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Posts Tagged ‘Bustle skirt’

To go with my steam-punk attire I have made a sci-fi bolero and another skirt. The bolero matches the ball gown skirt that I already made, but you’ll have to wait to see them paired together until september!

I actually started this skirt months ago when I made my bustle because I loved the fabric. However at the time, I couldn’t decide what to do with the skirt to make it interesting. I didn’t have enough fabric to make a full-length skirt, and a knee-length circle skirt seems a little plain for a costume. I’m striving for extravagance, here. So I decided to tack the skirt up on itself to create some bustling in the front. A little short by itself, but I think it will go great with the right pair of bloomers, or used as an overskirt. to embellish something longer. I know I’ll use it for something!

I tend not to iron things before I photograph them, I know. It is just so painful to iron something only to store it in my closet for a month or two before wearing it out.

As I said before, the bolero is the same material as the full length skirt I recently put together. It’s a heavy suiting cotton which takes on different colors in different lights; sometimes it’s green, sometimes grey, green, or brown. I didn’t have a pattern for a bolero, so I had to wing it. I did print out a free pattern from butterick.com, but quickly realized why it was free–thankfully before cutting. The free pattern was just totally wrong, especially the arm holes, and would not have been wearable. Recognizing this pattern flaw right away prevented me from waisting any valuable fabric. Yay! But now I had no pattern.

I ended up starting with a pattern for a bodice, and did some major modifications. I raised the neckline, thickened the shoulders, cropped it, rounded the bottom, etc. The pleating is totally my own, no help from any sort of pattern there. The “sleeves” if you can call them that, are actually from a pattern for a cap sleeve but are supposed to be half that size. Instead of folding them in half, I just lined them and used the large version. It is a very dramatic shape, but I was going for a sci fi look after all. Plus if I’m going to wear a skirt that’s three times my size, I’ve got to balance things out up top. now I’ve got to come up with a shirt that will go well with this bolero. Sleeves or no? Leave me comments!

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Remember that skirt I posted in this post? Well I told you I had added channels inside the seams to put draw-strings through so that I could bustle and change the skirt to fit the occasion, and now, I have pictures to share!

Here is that very same skirt with the drawstrings tied up. I bought some extra long shoe laces off of ebay, and strung them through the channels. When the drawstrings are untied, the skirt hangs at its full length, but when you pull the drawstring, the skirt gathers around it to form this stunning bustle.

Here is a close up,

And from the other side. The skirt can’t be made super short, but it the drawstring can pull it up to about my knees, if I wanted.

Yup, I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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I’ve been working on a costume for my first steampunk convention in the fall, along with a character because as I understand it, that’s also part of steampunking–but that’s a different story for another time. At the moment, I have some progress pictures of what I’ve been making.

So far I’ve finished an overskirt to sit on top of that hoop skirt that I posted about previously. Also a part of this costume is the bustle I made a few months ago, but now it sits atop my new bustle pillow, and has thus been totally transformed. The top of the hoop skirt sits higher than the skirt, but that will be covered with either a shirt or a corset when I wear the whole thing together.

First I’ll talk about the skirt. It is made from this absolutely gorgeous and sturdy suiting fabric in a cotton-polyester blend. It is a dream to work with and wears very well. Easy to iron, press, and pleat, it also holds gathers and ruffles despite its heavy weight. It is also interesting color-wise; in different lights it takes on different hues, from gray to green to brown–perfect colors for a steampunk, no?

The skirt also has three channels for draw strings under each of the seams so that it can be bustled and tied up.

Here is the skirt without the hoop underneath it. Not quite as dramatic, but as you can see, still a very nice skirt maybe for a ren fair. I will have pictures of it bustled in a few days.

Here is the skirt with the red bustle on top. I really like the combination of the greenish-gray with the deep red. It’s a nice contrast without looking garish or Christmas-like. Red is also my favorite color so I’m glad that I could work it in as an accent color.

My plan is to make a cropped bolero jacket to match the skirt, a mini-garrison hat also in the same fabric as the skirt, and perhaps an underskirt to hide the bit of hoop skirt that tends to poke out. Also, when the skirt is bustled over the hoop skirt, I’m going to need an underskirt anyway because a whole lot more petticoat will be showing, and that doesn’t look polished without an underskirt. I just have to decide what color to make it!

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On Friday of my spring break, I came across a picture of a simple ¬†looking bustle skirt on “Cut out & Keep”

I thought to myself, if she made that, then I can make one too. I think that bustle skirts are adorable, but they’re very expensive to buy on the internet because they are fairly uncommon in the modern wardrobe. However, I expect them to come back in style very shortly as Burlesque and Steampunk themed clothing becomes more and more popular. You know that Steampunk is becoming mainstream when Simplicity puts out a pattern for it.

So I spent my last weekday off shopping, specifically looking for materials and inspiration with which to craft my tie-on bustle. As I was looking through the pattern books at Joann Fabrics I came across the aforementioned simplicity pattern. I was intrigued. I compared this bustle to that of other patterns by Burda and Butterick, and decided to purchase the Simplicity pattern because it had more ruffles, as well as a snappy shirt and skirt to make in the future.

Then, I went to Building 19 1/2 to buy a curtain. Why a curtain? Because faux silk polyester curtains make great bustle skirts, that’s why! Curtain fabric has some weight to it, so that the bustle skirt wouldn’t look as droopy as in the pattern picture. Buying curtains is also cheaper than if I were to buy home decor fabric off the bolt.

The bustle took me about 8 hours to make, only because it takes so long to do up all the gathers evenly. This skirt is of a very simple design: two side panels, and four long rectangles that became the middle and side ruffles. But every single piece needed to be gathered.

I bought a beautiful length of black braiding to embellish the bustle with. 

I plan on making the matching skirt to go with the bustle, like in the picture but with a few of my own modifications, but until my next school break, the bustle alone will have to do. I have other skirts that will go with it just fine.

One last note: the cool thing about tie on bustles is that they can also be used as fancy shrugs.

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