Up for sale is a Victorian era reproduction bustle dress. This particular dress is from the Natural Form era. In an issue of Harper's Bazar, October 1875, they stated "The ideal at present is the
greatest possible flatness and straightness: a woman is a pencil covered with rainment". It was
however, several years before the bustle was completely abandoned. From the mid 1870's to the very early 1880's the styles were very flat and the bustle was put away for a few years to accomodate the new straight styles. In fact, at the end of the Natural Form era the styles were so streamlined and restrictive it was hard for woman following fashion to take normal steps. Often the skirts were tied at the knees for sake of fashion and walking was restricted. The bodices were often of the cuirass style, which were snug fitting and cut at the hips or below.
This is a 3 piece outfit consisting of a cuirass bodice, an underskirt and an overskirt. I used a
nice quality cotton calico and a cotton muslin in creating this outfit. This is a great outfit for summer. Very cool and breathable. The bodice was made from historical patterns ( drafted my me) and the
underskirt is a basic gored design with a waistband. I draft my own patterns using historical guidelines for accuracy.The overskirt is my own design but it follows correct historical guidelines. I have made several of this
style outfit for people and they seem very pleased with its design and comfort.
The bodice is made from a cotton calico in a lovely dark blue with a green and pink flower design
on it. The bodice style is cuirass and extends below the hips creating the wonderful slimming effect of the Natural Form era. It buttons up the front with glass fired buttons. These buttons are fired in a way that produces a wondering rainbow effect on the glass. The neck is a square design and has a white eyelet ruffle around the edge. Bottom of the bodice has a band of green cotton that is seen in the calico design and ties the bodice to the skirt. The sleeves are 3/4 length and are a 2 piece fitted sleeve. The same green and cotton eyelet decoration ends at the bottom of the sleeve , again helping to tie the outfit together. The back has a smooth finish and lie over the hips. Bodice is completely lined with a cotton muslin fabric. It is also inner lined with a cotton muslin to add structure to the bodice pieces. Bodice is completely boned to help hold a period correct shape.
The underskirt is made from a cotton broadcloth in a solid sage green color. It has a basic gored design with a flat front and the width of the fabric is pleated on the back of the skirt. It closes with a hook and bar at the side back. Skirt is very narrow, as was the style, and is finished with french seams inside for neatness. Bottom of the skirt hem has a 5" ruffle to add visual interest to the skirt and tie it in with the bodice. This floral band is gathered slightly to give it a small "poufed" effect.
The third piece of this ensemble is an overskirt. This is made from the same calico as the bodice. The bottom of the front of the overskirt has a small band of the solid green cotton as decoration. t is drawn up on the sides and pleated to give a lovely drape to the overskirt. The skirt and overskirt together give a slim "bustled appearance" but is not generally worn with a formal bustle. This was the style at the time. All seams are finished and serged. Please enjoy.
Measurement are :
Bodice bust = 44"
Bodice waist = 38"
Skirt waist = 38"
Skirt hips = Up to 55"
Underskirt waist = 38"
Overskirt hips = Up to 55"
Skirt length = 41"
Sale is for a 3 piece outfit consisting of a cuirass bodice, an underskirt and an overskirt. Item should be dry cleaned to keep the outfit looking nice for many reenactments. However, because the dress is made from cotton fabrics, dress can be laundered on a gentle cycle. This adds to the
versatility of the outfit. This outfit is reminiscent of Natural Form period (approx 1875-1882) so
it should be worn with period undergarments but without a bustle. This will give the outfit a more period look.
This item can be custom ordered in your size and choice of color. Please inquire and I will get back
with you regarding color choice and time frame. I can usually turn an outfit out in 2-3 weeks for
order. Thank you for looking!