After being in love with the movie Stardust since I first saw it I knew I wanted to own her dress. It wasn’t until this year when I rewatched it that it occurred to me that it might be something I could make. I just needed the materials to do so. Since then I have been collecting taffeta and researching bustle dresses. Searching for a deep dark blue velvet.
Now I haven’t researched much about bustle dresses, but the setting of the movie differs greatly to the setting the book takes place. More importantly the time frame. The book takes place mostly in 1856 when the character is supposed to be roughly 17 at the time. And the blue bustle gown she wears is definitely not what they would have worn in the time frame. Bustle gowns don’t really come about until 1869 to 1889. But other than that the gown is lovely. It is hard to pinpoint the year this gown comes from. It is not a natural form bustle at all. So there has to be some support in there. 1883-1886 is where I would place it. Now that could be completely wrong. I am not a historian, this is just what I have come across. If you find the information wrong please let me know.
With all of that in mind I have never worked with this era before. That means I need all new undergarments. Starting with the corset, bustle pad/bustle cage, petticoats, (chemise and pantaloons if I have time), and then I can start on the dress. I will be the first to admit, I didn’t photograph this project as well as I would have liked. I am fairly certain I have only a couple pictures of the process. But I will write as close to detail as possible on how I created this costume.
I started with 5 yards of a cobalt blue taffeta, it is a stretch taffeta, but the texture is lovely. And then that was discontinued when I went to get more the following week. I went to Anchorage the week after and purchased an indigo blue, they only had 4 yards, but they assured me that it was still available and had not been discontinued. Plus the store in my town had 2 or 3 yards of it in stock. When I got home I purchased that amount and figured I would try to order it online within the week. But a couple weeks past while I worked on other costumes and before I knew it when I went to order it they had limited quantities. Meaning they couldn’t guarantee that I would get full yards.
So, I went to the internet. Having already spent $150+ on the taffeta that I could not use I needed something on the cheap side. I decided to check out fabric.com. They were having a sale on their fabric, specifically the taffeta. I purchased ten yards right away. But what I got in was not taffeta. It is nice fabric and the color is amazing don’t get me wrong, but it is not taffeta. The texture and structure is completely off. It is more like a static lining that you can get at JoAnn’s. But I will use it. Most likely just for the base pieces and lining. I can use the cobalt blue for the ruffles and the outer layer of the skirt.
That leaves me with the deep rich blue black velvet. I searched my local stores. They had two different kinds of blue velvet. Both stretch. Which wasn’t something I was looking for, but I can work with stretch if it feels nice. Those didn’t feel nice. The pile was only soft in one maybe two directions. And all swatches I ordered online were not having any promise on softness. I wasn’t looking at prices so much as the feel of the velvet. I am very picky when it comes to velvet. So, considering the color is so dark it looks black I am going to go with the soft black velvet. It is $30 a yard, but worth it if it has to be against my skin.
Corset- 1 yard floral, 1 yard twill, 1 yard cotton, spring steel bones, spiral steel bones, Corset laces, busk, eyelets, thread, cotton for bias binding.
Petticoat- 1-8 yards of white patterned cotton?, 3 yards of white and gold rayon, twill tape, interfacing, thread, horsehair braid?
Taffeta Skirt/overskirt-10 yards taffeta (Cheap for everything underneath), 5-6 yards taffeta (nice for everything you see), 4 yards liquid woven, thread, horsehair braid?, interfacing, drawstring?, hooks and eyes?
Velvet Skirt-2.25 yards of black rich velvet, thread, cotton lining?, lace, twill tape?,
Bodice-3/4 yard of black rich velvet, ½ yard liquid woven, spring steel boning, spiral steel boning, embroidery floss, jumprings, organza sleeves,
Other Needs- Necklace, shoes, wig.