Wednesday, October 2, 2013

1870s Bustle Start

In preparation for going to talk with the American Heritage Girls, I started to whip up a new bustle in case I had extra time to go over the 1870s period with girls (I always like to have extra things to talk about). Besides, it's been on the to-do list as part of the underfrillies overhaul.

I've definitely been in need of a new early bustle for awhile. My original bustle was made using the Truly Victorian Petticoat with Wire Bustle (TV101) and was done during that early "Before I Knew Better" sewing period. While it still looks fairly good -

It's definitely ready to be retired (or at least remade), considering this is how one of the interior bustle tapes is currently being held together.

As I've discovered, the early 1870s skirts need more support so I upgraded and purchased the Truly Victorian Grand Bustle (TV108) pattern. Rather than go with a simple white bustle again, I went through a few online museum collections and Web searches and found some inspiration in this early bustle from the Los Angeles Museum County Museum of Art.

Image via Pinterest
I'm a huge fan of the color purple as well so I found a nice cotton fabric in a semi-bright purple (because that's going to look great under those white petticoats). After cutting everything out, I started on my least favorite task - sewing and overlocking edges on ruffle, 7 yards of it.
I got a lot done actually in one afternoon, including adapting the inner support panel so that it laces and the bustle will collapse.

Marking the back pieces for the wire channels
Adapted panel pieces
Unfortunately, it was getting late and I ended up thwarted by the fact that I ran out of supplies. To finish, I have to get some more grommets but rather than order just grommets, I might as well take advantage of flat shipping and order some other corset and crinoline/bustle supplies that are on the shopping list as well.


  1. This looks AMAZING! I can't wait to start on mine! I don't mean to copy, but it will probably be purple as well. I just thought I would ask, just in case you would be willing to share; could you please tell us how you altered the inner support panel to lace up, and let the bustle collapse? Thank you so much! and Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your passions with us! :D

    1. Sure thing! I did have intentions for putting together a tutorial for the adaption but never got around to it. I'll start work on it and hopefully have it up by the end of the weekend. Good luck with your own project too!