Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Video: How to Sit in a Bustle

Friday, May 10, 2013

Isabella reporting:

While writing my bustle posts this week (here and here), one question kept popping up: how did women sit down with an enormous false-backside to get in the way?

Coming to the rescue is fellow Nerdy History Girl Jennifer Rosbrugh, who is featured in today's video. Jennifer teaches historical and modern sewing techniques that go into creating beautiful period garments from the Regency, Romantic, Victorian, and Edwardian eras for the costuming and reenacting communities. (Her wonderful web site is here.)

For a 21st c. woman, Jennifer clearly knows her way around a 19th c. bustle. Wearing Victorian undergarments with a replica lobster-tail bustle in the style of 1886, right, she demonstrates how a lady would maneuver a bustle gracefully into a chair.

Sitting in the window is her cat Finley, who has obviously seen it all before and is not impressed. We, however, are. Thank you for sharing the tutorial, Jennifer!

Readers who receive our blog via email might see only a blank rectangle or square in place of the video.  To watch the video, please click here.


Jeanne Treat said...

Fascinating! Thank you for this post.

Regencyresearcher said...

But weren't the ladies taught to sit on the edge of the chair anyway? One had to keep one's back straight and not "lounge" in the chair.
I would think sitting in hoops would be harder.

Jane O said...

Back in the dim and distant past, when I was graduating from high school (a girls' school), we wore white dresses with hoop skirts instead of graduation robes for the ceremony. The class spent an afternoon in hoops practicing sitting so that the hoops didn't go shooting up in the air in front of us. It's like the bustle—you lift the back of the skirt and hoop up slightly and perch on the front of the chair.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

For some reason, when I tried to watch this, the video kept freezing, then starting again, then freezing. I wasn't able to see it all through.

Isobel Carr said...

You can't really "lounge" in a corset (at least not in my experience). So the rule of not slouching into your chair back always strikes me as redundant.

Molly M. said...

Love this! It's much like sitting in a farthingale or other hoop skirt! I'll be following her blog. :)

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Elizabeth, sorry about the video freezing. It's such an unpredictable process, dependent on browsers - argh!
You (and anyone else having trouble viewing this) can also try watching it on Jennifer's site here:

Laurie Evans said...

How interesting! Good idea about having a man hold the chair. I could see myself sliding the chair back and falling onto my butt.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Very timely! I was just at the final fitting for my daughter's wedding dress, where I learned how to tie up her dress into a bustle. The first thing we both said aloud was "How does one sit with a bustle?" Of course, her bustle doesn't have any boning or wires, but I'm forwarding the link to your post to my daughter ASAP! I think I'll forward it to the bridal shop, too, just for fun!

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