Vintage Diva Skirts: Fabric, Trims and Customizations

Over the years, Vintage Diva has been my most popular skirt design. I think this picture does a great job illustrating why:

On the left, you see a sassy, seductive saloon girl costume. On the right, you see an elegant Victorian lady. Yet, both photos show the same skirt!

I designed my Vintage Diva skirt in 2014. I kid not, it took me 4 tries to get the pattern just right! I wanted a bustle skirt that was as quick as possible to make, and thus as economical as possible (pleats and tucks are oh-so labor intensive), and could be worn with various things underneath for versatility. The photos below show early versions:

I finally figured out that for the best look, you need gathers across the back, and pleats on the sides. The photos below show the finalized Vintage Diva pattern – complete with bows adorning each hip!

If you look closely, you’ll see that the bow is very slightly different than the ones on my skirts today – there’s a very specific way a bow must be tied so that it doesn’t go floppy the first time the skirt is washed. My current Vintage Diva skirts have bows that stay looking gloriously bow-like even after washing.


If you’ve looked at the ready-to-ship skirts in my online store, it’s likely you’ve seen photos like this:

But those are just the most popular options! Vintage Diva skirts can’t be worn over hoops or any petticoat that is fluffy around the hips (that will cause the front to look more like a belt than a skirt!) But it looks amazing over any petticoat that’s form-fitting about the hips. For the best look, I recommend a mermaid petticoat, or my a-line “Vintage Flair” petticoat is the exact shape you need for a fluffy short look:

Purple Steampunk Costume

And, of course, it looks incredible worn over my garter shorts and stockings like the red photo earlier in this blog post!


Vintage Diva is part of my line that comes in extended plus sizes. I’ve drafted this pattern in sizes up to 6X, or low hips up to 65 inches. It’s also a pattern that’s really easy to tweak and customize to fit unusual figures. Reach out to me before purchasing if you think you may need a skirt with a customized pattern.

Fabric Options

Vintage Diva skirts can be made from any color in the primary three solid-tone fabrics I use:

And pretty much any other fabric too! I can pleat the back instead of gathering it, which makes fun fabrics like damask velveteen and ribbon embroidery taffeta an option.

The only possible limitation is it can’t be made from a stretch fabric or a fabric that is very thick (plush velvet for instance) so that the side pleats are sewable. There’s a spot on each hip where my machine needs to get through 15 layers of fabric!

In the future, I plan to create a blog post containing photos of EVERY single type of fabric I offer, including the ones I don’t stock but can be custom-ordered if you wish. I’ll add a link here when I do!

Trim Options

Once again, the trim options are basically endless. Most commonly, I’ll do a medium width ruffled lace, the middle pictured trim in the photos below:

I also offer pleated ribbon trim in a bunch of colors:

I plan to continue to offer pleated trim in black and white, but the colors are only available while supplies last. When I’ve re-ordered pleated trim, the shade of the new roll hasn’t always matched the shade of the old roll. The quest for perfectly matching colors between all my fabric, trim, and notions is the bane of my existence! If you want to order a look with pleated trim in a color, I’ll need to check if I have enough remaining to create it. If you want matching accessories for your pleated-trim look, please mention that to me right away so I can check if I have what I need!

Pleated trim can be used by itself, or I can overlay it with lace to create a two-tone trim, as in these examples:

I also have Venice lace trim available in black, white, ivory, silver, and gold. Venice lace cannot be re-ordered, but I always have some on hand in various styles (from narrow to wide) in each color. Black I tend to have a ton of gorgeous styles available – I’m all about the Victorian Vampire looks! Here is a peek at the selection I have right now:

Typically, I do a bow at each hip on a Vintage Diva skirt – although if you’re ordering a look with a dress jacket, I’ll leave them off so your dress jacket doesn’t have weird hip poofs from the bows being underneath!

In addition to black as in the above photo, I have ultra-wide ribbon available to match all my ruffled lace colors, and most of my pleated ribbon trim colors (in the cases where the re-ordered shade has matched the previous shade!)

If you want a look that’s less cutesy and more elegant, the bow can be replaced with an applique, as seen in the photo above.


In the front, a Vintage Diva skirt is the exact length needed to flash garter stocking tops when you walk. If you wear it over one of my lace underskirts, I recommend a pair of stretchy shorts underneath, just to be safe. A commonly requested customization (available at no additional charge) is to make it 3″ longer in the front by gathering less fabric in the pleats.

If you want longer than 3″, that can be done too. I can add about 7″ to the length by adding a ruffle all around the hem. But that’s a whole other skirt! Next week, watch for a new blog post – “All about my “Victorian Delight” skirt!”

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