Green bustles

Together with the fabric for my early bustle ball gown, I also ordered dark green silk. It’s a dupioni with a slight slub, but it’s not too noticeable. I haven’t got any specific plans for it, but it’s fun to start looking at pretty dresses. So this post is filled with pretty green bustles.



Black bustles

Time for pretty pictures again, this time of black bustle dresses. I’d guess ranging from ca. 1875 to ca. 1885. All from La Mode Illustree. Beware of a very image-heavy post, because I’m bad at choosing. They’re placed chronologically, so you can see the progress in styles from big and fluffy to sleek to the revival of the bustle.













Inspiration – Early bustle ball gowns

I’ve been looking at early bustle period (ca. 1870-1876) ball-gowns lately, inspired by the theme of next-years Victorian ball in Bath (organized by Prior Attire). Because even though I don’t exaclty live in the same country, I’d still very much like to go. Don’t know if it’ll happen, but looking at inspiration images is fun non the less! Most of the 1870’s ball gowns are a little too frothy for my taste, as I don’t particulary like the combination of pastels with loads of ruffles and frills, but there are some nice examples out there.

These fashion prints are from the Bunka Gakunen Library, and I really love the way these were coloured. They all seem hand-painted with watercolors, little art pieces.

Beware of loads of pictures! Clicking should give the full-size version.


Inspiration – Steampunk worthy bustles

I’ve always really loved the idea of steampunk, especially the fashions. Victorian bustle dresses combined with all sorts of gadgets, from gears to goggles to little glass jars filled with strange things. I don’t doubt that this love has something to do with my love of Victorian fashions and fantasy. For this post, some bustle dresses which, with the right accessories, could fit in very well with this genre. And although steampunk is such a broad genre by now, for this post I’ll stick with the traditional brown color.









Inspiration – Wish list

I think every seamstress knows the feeling of wanting to make a hundred things, often at the same time. I personally have a couple of historical and other pieces of which I always think ‘I want to make that’. Time, money and skill are all finite though, so a lot of these will probably stay dreams. Dreaming is fun though, and you never know. I can only give the inspirational example of Cathy Hay, who decided to just go ahead and re-create the (nearly) impossible by tackling a reproduction of an Edwardian dress completely covered in feather embroidery (follow her blog here: ). As I have way to many favorites, in this post I’ll focus on bustle fashions.

So, completely disregarding how difficult it might be to get it right in material and cut, here’s my 1870-1880’s wish-list:

Actual dresses:


House of Worth. I’d let out the feather pattern, but other than that I adore this dress.


I especially like the top of this dress. The bottom I’d change, especially the color. Green or dark blue?


I love black/white, and the brocade is beautiful.


House of Worth. This is an unusual fabric for the period, but I really like it.


I haven’t been able to find a bigger picture of this dress, but look at all those little pearls!


Fashion plates: