Monday, December 23, 2013

In Progress: 1870s Bustle

This olive-green silk 1870s bustle gown at the Kearny History Museum was stuffed with newspaper (the only thing that cheered me up about this was that the newspaper was a rather kitschy spring wedding spread). I've been working on this bustle since I completed the Bronzino Gown, but school and a few technical errors impeded the timely completion of this piece.

This gown was displayed on a wicker dress form, just like the 1906 Wedding Gown!!

I made the bustle using Truly Victorian's 101 Petticoat with Wire Bustle. I purchased the pre-cut, pre-tipped boning from TV as well. The bustle is made from unbleached muslin and twill tape. I also flat-felled the side seams. I'm in the process of making the ruffled overlay.

This was my first time tackling flat steel bones and the Victorian silhouette, and I admit that I wasn't entirely successful. The hem tips upward in the back, and I realized after I inserted the bones that I was supposed to apply the twill tape bone casings to the outside of that upper back piece. Since the bone casings are on the inside, the bones threaten to stretch and poke through the muslin...I've done my best to soak the muslin around the tip of the bones in Fray-Check and that seems to have helped. There is also a strange concave depression between the horizontal bones, which I hope won't be as noticeable once the ruffled overlay is attached.

Not sure why the back hem of the bustle is tipping up like that.
The bustle is pleated to the waistband.
See what I mean about the bones trying to poke through the fabric?
Displaying the bustle on my dress form was a little tricky because my dress form's hips and waist are far too big. My hips are too big for it too, but the bustle fits my waist measurement!

Neat topstitching along the center front.
Very neat topstitching along the waistband as well, probably my only successful part of this garment.
It really does look quite comical on my dress form!
On my body, the horizontal concave depressions are even more noticeable...
Debating wether I should add a front closure or just pin it onto the dress form I'm carving for the gown...

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