18th Century

Finished project: The mistletoe panniers

Almost a month ago I mentioned that I was making a pair of panniers.  The panniers are long since done, I wore them, but I haven’t had a chance to photograph them properly and blog about them.

The panniers under my Lady Anne Darcy dress at the Style Session event at Te Papa

I’m calling these the Mistletoe Panniers, because the fabric reminds me of mistletoe.

Sweet little mistletoe branches all over the fabric

Occasionally as I was making them up Nanny Ogg would come and sit in my brain and smirk and drop suggestions that making undergarments for one’s nether regions out of mistletoe patterned fabric is rather indiscrete.  Then Granny glared at her and Magrat looks confused.  My brain is complicated.

The mistletoe panniers

I’ve used Norah Waugh’s pannier pattern from Corsets & Crinolines – basic, easy, and oh-so-quick to make up.

The back of the panniers - or the front, depending on where you tie the bow

For my waist tie and the channels for the pannier hooping I used this fabulous twill tape that I picked up in Napier on a road trip with the Naiad a year ago.  I bought 10 huge rolls of it for $1 a roll – score!  It’s lovely and strong and just the right width for the hoop channels.

The hoop channels

For my hooping I used the very last of my stock of cloth-covered steel hoopskirt boning from Lacis.  Sigh.  Now I need to wait for my next US trip, or suck it up and pay for shipping if I want any more.  And either way, I need to plan ahead for new panniers or bustles or hoopskirts.  I simply haven’t been able to find anything here that really does the trick properly.  I love New Zealand, but sometimes being at the end of the world sucks!

Lovely lightweight hooping, smooth pannier baskets

The best thing about these panniers?  I took detailed notes and pictures as I made them up, so that I can publish a tutorial on how to make your own pair.  They are really so simple that you don’t need a pattern (there is, or was, a pattern online via Tidens Toj, but they have just updated their website and none of my links work, and I can’t find anything!), but a tutorial should help.

So easy and fantastic

So keep a watch out in a week or two, when I have a bit more time!


  1. Granny Ogg can always be counted on to lower the tone of any conversation. My favorite Pratchett character, mostly because she reminds me of myself.

    • Haha! I’m definitely not a Nanny Ogg, but sometimes I am Nanny and Granny Weatherwax and Magrat all at once.

      • Love your panniers, and I also feel like the three witches are all different sides of one personality! (though I always have a hard time picturing what they really look like–the cover illustrations seem a bit overdone with warts and wrinkles compared to how they’re described in the books).

  2. Lynne says

    Love the panniers!

    I want to be Granny Weatherwax, but Nanny Ogg just keeps popping up. 🙂

  3. Don’t you love both the Nora Waugh book AND the stuff from L’acis? If you need more let me know and I can pick it up for you an plop it in the mail, I’m only 20 minutes away and go about once a month. I also used to used the spring steel that came off bundles of lumber when they still used that. Nowadays many company’s use that plastic binding but every once and a while I see some and ask to take it : ) You can dip the ends in the same tipping fluid you use for boning.

  4. I love that your brain speaks in Nanny Ogg and Granny and Magrat. Mine doesn’t, but I appreciate them.

    The panniers are lovely. It’s always nice to see undergarments done in special fabric!

    And pity about Tidens Toj. Good thing I downloaded all the patterns!

    • My brain doesn’t often have a trio of witches gossiping about what I’m working on. I was just having a special day when I made those panniers 😉

      I do like having my undergarments be a little bit interesting. I found the fabric at an op-shop for just a few dollars and knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. You can’t beat that!

      I’m hoping they will get TT sorted and back up soon. Otherwise I’ll come to you crying for the patterns!

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