Fall Harvest Bustle Dress

This past fall I made myself a bustle era dress I thought was indicative of something a farmer’s wife in the late 19th century might wear. This dress is inspired by an original gown in my private collection. And since I was going to wear this to an outdoor fall event, I thought this brown and red cotton print was just perfect!


The gown consists of a separate bodice and skirt. There is no overskirt. It’s all one piece. The busted skirt back is sewn directly into the waistband for a no fuss/easy to wear ensemble.


While the skirt will accommodate a small bustle pad, it can be worn without one too. The bustle holds its shape quite lovely. (Image shown over a bustled petticoat only).I also included a contrasting hem facing. I love to put these on all my dresses as it reinforces the hemline and helps protect the bottom of the skirt against dirt and mud. Plus, it adds a splash of color as you walk!


The skirt features decorative tucks placed at consecutive intervals to add visual interest to the front panel. This detail was taken from the original gown in my collection.


The front of the bodice closes with hook and eyes. The vintage celluloid buttons are decorative. The bodice is cut with all the period details- the sloped back shoulder seams, the narrow bodice back, and the sleeves are cut on the bias. I added the vintage collar and cameo to break up the continuous color and accent the neckline.


If you would like more information about our fall harvest dress design, please feel free to contact us at info@maggiemayfashions.com

About Susan

Hi! My name is Susan and I am a historian, seamstress, teacher, mother, and wife. My passion for history has manifested itself in the art of recreating clothing from different periods of time. Growing up in the American South, I am heavily schooled in the art of recreating clothing from the 19th century. After nearly a decade of immersing myself primarily in the Victorian period, I found the need to branch out and explore other periods of time. However, it is my connection with the American South and the clothing of rural America that continues to be the driving force behind my designs.