Friday, August 28, 2015

The patriotic bustle dress with Truly Victorian Patterns

1870s patriotic bustle dress-Truly Victorian Patterns used TV 261-R underskirt, TV 305 bustled overskirt, and TV 401 blouse waist.

In the spring I was at the fabric store and noticed a nice display of red white and blue fabric. What caught my eye was the striped double gauze cotton. It was LOVE at first sight. I just knew I needed to make a red white and blue bustle dress. Because why not!! So for months the RW&B striped double gauze and the RW&B clip dot fabric have been languishing in my sewing room. Waiting... For inspiration.

The reason I like the bustle dresses of the 1870s is because the short waisted look was in fashion. And being naturally short waisted I find this style easy to wear. Plus I like all the frilly fluff.

TV 305 bustled overskirt. This is an easy to put together overskirt that doesn't use up too much fabric.  I cut out according to my waist size (36). The only alteration I made was to shorten it by 2 inches. This went together fairly quickly with attaching the ties and draping the bustle being the most time consuming part. The closure is on the left side back. It also uses a placket as part of the closure. I had no issues with this pattern.


TV 261-R underskirt. This is just a basic underskirt, very easy to sew. I made the no frills version without the poofs. I normally shorten about 2 inches to get a walking dress length ( I am 5ft 4 in). I have made this underskirt before and I love it. No complaints.


TV 401 blouse waist. This is a really pretty blouse that goes together fairly quickly. I made the tuck in version with the neck ruffle. My original plan was to make the blouse out of the striped fabric too. Well of course I ran out. So I used the RW&B clip dot cotton that I bought at the same time. Both the neck and sleeve ruffles are cotton organdy. As with all her bodices, there will be alterations. I cut size G back and size H front. My standard alterations on her bodices are 1/2 inch high round back adjustment and removing 2 inches of length in the upper chest area, above the apex. This brings my armscye to 18 inches around, and that is exactly my measurement. I did take liberties with the sleeve ruffle. For me, the original ruffle is overwhelming. So I shortened the ruffle quite a bit and instead of doing the puff/gathers at the top, I just attached the ruffle in the standard fashion. I was going for a more 3/4 sleeve length. I struggle with long sleeves, they annoy me. This blouse pattern is very straight forward and I had no issues sewing it. I like the fit and it is quite comfortable to wear.

The 1870s Patriotic Dress

I am also enjoying my jaunty lil' red hat and trusty navy blue canvas belt. My only regret is not having enough striped fabric to make more bias ruffles for the underskirt. But bias anything is a fabric hog. Another epiphany, I am going to start making the overskirts first so I can use less of my fashion fabric for underskirts. I will make the top part (that won't show) muslin, and the lower part fashion fabric. That ='s thrifty!!

I am pleased with how the whole outfit turned out. It is a whimsical summery dress.


  1. Very pretty! I've had ideas for a R/W/B dress too but need to have somewhere to wear it first. That will give me some incentive.

  2. Thanks! I meant to make this at the beginning of summer, oh well.... Too many things to make, not enough time. :-)