Purfylle: Woman's Bustle England, circa 1875

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Woman's Bustle England, circa 1875

Based on Woman's Bustle England, circa 1875  

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Bustle in the English style of 1875



I drafted the pattern for this bustle based off the center back measurement provided by LACMA and further measurements taken from photos of the bustle. To come up with my pattern measurements I calculated a lot of ratios.

adding the second padding section

It was going together beautifully although I didn't notice I had put the top row of pleats in back to front until I was editing these photos.

offcuts insufficient for stuffing

After meticulously saving all of the fabric offcuts as stuffing for the padded sections, there wasn't enough to even half fill the top section.

I didn't want to use calico as the stuffing because it would be heavy and take a long time to dry when washed.

I presume the original was stuffed with horse hair which is comparatively light and springy. Instead I used extra scratchy, super springy net as stuffing. I scrunched up a length and cut it into sections which made it easier to stuff inside.

netting

Ada provided lots of assistance. 

Ada helping with the stuffing

Once both sections were stuffed I stitched down the other side and added the waistband section.

back to front pleats on the top ruffle

adding the waistband.

Then it was time to get the side sections attached. I wasn't happy with how the binding turned out on the first side.  I needed to rethink the best way to approach them.

But that's part of what a mock-up is all about right? Figuring out the best construction method as well making sure it fits and the pattern works.

padding added and left side added to bustle

 The side sections turned out to be a little short. I'll have to fix that for next time.

adding the binding

Putting the second side piece on went more smoothly as I changed which order to add the binding and pieces together.

To finish I attached some cotton tape for securing around the waist. I made my straps long enough to wrap around the front and then tie at the back.

It doesn't appear that's how the original was secured but it makes sense to me to tie the bow at the back where it becomes a part of the bustle bulk.


The Challenge: Blue
Extant 1875 English Bustle
Image source: LACMA

Fabric: 'Linen' 100% Polyester (Yes, that is really what they called it in store, when did linen become a weave instead of a fibre? )

The original fabric is cotton and horsehair.

I have not handled woven horse hair but I have come across horse hair stuffing in furniture. I think this fabric is a reasonable substitute for the real thing.

Pattern: My own, developed from the measurements provided by the museum and measuring photos found on-line.

Year: 1875

Notions: 
  • ivory thread
  • ivory binding in the same fabric type as the bustle
  • stuffing - the stiffest nastiest netting you can imagine, another good horsehair substitute
  • cotton tape

How historically accurate is it? Fairly accurate, allowing for the fibre types being modern horsehair equivalents.

Hours to complete: *Shrug* I'm really not sure, I had loads of interruptions. Two or three hours maybe not counting the pattern drafting, research etc.

I'll be re-making this with the minor pattern tweaks I think are needed, I might even pull the iron out.

I'll try to remember to time it and come back and let you know how long it took.


Total cost: Everything was already in stash.

If I had to buy everything new I'd be looking at a total cost of about $15. The 'linen' RRP was $10 meter. 
Bustle in the English style of 1875




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