I've been rather lax in blogging recently. This spring has been particularly challenging as I try to navigate the waters of my choppy career path, which seems to be directed more so by the imprecise science of dead reckoning than by accurate measures of latitude and longitude to guide me (I've been reading Batavia's Graveyard by Mike Dash, a very well written pop history account of the shipwreck of the 17th century Dutch merchant ship Batavia and the bloody mutiny that accompanied the disaster. Can't you tell by my nautical vocabulary?)
Anyway, while things still remain uncertain, I have taken breaks from my daily stressors to work on various sewing projects. One of them was to improve the Simplicity "bustle" previously featured in this post. Some of you commented that the bustle looked too flat, as I certainly thought it could have been fuller. Many of my issues with this bustle can be explained by the fact that I probably bought a pattern that was too big for my body type- it probably goes around my waist way too much, making the odd and unVictorian shape that it does in those photos. Since I don't have the patience to make another bustle of the same material using a smaller pattern, I decided to try to improve what I had already made.
So I started by making two pillows out of a scratch material and cotton stuffing. I had to be careful with how big and stuffed they were they were, as I didn't want ridiculously round and huge artificial Victorian humps. So I made the pillows relatively flat, with enough volume to try and give my bottom a little extra oomph.
When those were finished I pinned them to the bustle and hand-sewed them on:
I think the padding definitely helps. What will also help is creating undergarments to make a truly full skirt that will give it the volume to make the bustle look less awkwardly drastic on the sides as it does in the above photos. But once I attain the full skirt needed, I think the alterations to the bustle will be more satisfactory.
Now time to finish my cousin's Sponge Bob Squarepants patterned surgical cap. I really need to stop letting my friends and family know that I know how to sew, because I've got requests out the wazoo at this point.