How to Make a Bustle on a Burlesque Costume
- 1). Measure your waist, using a flexible measuring tape. Add 4 inches to this measurement.
- 2). Cut taffeta or satin fabric in any color, using fabric scissors. For the waist, you need one 8-inch piece as long as your measurement from Step 1. For the ruffles, you need three pieces one and a half times the measurement from Step 1. Make one piece 5 inches wide, one 10 inches wide and one 15 inches wide.
- 3). Fold one of the long edges over 1/4 inch on all three ruffles. Iron the fold, using the iron on a heat setting appropriate for your fabric. Pin the fold in place with straight pins. Sew along the pins using a straight stitch with a sewing machine to create a finished edge. Remove the straight pins.
- 4). Cut three pieces of tulle to the same measurements of the three pieces of fabric for the ruffles. Lay the pieces of tulle on your workstation. Place the matching fabric pieces on top of the tulle with the shiny side up. Use straight pins to attach the tulle and fabric together along the unfinished long edges.
- 5). Sew along the straight pins to create a 1/4-inch seam, using a straight stitch with your sewing machine. This becomes the top of the ruffles. Remove the straight pins.
- 6). Fold the 8-inch waistband piece into a 4-inch-wide piece with the shiny side of the fabric out. Use an iron to press the waistband. Insert a piece of medium-weight, iron-on interfacing 4 inches wide and as long as the waistband into the folded waistband. Iron the waistband a second time to adhere the interfacing. Fold the edges along the unfolded edges of the waistband in 1/4 inch and iron again to press them in place.
- 7). Sew across the 20-inch ruffle 1 inch down from the top edge with a sewing machine, using a straight stitch at a longer stitch length than you used to topstitch the ruffles. Do not backstitch at the beginning and the end of the stitch; you want it left loose. Pull the loose ends of the stitch to cause the ruffle strip to bunch up. Pull until you reach the tightness of the ruffle you want. Repeat this step with the other two ruffles.
- 8). Place the 20-inch ruffle on your work surface with the fabric side up and the tulle side down. Place the 10-inch ruffle on top of the 20-inch ruffle with the tulle down, centering it. Place the 5-inch ruffle on top of the 10-inch ruffle with the tulle down, centering it. Adjust the tightness of the gathering by pulling the straight stitches from Step 6 until you have the look you want. Position all of the top edges of the ruffles flush together. Pin them in place and sew them together 1/2 inch from the edge, using a straight stitch with a sewing machine. This time, backstitch when you start and finish sewing the straight stitch. Remove the straight pins.
- 9). Insert the sewn edge of all the ruffles in between the folded waistband with the interfacing. Center the ruffles on the waistband and pin it in place 1 inch from the edge. Use a sewing machine to sew along the ruffles and waistband. Use a backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitch to secure it. Repeat stitching, on top of the first, to further secure them together. Remove the straight pins.
Wrap the bustle around your waist. Mark where the front of the waistband overlaps in the front. Hand-sew a hook-and-eye closure to the inside of the waistband where you marked the overlap.