I have made a bustle or two in the past, but it's not one of my major periods of study. Pity, that, because I absolutely adore the styles, and I have far more opportunities for 1870s-80s dress up than 1770s-80s. This dress will be used in an upcoming photo shoot for the "Tavistock" button boots, as well, so the project has an element of theatricality to it, in that sense, and is all about texture, color, and mood. Here is the initial inspiration:
|Michael Eastman: Cuba: http://eastmanimages.com/cuba|
I settled on something along this line:
I am using Truly Victorian patterns TV261 (skirt), TV364 (apron), and TV420 (bodice) with some alterations. The skirt pattern also makes a great petticoat, which I whipped up last night, shown here over a wire collapsible bustle, bump pad, and two petticoats:
The fabric I have chosen is a rich green raw silk. I know slubby silk is not accurate for historical reproductions, but I chose this fabric for three reasons: color, texture (this gown is geared towards theatricality and how it will look in the photo shoot), and price. I ordered 15 yards and I'm nervous it won't be enough.
In addition to the silk I would like to use a matching or black velvet ribbon, and a matching or black sheer of some sort, perhaps a net or a point d'esprit, for effects of this nature:
|The Met, 1881-84|
So...back to the sewing room!