Do-It-Yourself: Steampunk Bustle Skirt

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54 Responses

  1. Claire says:

    Looks great Kimi!

    Did you line the whole skirt, or just the center back panel?

    • Kimi says:

      Hi Claire! Thanks for posting! I only lined the bat section with the yellow. Since the rest won’t be seen (and since it’s black anyway) I didn’t line the rest of it. :)

  2. Heather says:

    Well done!

  3. Brenna says:

    Thanks for posting this, it’s a big help for the costume I’m making :) My aunt actually gave me your website – Jenn Heaton? Anyway, thank again for having this up!

    • Kimi says:

      You are very welcome! Thanks for stopping by my site. It’s nice to know that these articles help people with their costuming projects. Jen is a great friend of mind and I’m happy that she’s helping spread the word about my blog! :) Good luck with your project! I’d love to see pics when you’re done.

      • Brenna says:

        I’ll be sure to email them to you; I’m just now starting to make my own costume designs and I’ve got a ton of them. I’m actually using this for my Halloween costume (it’s rather last minute compared to my usual Halloweens but I am making it myself for the first time as well) and I’m sure the tutorial will be very useful in my future cosplay endeavors too :)

    • lauren says:

      how much material do you need?

  4. Brenna says:

    Kimi, my friend is trying to put a ruffle on the bottom of her gown for a cosplay – if I send you an email, do you think you might have any tips or tutorials for her?

  5. Melanie says:

    This is awesome! I’ve been trying to figure out a bottom for my steampunk Batgirl outfit and I haven’t found anything I’m in love with until I found this. What kind of fabric did you use?

    • Kimi says:

      Hey Melanie! Thanks for checking out my site. I’d love to see pics of your steampunk Batgirl when it’s finished.

      I used a black linen and a yellow polyblend that had a similar weight to the linen (couldn’t find a linen in the right yellow color). Linen hangs beautifully, flows nicely, is easy to work with, and pretty easy to find. It also isn’t fancy looking, and I wanted my Batgirl to look based on a more middle class Victorian look.

      I’ll be posting my grapple gun tutorial soon! Stay tuned! :)

  6. Becca says:

    This is a great set of instructions! I will be using it to make an addidtion to a dress I will be wearing to a steampunk banquet. I do have a question though; how much fabric did you get to start with? Thanks and hopefully mine will turn out as well as yours!

    • Kimi says:

      Hi Becca! Thanks for visiting Golden Lasso!
      To be honest, I’m not completely sure how much I used. Some of it I already had, but I think I bought 5-6 yards of the black? I always over buy! Dealing with extra is always easier than coming up short! Hope that helps!

  7. Chelsea says:

    I didn’t know I’d come across such wonderful porn when I was googling how to attatch a half-skirt to a corset. :) This is great. I’m so sending this to my best friend.

  8. Anny says:

    You may have just saved me from the wrath of my little sister. I make her Halloween/Renaissance costumes and she has decreed that her next will be a steampunk stilt-walker. This involves a bustle. Your tutorial is the best one I have found by a long shot. I just have one question: where you pleat the skirt before attaching, would a running stitch and gathers work as well? Or is the pleating necessary for something?

    I look forward to hearing back from you!

    • Kimi says:

      Hi Anny!
      Yep, a stitch with gathers should work just fine. I just like the more finished look of the pleating. It’s a control freak thing. :)

      Hope your project goes well and I’d love to see the finished pictures!

  9. Chelsea says:

    Bless. This. Post.

    I never thought I’d find a bustle tutorial that was so to the point and easy to understand! I’m currently working on a steampunk Harley Quinn cosplay. This has been a godsend! Thank you! <3

    • Kimi says:

      Thanks! I’m happy that my tutorials can help people! I’d love to see pics when you have finished your project!

  10. Stacie says:

    So im a complete noob at sewing, like i know nothing and i was wondering if you might be able to make this into a video tutorial….I must have read through the intructions here 10 times and im still struggling lol. I understand a good deal but i am for sure a visual learner :).

    Just wondering

  11. Lili says:

    I just wanna say that I searched through about a million bustle skirt tutorials, and not one of them was half as well thought out as this one, nor did it accurately explain everything nearly as well as this one did! So thank you so much, you’ve made making my next cosplay a million times easier!!! <3 <3 <3

  12. Kat says:

    I don’t know if I missed it, but how many yards of fabric did you use? Like a guess? Im trying to figure out what to get.
    I’m so glad you posted this. Its going to help out a ton

    • Kimi says:

      Hi there!

      I can’t remember… probably around 5 yards of the black and 2-3 yards for the yellow lining? Don’t forget to pre-wash the fabric!

  13. Lily says:

    Hey, just a quick question: How did you close the waistband around the waist? As in, what fastener did you use? I scanned the instructions a couple of times and saw no mention of it.

  14. michele says:

    I am making a dio de los muertos and found your tutorial. AWESOME.One question though how the heck do you close the skirt around you waist? I couldnt’ see that in the tutorial so I added some ribbon tails and tied it on>. Thanks for the awesome play by play I was lost on what to do!

  15. NatJade says:

    Can you explain this further, I am really confused?

    Before you start sewing, you will want to iron creases into your waistband because it will make things much faster. Fold it over length-wise and iron it until it holds the crease down the center, then fold half inch folds along each edge of the waistband and iron until they hold creases as well. These mark your seam allowances and the creases will make the sewing easier. Am I sewing the ends closed as in making the waistband into a continuous circle?

    Fold the waistband lengthwise, with the interfacing on the outside. This should be folded opposite of the ironed seam that you ironed earlier. You will then sew the ends closed on the half inch creases that you ironed earlier, but make sure that the lengthwise half inch seams are sewn in the folded position.

  16. Nakoma says:

    I have to say thank you for posting this. I made a skirt for my steam punk-ish ring master costume I will wear on Halloween. I will be wearing it this weekend for my birthday part also

  17. sophie says:

    This is by far the clearest and simplest tutorial of it’s kind I have found. Have now almost completed my Halloween outfit for steampunkesque Goblin masquerade queen (I wanted to do all my ideas in one) I’m just calling it Goblin Queen for short. Thank you so much!

  18. sophie says:

    Forgot to add – you look insanely cool in your outfit. Top marks =)

  19. Ariel says:

    This is a very helpful, informative tutorial. I’ve looked at so many other bustle tutorials over the years, and many of them either leave out important details, or the desired end result isn’t what I had been looking for. Yours is exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time.

    I plan on doing a steampunk Lady Amalthea cosplay sometime next year, and I was looking for ways to modify her actual dress to make it work with my theme. Your tutorial helped me to figure out the logistics perfectly, so I thank you.

  20. Kirsty says:

    Just wanted to say that I attempted this bustle skirt as my first ever ‘proper’ sewing project and I am thrilled with how it has turned out. Thank you so much for posting this up.

  21. Jayne says:

    Love this skirt! I’m trying to make a bustle skirt for a steampunk Poison Ivy cosplay. I want it to look like this except have a front that is shorter. I have a secondary tutorial that I want to half imitate for the front. The only problem is I don’t have a sewing machine nor do I really know how to use one (I’ve always done all the sewing I need by hand). Any suggestions(other than buying a machine, LOL)?

    • Kimi says:

      Umm… not really. I highly suggest learning to sew by machine. You can buy a perfectly serviceable machine for $50, and it is more than worth the time you will save with it. With the help of YouTube, there is nothing you won’t be able to learn to do!

  22. Nyssa says:

    I love this tutorial! Thanks so much for posting it. It’s giving me a great aid in making my Steampunk Harley Quinn costume 😀 And btw, OMG! Loving the Batgirl costume so stinking much 😀


  23. Sarah says:

    I was just curious, what type of fabric did you use? I know I used linen fabrics for my corset but I fear they won’t turn out for this model of skirt.

    • Kimi says:

      I used a black linen because it is so easy to drape. Most fabrics will work well as long as they aren’t overly stiff. Your stuff should work perfectly!

  24. Alex says:

    Hey so first off I love this and I’m planing on useing for a steampunk cosplay at anime expo so I was wondering do I have to sew the yellow part on there or can I just leave it as is because well I like it as is. Thanks!!

  25. Kelsey says:

    I loved this tutorial! I’m trying to find a bustle skirt for my Harley Quinn outfit and for my friends poison ivy outfit. Couple questions: First what are you wearing under that skirt that looks like a swimsuit bottom?
    Second, so if I were to make a skirt that goes all the way around, just make it really short in front and long at back?
    Third, when you say “There isn’t really a magic formula, just start pulling spots and pinning them to higher places to give it the tiered appearance”, do you mean just grab a spot and pull directly up and pin? Will the hand stiches hold all by themselves? how will the stiches be covered?
    I’m sorry, This is the first time I have done anything like this.

    • Kimi says:

      1) Those are ruffled bloomers, you can buy them online or at a lingerie store. Depending on how you want to look, you can get shorter ones or more period long ones.

      2) Yep. Just make sure the front panels are the length that you want them to be.

      3) Yes, just pinch in one spot and lift it directly up. Pin each one until you like how the whole skirt looks. The hand stitching will hold if you do it well. I do mine in X shapes. I usually just sew through the under layer and the back of the fold you pinch up. Then it won’t show on the front. Does that make sense?

  26. Amy says:

    Out of curiosity how did you fasten the waistband?

  27. Lauren says:

    Amazing tutorial! I can’t wait to make this for my Halloween costume this year.

  28. Lynna says:

    Just wanted to say I appreciate your site. The instructions for the bustle skirt are very articulate–a lot of times I have to read instructions 2 or 3 times because it is difficult to communicate (with yours I didn’t have to). I am hoping to achieve a Victorian Jane costume (Tarzan and Jane)–more of a ‘been in the jungle a few months’, so her traditional dress is getting torn, etc., complete with waist-corset and bell-sleeve sheer blouse; so thanks so much!

    Love your costumes :)

  29. Emmaline says:

    I love this tutorial, will definitely be using it for my steampunk cosplay. :) But what would I do if I wanted the skirt to be in the front too? And what type of fabric did you use?

  30. Kimber says:

    i was curious if you could give us a run down of the bat wing part? is it in panels like the bustles or were you able to cut that out of one piece? could give us a general measurement to work with?

    i’ll be using this for lace victorian burlesque skirt and was going to do the “cape” part in a lined lace with a more rounded elegant bottom but was curious what you’re measurement and cutting was like on that part?

  31. Rii says:

    This will probably sound silly, but what would you recommend doing to a closure? A zipper or a button? My hip to waist ratio is too drastic to be able to just pull it on like a normal skirt, and I dont like the idea of an elastic waistband.

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