The correct underwear, such as chemises, drawers, corsets and petticoats is essential to achieve the required period shape. A corset is much more comfortable when worn over a chemise and drawers, which are also much more easily washable.
As most historical costumes need some kind of support to hold out the skirt in the right shape, I adapt patterns to make suitable frames for each individual person and garment. These include farthingales, panniers, pocket hoops, crinolines and bustles of the appropriate style.
Above is a crinoline of about 1862, and to the left is a child-size copy of a real crinoline owned by some friends, about 1857. A child-size bustle can be seen in the Photo Gallery.