View Full Version : Bustles - Because Your Bottom Can Never Be Too Big

10-26-2010, 11:54 AM
Lets discuss bustles! :toothy:

My wardrobe does not have nearly enough bustles (Arguably my single favourite invention in the history of costuming) although I'm attempting to remedy that (TWO new suits once Ciel is finished - one a walking suit in brown brocade and steel blue taffeta, the other a mix-and-match in black velvet and satin, chiffon and taffeta in three shades of candy pink). I'm personally a big fan of the grand or early cage bustles and will be making myself a new one soonish, now the Ciel ball gown has been put back and I can make it a little bit more accurate in the extra time I've been given. I'm torn between the Laughing Moon (http://www.habithat.co.uk/product_info.php/products_id/8200) pattern for hoops and bustles, which is economical (With five different styles) and view D will be quite practical for using for other outfits, versus This one (http://trulyvictorian.com/catalog/101.html) or This one (http://trulyvictorian.com/catalog/108.html) from Truly Victorian, which can be easily adapted to the perfect not-historically-accurate-but-oh-well shape for Ciel but will then only be good for that shape and that shape alone.

Also, I've recently discovered how useful an early Civil War bustle is when you have many hoop skirts - it's halfway between a pad bustle and a bumroll, and invaluable for adding a bit of extra 'shape' under a crinoline.

What are everyone's favourite kinds (And patterns!) of bustles? What have you got in the works or planned for the future? Padded bustles large or small, shaped around the hips or not? Cage bustles long to hold the train or short over the hips? Or do you forgo the upholstery in favour of just poofy or ruffly over skirts? Discussion of bustle skirts also welcomed! Symmetrical or asymmetrical draping? Ruffles or ruches? Massive bows or layers of trimmings? Questions about styles, eras or practicality? How DO you get a seat on the bus with a cage big enough to rest a tea tray on?

10-27-2010, 10:00 AM
Shockingly I have not yet made a bustle dress (shocking because I love bustles). I have 10+ yards of striped burgundy/black dupioni languishing in one of my bins waiting to be made into a bustle dress someday. Can't decide whether to go full 1870s bustle or just go Natural Form with a huge train, which I also love.

I'm very short, so too much horizontal detail in front probably isn't a great idea despite how much I love trimmings. I need to actually decide on a design so I can actually start getting patterns and moving forward...

10-27-2010, 08:09 PM
Bustles are what got me into sewing in the first place <3 I love all of the different ways we saw them in the Victorian era, but I think my favorite is the late 1880s, like 86-89 when you get all of the elaborate drapery and women begin to resemble furniture.

I haven't used the Laughing Moon bustle and hoops pattern, but I still recommend the Truly Victorian ones, especially the grand bustle--it could work very well for Ceil's dress. Though, the LM eliptical hoop with a bustle pad would also work. Also, even though the LM pattern has more stuff in it, with a little resourceful thinking, you can get a lot of out of the TV patterns with a few mods. I've made a short bustle to wear with shorter steampunk and lolita skirts by taking only the back upper portions of the TV 101 bustle and attaching it to a waistband, and I intend to do something similar with the grand bustle so I can have a longer "lobster tail" bustle to wear with heavy late 80s skirts.

As far as my own plans, currently what I have in mind is a little earlier. I'm thinking of making a late 1860s day dress based on an extant Charles Frederick Worth dress. Also on my wish list are a natural form mourning gown with a long train and a late 80s evening dress based on a fashion plate--it had a high neckline and short puff sleeves, not sure if this sort of thing ever existed on a real dress, but I really loved the look.

11-03-2010, 03:19 PM
I think the grand bustle may indeed be the way to go - I tried a pad over several of my hoop skirts, and - maybe because I tend to overstuff my pad bustles (Largely because I sit there going IT'S NOT BIG ENOUGH YET) and, along with the weight of all the crap at the back of Ciel's dress, it kept forcing the hoop forward and making a really awkward shape.

I LOVE Victorian fashion plates, although some of my favourite gowns are actually from a book of photographs I borrowed off my mother. There is a particularly striking wedding dress where you could LITERALLY get a tea tray on this woman's bustle. I'm not even talking about a small tea tray. I know what you mean about the late Victorian dresses, though - all the way through working on the back of Ciel's petticoat, I had my mother (Fashion historian) leaning over my shoulder going "It's not Victorian enough! You want to put a ribbon on that ruffle! And then a different coloured ribbon! With pin tucks! And then edge it with lace! And some bows! AND TASSELS ON EACH END!"

@Sarcasm-hime - DO IT. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

I always thought vertical stripes made you look taller... but certainly with striped fabrics you can do some amazing things draping on a bustle. The Victorian's weren't afraid to have vertical, horizontal and diagonal stripes all in the same gown, either, so the sky's the limit. Striped fabrics also do some amazing things when you make bias binding from them.

11-04-2010, 09:47 AM
Yeah, I'm personally not a fan of bustle pads. They're fine if you just want to enhance what God gave you (like to help "natural form" skirts drape properly), but I've never seen them work effectively to give a nice bustle shelf.