Lobster Tail Bustle
Make a lobster tail style bustle for under your 1870s or 1880s dresses
Beginning undergarment class for building your Victorian Bustle Era silhouette!
Want to sew a 1870s or 1880s dress but need the bustle undergarment first? Confused of where to start making a bustle?
Many undergarments are the last thing we costumers think of, right? Why not start now and get yours done before you need it? The lobster tail bustle goes together quickly and does the job of keeping your skirts properly supported in the bustle silhouette.
Through a quick 2-lesson class we'll walk through each step to create a lobster tail style bustle support. Each lesson has five complete video tutorials along with an accompanying PDF handout and homework assignments.
- Lesson 1: Discuss appropriate fabrics, cut & mark the pieces, sew hems & darts, and add wire channels
- Lesson 2: Add a ruffle, sew side seams, and finish with the waistband and hoop wire
- What fabrics to use for a bustle undergarment
- How to mark fabric for sewing & casing placement
- Tips on sewing with the grain
- How to apply bias tape within a curved area
- How to pleat a ruffle
- Tips to setting on a waistband
- How to cut and tip hoop wire
If you have sewing experience but are new to historical garments, you will feel comfortable here. We'll be following the pattern closely so you should be able to follow the class just fine. If you are new to sewing, this is a perfect starting point to build your skills and develop strong techniques.
Thank you for the opportunity to sew with you!
P.S. In November 2015 there became a shortage of hoop wire (double spring wire encased in plastic) due to a manufacturer closure. We recommend you use "hoop steel" in 10 mm width and 0.5 mm thick for hoop and bustle projects like this one.
Although in 2017 the old style was starting to become available again from a couple of vendors. Do some searching for the wire that fits your budget. Options will be listed in the Lesson 1 handout.
One final note - this class was initially hosted on my blog, HistoricalSewing.com. Any reference to emails, different lesson pages or logins, and even timing between release of lessons should be disregarded. You have access to the entire class lessons here on this site with progression on your own schedule.
"Thank you very much for offering the bustle lobster tail class. Your videos were very helpful to me. I felt like I was sewing right along with you!"
~ Susie-Marie Woods
"While I am not new to sewing or costuming, I learned a lot of tricks from your videos and had several ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments."
~ anonymous from exit survey
Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles from about 1780 to 1920. Dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Daughter of the King.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sew your bustle today so you're ready for the dress tomorrow!