A gown with a train suggests formality; typically the longer the train, the more formal the gown. So what is a train exactly? A train is that extension in the back of the skirt that follows when you move. There are two types of trains: built-in and detachable. Built-ins are integrated in the actual skirt pattern when the dress is made. These are the kind that are pulled up and bustled after the ceremony. A detachable train is a separate component, not integrated in the skirt pattern. Detachables are usually removed after the ceremony, although I’ve seen them bustled every so often when brides want to keep that bustled look going for the party.
Bustling defined is the gathering and tacking up of the train so that the bride can move around freely post ceremony. Once a gown is bustled it goes through a kind of metamorphosis as does the bride in it. There are two kinds of bustling techniques: overbustles and underbustles (French). Usually, bustling is secured with hooks and/or ribbons (narrow strips of grosgrain). Over bustling is the easiest and consists of picking up and tacking the skirt to the waist for chapel and cathedral lengths; or behind the knee for sweeps. Underbustling goes the other way—down and under, fastening to points on the under slip. Longer trains can take a combination of both over and under bustling all at once and the results can be stunning. Additional or custom bustling is done after the bodice fitting is completed. How many (more) bustle points you chose is up to you and the estimation of your alterations person. Keep in mind not every dress bustles well. Examples include ball gowns with skirts in lightweight layers like tulle or organza. The amount of layered skirts present problems. The bustling is done layer by layer which is time consuming and expensive, and you’d have to absolutely love the result to go through all that hassle. Also some gowns with sweep trains, godets or fishtails don’t bustle well. Overall, most dresses do bustle beautifully and are a joy to wear. A bustled train remains one of the most elegant and romantic elements of the wedding gown . . . .
I initially created this space for my clients. Eventually brides looking for that touch of wow found their way here. Draping and playing with fabric started some twenty years back when I did a three-year stint as a bridal fabrics buyer. After that I opened Bridal Alternatives, a custom design studio and ever since have had the opportunity of working with brides who want that extraordinary one-of-a-kind dress. I'm in love with fashion history and re-invention of the past.
Other connections to fashion? I’ve been a columnist for San Francisco Art and Fashion News and have a weekly fashion buzz on One Wed Blog. I founded The Design Project of San Francisco, a networking organization of fashion professionals collaborating their skills and talents on projects. I’m currently working on a book called—you guessed it—'Bride Chic', all about that white gown and very special designer/client relationship. I live with my husband Edgar and Chihuahua Piccalina in Marin County California.
Want to see more of what I do? Check out my site at www.amyjotatum.com or call me 415.258.8204
CONTACT ME. Feel free to send on any ideas, photos or stories about your fashion or shopping finds firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please note some images on Bride Chic are photos from previous shoots and editorials of my collection pieces. Since I do admire other designers work, I’ve also added from online sources to share a different perspective. There’s no profit from the display of these photos -- they are being shown for the informational and educational benefit of brides and aficionados of bridal fashion. I always list my source, providing a link back. If you feel an image here violates your intellectual property and/or copyrights, please email your concerns to me (email@example.com) and I will gladly remove the photos in question. Thank you!
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