1870s Lobster Tail Bustle and Petticoat Bundle 16" and 18" Doll Clothes Pattern

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Fashion is where expression meets practicality and lures it into the realm of the extreme. Though fashion trends have a tendency to push the limits, practicality always manages to bring them back into balance... at least for a time. Full skirts were the hallmark of the early Victorian era and by the 1860s they had expanded to as wide as six feet in diameter. However, as railroads began forging paths around the world, women began to travel more and more. Full skirts and crinolines made for poor traveling companions and the boundary for this fashion trend had been reached. Still, it would be a gallant exit. The 1870s saw a great boom in the textile industry. Hand looms were replaced by more efficient steam driven power looms which resulted in a larger supply of cloth and fancy trims at greatly reduced prices. The great cage crinolines were shed and the surplus fabric from the full skirts was draped in elaborately decorated layers and pulled toward the back in large bustles that were reminiscent of those worn a century earlier. The fashionable silhouette had become smaller and more mobile.

This multi-size PDF pattern in Large, Medium, Small, and XSmall is designed to fit 18-inch dolls such as American Girl® , 18-inch Gotz® and Kidz 'n' Cats® Doll, 18-inch Carpatina® Dolls, and 16-inch A Girl For All Time® Dolls

Suggested Fabrics: Bustle and Petticoat/Skirt in lightweight woven fabric such as cotton, cotton blends gingham, lawn, linen, or silk. Not suitable for knits.


Supplies Needed:
-1/3 yard (1/3 m)

-1/2 yard (1/2 m) 


-2 yards 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch wide cotton twill tape
*If using fabric panels to shape the bustle, only 1/2-yard of twill tape will be needed;
-1 yard 1/4-inch wide sewable boning

-1 small snap


Skill Level:  Intermediate


What You Get: One 32 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides digitally drawn step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.

Download, Print, Sew!

*Creating a customer account will ensure that you have the ability to access your purchased (and free) files at any time.

For detailed information and answers to the most common questions, be sure to read the Terms of Use and FAQ's related to the doll clothes patterns sold at Pixie Faire.

Pixie Faire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®.


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Lobster taile bustle & petticoat

The lobstertail bustle is a must for the 1870's bustle dress - makes all the difference in the way the dress hangs properly. Reasonably simple, although I was a bit confused by the directions at the end. Recommend the pattern, and it's a good starting point for working with boning.