Saturday, September 5, 2009

How to bustle a wedding dress

I think i could almost write a how-to on this. It's fiddly and tricky to get started but then once measured and you know what to do, it's just a bit of hand sewing.

I took a lot of advice off this site, Leanna Studios. It is written by a professional dressmaker who has pictures of several different types of bustles she's done and a description on how she did each one. I went for the Tufted Bustle in the end as i thought it suited my dress best and allows most of the fabric roses to still be visible. I loved the look of the Austrian bustle as well, and the Ballroom style pick up bustle.

To actually make the bustle, i laid the dress out flat on the floor and picked up the middle rose on the back seam, moving it to just below the first rose, and pinned it. Repeated that for the third rose and that brought the raw hem at the back almost to the level of the front hem. There's two roses on the mid back seams so i did the same to them, and then the side seams i bought the two bottom roses together. This wasn't enough to bring the side seams high enough, so i took another point 20 inches below the last rose and brought that up to the rose. This made the hem fairly even the whole way round the dress. I tried it on, with my shoes, to make sure.

The diagram above is an indication of how i did the bustling. I'll give it to my sister to help her in her Maid of Honour duties, along with one on how to lace the ribbon through the corset back of my dress!

To join the bustle points i used hooks and eyes. All that i could find available in Spotlight were silver and black ones from Birch, and their website indicates that the silver (nickel) is the 'white'. I know there are actual white ones available but couldn't see them in the shop and really didn't want to drive all over Perth looking for some. I used the eye below each top rose and the hook above the lower rose. The first ones i put on i spend ages winding the cotton round them to cover the silver, but then i thought better of this and simply put a couple of threads through the bottom of the outermost petals of each rose, to bring them closer to the hooks and hopefully hide them from a casual observer. The two bustle points that are on a plain seam and not hidden by a rose i wrapped in the cotton. It's still visible but the eye is not as easily drawn to it, as it would be if it were silver.

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