Introduction: How to Make a Self-Bustling Skirt

About: The Steamstress Lady Katherine, aeronaut, adventurer, and trader has travelled the globe collecting glamorous garments and finery during her many adventures.

With just the small addition of Curtain Tape, you can turn any long skirt into a fabulous bustling skirt!

You will need:


Curtain Tape



Overlock Machine

Sewing Machine


Step 1: Find or Make the Base Skirt

This project will work with any longer existing skirt or you can make a simple one yourself.

I started with an ankle length skirt I had made.

Step 2: Cut the Curtain Tape to Length

Curtain tape is such an awesome time saver for creating a bustled look because it automatically gathers when the string is pulled. Find out the length you will need by measuring your skirt, leaving at least 5" at the top and bottom.

Once the tape is cut, you may notice some fraying. Simply, burn the edges with a lighter to melt the fibers and stop any fraying.

Step 3: Time to Sew!

I used 3 strips on my skirt for a front gather look but the positioning and number of strips is up to you. Simply sew the tape down along the top and sides. At the bottom, be careful not to sew the gathering string. To tie up the strings when bustled, I put buttons on the top of each tape to loop the strings up on.

Step 4: Bustle and Go

Your skirt now can be worn straight or simply pull up the strings and you are bustled and ready to go! Add this fun Victorian infused garment to any wardrobe for a unique new style.

No access to machines? I made it at TechShop! They have everything you need from sewing machines to nice large work surfaces perfect for laying out your patterns. Check them out at TechShop!

Bonus: Free fresh popcorn and coffee! : )