While I didn’t do much research into the bustle pad, I did find two examples of what I think are referenced to be home made bustle pads from the V&A. V&A Bustle Pad 1 V&A Bustle Pad 2. There are suggestions in a book I have, Stage Costume: Step By Step, that suggest using a bustle pad for that silhouette.

bustlepad2 bustlepad3 bustlepad5 bustlepad4


So what I did was simply to create a D shape (it’s curved a bit in the part that would sit against my back) from two pieces of twill. I then added ruffled lace all over the top edge, of the top piece, and on the edge of the bottom to form the lace that will go around the outside edge. I then simply stitched it around the C part, and in a few inches on either side of the part that goes against my back, clipped my corners, turned and stuffed it with polyfill, sewed up the opening and simply stitched a legnth of twill tape for the waist band along the edge that goes to my back, and I was done. This took me less than a day to make…with a 3 year old around, and having to go to work.



bustleside1bustlepatternmodified2I got the idea to use a pattern like this (I took mine from Corsets and Crinolines p 96.) from Jen Thompson from A Festive Attyre. She mentioned how the bustle seemed small, so she made it larger. So I decided to scale it up, plus add another 1/3 onto all the measurements. I also am going to use this with a Steampunk outfit, so I wanted to make it short, because my skirt is likely to be around knee length. After I made the pattern full sized from the small scale, I had to adjust the boning channels that crossed at the top. But it worked out rather well. I added the ruffles so that I wouldn’t have boning showing through the skirt, plus to give it a little extra fullness.


Here is the graph paper diagram I drew up in miniature scale (I realized later that I needed to change the way the bones crossed on the top section, and I fixed them on the actual pattern). And full sized pattern pieces in jpg format.

bustle3of3 bustle2of3 bustle1of3

Bustle – cage style