Lobster Tail Bustle 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.

Use this Lobster Tail style bustle to enhance your favorite 1870s style dress.  Pattern includes a bonus Petticoat!

This PDF pattern by Thimbles and Acorns is designed to fit 18-inch dolls such as American Girl®.

Suggested Fabrics:  Lobster Tail Bustle in quilting cotton, linen, lawn, or silk. Not suitable for knits. Petticoat in lightweight cotton, batiste, voile, lawn, and silk.


Supplies Needed:


  • Lobster Tail Bustle - 1/4 yard 45” wide Fabric
  • Petticoat - 1/2 yard 45” Fabric


  • Thread

Lobster Tail Bustle

  • 1/2 yard 1/8” wide twill tape or ribbon
  • 1 yard 1/4” wide boning


  • One medium size snap


Skill Level:  Intermediate


What You Get: One 19 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color 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!

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


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