Sunday, July 29, 2012

, ,

V211: I Like Big Bustles and I Cannot Lie

It is rather like an insect carapace, isn't it.
Last Friday night, I took a class with the industrious Mary Crawley, leader of the local Steampunk club, High Desert Steam, to learn how to make this clever, collapsible, wire bustle.

Modeled after an example from the V&A, this bustle is constructed of 6 struts, a cross piece, twill tape, and elbow grease.
Here is the effect it has on a bustle skirt.
We made ours out of wire coat hangers, straightened then bent into consecutive arcs, and threaded onto the wire cross piece.  With Mary's help, it took about 2 hours to complete the whole thing, start to finish, and now I have a lightweight, rather large bustle to put under future 1880s costumes.  Yay!
Share:

18 comments:

  1. What a brilliant project, a great way to spend two hours!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is great... would you happen to have the instructions to create this? I do a LOT of bustle era costuming and would love a new bustle. Mine is the laughing moon (pillow like) version.
    ~Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have any written instructions for it. It was a class given locally, but I will ask Mary if she has a hand out or anything like that

      Delete
    2. Like Celticgoddess81 I would love to see some instructions on how to make this bustle. Pretty please with a parasol on top? ;)

      Delete
  3. Awesome - just one question: does the cross piece then knock against the back of the thighs every time you take a step?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure - I haven't worn this, had it "in action" yet.

      Delete
  4. I love it! I have been looking at online pattern for these for a few months now. I Started my first bustle gown back in Dec with a skirt from my own pattern. I have just used a pillow bustle so far but I love this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. great - especially the collapsible bit - saves space when travelling! Gonna have a go at making one myself - see if it bangs against the back of the thighs. Plus finally something nice to do with wire coathangers - if I haven't already binned all mine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is awesome!! I may just have to give this a shot--it looks like a good replacement for the pillow bustle I'm currently using. (Or *would* be using if I ever finished my bustle dress...) It looks handy, and not too hard to sit down in :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great bustle, looks nice and sturdy and will hold up the bustle well :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Could you make the cross piece out of twill tape? Looks wonderful and really makes the skirt look perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose it could be, if you tie the ends in knots, once you have the arcs threaded on...

      Delete
  9. Uh, Hi! I'm Mary, the chick with the bustle class.
    @Matthew and Elyse: It doesn't knock against the back of your thighs if measured properly - it should hit at the lower part of your bum, before the final sweep to the buthigh region. Here's a good pic of where it should hit: http://micheleroohani.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Auxiliary-bustles-skirt-1875-michele-roohani.jpg
    @Frecklehead: yyyesss... you could. I don't know if I would though. Making the pivot piece out of wire (I use dead soft hardware store wire - the stuff you can buy super cheap) makes it super easy for the struts to pivot around for collapsing and re-opening. If your worried about the wire being kinda owie - it's surprisingly easy to forget you're wearing it. Admittedly, I've never worn *super* heavy draperies over it, but if you're wearing a petticoat and bloomers of some kind, I'd think you'd be fine.
    I'll do my best to photo/write up a tutorial sometime soon and pass it on.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lauren, you solved one of my major problems! Thank you so much for this post, you seriously saved my bacon... and sanity. I linked to you in this post: http://mysewingsickness.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/bustle-business/

    ReplyDelete