11 January 2013

A Quantity of Buckram

Reading through the blog Centuries Sewing, which is awesome, and which I found through Pinterest, I realized a couple of things:

1.  I never have gotten around to experimenting with later-period kirtles, kirtles with waist seams, two-piece kirtles with detached sleeves and stiffened bodices, although I've always wanted to do so.

2.  I have a crap-ton of buckram in my stash.  I'd completely forgotten about it until the other night when I cleaned up my craft room a bit (craft items and other things tend to drift into piles in the corners, like snow or sand - does that happen to you?), and found (among other long-lost things) a pretty good sized stack of buckram, recieved from a friend at a de-stash gathering some months ago.  It's old.  Old enough to have yellowed around the corners.  But most of it is in good, usable shape, and would be perfect for interlining a bodice, be it boned or not.

And besides, what better excuse to buy more velvet?  Nah...too heavy.  A lightweight wool would be perfect, but I'm allergic to wool.  So it's either a synthetic alternative, or linen again.  Some more.  (Don't get me wrong, I love linen, but it's not perfect for everything, yanno?)

Anyhow, I have WAY too much to do between now and Gulf War in mid-March to even consider starting a new outfit project right now.  I have underwear to sew, and chair covers, and a small shade pavilion cover!  I'll show you.

After I get back from my CRUISE.  MWAHAHAHA.



  1. You know, of course, once you wash or even dry clean your kirtle, the buckram is just so much cheesecloth? There's not really anything that retains its stiffness, which is why they started using boning. Although I'm a firm believer that boning was in fact used a lot earlier than most people think. Hope you're getting lots of sun and salt (you're welcome to both. haha). <3

  2. Oh, see, I was NOT aware of that (about the buckram). Thanks!

  3. Hello, I just found your site through pinterest too, glad you like my site I'll add you to my link list. =)

    Just chiming in on buckram, after reading "The Queen's Servant's" the buckram mentioned in the inventories may not be the same as the hat or curtain buckram that we can get today. When I made my green kirtle, long before the book came out. I made it with a buckram interfacing that I wonderundered together to get it stiff enough. After wearing it for a bit it does like to bend at the waist and will retain the creases. It does makes the kirtle unwashable but I tend to spot clean my things as needed.

    After looking at "17th Century Women's Dress Patterns" there is a bodice in there that is stiffened with buckram, canvas and whalebone. The buckram looks like a very coarse woven heavy canvas sized maybe with some type of hide glue. (Guessing there, I don't have the book in front of me at the moment.)

    If you take a dip into later period English style kirtles (but pre pair of bodies) you can can get good support without boning, as long as the kirtle bodice is very well fitted and interlined with something like a double layer of twill/canvas/duck cloth in the front. I've also read about french shirt collar canvas being used by some costumers but I have yet to try that.


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