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!
Gina I love early bustle era! All my bustle dresses are 70s, not 80s, because they are frilly, pleaty, poofy and girly. Have fun with this era, I can't wait to see what you come up with :)ReplyDelete
Oh right!!! I remember your early bustle dresses!! Oh how fun! I will have to go and check out all of your creations!! They are so very frilly and pleaty and poofy and girly!! Today I start on the underskirt trim!!Delete
Very exciting project, Gina! I look forward to seeing your creation, and also how that particular shape underskirt looks under your dress. Also, have you tried sitting in it yet? I just wore a later bustle this past weekend at an event and sitting was an adventure! It was definitely harder to sit in than hoops are. :) I hope you report back about it.ReplyDelete
Thank you Quinn! I am very excited about this new silhouette! I have sat in the bustle, but with out the petticoat and skirt...It was a bit awkward as the bottom sort of swept to the side. I will have one of my boys take pictures of me sitting down at some point so I can share that finding with you! It certainly is not the same as sitting in a late bustle, bustle!!Delete
First bustle period, so much fun with adornments! But be careful, it's way too easy to disappear underneath the mass of rouches, ruffles, laces, flounces, pleats, bows, etc... I don't think it would be a great idea to pleat the broidery fabric, rather use it as the "plain" part of the dress and play with the simple fabric as adornment. I would make the underskirt from the dark fabric, fabric pleats and as adornment embroidery fabric tape to cover the upper side of the pleats (in addition to hide the seamline), the overdress from broidery fabric with plain trimmings, buttons covered by plain fabric or passemanterie from the same color, sleeves for the bodice from the plain fabric with similar trimming as on the skirt, also a pleated collar. About the photo with the two girls my guess is the standing one is younger, wearing girl's short skirt and would add an extra layer of trimming when older with train as on the older seated lady. Also her hair is loose, only girls were permitted to do such coiffure :D All of these pleats will take ages to make, so stick to it! And may God's love be with you! :DReplyDelete
Hello Melinda! Thank you for all of your thoughts and insights! It is funny, because what you just described is the vague idea of what was going on in my head! hahahaha!! Like almost exactly. I have decided to not do the ruched overskirt as the embroidery will make the threads snap so that is going out the door. As for the pleats....I have pleated miles and miles of pleats in my costuming career, so I am good with that! It is actually a sort of calming thing for me...very mindless! hahahahahaha!! Thank you for the blessing you gave me! I very much appreciate it!Delete
You're welcome with blessings :) Now, do you have some sort of pleater device for quick pleating?Delete
Oh yes!! I have several in different pleat sizes. I make them out of cardstock for what ever width I want the pleat. The cardstock makes whatever I am pleating have a lovely sharp edge! Huzzah! I do want very badly an antique pleater, one that makes those super tiny pleats...but those are hard to find and really expensive! Thank you for asking!Delete
Hmm, I've been looking through Die Modenwelt's volumes and found a very peculiar way to do pleats, if I can post a link I send it to you, very funny how Victorians dealt with these pesky pleats :DDelete
Huzzah! Found it! :D Actually it's from Der Bazar, 1877, the latest american pleat-maker, now you only need a german friend to translate http://digital.ub.uni-duesseldorf.de/ihd/periodical/pageview/2979292?query=der%20bazarDelete
Yes!! That is exactly the one I am wishing to own!! You can make incredibly small pleats with it. My friend owns one and I got to play with it when I visited her!! They remind me of heat/air conditioning vents that you find in houses! Yes.... That is on my list of things I would love to own!! Those Victorians were so resourceful weren't they!!Delete
Yay for ridiculous underwear!!! ;)ReplyDelete
I can't wait to see your new dress! I'm sure it will be ridiculously scrumptious, as yours always are!! :) These pictures are beautiful.
I know!! Ridiculous underwear is the best!! Today I start the trim for the underskirt!! Thank you for your lovely compliment!Delete
I love that Blue & White fashion plate. I used it for what I call my China Plate bustle. I did a ballgown bodice but as I have more of the fabric I've always considered going back and doing a day bodice like the plate. Truly Victorian has a pattern that basically had those sleeves.ReplyDelete
Ooooh! Have I seen this dress of which you speak? I don't think I have....will have to fix that! You should totally make a day dress bodice for it!! That way you could wear it to more events!! I have the TV pattern that I am sure you are talking of....it's what I plan on using for my bodice!Delete