Normal, Internet-Normal and not bothered about the difference.

Bustle Pad - Back

Historical Sewing Challenge #2 – Unfinished Objects


For those just tuning in, I’m participating in many of the challenges for the Historical Sew Fornightly group. This is goading me to continue progress on all the things that need to be sewn between now and the Summer/Fall Con season!

Challenge #2 was to take care of all of those Unfinished Objects that just seem to collect – either on your list of things to-do or piles of half-sewn projects.

The Dreamstress noted that you could do any of the following and still have it count:

  1. Finish an object languishing about
  2. Finish an idea rattling around
  3. Start a new UFO (I KNOW!)

I decided to combine #1 and #2, and then work on #3, with a bustle pad (essential for a properly prominent bustle, when not using a cage) and some good progress on the Vivi Coat.

For the bustle pad, I had scrap fabric from a previous pillow project, some extra batting, ribbon and a pattern from Simplicity 1819 (the source pattern for my White Mage bolero and overskirt). It went together quite quickly with machine and hand sewing, although I did manage to get my hook on backwards.

Bustle Pad – Project Details

  • Status: Complete, unless I decide to turn that hook around.
  • Fabric: Cotton poly blend upholstery fabric, with embroidered bees and dragonflies (LOVE).
  • Pattern: Simplicity 1819
  • Decade: Bustle-era – I don’t know enough yet to be more specific!
  • Notions: Polyester thread, white twill tape, polyester batting, steel hook and bar
  • How historically accurate is it?: bustle pads are a thing, but there seem to be a lot of variations. This pattern is almost like a tiny bum roll, with enough shaping on the bottom to go out to the back instead of out all around. (This makes more sense if you can see my hand gestures!)
  • Hours to complete: 1.5, most of which was stuffing it and re-folding the other pattern pieces.
  • First worn: Around the house, to the amusement of my husband. I tried to get it on the dog for the purposes of pictures, but she was unamused.
  • Total cost: $0 – all of the items are counted in the cost of some other projects!


The Vivi Jacket

This is going to be an item that you’ll see pop up on this blog often between now and Dragon*Con. It is my first piece of menswear, and my most ambitious set of custom alterations to a standard pattern. We’re altering the coat from Simplicity 2333 to make it look like a steampunk version of Vivi’s coat from Final Fantasy IX.

I’ve made a muslin, using View B of the pattern. Our next step is altering the back coat pieces of View A to make them curve into an ankle-length swallowail, with a blue strap across the lower back. This isn’t visible in the Vivi picture to the right – but you can see it in-game and on our many plush Vivi dolls.

I’ll alter the front closure and lapels to overlap, fastened with large brass grommets and cording, and extend the collar so that it ends at the cheekbones, instead of folding over.

We’ve purchased all of the fabrics and notions – I just need to make a new muslin for the back tails and collar, then cut everything out. Holding my breath the whole time, no doubt!

The bustle pad pictures and some shots of the muslin are below!


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