Tutorial: Princess Dress Bustle Skirt

Yesterday I posted my giveaway of this dress (you can enter here). But today I want to share how you can make your own, well a step at least. This won’t be a tutorial for beginner sew-ers but if you have questions I’m more than happy to explain any of it. I was considering doing a sew-a-long for the whole dress after my Halloween shop craziness dies down. I’m curious to know if any of you would be interested in that. It would basically consist of a bunch of step by step tutorials where you could make it along with the posts (or bookmark for later) and hopefully have a competed dress by the end.
But for today I’m going to show you how you can easily add a poofy bustle (is there a more appropriate word? I’ll use bustle for now) to any dress that has a bodice part that attaches to the skirt. So if you  have a pattern you love that doesn’t have a bustle you can add one yourself. You’ll just want to make the bustle after you make the bodice and skirt but before you attach the two. It’s so versatile you can make it work with a whole number festive dress-up outfits or costumes from Cinderella to Steam Punk Witches.
You need a big circle for each side. My circles had a 20 inch diameter but for a dress this size I wish that I had used bigger circles. I think 20″ looked great when my nieces were in 3T dresses.
Next you fold the circle in half. If there is a right (pretty) size you want that side to be facing out. Then sew a line of basting stitches around the round side of the half circle.
You want your skirt to be sewn ready to attach to the bodice. Find the center front and center back of the skirt. And pin the bustle to the skirt. In the front you will have the edges of the half circle over lap. The basting stitches should be along the top (probably the waist) of the skirt. If your skirt is already sewn together you’ll do the same for the back as the front. If you’re putting in a zipper or have a back that needs to be finished up the middle just pin each side of the bustle to the edge of the skirt.
Next I gather up the bustle to have it match up with the skirt by pulling the basting threads. Since I always use this technique on a skirt that will be further gathered, I go ahead and gather up the skirt (I use my cheater gathering method) and just go all around catching both the skirt base and the bustle then pin it to the bodice like you would normally do the skirt (make sure the bustle is sandwiched in between) and then you’re done with your princess dress bustle skirt.
It’s definitely more of a tutorial for someone who already has made a two piece dress (or can envision how that would work) but it’s really not that hard. Let me know if you have questions (I’m serious!). And do let me know if you’d be interested in a sew-a-long of this style sometime in the future :)
How to add a princess bustle to any dress. This looks super doable and love the look Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



  1. I would love the sew along! I think it’d be fun! I know how to make pretty easy things but have never ventured making dress up dresses. I’d love to learn how!

  2. That is a darling dress! thanks for the tutorial!

  3. That is absolutely adorable! I love the bustle and the fabric you chose! Thanks for sharing at the Pomp Party! Pinning!

  4. This is so adorable. You did a great job. :)

  5. I know two little girls at my place that would absolutely LOVE this! Thanks for the tutorial, friend!

  6. I love sew alongs! And I’ve got two girls how love princess dresses, YES!

  7. Very Cute! I made a friend’s little girl a few princess style skirts for her birthday – it was her favorite present! Home made for the win! :)

  8. I’m so glad I seen this. I was just looking at little girl dresses today. I would love it if you linked up to my party going on right now. Tip toe thru Tuesday is co-hosted by three different blogs, so you will get three times the traffic. I hope we see you there! Chrsity


  9. Lovely little princess dress! My girls would love it! Thanks for sharing! Liz

  10. So beautiful!! I love it!! I may have to come back and look here more closely as I make my princess dresses. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  11. This is darling! My girls would die if I made them one of these!


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