I like to make cosplay and stare at butts.

Things I like and will post about: cosplay. butts. punk. cigars. convention adventures. Tom Hiddleston. the Sex Pistols. Gary Oldman. Christoph Waltz. John Lydon. Gordon Ramsay. aerial. circus. Tim Roth. hot older men. pole dance. sexual frustration. Adam Jonas Segaller. BATS. knitting. Star Trek.

Tulle Bustle Skirt Tutorial

or, how to make a big puff for your booty.

Thing you need:

  • roughly 8 yards of tulle (or you can do your own math, I’ll explain)
  • coordinating color non-stretch fabric for waistband
  • lining fabric, if your self waistband fabric is flimsy and horrible like satin
  • one 1-inch button or a couple small ones
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • scissors
  • ribbon or lace to trim the bottom edges of your tiers, or nothing if you prefer them plain

1. Decide how full you want your layers to be. I used the full width of the tulle because I’m lazy and because it came out to about twice the circumference of my bad self, or 4 times the width of the skirt (because it’s only a half skirt). If you want to go fuller (although honestly I’m not sure why you’d want to, all those layers were a pain in the ass) you’ll have to piece things together or use your fabric lengthwise and have a shorter bustle. Anyway, come up with a WIDTH measurement. A good formula is [circumference of your body where you want the bustle to sit]*2

2. Decide how long you want your train to be, and how many layers are going to be in it. Mine went in 5 inch increments, from 10 to 35 inches. I have two layers at each length but I suppose you could just do one per if you’re strapped for cash or want a flatter bustle. If you’re using the full width of tulle from step one, you can just add up the lengths of all your layers and that will give you the amount of fabric you need to buy.

3. Cut out your layers. If you want to sew them to the outer waistband first (like I did, although the end result will be the same) stack them up with the longest layer on the bottom and the shortest on top. If you want to sew everything to the lining side first, flip it over so you’re starting with the longest.

4. Make your waistband pattern (it’s pretty much just a wide belt). Measure the distance around you wherever you want it to sit, divide in 2.  You’ll want the back half of the waistband to be a solid piece and the front to be made in two halves so you can button it. Cut out your self and lining pieces, and piece them together but DON’T attach the self TO the lining yet. Hang on to the one you want to build your bustle up on. If you’re using satin or something that frays horribly, take a second to overlock the edges with a zigzag or other overlock. You’ll be glad later.

5. Take your top piece of tulle and sew a long basting stitch along the top edge, about a quarter to a half inch from the top. Mark the center (fold line) with a pin and then pull one string from each side to gather it.
 Pin your center point to the center of the back panel of the waistband and adjust the gathering so that the tulle is the same width as the back panel. Pin in place and sew. (Then take a picture of your toes)

6. Rinse and repeat, building up your layers. After every 2 or 3 panels i flattened everything down (above my sewing line) with a wide zigzag just to keep the seam allowances in check.

7. All your layers are on? Whew! What a nightmare. Now pin the two halves of your waistband together along the top, sides, and as close to the puffy bustle crap as you can get without catching the tulle in. (You can see where I sewed mine in the photo) Sew the two halves together.

8. Flip the waistband through the opening where the bustle is coming out. Press the waistband as well as you can and then topstitch the areas  you’ve already sewn. Pin the opening shut and topstitch it.

9. Make a buttonhole on one of your front tabs. Sew the button on the other tab.

10. Sew on your bottom trim, if you have it. I used 3/8” satin ribbon to give it a little bit of shiny. I really wanted lace but 18 yards of lace would have kicked my wallet’s ass. And I couldn’t find a good color.


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