Posts Tagged ‘bustle’


Here is a free pattern that I drafted myself on how to make a simple bustle pillow, pictured below.

bustle pillow pattern

Click on the link above to view the file. It is a pdf. The pillow i made is 15″ wide and 7″ long at its longest. But you can vary the size for a different look. The ribbon in the pattern is shorter than the ribbon in the picture, but still adequate for tying a bow. You may cut the ribbon any length you desire.

Added under a dress or bustle skirt, this pillow is a cheap and easy way to get an expensive 1870’s look.


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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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