Sewing · Victorian

Pretty Princess Dress: First, The Foundations

My Big Project for this year is my first foray into the First Bustle Era. I’ve been wanting to make a new ball dress and to challenge myself by making something ‘pretty’ (if you’ve seen my earlier dresses you’ll note that I’m not big on frills or froth and opt for colours one might not call pretty).

I’m using gorgeous light blue and light pink silk taffetas for this project which will not only include a ball bodice but a day bodice as well.

But, of course, before I start cutting into the beautiful fabric and constructing my new dress, I need to make sure that I have a good foundation.

The first undergarments that I completed (back in January) were two 1870s petticoats. Made of lawn cotton, and from the Truly Victorian petticoats pattern, the underneath petticoat is half an inch shorter than the other. Both have five rows of tucks. I may or may not end up adding some organdy ruffles to the top petticoat some time in the near future.



I wanted a new bustle cage since my one, purchased off Etsy a few years ago, isn’t filling all of my needs anymore. To save myself time (since I’m definitely aware that I don’t have an infinite amount) I ordered one from Izabela of Prior Attire. And I love it! I think for ages I’ve thought that I wanted to make everything for myself and that purchasing garments was ‘cheating’ but it’s really not – it’s a way to save time and to support other members of our community.


I was really impressed by the fact that less than two days after placing my order I received an email telling me it had been made and shipped. And, exactly a week after I ordered it, the bustle cage arrived on the doorstep after zipping halfway across the globe! I know Izabela is a very busy lady so thank you so much for making me feel like a really valued customer 😊

I may have fangirled slightly when opening the package. I mean, I now own something made by one of my Costuming Heroes, how amazing is that?


And look how well the petticoats sit over it!

Now that my foundations are sorted, it’s time to start working on my skirts!

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