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.

Detailed Lesson Plans:
  • 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

Beginner to intermediate level class. You should be familiar with basic sewing techniques including sewing darts, topstitching, grading seams, hemming, and a hand whipstitch. Although, I will walk you through each of these methods when we get to that part of the sewing.

Valuable Skills & Techniques You'll Learn:
  • 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.

Although a number of patterns are available for a lobster tail bustle undergarment, for this class we'll be using the Truly Victorian TV163 - 1887 Imperial Tournure (sold separately). It is a sturdy shape and the sizing is well-drafted. You can choose to make the regular size or the larger Imperial size. Both are included in the pattern!

Class begins when you're ready and is available immediately upon enrollment. The site saves your place, so you can easily come back to the spot where you left off to go sew.

Note: This class is also included in the Victorian Undergarments Online Class.

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


Your Instructor

Jennifer Rosbrugh
Jennifer Rosbrugh

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

When does the class start and finish?
The class starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online class - you decide when you start each lesson, complete the sewing, and when you finish the project.
How long do I have access to the class?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this class for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Can I get personal feedback and help with my class project?
Of course! We are here to see you succeed in creating historical fashions you love. We help you every step of the way through conversational comments in each tutorial and through email, if desired. We create a joyful and safe environment for you to ask any question about your project and receive answers and feedback that can be used immediately.
What if I am unhappy with the class?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and give us the opportunity to address your concerns.
If I change my mind, can I request a refund?
Due to the nature of the materials and intellectual property presented in the class, all sales are final.

Sew your bustle today so you're ready for the dress tomorrow!

Get started now!