Toby Barton Designs

July 19, 2012

Bustling Along

Filed under: Uncategorized — by tobybartondesigns @ 2:39 pm

So I have decided to split my time up between The Titanic project and another sewing project.  I don’t know how many of you out there just get an idea in your head and you just want to do it or you will go batty well, that is me.

I bought about 10 yards of nice cotton fabric from the store that shall not be named thinking that I will do a mid century outfit out of it.  Now, bear  in mind that I have had this fabric for months so, I decided on an early bustle day dress.  When I have used my modern dress form for draping and fitting something just didn’t look right.  Then, after reading a blog by The American Duchess, she had hit on the problem.  The bust is too perfect and pointy.  She filed away the bust, made some changes to the waist and hip line and, voila, she had a better working model called Franken Lilly.  After she filed and smoothed everything down she padded up the form to her measurement, slipped the cover back over, and she had the shape she needed to corset it up for her to any period of time she was designing for.  Go to Lauren’s blog site at click on tutorials and scroll down to find how she did this.

Now, with all being said I decided to try it myself.  Sorry, no pictures available.  I was caught up in the moment and forgot to take and pictures.  Oh, and try not to do any thing strenuous on a day that is 95 degrees out or you will be wringing wet.  Well, it worked like a charm.  With the dress form padded and ready to go I was ready to go but…………..

I did not have all of the proper undergarments namely a chemise.  So what does one do, one drafts a pattern and gets to sewing.


A very simple chemise to make and draft a pattern for.  Wide neckline that is pulled together with ribbon and beading lace.  Cap sleeves trimmed in antique lace edging and the hem edged with antique embroidered trim.  I am very happy with this pattern.  Perhaps I will make this available for special order.

Now we are getting somewhere.  Mid century corset made out of red and white striped ticking.  I love working with this fabric for foundations garments.  If you look close you can see that the bust is much smoother and the roundness comes from the padding and the corset.  No more torpedo bust.

Now the bustle.  I made this bustle years ago from Nora Waugh’s book Corsets and Crinolines.

And we have the petticoat.  This poor thing has seen better days.  Thank goodness you can’t see too much.  This petticoat is from Truly Victorian patterns.  Technically, bustle is supposed to be installed in the back but I chose not to.

Well, there you have it so far.  Foundations are in place and off to the races I go with the dress.



  1. Toby, I absolutely love that corset – each time I see it I’m always amazed. I think it’s the stripes… great job on everything!

    Comment by CostumeDeeva — July 20, 2012 @ 12:24 am |Reply

  2. This is a really wonderful idea. It makes so much more sense to array your dress form in the proper undergarments, for fitting purposes. Thank you for showing us the way! Oh, and everything is just beautiful, too!

    Comment by Kim — July 20, 2012 @ 11:26 am |Reply

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