Saturday, April 23, 2011

Victorian Edwardian Early 1900 Trumpet Cage Crinoline

side view of trumpet cage support with a tulle flounce at the back

silk petticoat over the trumpet cage

The Edwardian period began in 1901. Fashion went through another metamorphis. A popular design was the S shaped silhouettes, trumpet skirts, and Gibson girl hairstyles. The pictures above are one of our trumpet cages with petticoat.The cage is designed to project out the hem of the skirt into a trumpet shaping.The wait to knee area fits tapered . A flounce with hoop steel in casings makes the foundation shape the dresses befitting of the Edwardian era.

This type of cage works wonderfully with mermaid dresses and gowns.  It does not work with fish tail dresses and gowns.  The pinterest link below shows an awesome museum quality dress. The Edwardian dress is shaped by a trumpet cage, which projects the train out back. Without the cage under the dress, the train would go flat, and get in the way of the feet while walking. It would look like fabric dragging behind the wearer. Click the link to see for yourself.

Contact me for answers to your questions on cages,bustles,crinolines and more. Let me know if this post helps.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Steampunk Gothic Bustles and Costumes

costume available at

costume availble thru www.

The fabulous costumes above are from Look under the  Steampunk Gothic Burlesque searches. The sellers of these costumes have artfully and tastefully pulled together the Steampunk Gothic half  bustle skirts that have the apperance of bustles without the hoop steel in the casings. Accessories include shrugs around the shoulders, corsets, net stockings, and steampunk boots.

Steampunk and Gothic bustle costumes have more of a Bohemian gypsy vagabond theme. Black is usually the base color in each costume.I have seen these adorable costumes complimented with plaids, prints, dots,tartans, stripes and more. The top hats are great with these costumes, or lavish hairstyles. These Bohemian themed costumes are seen all over the globe at various faires and carnevals. The ruffled tournure type bustles can be short,mid length, or long. These are more of the fun type bustle costumes.

Steampunk dress that sold on ebay months ago
one of my custom steampunk bustles
The gold and royal Victorian Steampunk dress above was sold on ebay several months ago. I thought it was an excellent example of fine steampunk themes in the more dress. Notice all of the  stunning black trim over the vivid and royal. If this dress was shortened, and rucched at the back, it would pick up with the netted stockings as in the pictures above.You can pull one of these outfits together with things you have in your closet.

The black Steampunk gothic bustles is one of my custom bustles made to fit your size. Tiers of silk ruffling and lace are cascading down the back. The bustle can be changed to have the ruffles cascading down to the floor and in a train. Have fun in your  cosplay and reenactment adventures.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Plus Sized Bustle Cages

Plus sized figures can wear bustles too. Bustles of all types can be custom made to fit larger sizes as well as smaller sizes.This is one of my custom made plus size bustle made from the Laughing Moon historical pattern line. The bustle cage is the knee length bustle that has train support. This size bustle will support trains that are six to eight inches longer than the front of your bustledress. The cage can be covered with ruffling for the built in petticoat. These pictures are for a good view of the bustle structure. All Laughing Moon bustles have stays that are laced with drawstrings. The stays control the shaping of the bustles. The tighter the drawstrings are pulled, the sharper the curve projects at the back. the looser the drawstrings are worn, the softer the curve, and projection becomes smaller.

side view of lobster tail bustle

back view of lobster tail bustle for plus sizes

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Elliptical Cage Crinoline for Period Costumes and Bridal Gowns

This post will help you to decide if you need an elliptical cage crinoline to wear under your bridal and formals,Victorian,Dickens,Civil War,Marie Antoinette,French Colonial, period historical costumes,dresses and gowns.

  • The photo on the left shows the cage crinoline without a bustle pillow pad.
  • The photo in the right shows the cage crinoline with the bustle pad.
  • The photo on bottom left shows a burgundy black 2 toned shot taffeta bustle skirt with a 3 foot train.
To wear the cage crinoline with dresses, gowns and costumes that have dropped waist bodices, do not use the bustle pillow pad as shown in left picture above. The waist to hip area will adapt, and flatten out to accomodate the fitted dropped waist bodices. A dropped waist can fall up to 9 inches below the waist.

Right sided picture shows a bustle pad pillow is resting over the back hip area under the cage crinoline. The pad supports the weight of the cage crinoline, and dramatically raises the cage to a higher projection toward the back. If you have a true bustle dress or historical dress ,or wedding dress with a lengthy train at the back, this cage could bring your dress or gown to the magical look that you are expecting.

The burgundy and black 2 toned shot taffeta skirt on the bottom left is a bustle skirt made to wear with the elliptical cage crinoline. The front is more tapered to the body, and the back projects outwardly and dramatically to show off your beautiful dress trains. The sides project out and gradually flow into the dramatic train supporter at the back.This cage crinoline is excellent for wedding and bridal gowns with this type of pattern construction. This cage is also excellent for historical period reenactment dresses and gowns.
Our custom made elliptical cage crinoline shown in the photos above is 134" inches circumference at the hem. The cage crinoline has 6 rows of hoop steel to support the weight of heavy skirts. The hoops can be pulled in to make the cage smaller and more tapered.
Need another type of cage crinoline, bustle cage or panniers cage? We custom make a a wide range of bustles cages, cage crinolines, Colonial Rococo Marie Antoinette panniers and more. These cage foundations will bring out the magnificence in your dresses,gowns, and costumes. Our dress foundations are custom made to fit your size and dresses, gowns, costumes. Links to our cage crinolines, bustle cages, and panniers are below. (look for the bustles and hoops category)

Short Mini Bustle Cage with Petticoat Built into the Bustle Cage

The shorter mini bustle cage rest over the hip area at the back. The bustle can be made with or without a petticoat built into the bustle cage frame. Most of our Victorian reenactors want the petticoat built into the frame because it looks more feminine and fun. The  mini bustle is great in black or white muslin. Four to five rows of hoop steel are used in the bustle to create the projection at the back. The projecting pushes the back of the bustle dresses out with grace. this bustle is not designed for dress with trains. The dresses can have slight trains that are not over 4 to 6 inches long. Look at the pictures below to get an understanding of the dress that is best with this bustle.Post a comment if you have questions.
side profile that shows the projection

closer side view

front view shows how the front is open for close fitting bustle dresses

back of the built in petticoat ruffling
Notice the hemline of this lovely dress that was custom made by Miss Lisa of "You're Never Out of Style Boutique. Miss Lisa can be contacted at  if you wish to discuss one of her fabulous Victorian or Civil War dresses that you might be interested in. Notice how the hemline of this Victorian Polonnaise dress gown is level, and there is no train. The short mini bustle is ideal for this type of bustle dress or gown. Notice how the front of the dress gown fits close to the front and sides of the silhouette. This is why the front of the mini bustle cage remains open. Please wear a petticoat under the bustle if needed. This dress should be worn with a slimmer lightly gathered petticoat only for extra body. The dresses have a richer more polished look when worn with petticoats. This dress can also be worn with a bustle pillow for lift at the back. Always do a dress rehearsal  before attending your events.You should make adjustments before you you  wear your beautiful bustle dresses.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Short mini bustle with petticoat

This dress was made by Miss Lisa, one of the premier Victorian bustledress designers on the website  Notice that the polonnaise dress does not have a train at the back. The short mini bustle is ideal for this style of bustle dress.The bustle pillow can also be used to project the back of this dress.
If you have questions about the correct bustle for your dress, email the author at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Wear Victorian Era Elliptical Cage Crinolines

   Victorian Era Elliptical Cage Crinolines have a pyramidal assymetrical shape. The cage crinoline fits closer to the body in the front. The back of the cage crinoline is very wide, full and flows out into a luxurious train. The dresses that are worn over the elliptical cage crinoline are patterned in the same pyramidal shaping.The cage crinoline on the left has a bustle pad under the back waist. The bustle pad raises the cage crinoline, and projects the back out more dramamtically. This causes the dress trains to project out more dramatically. The hoop steel is encased in double thickness casings. The rows of  hoop steel can be pulled in to make the size and scale of the cage crinoline  much smaller. The sweep of the cage crinoline on the left is 140 inches. The cage can be reduced down to a 100 inch sweep by simply adjusting and pulling in the hoops. The cage should be custom made to your waist, height, hip area, and your dress.

Below left, you will see a burgundy black shot taffeta authentically made period correct bustle skirt made to be worn with an elliptical cage crinoline.The skirt has a matching bodice, but let's stay focused on the skirt and the correct cage for the skirt. Notice that the skirt is shaped like the cage crinoline above? The taffeta skirt is shown over the elliptical cage crinoline on the left with the bustle pad at the back waist projecting out he train.The cage crinoline gracefully fills out the skirt and defines the lines. The train is very noticeable and displays lots of drama.

Look very close at the skirt. Notice how close it fits in the front. Notice the back and the train fullness. Another tip is to use a petticoat over the cage crinoline. The petticoat is a fluffy underslip that is worn over cages to soften the hoop steel bones. Petticoats can be made of muslin,taffeta,tulle over taffeta,silk,satin and other light weight fabrics. I recommend using lighter weight fabrics for comfort.

In separate article, the Victorian bridal gowns of today and the cage crinolines are discussed. Many of today's brides are wearing Victorian themed bridal gowns. A gown can have a Victorian theme, and NOT be a true authentic period correct bustle dress gown.

Many Victorian themed bridal gowns have puffs or pouffs.The elliptical cage crinoline can be worn under some of the Victorian themed bridal and formal gowns. If the bridal gown is long waisted, or dropped waisted, the cage crinoline should be worn without the bustle pad. The bustle pad is used with authentically made period correct bustle dresses.
 More posts will follow on this cage and the other cages.If you need a quick recommendation of the type of cage that is correct and proper for your dress or bridal gown, contact the author at Find elliptical cage crinolines here:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seven Basic Victorian Bustle Cages to Wear With Bustle Dresses

Deciding which bustle cage is correct for your bustle dress can be confusing.The articles in his blog will help you to gain a better understanding of  selecting the correct bustle cage for your bustle dress. During the Victorian Era, bustle dress cages and crinolines were made from hoop steel . These unusual hoop steel cages were used to add shaping to the popular bustle dresses of that time in history.

There are several types of bustle dress styles and patterns.There are seven (7) basic bustle cages that will properly fill out and shape the various styles of dresses.These seven cages  are:
  1. round hoop cage
  2. short mini bustle
  3. knee length lobster tail bustle
  4. lobster bustle with train supporter
  5. elliptical cage crinoline
  6. bell shaped cage
  7. bustle pillow(not a cage)
Pictures of the seven cages and the bustle pillow are shown below.

Short Mini bustle Cage for dresses that have slight trains not over 3 to 4 inches long.

Victorian Lobster Tail bustle cage with train support for dresses that have 8 inch trains and longer.

Elliptical Cage Crinoline that has a flatter front with a peacock fan shape at the back.

Edwardian Trumpet Cage for Early 1900 Belle Epoque , and Gibson Girl dresses and gowns.

Round Circular Hoop Cage for skirts and dresses that have sweeps of 168 inches or more.
This cage was mostly used during the Civil War Period. This cage is still popular today for bridals,formals, and reenactments.

Knee Length lobster tail bustle shown in plus sizes. This one is for dresses that have 3 to 5 inch trains.

Today, bustle cages are used by brides, historical reenactors,cosplay,faires, theatre,dramas, opera, museums, history hobbyist, Victorian Dickens Civil War Reenactors and more. In the following articles, each cage will be discussed in detail. Pictures of cages , and dresses that are worn over the cages will be posted. If you need immediate help to determine which bustle you need for you bustle dress, contact the author at