1880s Bustle Ensemble - Bodice Mockup
For my 1880s bustle ensemble, I started with the most complex and time-consuming garment: the bodice. This was also the garment I was most excited about creating as I was eager to try some period-correct techniques!
I used Laughing Moon 103 for the bodice. This is an excellently drafted pattern and has the perfect seamlines for 1880s-1900s bodices. Every extant 1880s bodice I saw had a darted front and five back seams, just like LM 103. I traced out the View C/F bodice with View D sleeves in size 10.
- I wanted an inverted box pleat at the center back that would expand over the bustle. I added a trapezoid shape onto the bottom center back of my pattern tracings.
- I increased the length of each bodice piece along the hem.
- I added extra flare at the bottom of the side seams.
- I traced out a square neckline.
- Shortened the sleeves to elbow length with turned up cuffs.
And yes, that is one 18th century pocket hoop being used as a bustle 🤣
The final bodice pattern pieces:
Stay tuned to see how I sewed up the bodice - including dealing with a too-low-cut bodice!