Early 1870’s Bustle Dress – the clock is ticking

TV# 201 - 1870's Underskirt

TV# 201 – 1870’s Underskirt

I’ve finally managed to finish the body of the skirt for my bustle dress. This is taking a ridiculously long time and I’m really frustrated.

The hang-up is two-fold. First, I pulled my back about a week ago and have been in back spasms ever since. Ironing is a killer…it takes me an hour to recover from pressing a hem.

The second major problem is my crummy dress form. The stand is missing a leg, so it keeps tipping over. I am so long-waisted that there is a huge gap between the upper torso and the hips, which makes fitting anything with a waistline a pain in the keester. After all, it’s not like anything from the Early Bustle Period needs a waistline, right? Plus, the adjustment dials don’t allow me to set it for my actual measurements…I can get close, but not spot on. I see a new dress form on the near horizon for sure.

The skirt is really straightforward. I’ve made it before and didn’t have a problem. However, this time I seem to have gotten all hung up on the waistband, of all things. I mean, how hard can a waistband be?! Apparently the answer is harder than usual when one is taking muscle relaxers for back spasms. *rolls eyes in exasperation*

Realizing that there was no way I could make a corset in time, and spurred on by constant back pain, I finally ordered one in a neutral nude color and it arrived yesterday. Better yet, it fits perfectly. True, it is un underbust corset and it should be an overbust corset. But it came in a long-linet for a decent price and those were the deciding factors. This morning I put it on my dress form. That allowed me to tinker with the waistband and set the pleats and gathers for the skirt. In two hours I had resolved a roadblock that had stalled me for days. The main body of the skirt is now finished. All it needs is the ruffle around the bottom and it’s good to go.

1870 Underskirt

1870 Underskirt

The last time I made this skirt I followed the directions for placing the ruffle and found that when I took a step I really kicked out the hem and it messed up the way the skirt hung over the bustle. So this time I shortened the front hemline a little. Hopefully, this will allow the toe of my shoe to kick forward and catch the ruffle without taking the hem with it. Does that make sense? Anyway, it’s a great experiment – much along the lines of the fabric bridge for the pocket. They’ll both be in action soon enough and then I’ll know for sure whether or not they are good ideas.

TV# 303 - Side Drape Overskirt

TV# 303 – Side Drape Overskirt

Now it’s on to the overskirt. With any luck at all, it won’t take long. Then it’s just the bodice and, fortunately, it is neither fitted nor lined so I have a decent chance of having everything finished in time. I also have all of the materials for a Talma Wrap which, considering how cold it’s been up here lately, I would like to have on hand to wear out doors. But we shall see.

These days, it’s one piece at a time