In poking around the 1770s it becomes obvious that panniers are the thing to wear. I’ve never made panniers before – I usually land in the 1780s and 90s, when I visit the 18th century, and so big rumps and super-poof round skirts are my thing, but who doesn’t fancy the look of side-hoops?
I’ve decided to try out a couple different styles of pannier, with the caveat that they *must* pack down for air travel. That leaves out the grand panniers, the full-length panniers, any that don’t collapse into a standard-sized suitcase.
Here is my first try:
|Panniers in “low hoop” position. Yeah, they’re not even, but this doesn’t seem to effect the overall silhouette once the skirt is on.|
These are a rough-n-ready pair, which just means I had no idea what I was doing when I started building them. They’re a split version of this:
I’m really quite tickled by them for a couple reason – one, they collapse down flat; two, one can be used for a Victorian bustle; three, my favorite, they can be adjusted for “high hoop” or “low hoop,” with a system of ties and hooks I put in on the cross-pieces that hold the “U” shape of each basket.
|Ties, and in that cross piece there are sewn a set of 3 hook n’ eyes (not visible, but you can see the stitch lines on either side of the ties)|
On the left is the “low hoop” and on the right is the “high hoop.”
|<— Low hoop | High Hoop —>|
These things are springy when there’s nothing resting on them, but with the weight of the petticoats on top, they sit down in a very nice position.
With the whole things dressed – panniers, Ugly Puffer, and petticoat – it looks great. The finished silhouette here is in “high hoop” position.
|I go nowhere without this thing. Makes all the difference in the world.|
|All dressed, ready for the gown and petticoat to go on top. This is “high hoop.”|
I’m curious to also try hip pads, but I can’t imagine they’ll pack down in the suitcase any better. I’d like to see the difference in silhouette, though, so these are my next, far simpler experiment: