For those of you who have asked for some examples of bustles…here we go.
They can be simple needing only one point or more complex in groups of odd numbers. If you are lucky and the train is narrow then one point will probably suffice. The wider and longer the train, the more points will be needed to get that sucker up off the ground for dancing.
I start with deciding where the top center point will be for attachment. Using the tail of the zipper, if there is one is a very strong area. I always prefer it as the weight of the train can be quite heavy and drag down on the back of the dress. If the dress is sleek and form-fitting you sure don’t want to attach anything to the end of the zipper if it is high on the clients butt thus creating a “rooster tail” effect. Form-fitting styles need to be set lower about 3 or more inches below the curve of the butt. Let’s start with an example: Select the top attachment point, pick up a point on the train and lining and preview it (just hold it and pin it there) making sure the center back seam hem is off the ground. You will notice in subsequent photos that I use colored safety pins to mark both points so the upper and lower pins match. This certainly helps me with multiple sets of points especially for under bustles!
This dress goes under a lace overdress so it is bustled separately. Use a metal backed satin button (from Wawak.com) and create a thread loop (hand crochet type) with upholstery thread. On this dress and many others I worried about the satin not being strong enough to hold the weight so I ran a length of grosgrain ribbon down the center back seam from the tail of the zipper to the end point before attaching the button: Here is another satin/lace combo dress just like it…in fact I got in 4 of these dresses in one week!
If your client wants an under/French bustle, the procedure is the same except the button can be clear plastic, larger and flatter and the loop a little longer for a one point type. Instead of a triangular drape of fabric, it is the reverse, a deep pleat or fold of fabric which can look quite romantic:
Next time, I will show you multiple pick-up points and more complicated scenarios that make me wish I had a sewing partner so we could wrestle with these problems together. I have bought CD’s of “how to bustle” and seen numerous sets of ribbons under trains, some color coded, some just plain confusing and decided that a button and a loop is way more simple for me and my brides. Considering most matrons of honor or faithful bridesmaids will have had a couple glasses of champagne by the time they have to crawl under the dress to find ribbons and/or buttons, I want to make it easy for them.
Before I get back to the emergency brides that showed up this week, I will tell you a little story…I assure all my brides that if the dress gets wrinkled in the garment bag, they can iron their dress on the wrong side especially if it is polyester. I tell them poly loves medium heat and light steam and that is what I use on them unless I have something that needs the professional steamer. Most brides seem OK and confident they can do this…but a few especially this week looked at me like I was asking them to remember a mimeograph machine (remember the smell?) from the 70’s instead of a laser printer of today.
One bride said that she had never used an iron, never owned one and “what was it like?”
Well, I said, “use a low temp and minimum steam and you will be alright.”
But what I wanted to say was, “An iron is like a huge rock with a handle that is heated over hot coals and you drag it over fabric until the wrinkles disappear like magic.” Lordie!