Belle Dress

Adding a Bustle

When I began this project I wasn’t planning to add a bustle. I thought I would be satisfied without one, but after consideration I determined that I wanted one after all. So, before applying the 3rd and 4th layers of the petticoat, I decided to make a bustle. Or…as my students and I call it…a butt pillow 🙂

(This did cause me to have to make adjustments to my previous petticoat, so if you plan on using a bustle I would definitely make it before the petticoat.)

To make the bustle I used some scrap crepeback satin that I had, and non-roll waistband elastic. Then, I drafted the pattern. The largest width was my hip measurement ÷ 2. The top width was my waist measurement ÷ 2. The height, was the same measurement. I sewed around the edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving an opening.

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Flipped it right side out and stuffed.

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Next, I edge stitched the opening closed. I also pinched this top edge together and stitched again about 3/4 inch away from the edge. This is was to create an area for the waistband.

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The waistband was made from 1 inch waistband elastic. There is a lingerie hook at one end. At the other I added a few inches so I could fold it over and sew vertical divisions along the folded area. This creates slots for the hook, so the waistband becomes adjustable.

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Next, I pinned the elastic in place underneath the waistband section on the pillow. The center of the elastic (mid sized) was placed at the center of the bustle pillow. I stitched this in place with two rows of stitching.

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Here it is over the corset, as it will be worn with the dress.

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Next, comes the hoop!

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As you can see, this changed the positioning of my hoop SIGNIFICANTLY! You could always use a smaller bustle if this is not the look you prefer, but I kind of liked the drama of the shape.

Next, I added the first two layers of my petticoat. It’s so big!

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Since I added the bustle, this brought up the back edge of the hoop. To compensate, I had to unpick and drop down the godets along the back side of the skirt a few inches. This made it a bit of a tight fit, but since it will be covered by other layers it wasn’t that big of a deal.

So now, because of the bustle, when I add additional godets, they will not be able to be aligned with the hoop, instead they will have to be placed based on the desired hem length.

 

 

 

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