Developing the draped bustle skirt Part 2

I explained in Part 1 how I started to develop a bustle back skirt using some green lining fabric. This was an interesting experiment, but I wanted to make the prototype in fabric and wear it. I am still having quite a lot of difficulty of transferring something that looks nice on the stand to fabric – something I am still learning with draping. I wanted to make something I could wear, even though I was still worried about a bustle of any description.

Using what I had learned with the green lining fabric, I made up the skirt again. Unfortunately I didn’t have very much fabric  – just about 80cms. I wondered if I could squeeze out a version of the skirt, checking the balance and wearability before having another go with more material, ideally in a drapey fabric. In retrospect I should have found a larger amount of fabric.

I used the same pattern as before, but adapted it for a smaller piece of cloth.

Pattern pieces on pink checked fabric
Layout of bustle skirt

The back is cut with around 40″ added at the CB.  By sewing down the CB and lifting the fabric upwards until the hem is even we can create the additional piece that will form the bustle on the outside.

Creating a bustle
Starting to create the bustle

I filled the space that was created with some cotton organdie to create an 1880s type silhouette. All the gathering at the back side seams allows the extra bulk to be accommodated. The

Draped Bustle skirt, with under structure
Draped Bustle skirt, with under structure

Another Victorian skirt! I hurriedly rearranged the excess fabric to create a bow. As SewRuthie had warned this created a 1980s silhouette. Neither hem nor waistline are finished in the picture below, but as you can see the bustle looks OK at the front. It is OK  at the back too, but I couldn’t manage a selfie.You will see that without the padding I had to lift the side pleats up at the CB (CF in this picture) to create an even hem.

Bustle bow skirt (at front)
Bustle bow (shown to front)

I admit I am finding this sort of draping rather challenging. I am going to have one more go to complete the project of “skirt draped over understructure” – there is only one week left of the class.


4 Responses

  1. thedementedfairy

    Fun! I think the way to go is to make the support first, and produce the skirt on top…a little ‘tournure’ will take no time at all, and then you have something to drape on. Stuffing is very unpredictable! I made mine with a trapezium of scrap cotton fabric, with a very firm interfacing, then added three fast and dirty frills from crin. Any flounces in a firm fabric would do. It has a simple elastic waistband with a flat skirt hook. Half an hour’s doodling will do it.

  2. Sew2pro

    It’s cute! Not sure if you like that word so just in case how about flirtacious and sexy?

    I can imagine a matching (close-fitting) waistcoat and one of those umbrellas that looks like a parasol. Not far removed from the Turlington image.

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