One of the biggest hitches in my natural form dress plan this past summer was having to make a whole new set of skirt supports before I could start the dress. When I first planned out this project, I naively thought that I could get away with just my regular Victorian petticoat under the gown, but I quickly discovered that even though this period claims to be "natural", it takes a good bit of engineering to support the swooping trained skirt shape of the late 1870's.
Historical Sew Fortnightly. I'm bending the rules a bit because the bulk of these garments were made well before the challenge started, but I did put some finishing touches on them this month by adding a few final hooks and ties.
Finally, I made a balayeuse for the train, which is just a ruffle of fabric that helps support the skirt hem, provides a bit of decoration if the hem flips over, and it keeps the inside of the train clean. All I did for this one is cut the ruffle off of a badly damaged Edwardian petticoat and baste it to the inside of the skirt train. You can see my balayeuse at the top of this post.
To show you what a difference these foundation pieces make in the overall look of a dress, I took two sets of pictures of my natural form ball gown - the first pictures show the dress worn over these four new foundation pieces, and the second set of pictures shows it with my corset and petticoat alone. It all flows so much nicer with a proper foundation, so I'm very glad I took the time to build the right support garments for my dress.