I am suffering from severe CADD (Costume A.D.D.) lately.  My '30s plaid Christmas dress sits on the mannequin, nearly complete, but with the arrival of a giant roll of green silk, new Truly Victorian patterns, and a healthy dollop of inspiration, all I want to do is sewing a giant green bustle dress.

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
Yep, it's a room, an incredible room.  That color!  I imagine a historical gown of the same color, overflowing with ACRES of pleats, frills, ribbons, beads, fringe, trims of all variety, all in that green, all in different textures.  These were my inspiration sketches:

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
I have also acquired an antique fluter, also called a crimper.  It has not arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to testing it out, and fluting a bajillion yards of green silk trim - more on that later. :-)  This is the one I bought on eBay:

So...back to the sewing room!