Bustle Petticoat

I have a new project in the works– a bustle dress! Or more accurately, I’ve realized that I have at least three bustle dresses planned for the hypothetical future, and it’s about time I finally get off my butt and start making the appropriate underpinnings! Anyway, I already have a “phantom bustle,” which I made at Costume College a few years back, accompanied by many giggles and jokes about my “spring-loaded butt”.

But I still needed a petticoat to go over it, and since all of my current petticoats are either shaped for a crinoline or designed for slimmer Edwardian lines, it was time for a new one! I used Truly Victorian 170, View 3 (left). It has a flat front with a full ruffle in back, and plenty of room for a bustle underneath.

I did have to lengthen the pattern pieces a bit, since I’m 5’6″ and will be wearing medium heels with the finished dress. Truly Victorian patterns are generally made to fit someone who’s just about my height *without* heels, and I wanted to make sure it would be long enough to support my skirt all the way down. This one hits me right at the bottom of the ankle, which is perfect when I’ve got heels on because it’s about 5″ from the floor.

I made mine out of plain white cotton, and it came together in a little over a day– nice and easy! It’s all about stitching straight lines, and while the tucks were kind of a pain I liked the finished effect. Someday I’ll get myself some bulk eyelet trim and make another one with a more decorative ruffle, but this one will work fine for now!


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