Friday, October 10, 2014

HSF '14: 19: Inspiration

The theme for the 19th challenge of the year is Inspiration: "One of the best things about the HSF is seeing what everyone else creates, and using it to spark your own creativity. Be inspired by one of the challengers item from HSF ’13 or HSF challenges 1-18 to make your own fabulous item." (Facebook)

While I didn't intend to make this item for a challenge, it happens to fit in quite nicely. I am submitting my quickie-"Candy Stripe" bustle :D

Version 2

I started going through the Facebook albums for inspiration. There are so many amazing things that people have been making and posting, it's been such a pleasure to take part in the challenge, even if I have been quite rubbish at making and posting my own items. Even just to see what everyone comes up with, it's been a wonderful 1.75 years! (Almost 2 years already?!) September was, as I'm sure you're aware from my previous posts, a giant time-suck, and I got precisely nothing done on the challenges due that month. October is a very short month, and then in November I will be writing a novel, so if I manage to get any sewing done, it will have to be small. The rest of the year is not looking particularly hopeful for challenge completions.

Then, as I was going through the albums, I remembered some lovely pieces, and sought them out specifically. In particular, there was two from Asa:

Lobster bustle (Photoshoot)
Mini-lobster bustle

and one from Michelle L:

Star Trek Lobster bustle

And not specifically from an HSF participant, or even made in these past 2 years, but an inspiration nonetheless:

Katherine's lobster bustle

The night before the train excursion, I knew I needed a second bustle since I would need to lend one to my sister. I toyed with the idea of a pillow or pad, and eventually settled on making a mini-lobster. I'd wanted to make one for awhile, and also try out some of the leftover tubing from my farthingale to see how it would hold up.

Spoiler: it holds up very well!

I used the bustle frame base from Truly Victorian's Petticoat with Wire Bustle. In retrospect, I should have re-cut my pattern instead of using the one from 2006, but it served its purpose. I changed the boning pattern a bit to hopefully provide a bit more support over the top curve, but I don't think I planned it quite right. I get more of a "shelf butt", and I've just noticed as I went to photograph it that the top most bone kind of collapses in to sit more in line with the bone below it. Nothing a little pad wouldn't cure, if it truly bothered me. The only other problem I found was that with the lightness of the tubing, any time I sat down the bottom tubes would curl up into the bustle and I would have to fish them back down. I think this will be alleviated by having attached the ruffle. All in all, I was quite pleased with the final result. It provides a nice shape, is very light, and I barely noticed I was wearing it at all.

Version 1

Just under a month later, I added the ruffle and waist ties to finish it. I still want to add a lace-up panel in the back so that it lays flat when not in use, but I don't have enough grommets right now to do it justice. It will have to wait, and it's totally wearable in the meantime. :)

The Challenge: #19 Inspiration
Fabric: cotton sheeting?
Pattern: Base from Truly Victorian, with inspiration from American Duchess
Year: early 1870s
Notions: thread, plumbing tubing, bias tape
How historically accurate is it?: In shape, pretty good!
Hours to complete: 3
First worn: September 13, 2014
Total cost: around $5 (mostly for the tubing)

Love this silhouette :)


  1. I think it looks fantastic. :) I was also surprised how light one is to wear and have the collapsing top bone problem.

  2. It looks wonderful. :) And good luck with your novel.


Road to Costume College 2018

Gosh, where did the first half of the year go? (I know where, winter was unusually long and dark and cold, and it's effect lasted longer...