This pattern is for a light-weight, small cloth bustle with no steels or hardware. It stores flat or rolls tight for traveling. For much of the 1870’s and 1880’s, the shape of the dress was determined by the strength of the bustle. A soft, drooping bustle gave a sloping, gentle silhouette. A stiff, layered bustle gave a sharp, aggressive outline. Yet many of these bustles were simply made of stiffened cloth.

Such a bustle could be pure misery to travel with. It might be covered with ruffles or box pleats, easily crushed in the suitcase wherein it took up way too much space. So a bustle which traveled easily evolved. It packed flat or in a roll, and it took up very little space. This is the bustle recreated in this pattern. The original was called a “Stiff Lace Bustle” in the October 7, 1871 issue of Harper’s Bazar.

1868 - 1887 Traveling Bustle Pattern

No. 1870-2
Packs flat!  No boning or wire required.
A light weight, small cloth bustle with no steels or hardware.
Very simple construction.
Lays flat or rolls tight for traveling.
Directly from an 1871 Harper's Bazar.


This pattern includes 4 pages of instructions with historical tips, and 1 pattern sheet. It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.

All sizes Petite – Full are included.

Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker