My first ever bustle dress

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marie-jeanne
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My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:12 am

Ok,

My first ever bustle dress. It wasn't planned, but it will be a nice challenge. A short intro is necessary I think. When I turned 50 a couple of years ago, I decided to hold a Murder Mystery party for the village. (it's a small village :wink: ). Since that day, every birthday, I hold a MM. Every time another era. We had Medieval, Pirates of the Caribbean, Fairy tales, WWII. I would always have my dress made by somebody on eBay.uk for a very reasonable price. This year I decided to do late Victorian era. That was before I found out that the the eBay shop had closed. Because I'm on a tied budget, buying it somewhere else is no option, so here I am.

I attach an idea I would like to create.

The corset pattern, I bought online from a Company in the UK. Mainly because it comes as a kit, so pattern, fabric, laces, grommets, bones, everything. Living rural in the West of Ireland means no fabric shops, no haberdasheries.
I have a pattern for the Lobster tail bustle. I will use the TV170 as petticoat, plus with a little adjustment also for the underskirt. The overskirt will be TV368 adjusted with a longer train, and the bodice will be TV416.

The material, I will get from second hand shops. Old curtains and bed spreads. I will post pics as soon as I have something finished. I hope you will like my journey.
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Heather
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:16 pm

Lovely pic! Sounds like you have a plan. Keep us posted on how it goes.
marie-jeanne
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:12 am

Today I had a trip around a few charity shops in one of the bigger towns in the area . I found a set of creamy colored curtains I can use for the bustle, and the lining for the petticoat. On my way home I stopped at a newly opened charity shop, and found a pink taffeta-ish bedspread with two cushion covers, and a very large grey/purple curtain, also a bit taffeta-ish, with large dots. They might not have had dots in that era, but I think I can use it for the underskirt. You won't see that much of the underskirt anyway. The front of the overskirt will be from a different fabric. I haven't found anything suitable yet, but I have still 5 weeks to go, so I'm not in a panic. I might have enough pink fabric to use for the bodice.
The black is the material for the corset. I started with the mock up, and hope to have that finished this weekend. I have to wait for my hubby to come home to help with the fitting :-)
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MaryGode
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby MaryGode » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:01 am

This is exciting! I love thrifting but I never seem to find stuff I can use for dresses, just ugly old 1970s tablecloths and the like that are too hideous for anything other than a mockup.

Looking forward to the next update. 8)
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
marie-jeanne
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:07 am

Very excited!!!! I got the patterns in today. Thanks Heather for shipping so quickly.

I have to have a look at the measurements of the bones I need for the bodice, because I will have to order those in the UK. I also have to order the bones for the bustle. Can I use those bones you can buy on a roll, or does it have to be steel bones?

This weekend I hope to finish the mock up of my corset. Hubby just came home, so he can "strap" me in :-).

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:06 pm

You can buy the boning from Vena Cava Designs, in the UK. I would go with the steel. The plastic stuff will get you by in a pinch, but it tends to not work very well. Make your mockup of your bodice, and get it fit first. Then measure and order what you need.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:40 am

Thanks Heather, good tip. I will do that first before ordering. I read somewhere that the lobster tail bustle should sit a few inches under the waistline. Is that correct? It would help with having less thickness in the waist with all those layers. I'm not looking forward to that :-).
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:18 pm

No, a bustle should come right off the waistline. If it starts too low, it starts to look a little weird.

To help reduce bulk, I tend to make my petticoats with a drawstring, rather than a waistband. This is also helpful as I tend to change sizes more than I would like. The bustle can be converted to a drawstring. too.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:18 am

Ok, My mock up for the corset. I made it of jeans material because this was as close as the final fabric as I could get.
With thanks to my hubby for lacing and making the pics. :D
I think I can make it a bit smaller on top. If I want to make it smaller on top, what part of the corset do I do that, or do I have to adjust all parts?

I must say that it feels very comfortable.

Let me know what you think.
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Heather
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:12 am

I am worried about the 1" gap that you have. I would like to see a larger gap at this stage, so that when the corset stretches after a few wearings, you will still have a gap. I find in my corsets that If I start with a 4" gap the first time I put it on, by the 3-4 wearing, the gap is down to 1-2". So you might want to consider going down one size overall, for the waist and bust anyway. I think, leave the hip the size you have now. (You can't pull the waist in, if the hips are too small.)

Then for the front, you can go down one cup size, which will reduce the front of the corset by 1". This will have the effect of pulling the girls a little bit closer to your ribs, and more uplift. Also, it looks like you can trim the top of the corset a bit lower, to the midpoint of your bust. Right now, the cups look a little tall, and that is partly what is causing the gap. I would try the smaller cup size before you trim the top, as the smaller cup may solve both issues.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:15 pm

Thanks Heather.

I thought already that it would be too high. That's because my back is shorter than standard. Luckily the bones are short enough to take a bit of the top of the corset. I'll make a new mock up before going for the real stuff. The next one should go faster, because I know now what to do :-).
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:43 am

A short update. I haven't finished my second mock up of the corset yet. Almost done, but hubby is away for two weeks, so nobody to help me fit it. Not in a rush to get that finished. I had a good think about the whole dress, and decided to make a few changes. It might not be historically correct, but that's not important to me. I'm not tall. (1.65m) I'm an hour glass figure (108, 85, 107). This means that I have AND a short back (38cm) AND a short waist AND the 3B's Bust, Belly, Bum ;0). I don't want to end up looking like stuffed sausage which is highly likely if I would stay with the dressing up code.

My changes: I won't make a lobstertail bustle, but will opt for a cushion only. Over my bum, this will make enough bustle :-). I will use the TV170 for the petticoat and the underskirt. The underskirt won't have the flounce and the ruffle though.

Here comes the trick(s)......
The cushion will have buttonholes instead of a waistband.
I will take around 4cm of the length of the petticoat measured down from the waist.
On the inside of the petticoat there will be buttons to attach the cushion.
The petticoat will be attached to the underskirt, 4cm down from the waistline.
This will mean that I will have only two waistbands... the underskirt and the overskirt, This way I will still have all the layers but not the waistband layers.


Or... I could maybe make buttons on the corset and attach the bustle to the corset... I have to think about that. Those are the last things to do anyway.

It's all theoretical of course, but I think it will work out and look fab.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:15 pm

My second corset mockup. I managed to get in although being on my own. When a sit (perch :-)), a few bones poke in my armpits, so I might have to lower that part of the corset, what do you think? Is that a possibility, or is that normal.
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Heather
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:06 pm

Nothing should poke you. However, make sure you are sitting straight and not slouching in your chair. Perch on the front of you chair. I have noticed that there is a height for a corset that is just pokey. A little taller or a little shorter will solve the problem. Victorian corsets are usually taller, and then Edwardian corsets go shorter. Where that height is exactly, I can't sat for sure. But I found it while working on an Edwardian corset. 1/2" taller and 1/2" lower was fine, but right were it was, was pretty annoying.

Other than the poking issue, I am not seeing any obvious problem areas.

Another thing that might be causing the poking... When you sit down, does the corset rise up a lot? (it will ride up a tiny bit, that is fairly normal) If so, that might be an indication that you need a larger hip size. There should be room enough at the hips for expansion when you sit.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:18 am

Ah! You are talking about shorter or longer... mmm.

I just cut a bit off of the side panel that's under my arm, and it didn't make a difference. I had a really good look and know now what the problem is. I don't know how to solve it, but I'll get there. The bones around the top are sticking out, also when I stand, and that's what I feel, and it's not comfortable.

Are other voluminous ladies (bust width 40" and over) having this problem too? Is it maybe because of the bigger bosoms and the floppy arms ;-)?

I'm thinking of making the whole corset from side to back higher in the hope to solve the problem of the outstanding bones. And maybe a cord through the top to pull it together? Good or bad idea?
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:44 am

If the top edge is too loose, there are too possible fixes. One is that it is still too tall, and the corset is extending beyond the widest part of your body. Or the other is that the corset is too large in the bust. Maybe go down one cup size? That will pull the bones a little closer to your body.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:50 am

Ok, My third try, and I think this is a very good base for the final corset.

I made the side front, side panels and back almost 2cm higher, also made the front and side front panels go inwards at the top. It works a treat! Very comfortable now.

Because I don't have a dress form, I had to pin the skirts onto the corset, but I think you get the idea.
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:34 am

Looks good!
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby marie-jeanne » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:07 pm

I finished quite a few parts of the outfit. First I hadn't planned to make the drawers, but it's all sooooo addictive, that I'm going for the full Monthy :-)

I finished the drawers, chemise, corset, petticoat and underskirt. I got new fabric for the underskirt. I think that the original fabric wasn't festive enough.

The overskirt is almost done. I will probably make a second, longer layer under the train, made of the underskirt material.

The bodice is a bit a problem. I made a mock up and that was fine, but today I made it of the proper fabric including flat lining, and it's wayyyyy to tight around the bust area. I will give it another try tomorrow. Hopefully I will only have to replace the front parts.

Only four days left to finish everything, including a matching vest for hubby to wear under his outfit. And I have to bake two cakes too:-)
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Re: My first ever bustle dress

Postby Heather » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:01 pm

You can do it!!

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