Friday, September 08, 2006

Bustle Madness

As you all know I have been assisting a variety of different wedding vendors lately as a way of learning as much about all the many aspects of weddings as possible. Every time I do I come up with something to either rant or rave about. This week is no different. Today I have a nit to pick with bustles!

A bustle is the way the train of a bridal gown is gathered and hooked to make it easier for a bride to dance and just navigate at her reception. Any bridal gown with a train deserves a beautiful bustle. Of course they don’t come that way you have to have your seamstress put it in. The reason for that is because there are as many different styles of bustle as there are brides. Each bride is different, each gown is different and each seamstress is different. A bustle needs to fall in a way that shows off any detail work that the gown has. You also don’t want it to be arranged in such a way that it doesn’t makes your butt look enormous. Oh joy!!

A well-constructed bustle has to hold the train securely enough to withstand your movements during the length of the reception and even the minor incident of being stepped on. The other side of the coin is it must be completely invisible when the train is down. To achieve this many bustles use the tiniest of hooks in the same color as the gown and tiny crocheted thread loops less than ¾ “ long, again in the same color as the dress. The trick is to find these bustle points when it is time to arrange your gown for the reception.

Over the last few weeks I have encountered a variety of bustle mechanics. Some had hooks and loops, some had tiny buttons and loops and some had ribbon ties. Since I am not the main consultant only an assistant I had not seen the gowns until the wedding. Yet there I am in a mad dash to figure out and arrange a bustle with no idea of the how or where it is constructed.

I have said it before and I will say it again, take a responsible person with you to your final fitting to see how to do your bustle. Last week all the bride could tell me was that there were three points, one at the waist and two near the bottom and it fell in a triangle when hooked. Great…It took several minutes and two attempts to figure that one out.

So I went out looking for more information to help solve this dilemma. First I found a fairly good site showing bustle construction, which will help you decide how you would like yours to be made. Also this one does a great job of explaining bustle options. The other thing I did was asked for advice from my buddies in the salons. The single best idea I found was the seamstress who puts tiny gold safety pins on the inside of the gown at the bustle points. Lift up the train and you can immediately find the points. Beyond that ask your seamstress for a simple diagram of your bustle and give it to the person that will be responsible for hooking yours up. That will save everyone headaches on the big day.

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Anonymous Kohleen said...

We color code most of our bustles as well as include a diagram with every dress. Since most of our bustles are done with satin ties, instead of using safety pins (which work only for finding the points, but don't tell you which points go to which other points), we tie a pastel colored ribbon to the end of each tie so that way they know that pink goes to pink, blue goes to blue, etc. This way even if the person who learned the bustling isn't present at the time you need your dress bustled on your big day, even a 4th grader could probably figure it out!!

Fri Oct 27, 04:37:00 PM 2006  

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