Iris Bustle



Kellie Iris


Outline the story …

My mom taught me how to crochet and sew simple skirts when I was younger. As an adult, I didn’t do that much sewing, mainly just Halloween costumes. Until I wondered into this renaissance of historical sewing. I’ve sewn more in the last three years than I have probably in my entire life. I remember thinking that making an entirely handmade wardrobe was so impossible, I didn’t even try. After honing my skills on a variety of garments, I can now put together a couple of outfits that I can proudly say are entirely made by me and it’s my new favorite hobby.
My middle name is Iris, after the goddess of the rainbow, and I just so happen to have a very colorful iris in my garden called Afternoon Delight, so it was the obvious choice for my inspiration.
To achieve the iris shape I chose a double layered bustle style. I decided the two skirts to be separate for more versatility and that the vertical gathering should be adjustable so that I could wear either skirt shorter or longer.
I challenged myself to only use material I had on hand, so the skirts are thrifted bedsheets that were tie dyed. It felt more organic to not use a pattern for either of these projects and instead to construct them as simply as possible. I also crocheted a flower hat to make it feel more fae like.

Outline the construction…

For the skirts, I halved my sheet then ripped it into thirds. I gathered each skirt to the waist band length by hand.
The underskirt has a wide draw string and attached by machine. The over skirt was attached to the waist band by hand and has a handmade hook and bar closure. I left a gap in the waist band at the side seams to be able to access the drawstrings for vertical gathering. For the tie dye, I hand gathered the dye pattern with a thick thread.
I usually do the hem last, but I realized that because I was using each side seam allowance as a drawstring channel, I would need to turn the hem first so it could remain open at the bottom. I sewed yellow yarn inside the seam allowance channels and fed it through a clear button at the top.
For the hat, I wanted the lines to run parallel to the leaf shape, so each leaf started with the center line and was worked around from there using larger crochets in the middle for a rounded effect. I then secured all the leaves together and used that structure to build up the stem. The petals were started with a circle and formed out in a fan shape. I used increase stitches on either side to make the double cupped shape. Each petal was then attached to the leaf base in an overlapping pattern.




  1. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    So cute! I love the rainbow skirt!! Beautiful!

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 10, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Love the colours!!

  3. Avatar Jenny jenny b on May 22, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    I LOVE this! The silhouette you’ve achieved with the skirt draping is amazing, and the colours are lovely – the hat is the perfect touch!

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