One of the dress eras I have been wanting to make for a very long time is the Soft Bustle or First Bustle era. I have plenty of the Second Bustle Era dresses, but now comes the time for the First Bustle. Last week I made the bustle hoop and train support, Laughing Moon 112. It took me two days of construction and at the end, my fingers, hands and fore arms were not on speaking terms with me...actually they were shouting swear words to me, the kind that would make a sailor blush!! I knew that making the hoop and support would be the hardest part and so bit the bullet and just made it. It is so ridiculous and fabulous...I LOVE it!! You know what? Victorian and Edwardian underwear can be so ridiculous and fun...that's one of my favorite parts about this whole hobby of mine!!
Anyhoo, this coming week I will be endeavoring to make my first ever Soft Bustle Dress! I am sort of excited. Because of my fabric and the colors, I haven't found the perfect fashion plate, photograph or extant dress to re-create. To that end, I am going to have to make a Frankenstein Dress! I am discovering that this era is going to be fun...HELLO trim and pleats and ruching and flowey, billowy sleeves!!! I think this is my main problem...trying to decide what to do on the bottom of the underskirt. I have found several inspirations that are really blowing my skirt up.
I really love the general shape of this dress. It doesn't have a train, but the rest is fabulous. The square neckline is lovely and the sleeves are fabulous!!
Source: Truly Victorian
My fabrics. Both dupioni silk. The embroidered is one I have had for years and had enough to make a Soft Era Bustle dress. The embroidery is reminiscent of bamboo shoots. The solid color of the embroidered is a tannish pinkish color. The solid is a beautiful periwinkle color and works really well with the bamboo shoots...although it is hard to see in the photographs...
I plan on using the periwinkle as the underskirt, trim and possibly the sleeves...we shall see!
My fun bustle cage and train support! This is so fun to walk around in!! It sways and bobs...I love ridiculous underwear!!!
So, I am really loving the overskirt on this dress. It looks as though it is ruched up the front and then bows are placed at intervals. Oh! And look at the parasol pocket!!
Here is that fabulous ruching-up-the-front-with-bows-at-intervals overskirt! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! This is Princess Helena Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein with her two eldest children. The lower part of the bodice is lovely and the Truly Victorian pattern I am going to use has this option. I'm not in love with the sleeves and their lack of fluff and frill and I'm not sure I will do the all-the-way-to-the-neck neckline. But that overskirt? Oh ya baby....well, only if I can ruche with the embroidery. That may be an issue...
I am really digging the trim on the underskirt of this dress. It is ruch-a-licious!!! So many different layers to behold!! If I can't do the ruche up the front, this may be an option.
Source: The MET
More lovely trim, this time in the form of gorgeous layers of pleats! Both dresses have three layers, although the one on the right has different widths of pleats. I am the pleating fool, so this is a possibility!!
More fantabulous pleats on the underskirt. The overskirt has some delicious pleats as well. I like how the underskirt has narrow pleats, but the bustling/train has ruffles! Way too fun!!
Now for the top....I am thinking the big bow smack dab in the middle is super fun! Also, I love the pleat work on either side of the opening. This is a possibility!!
Here is another example of the open neckline. I think this will be happening with this dress as it is a very girly, fluffy sort of dress. For the up-to-the-chin collar, I will wait for a more tailored dress! Oh and check out the trim on the skirts and the sleeves!! I'm in love!!!
This is Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna with her brother Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich or Russia.
Source: The First Waltz tumblr
Another fabulous example of the bow in the front of the bodice with the open neck. And those sleeves? Le Sigh!!!!!
Well, this is only a little bit of the images that I am looking at to make this dress come to life! I am hoping that I have a dream tonight that will tell me exactly how to make this dress! That would be so fabulous!!
Be blessed my friends and I hope you have a wonderful week!
P.S...her is the link for my First Bustle Era board!