
To cut that down slightly, I'm interested in 1630's and 1740's.
Have been looking at portraits from around those time periods (or to be more accurate, crowd scenes and back-ground figures (I know my place! :D )) and I can get the right figure without a bum roll (Not sure what that says about my natural figure! :shock: ). Was really just wondering whether or not said article of clothing was authentic for the time period or not. (Finding I'm becoming more and more of an authenti-nut recently)
Anyhow, thank you muchly,
Mab
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The YE Olde Costume Maker
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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

hi all iam very new to the site and living history, i do more the 19th century myself but iam curious to what a bum roll is???? my first thought is like a bustle pillow?
Donna

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Post by frances »

Righto. The 1630's, if you are doing the high-waisted jobbie, then you will need a bum roll or padded tassetts attached to your high-waisted corset. Otherwise the fabric will indent into your natural waist and this will not give the correct silhouette as you move around. You will also need a couple of full petticoats over the top else the skit will wind itself around your legs and not allow the skirt to look as full as were worn the them days.

1740 - no bum-roll required, but you do need a few hoops in your pettiicoat to make it wider towards the hem.

If there are a group of you needing design/practical help, I do give costume-craft workshops and talks. I can come over to you as and when convenient. Pm me for more information if you like.

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Post by Mad Mab »

And men think bras are complicated! :wink:
Through the ages it does appear that women have fine-tuned the art of creating odd if not totally bizarre underwear! :lol:
Thanks for the advice (and the offer of help :D !) Will certainly cry for help if I get myself stuck!
Thank you muchly.
mab
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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Similar in function to a bustle pillow, yes.

A bum roll is a stuffed roll or crescent attached round the waist (wearing height, size and shape determined by prevailing fashion) to create width at the hips.

One early version was a sausage worn round the entire hip to as an economy copy for the wheel farthingale. It was also used to support or pad the full wheel of the posher dressers.

Mine is later and tapers to points as it rounds the body.

I have to say that padded corset tassets sound hotter but easier - at least they won't slip forward in wear.

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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

thank you, i thought it was what i thought but i think when you start re-enactments and new to 1 era you dont give much thought to other periods straight away iam amazed at the information i have gathered in such a small space of time...
Donna

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Post by frances »

Dear YOCM, it comes with great age m'dearie.

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Post by frances »

Dear Alice the H, I have never found padded tassetts to be hot - bit like being inside a well-stuffed chaise longue, yes. The midriff and chest are highly boned and confined, but the wiast and legs are fairly free, as are the arms as the armholes can be huge, depending upon the style one chooses, and the sleeves can also be quite wide, again, depending upon style, so it is not uncomfortable. One's boobs get into a room before the rest of one, but ... being uncovered during the evening the perspiration does have somewhere to escape!!

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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

I only seem to have two temperatures - too hot and too cold. I was rather hoping hot flushes might even it out, but am sad to learn they happen when you are hot already. BUM!

I rarely wear low cut - but on the few occassions I do I am surprised how cold the your breasts get if they are usually under a polo neck... I can well believe how good a thermal regulator a fichu type covering can be.

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Post by frances »

Yes, even thin muslin is amazingly warm in cold weather. But the best cover is the woolly Tudor partlet in winter!

And as regards the warmth of the menopause - do not wish it on yourself if you have not already got there. What gets most hot on me is my face - the sweat just gathers together and rolls down my face and drips off the end of my nose. Any silk fabric nearby suffers and the front of my 21st century clothing gets soaked. Yes it keeps me lovely and warm, but then gets colder and colder and I freeze until the water dries up. Oh horrible!!

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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

I intend to retire into a cocoon for three years and be brought toast, Turkish Delight and hot chocolate by concerned parties.

I hope to God the cat can master the kettle and a tray by then!

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Evil Black Alice
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Post by Evil Black Alice »

I tried to sell a bum roll recently, no one would have it! :evil:
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The YE Olde Costume Maker
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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

yet bustle pillows sell well. well i seem to sell a lot of them.
Donna

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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Perhaps they thought it was a bum deal..........

Once Kentwell has established what year they are doing, ask Annie the Pedlar if it would be of use to any of their beginners if it is correct for period. She is moving house at present so is out of the loop for a while. Lidimy has a guardian to dress - perhaps it might be of use to her?

Why is there no pepsi in the house when you need it?

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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

The YE Olde Costume Maker wrote:yet bustle pillows sell well. well i seem to sell a lot of them.
Perhaps they thought it was a bum deal.......... lol
Donna

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Post by The YE Olde Costume Maker »

The YE Olde Costume Maker wrote:yet bustle pillows sell well. well i seem to sell a lot of them.
Perhaps they thought it was a bum deal.......... lol
Donna

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Post by frances »

I would have thought it was very difficult to sell a bum roll on its own. To work properly they need to snuggle around your hips - and every lady has different-shaped hips after all. Also, different era, different shape. Also the materials fora bum roll are very cheap, it is the stuffing that takes the time. So maybe the price was just too high. These are my thoughts.

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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

I think people are afraid of Black Alice's Evil that seeped into the wadding.
Last edited by Alice the Huswyf on Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Ha ha ha . Maniacal laughter! :twisted: I'm looped back into your tangled threads.
We all have to hold our breath until December before we find out when the next Kentwell is a bumroll year.

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