Dressmaking – Undergarments – Part 4

As far as I am concerned, the bustle is done. I still need to hem it and add a ruffle to the bottom, but everything else is fun.

Instead of cutting out ruffles and pleating them to the overlay, I took a hint from a review of this pattern I had read and used lace. Lots and lots of 4″ wide eyelet lace, in rows, to make the flounced overlay. It looks much prettier than what I could have done if I had just stuck with the directions.

That part was easy. Afterwards, I tried to fit the hoop bones into the channels, and ran into a problem: I had made a mistake in my seam allowance. The channels were now too short to hold the bone. I spent the better part of two hours trying to fit the bones in, and eventually had to take out some of the seams surrounding the channels. Admittedly, it doesn’t look pretty, and I still need to get my hands on some Liquid Stitches to make sure it holds (If the audience can’t see it, then it’s not there). In any case, the flounce covers up the mistakes.

Next time I start working on the corset, and finish adding some trimming to what I have already.

Edit: 7/24/11

In response to a comment, I chose to use lace as a trimming because trimmings were very, very popular in the Victorian era. Trimmings, trimmings on top of trimmings, ruffles, etc. were extremely stylish, even if they weren’t seen.  I chose to use lace on the outlay instead of ruffles because it was easier and faster. At this point, the audience doesn’t see any of this. The overlay is to prevent the bustle bones from being seen through the underskirt. It acts as a mini-petticoat. Given the amount of ruffle I would need to cut for the overlay, I decided to go for a faster method.


  1. Greetings Carolyn – I am glad to read of your progress. Is it possible that you attached a picture of where you are so far in the dressmaking? Could you also talk a little bit about how the changes you made in the use of and amount of lace chosen for the flounced overlay speaks to the nature of the character (from the play) you are focusing on for this project?

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    How is your research coming along this week?