Custom Made Victorian Bustle Dress Designs

I’ve been utterly obsessed with the Victorian era since a very young age. My favorite time period is the late 1870’s through the early 1880’s. I love the silhouette of the gowns of those specific years – the elegant lines, the understated bustle that flows down smoothly into a train.

Here’s an example from Godey Lady’s Book, 1877. (Side note – is that a LEOPARD PRINT Victorian dress in white, black and purple? NEED!)

I’m more into historically-inspired fantasy that true historical accuracy, so the next step is to translate all that glorious fluffy overdone goodness into something that’s just a BIT more practical for modern use, and as fun as possible!

I live in New England, and there are LOTS of awesome Steampunk events within easy driving distance here. If you’re unfamiliar with Steampunk, imagine a Renaissance festival – except replace the Medieval/Renaissance parts with Victorian times and steam-powered technology. I’ve written about my own journey discovering Steampunk here.

My custom made line of Victorian-inspired bustle dresses are designed with my own cosplay adventures in mind! So they’re the most versatile of the things I make. The skirts are designed to be layered over other pieces, and worn in different ways for different looks.

So far, I’ve created 5 different Victorian Bustle Skirt patterns. Below you can see a little preview of each – a collage showing a sketch of the pattern, along with examples of the skirts in action at past photoshoots. Next, I’ll be writing a series of articles to give more details about each style of skirt – fabrics and trims that can be used to make them, available customizations, and more.

I’ll update the pictures so that they’re links once I get the posts online!

I’ll also be writing posts about the styles of tops that I’ve drafted patterns for so far – although that’s a little more difficult. My bolero and jacket patterns are designed to be completely interchangeable – so there are a lot of possibilities! Here was my attempt at drawing just the Victorian sleeve options with bolero jackets:

These are JUST the late-Victorian inspired sleeves, then when you consider that any type of sleeve can be paired with any bodice pattern, and you add additional options like collars and various long jacket backs, it makes the options rather hard to get down on paper…

Good thing that I enjoy making sketches!

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