Thursday, December 20, 2012

From the 1860s to the 1880s via Safety Pin

How can I possibly go to Lady Astor's Tea.  I haven't a thing to wear.  No, really.  I don't have an outfit from the 1880s and I really didn't want to attend in an 1860s (see this post for a view of the ballgown here: Lavender Ballgown at Dickens Fair) or 1840s dress, but I had an idea: What if I bustled my ballgown?  Would it work?

It did.  I started by shortening the front of the underskirt, then pulled the sides toward the back.  This created a little train!  Then I started pulling the overskirt up to the back, one section at a time.  An added bonus was that the flowers which are pinned at every tiered section became lined up across the back in a cute little floral display.

Here's a front view.  My dummy, Esmerelda, is currently adjusted to my uncorseted shape so you'll have to use your imagination for the bodice and apologies for the photo quality as these are excited phone pics sent to Lisa after I'd bustled it.

After viewing the pics, Lisa suggested adding a butt pillow (OK, it's a bustle pillow, really) but I stuffed mine more like a Renaissance bum roll as that would be the only thing holding the "bustle" up.  It worked.  Yay, Lisa!

The sleeves aren't period correct, but that can't be helped.  I realized, later, that I'll have to remove one side of the bustling to get into the dress.  I'm sure Lisa can help bustle the other side with me in the dress!

My first Bustle Pillow. Awww.

This just made me want to make a REAL 1880s dress with a bustle so big it will look as if a horse is under there with me!
The final results.....

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