Draping a Victorian Bustle

As my Midnight Sewers’ Group wants to make Bustle Skirts next I have been digging around online & I’ve just stumbled across a wonderful illustration from Peterson’s Ladies National Magazine deconstructing how a bustle would have been draped.

As a Costume Designer & Maker, I find I can figure out fairly accurately from the illustrations, paintings & photographs of the period how to piece together a costume however; the Victorians really went to town with their drapery and it’s lovely to find an illustration which completely demystifies a little bit of this!

From http://pintuckstyle.blogspot.co.uk/ who also adds:

What you aren’t seeing here is that most successful bustles where draped on the bias, so that those front corner ‘points’ are probably right angles where the selvage & cross grain meet. The bustle pleating was similar to bunting, ruching up the fabric to create the necessary drapery.

Happy stitching!


4 thoughts on “Draping a Victorian Bustle

  1. Thanks for the mention of my blog. This bustle illustration comes from a Peterson’s women’s magazine I bought at age 10–it changed my life! Fast forward decades, and I have now draped more bustles than I can count:”HMS Pinafore”, “Elephant Man”, “Miracle Worker”, and others. It’s still one of my favorite styles, so yes, I have a few denim ones on knee length skirts for just wearing around. All of this has led to curating for museums and collecting. There’s nothing quite like getting to see these ensembles ‘hands on’!

    You have a great blog here–keep up your tutorials, they are fun to read!–Jen @ Pintucks

    • Thank you so much! It’s wonderful to hear from someone who is as obsessed as me!! I teach an informal sewing class once a week and we are about to start bustle skirts so watch this space for our weekly progress… should be a laugh!! Any hints appreciated… xxx

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