I can't believe I am FINALLY done with this thing! Anyway, pics first.
The first picture is of the inside of the bustle. It is based on a pattern from this Patterns of Fashion book for a bustle dress from the late 1870's (the patterns in the book are taken from actual dresses of the period that are in museums). This is the skirt base. It is separate from the over skirt that you'll see on top of it later.
The over skirt ties together in the back through a loop on the underside of the fabric that you'll see. The over skirt is the only thing that I just made up completely. No historical fact in that one! Just threw things together, make it a little avant guarde and non-symmetrical. Inspired by The Secret of Moonacre
The bodice was made from this pattern 1875 Low Evening Bodice. Available for free on the website. But...no instructions. I had absolutely no idea how these bizarrely shaped pieces fit together. Constructing the mock up (out of muslin) took me almost a day. Really bizarre. There is still no way to tell if it is done right. It doesn't quite look like the picture, but it was as close as I could get it! It closes by snaps in the front. I now know to make doll clothes close in the back, it is scary and awkward to bend the dolls arms backwards to get a bodice on. Especially on a doll from the 50's. And the gold on the bodice is just rickrack.
The only thing that was bought for this outfit was a little bit of gold bias tape, not the stuff around the bottom of the skirt, that was already there, but just to line those pieces of brocade fabric on the over skirt bustle. The green of the skirt (and part of the bodice) was taken from an old dress (probably a dance dress from either me or my sister when we were small) that my mom had kept. I even left the gathering on the skirt. The bodice fabric was a piece of fabric from a skirt that was in that same scrap box. The ribbons, rick rack, snaps, and everything are all things that I already had.
All those little rosettes were made by hand. My hand. It'll be a while before I do that again!
Anyway, I'm super proud of this :) I love it. She is so pretty now! I think I'm going to make big people clothes for a while though!