A day in Opatija – Seaside bustle (1875)

About two weeks before my this years summer vacation I decided to finally sew my seaside bustle dress. I bought the fabric in may but I was super duper lazy and didn’t think about the dress because ‘I still have enough time, I don’t need to start now’
Well..I did have enough time because I finished the things I wanted to finish on time but it was a bit stressful 😀

I wanted a seaside dress for a long time and I was researching a lot on pinterest and was admiring beautiful creations by costumers all around the world.

I was lucky to get a light striped cotton from my favourite fabric shop (Textil Müller) for about 4€/m. I bought the whole fabric roll with 12 m on it and I still have enough left to sew an apron and maybe even a second bodice.

I had three dresses as my inspiration. All of them are so pretty and I wasn’t able to decide which one to recreate so I took a little bit from this one and a little bit of that one.

(pictures are from Pinterest)

I used my Demel-dress pattern as a base for this one. I shortened it and made it front closing and I adapted the neckline.


The skirt was made with the Demel skirt pattern (I used diagram 13 from Patterns of Fashion 2). I made it quick&dirty, serged the seams and made the hem by machine as well.
for the ruffle I cut about 20 cm wide bias strips, sewed them together and used a 4cm wide satin ribbon to hem the bottom edge. I pressed it in half to make it easier.
Then I pleated the bias strip, sewed it on the skirt and then sewed on a 2cm wide satin ribbon in the same colour.

Next I started working on the bodice and the sleeves.
I didn’t line it at all because I wanted to have a very light dress and the fabric wasn’t so thin that you could see through.
The sleeve ruffles were done similar to the skirt ruffle.
I cut bias strips and hemed them with satin ribbon. The only difference is, that I sewed on the second ribbon to the top, then sewed the sides together and sewed the ruffle to the sleeve by hand. On the top sleeve ruffle I also sewed on the 2cm wide ribbon directly on the bias strip to get more contrast.


Last but not least I made a hat and finished my parasol.
I don’t have in progress pictures of both because it was nerve wrecking!
I had to cut the fabric for the parasol three times because the first lining was way too big, the second way too small and the third try was okay. It isn’t perfect, but looks a lot better than before.
On those pictures you can see the old lining and the new one. The old one was destroyed and I couldn’t clean it at all because the fabric just broke when I touched it with water. I think the stains are rust stains.
The new fabric is a white poly-cotton blend with fine woven stripes!

The hat was an easy project but I pricked myself way to often when sewing it!
I took apart a straw hat I had at home and sewed a large round ‘place set’ in the size I wanted. Next I made it wet and formed it over a bowl and let it dry overnight. Next I sewed on a satin ribbon on the outer edge and then sewed on flowers and a little bird.
As you can see the satin ribbon doesn’t look perfect. It was very slippery and stretched slightly while sewing but I do not mind to be honest. You don’t really see it when you’re wearing it!


While my family and I were on vacation in Rovinj in Croatia we made a daytrip to Opatija. This was the first official health resort from the austrian monarchy on the adriatic coast. I was there a few years ago and I forgot how beautiful Opatija was! You still feel how noble the city was and still is!
We also were lucky to have beautiful weather when we were there and so I was able to get so many beautiful pictures!

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