Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Elastic Red Bustle Outfit

If it were any other year, I would be staying up until at least until 1 a.m. tonight finishing Christmas gifts. But not this year. Nope, this year I'm not sewing Christmas gifts. My little sister will not find a new historical dress under the tree tomorrow, and my brothers will not find new jackets. No, this year I didn't sew all my Christmas gifts. This year the gifts I'm giving are the souvenirs I brought back from my travels this year. 

Two years ago, it wasn't that way. No, 2 years ago, after I made someone a gift I came up with another idea of what else I could make them, then I made that too. I did an awful lot of sewing, and my little sister was one spoiled little girl when Christmas morning came.

She found this jacket at a historical event we went to that fall, and fell in love with it. So, my mom bought it for her, and my little sister took it home. There was only one problem - she had nothing to wear it with! So, for Christmas in 2015 I fixed that problem. 

In my stash I had a red damask tablecloth, which had been acquired at a thrift store. It didn't perfectly match the jacket, but it was pretty close. With this I paired a piece of black velvet, also found in my stash (I can no longer remember where it originated from). The two together formed a "bustle" skirt.

For the table cloth portion of the skirt I used a pattern as a guide in order to make the skirt flat in front, gathered in the back, and full all around the hem. (as this was two years ago, I can't remember what pattern) Over that I draped the black velvet to form an overskirt. The two were then sewn onto an elastic waistband.

Now, you're right, an elastic waistband isn't historically accurate at all, but really, this outfit isn't supposed to be historically accurate. It's a costume inspired by dresses worn in the 1870s and 1880s, not a reproduction of those dresses. The best way to make children's costumes that will fit for a long time? Elastic waistbands.

And fit for a long time this costume has done! As I mentioned, I made this skirt two years ago for my little sister, and these pictures we just taken last week. Right now, this girl is growing so fast that almost nothing I made her a year ago still fits, let alone two years ago! Elastic waistbands are truly amazing things.

My little sister loves that this fancy, Christmas-y, "bustle outfit" still fits - and I'm hoping that will soften the fact that I didn't have time to make her a new historical costume for Christmas this year. (I've been too busy making her new everyday clothes! Have I mentioned that this girl has grown this year?)

Have you finished your Christmas preparations already? Or will you be sewing into the wee hours of the morning tonight? 

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