A Pink and Green Bustle Dress

An 1880s bustle dress made of pink and green tropical weight wool. It's a three part dress, consisting of a bodice made from my bustle bodice pattern, altered to have pleats in back, a fully pleated underskirt with the front drapery attached, and back drapery that fastens separately.

The fabric for the dress is from Denver Fabrics. The bodice is lined with a a lightweight twill from Farmhouse Fabrics. The buttons are plain wooden buttons covered in wool, and the skirt is mounted to a pink cotton foundation skirt.

I'm wearing the dress over combinations, my spoon busk corset, and pink bustle and bustle petticoat.

The front and mostly back views of the dress. The bodice is faced with a green wool bias strip so a little green peeks out of the hem.

Two slightly different angles of the bustle.

And the rarely seen view of what a bustle dress looks like when you've fallen down because the ground was uneven :)

The cuffs are pleated as well. Once the pleats were ironed into place, I basted the top of them and topstitched them in. You can see the little dots for each stitch on the pink, as well as the marks on the green from leaving the pins in while ironing.

I also wore an antique 1880s cresent and flower brooch with the dress.

A detail of the back pleats.

And a detail of the back drapery. It's entirely lined in green wool so it shows at the edges and when it moves. It's cut in a half circle shape, which when pleated makes the lining show at the edges.

The pleating in progress. I sewed three panels of pink wool together and left one side open. Then I hemmed it and folded and ironed the top edge. Then I pleated the fabric until it fit the foundation skirt. This was much easier than pleating the wool to fit!

The foundation skirt with the pleats attached. They start at about hip level, so they fall straight instead of curving over the hip. The drapery covers the foundation skirt. The front drapery is attached to the same waistband. It's whipstiched to the waistband in front, and in back, the back edges are pleated so they are against the edges of the opening.

My Costumes
The Bustle Era

I'd like to go home!