Bustle and Apron

In case you’ve missed the last few posts, I’m giving notes on my most recent costume, and anthropomorphic version of the inside of the 11th Doctor’s first TARDIS. I’ve posted about the bum pad, the petticoat, and the console skirt.

When I picked up the gold taffeta that starred in the skirt, I also picked up this dark gold taffeta. Originally it was planned to be a part of the skirt, so it would have been aqua: bright gold: dark gold: bright gold: aqua, etc. But I thought that might be a bit too busy, and it definitely would have complicated the “I made the skirt way too big” conundrum. Then when it came to the bustle, I decided it would be the best option.


Three years ago, when I started this concept, I had gotten this decaying silk (I’m pretty sure) gold fabric from a costume store in Cardiff. I thought it would be fitting, since we had just been to the Doctor Who Experience, and having something in the costume from Cardiff would make it even more special. That fabric would have been much too light for the bustle, I know now, so it will make an appearance later.


The taffeta has enough body all on its own to hold up to bustling. I gathered it to the back of a waistband and attached it. Granted, I probably should’ve waited until I had the apron sorted as well, but I was not thinking clearly on day 4 of a marathon costume journey.


Then I decided to work on the apron, since that would determine how long down the sides the bustle could go. The apron is entirely made up of curtain fabric that I got from a grab bag. And I’ve got plenty more if I need it. Because this stuff will shrink down to nothing, so I got to stuff the bag really full. It has two layers, or technically three. The outer orange-y iridescent layer, the lattice layer, and then the orange layer on the inside again (though this one is folded from the first layer. Come to think of it, the lattice one might be a double layer as well. I wanted the apron to be soft, but hefty enough to allow for the nice folded texture.


I learned from this video that I should pleat upwards, which I used for both the apron and the bustle. I can attest that it really does give so much body to the garments that makes them so much better! And I got the idea to combine the apron and the bustle on the same waistband from this tutorial.

I fiddled around for awhile until I got the apron the way I like it, and then I pinned it to a ribbon hanging off the waistband on either side.

The bustle was equally as fiddly. I pleated the sides, and then I just fiddled until it looked less like a mushroom and more like a poufy cream puff. I attached these to more ribbons hanging down the back with some tacks.


The waistband closes on one side with a whole row of hooks and eyes. I’m planning on adding some buttons to add to the design, but buttonholes would never work with all this fabric, so the hook and eyes are there to stay. The other side has the bustle and the apron sewn together, for ease of putting the contraption on.

So that’s it for the skirts! We’re nearing the end of our journey. Next week I’ll tell you about the blouse I cobbled together, and perhaps either the TV purse, or the accessories. Or maybe just the blouse. It’ll depend on how busy I get, and whether I remember to prepare… I do have a field trip this weekend, so we’ll see how much I remember to do!


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