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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Icebreakers
Date: 06-12-2006, 09:36 PM (1 of 8)
:Canada: My daughter's wedding dress has an attached train. Her gown does not have a waist. It is fitted with a zipper with lovely buttons covering it down the back of the dress. The buttons have a plastic shank. The dress does not have any ornamentation on the back so it is difficult to hide hooks etc. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can bustle this dress?
User: Icebreakers
Member since: 05-27-2006
Total posts: 10
From: sewinglady4u
Date: 06-12-2006, 10:04 PM (2 of 8)
Hi, little silk bows or roses can hide hooks and eyes. Also, a "French Bustle" works well on what you're describing. It would involve sewing tape ties underneath to pull the extra fabric up under the gown. It makes a very pretty bustle.
User: sewinglady4u
Member since: 10-07-2005
Total posts: 18
From: Sew-Enchanting
Date: 06-13-2006, 10:55 AM (3 of 8)
I think a French bustle would be pretty - works well when there's not a super-defined waistline.

As sewinglady mentioned, the ties go underneath, so it's an "underbustle" rather than an "overbustle". Then, you pull up underneath the skirt and it makes the draping effect. I've seen more brides asking for it - it looks a lot like the 'picking' that's popular this year - with just parts of the gown being pulled up from underneath to create little baby bustles all across the dress. What a terrible description I just gave there. lol

Here's a French bustle: (good instructions + pics)

And an overall just really good site for bustling:
User: Sew-Enchanting
Member since: 12-28-2005
Total posts: 53
From: Icebreakers
Date: 06-13-2006, 10:09 PM (4 of 8)
Thanks Sewing Lady and Kris for your suggestions. Thanks for the sites Kris. Actually had looked at a couple of those. I'm not sure if the french bustle will work, even though I like that best. If I have to use the pick up...does anyone know where I can get white hooks? I have looked 'thru several stores and they have never carried white...I do have time to order from the internet, as long as I do it this week.
Thanks all
Linda :Canada:
User: Icebreakers
Member since: 05-27-2006
Total posts: 10
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 06-21-2006, 09:46 AM (5 of 8)
You can get white hooks at:

I'm just about to do my first underbustle on a dress. I like the way it looks. Do you sew the loops and ribbons to the lining only? I don't want any stitching to show thru on the dress when she's got it down.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
From: VenusElaine
Date: 06-23-2006, 09:20 PM (6 of 8)
The ties can be sewn only to the lining. The loops (which pull up the train) must somehow be attached to all the layers. If your loop points are at a seam, use the seam allowance. If the train is beaded, sew through to an extra bead, it will not be noticed. Even if the train is not embellished in any way, careful, tiny stitches will not be seen when the train is down. Care must be taken to properly align the layers so there is no "bulge" when the train is down. Hope this helps. And is one of the best bridal websites I have ever visited.

"Always put as much effort into your marriage as you do into your wedding."
User: VenusElaine
Member since: 10-22-2005
Total posts: 126
From: Carol in ME
Date: 06-26-2006, 08:11 AM (7 of 8)
This is my third summer working in a bridal shop.

The lower part of the bustle mechanism must be stitched through all layers, or the only thing pulled up will be the under layer.

One shop used plastic rings and ribbon ties, one used ribbon loops and ribbon ties, one used tiny white hooks and eyes, which I hope I never have to do again. IMO, they were the hardest stitch on and make them look neat, and hard to fasten.

Sometime we bustle layers separately. I did this yesterday. Lace created a long train, satin a little sweep train. The satin train was under bustled with ribbon loops and ties. The lace was under bustled with crochet cord and clear, two-hole buttons.

A tip: When a bustle loop has to go over a button, the easiest way to "measure" is to tie the cord around a piece of dowel, 3-4 inches long. It would seem like something already in your drawer would work, but it's not the same. The smooth slippery handles of the seam ripper, etc, just slide out. A sanded dowel pretty well stays put while you tie the button loop around it.

You'll have to experiment with diameter. I *think* our dowels at work are 3/8 diameter, but maybe they are only 1/4 inch.
User: Carol in ME
Member since: 01-27-2003
Total posts: 105
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 07-07-2006, 11:32 AM (8 of 8)
I did the underbustle using the white plastic loops and grossgrain ribbon ties. It looks VERY GOOD. I think I will recommend the underbustle more often. I've got five in it. She's coming Monday to try it on. I may have to add two more. You were so right about being able to hide the stitching. I didn't think it would ever work but looks good. THANKS for all the suggestions.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
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