Monday, December 7, 2015

My Little Sister's Bustle Dress

My little sister. She's something else. A bouncy, exuberant, strong, not afraid to get dirty, country kid, with a definite girly side, a very girly, fashion (including historical fashion)  loving side.
We went to Joann's to get some fabric for the next historical dress I was going to make her. (Which I of course already had a time period picked out for). She saw this pink and tan fabric. I suggested it would be perfect for the dress I was going to make her, she said no. In her opinion this fabric was perfect for a bustle (1870's and 80's) dress, and that's what she wanted from it.

Well, I have a really hard time saying no to my sister, so we got the fabric and I got to looking through pictures of children's 1880's dresses. Some of them are pretty elaborate.


This one is a child-sized copy of a woman's dress. This was a very common theme through out most of the 19th century, and before.

This was one of my favorite girls' dresses, unfortunately I didn't have quite enough fabric to re-create it, and I wasn't sure how it would look in a print rather than a solid.

Then I came across this one from 1886, made from cotton (which is what the pink fabric was, many of the other dresses I looked at were originally made from silk or wool) I loved all the lace and buttons on this dress. So I found a princess-seamed bodice pattern, lengthened it to be a dropped waist, made a few other alterations, and got to work. After using several yards of lace, My little sister had her bustle gown.

She was especially happy with the bustle of her new dress, it was just what she wanted!

Now for her dress to have a bustle, she of course needed bustle petticoat. So in an hour or so I whipped up a rather un-historical, but definitely bustled petticoat.

I started out with a circular, ruffled table cloth from a thrift store.

I cut it off to length I needed.

I made a waistband, then gathered the bottom, ruffley, part of the table cloth into it. Since this was supposed to be a bustle petticoat I only gathered the back of it, leaving the front of the petticoat flat.

To add a bit more "oomph" to the back of the petticoat I added a small bustle pad, sewn in at the waistband.

The result? A petticoat that gave the new dress a silhouette appropriate to the era.

My little sister is happy, so I'll call this dress a success!

1 comment:

  1. This is ADORABLE!! You have such talent!! What a lucky little sister!!