I cut out the tampico style bustle from the new fabric which I have in both Alice blue and a pale ivory. They are meant to be the same fabric however the ivory has a softer hand then the blue.
Although I had intended to use the ivory for the body of the bustle and blue for the binding I have switched them due to the difference in stiffness even after washing.
The fist thing you'll notice with the tampico bustle is all the pleats. This time I am only using 6 rows of pleats, the same as the bustle at the Met Museum. I am doing 12 pleats per strip. That's 72 box pleats in total.
I'm going to show you the fast, easy way to make box pleats in just a moment, but first I want to mention it is far to hot for ironing so please forgive my lack of pressing.Of course you will press yours for a beautiful finish.
This is how I used to pin box pleats.
Carefully marking up each pleat pining and pressing everything perfectly into place. All the math would hurt my brain.
If you do this for 72 box pleats you will probably go mad or at the very least be a gibbering mess under your ironing board about half way through.
But don't despair there is a faster way.
Let's get started
First we're going to mark up knife pleats using a spacer. You can cut a sapcer out of cardboard or use whatever you have on hand. I'm doing 1 inch box pleats so I am using my ruler which is 1" wide.
To mark the first knife pleat wrap your fabric strip around your spacer and pin as close to your spacer as you can. I started 3" from the edge of my fabric but you can start in the middle or wherever works best for your project.
The folded edge will become the centre of the box pleat. You will see how that works shortly.
To mark the second box pleat use the first pleat as a spacer, put your ruler underneath the fabric and position it against the folded edge of the first pleat. Fold the strip around the ruler and pin top and bottom as shown.
Rinse and repeat
Here's a top down view.
You don't have to pin the top and bottom but your fabric will curl all over the place if you don't as pictured below, this will drive you crazy when you try to baste the pleats in place.
Very quickly you will have a lovely long strip of pleats.
It helps if you fluff the folds open at this point.
Set your machine to a long stitch - I generally set mine to 3 - push each pleat open then flatten and baste into place.
A seam gauge is very handy to slip into the pleat and push the folds into place if any small adjustments are needed as you're sewing.
That's it! Easy.