Way too much underwear...

Some time ago I posted my chemise and corset as the start of my project to make a victorian dress.
Now this dress has been finished for some time and now I can finally show it off ;)
But lets do this layer by layer...
A chemise and a corset are of course not all of the undergarments a victorian lady would have worn. Drawers were quite common but not worn by everybody and I decided against them, because I felt I had way too much underwear for this dress already.
So what was still left to do for me was the bustle to give the dress its characteristic shape and a petticoat to go over that.
I considered buying a pattern for a bustle, looked at loads of pictures and in the end decided that I could make a pattern myself.
And, to my own surprise, it worked on the first try :-D
Looks a little ridiculous on its own...

When constructing the pattern, I first made one test piece on my dress form, with some cheap fabric, lots of pins and some garden wire.
When I had worked it out, I made the proper one out of white cotton I had left over from the corset. There's boning in there, which in this case is the rather thin, plastic stuff you can buy in fabric stores. I know that's not exactly historically correct, but I had some lying around and wanted to finish the bustle without having to wait for more spiral boning (having that delivered took almost a week).
The plastic also has the advantage of me being able to sit with it, by the way ;)

The next step was my petticoat. Wealthier women would sometimes have worn two petticoats, but I had to draw a line somewhere and I made "just" one.

It's simply a wide and long a-line skirt, which is elongated and gathered at the waist in the back to accomodate the bustle.
Petticoats often had a sort of ruffle at the bottom to give it more fullness and I added some decorative tucks to mine (which was a real pain, considering the ruffle was six meters long!)

And now, FINALLY, I'm wearing all of my undergarments. In our modern world I would now be more than decently dressed, but walking around like this in Victorian England... oh, the horror! It would have been a proper scandal ;)
So I guess I will have to continue with my dress, won't I?


  1. Hi. I'm really interested in the pattern for the bustle. Is that something you would share?

  2. Hi agian and thanks for the fast answer!
    I'ts really not in a hurry. I just find you r version really great! And if I can save the money buying an expensive Pattern from ex. trulyvictorian.com, i'll do that :)
    Thanks for wanting to share, not all can or will :)
    So please take yourself good time, and make it the best you can.
    Love Kirstine

  3. Hello! I was wondering if you would mind sharing instructions on how you made your bustle? I'm currently making the the same pattern you worked with for your Victorian day dress (Burda 7880). I love the way everything turned out with yours! I've looked at alot of bustles and think yours looks like it would give the most support for the skirts (it also looks VERY comfortable). Thank you so much!
    ~Miss Elma~

  4. Oh my! I've been loking this kind of bustle for ages. Would you mind share the way to do it? I know, probably you are tired of this request, but is so well executed & it seems so easy to do.
    Im totally in love with your blog & your creations ^^


  5. Way too much underwear? But, darling, you forgot the pantaloons and the corset cover!!! How indecent of you! ;)


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