How to Make a Moulin Rouge Bustle Skirt

Written by jessica herring
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The Moulin Rouge is a Parisian cabaret characterised by romance and frivolity. Since the Moulin Rouge was built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, it has been a place where Parisians and travellers gather to watch dancing girls do the cancan, a provocative dance in which girls pick up their ruffled skirts and high-kick their legs back and forth. The dancing girls traditionally wear bustled skirts, which are skirts with three ruffled layers and extra fabric in the back of the skirt. Moulin Rouge bustle skirts became popular with the 2001 film "Moulin Rouge!" Moulin Rouge bustle skirts can be constructed at home using multiple layers of fabric.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pattern paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Fabric scissors
  • 3 layers of fabric: lace, taffeta and netting (yardage differs depending upon body measurements)
  • Facing
  • Iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Buttons

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  1. 1

    Take body measurements with measuring tape.

  2. 2

    Plot and cut out pattern pieces on pattern paper. Or, buy a pattern and cut out the pattern pieces according to your body measurements. There should be seven pattern pieces: the waist band, full underskirt, center back, centre front, ruffle one, ruffle two and ruffle three.

  3. 3

    Fold fabric in half. Place the center back and centre front pattern pieces on the fabric. Pin pattern to fabric on the fold and cut out.

  4. 4

    Mark the balance points at the overlap and side points. Also mark the center back, centre front and the fold. Add 2 1/4-inch seam allowances to hem the top and the side. Do not add a seam allowance to the center back.

  5. 5

    Lay out the three layers of ruffle fabric. Fold each in half and place each ruffle pattern piece on the fold of each fabric. Pin each to the fabrics and cut out.

  6. 6

    Place the waistband and underskirt pattern pieces on the taffeta fabric. Pin both pieces against the fold and cut out. Cut out all pieces once except the waistband, which will be cut out twice to yield two pieces.

  7. 7

    Overlock the raw edges by using a zig zag stitch. Take the three ruffles of each of the three layers (nine layers in total), and sew along the top at a 5/8-inch seam allowance to keep the layers together.

  8. 8

    Gather the ruffles with a basic running stitch by hand or on a sewing machine.

  9. 9

    Take the waistband and iron facing onto the inside of the top of each waistband piece. Then put the right sides of the two layers of the waistband together, and stitch along the top to sew together.

  10. 10

    Put the waistband right side up, and pin the ruffles and underskirt onto the inside of the waistband. Stitch the ruffles and underskirt onto the waistband by sewing along the top of the waistband at 5/8-inch allowance.

  11. 11

    To hem, fold the top of the waistband 1 1/2 inches underneath and stitch.

  12. 12

    Try on the skirt, and use pins to mark where the buttons should go. Buttons could go either on the sides or the back. Make button holes with the sewing machine on the sides or the back about 1/2 inch apart. Add holes and buttons as desired, lining them up so they match with each other.

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