Can't Never Could
There’s a saying I’ve picked up in the South. It goes, “Can’t Never Could.”

There have always been things I’ve said I can’t draw. The problem with saying that you can’t do something is that you will prove yourself right. 

So, I’ve always loved the narrow bustled skirts of the early 1880s, but I’ve also struggled to draw them. Struggled so much that I’ve always told to myself, I couldn’t draw them. 

Well, I decided that it was stupid that I was scared of tryomh to draw an 1880s bustle skirt, so I set to work to get over my fear. 

The first step was finding a reference image. I’ve learned that it is easiest to draw something that is at the same angle as you want to draw it at. That way, you don’t have to try to rotate the object in your head. So, I picked this fashion plate , because the figure in beige was standing at the same angle as Marisole Monday. 

Next I decided to pre-draw the skirt. I do this sometimes when I am feeling skittish about something. I actually work full scale on cheap thin printer paper. I sketched out the skirt shape and I was surprised how quickly it came together. It only took one try. 

Then I carefully traced the skirt template and drew in the bodice and other details. Above you can see my penciled version of my early 1880s walking suit. (And an 1827 morning dress next to it.)

I’m actually super happy with how this came out. I need to find another early 1880s fashion plate to draw.