This is a simple tutorial on how to make a bustle skirt
What you will need:
Fabric (I used an old curtain)
Needle and thread
Step 1: Procure Your Fabric
I bought an old curtain a while back.
The fabric was gorgeous and it has a lot of seams and hems in already which makes it far easier to work with which is why I would recommend using an old curtain for this.
You need something a little thicker that has a bit of weight and a nice pattern and shine if you wish.
I initially cut this to create a cape, but I misjudged it and it didn't work out. meaning I had to sew pieces back together so that I could make the back,
Step 2: Measure and Hem the Back
I started work on this skirt from the back first.
As I mentioned, I needed to sew pieces back together.
I then took one length of fabric that went from my waist down to the floor and hemmed it on both sides.
Step 3: Cut the Eyelet Holes Out
I thought I would use them but they turned out to be too bulky so I had to remove them
If you are not using an old curtain, or if your curtain doesn't have these then you can skip this step altogther
Step 4: Hem the Top
I did not put a zipper in, instead I opted to use ribbon.
So I made a hem in the top that was about 4cm wide - making sure to leave it open on the ends
Step 5: Thread the Ribbon Through
The best way to thread something is to pop a safety pin in it and then proceed to thread.
Step 6: Tack It
I then put the skirt on myself and gathered it all up along the ribbon so that the back was bunched up
Then because I didn't have a mannequin, I had to pin it on myself
So I turned the back to the front and began to pick up pieces and pin them
It was quite random, no real formula.
I did it in front of the mirror so that I could see what looked good.
I made sure to leave about 20cm at the top unpinned because I was going to make a bustle
So from 20cm downwards, I pinned up until the skirt was no longer dragging on the floor
Then I took needle and thread and hand tacked all of the gathers, making sure they were strong and secure
Step 7: Cut and Hem the Front
I then took the remaining fabric and cut that in half.
I took one part for the front piece
It was much shorter than the back piece and could have been even shorter if I liked
I then hemmed it the same as I did the back piece
Step 8: Thread and Sew the Front Piece
I threaded the front piece onto the same ribbon as the back.
Making sure that the back was gathered and the front piece was straight across my hips, I then pinned the sides together
Starting from my waist down, I pinned for about 30cm because I wanted my legs to show
I then took it to the sewing machine and sewed them together, making sure not to sew the ribbon
Step 9: Pin the Front
At this point, I stood in front of the mirror again and began to pin the front up
I made it very short- above my knees.
I left about 20cm in the front unpinned again so that I would have more shape
And then I just went around the full skirt and pinned any parts back that weren't flattering
The back needed a little pinning on the bum part to give me more shape
When that was done, I proceeded to hand sew the front as well
Step 10: Make the Bustle
I took an old pair of stockings and tied a know in each of the legs
I then filled the top part with stuffing.
You can use anything to stuff it - even a small pillow
You do need the stockings though
Once it was stuffed, I tacked the top closed
Step 11: Make the Back Drape
I finally took the last piece of fabric and hemmed it as I did all the other pieces
This piece I then proceeded to thread onto one of the legs of the stocking
I then put the butt piece of the stocking over my bum
Took the free leg with nothing on it and tied it so that the bustle was secure
The other leg piece held the fabric and I took that piece and draped it back over the bustle piece
Step 12: Pin the Top Piece
I then did the last pinning and tacking of that top piece
Because it hangs over the stockings and you dont want that to come out, you can bring the bottom up and secure it so that it holds the stockings nicely
Step 13: Adjust As Needed
And there you have it.
A bustle skirt
Try it on to see any final adjustments and pair it with a corset for effect
To view the full video tutorial on how to make this, check out my video