Historical Sew Fortnightly #10: Literature - an Anna Karenina-inspired bustle over-skirt

I started this a while ago, it's actually the bustle over-drape for the "Black Bird" Victorian Fancy dress costume I'm working on for Myth Masque. But I thought the velvet and marabou combination looked like the type of velvet and fur combination I imagine Anna wearing. I plan on wearing it with this Jacket (although I'll replace the whip-stitched in striped "bee" vestee with a new black velvet one) and a little black felt hat with a veil, all very Anna!

The Challenge: #10: Literature - Anna Karenina-inspired bustle over-skirt

Fabric: Black cotton velveteen

Pattern: I draped it myself

Year: 1870s

Notions: black marabou, black pleated silk satin remnants, black pleated velvet ribbon remnant.

How historically accurate is it? Hard to say, these are materials they had, but modern techniques and sewing as this is the base for a fantasy Victorian costume.

Hours to complete: I never know since I usually work on multiple projects at once! CADD is my middle name. :P

First worn: To be worn this upcoming Saturday at Myth Masque!

Inside of bustle over skirt back
Total cost: All stash materials! So I don't really know, but the velvet was part of a bulk purchase from G Street fabrics' $1.97/yard table (back when it was only $1.97) so not all that much!
At first it was unlined to help with heat in the LA summer. But it just didn't poof out enough. So I added an organza lining to just the back section which helped enormously. Instead of sewing the bustle ties at specific points on the back of the skirt I sewed three plastic curtain rings down the center back and on either side of the CB, threaded ribbons through the rings and then tied the ribbons to create the right amount of poof. This gives me a little more flexibility in how much poof and how long the back drape is. 


  1. oooh it looks so luscious! do you remember where you got the marabou from?

  2. Thank you! Mother Plucker in LA. Here's the website: http://www.motherplucker.com/


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