As my Midnight Sewers’ Group wants to make Bustle Skirts next I have been digging around online & I’ve just stumbled across a wonderful illustration from Peterson’s Ladies National Magazine deconstructing how a bustle would have been draped.
As a Costume Designer & Maker, I find I can figure out fairly accurately from the illustrations, paintings & photographs of the period how to piece together a costume however; the Victorians really went to town with their drapery and it’s lovely to find an illustration which completely demystifies a little bit of this!
From http://pintuckstyle.blogspot.co.uk/ who also adds:
What you aren’t seeing here is that most successful bustles where draped on the bias, so that those front corner ‘points’ are probably right angles where the selvage & cross grain meet. The bustle pleating was similar to bunting, ruching up the fabric to create the necessary drapery.