I'd like to start a discussion on ways of using things that can be found in thrift, antique and other shops and converted to be of a civil war, bustle era costume or later eras. Have you found anything that you have been able to convert for your costume? How did you do it? Where is your favorite place for locating fabric, trims etc.
Here is an example of something I've found useful. Ruffling is tedious and time consuming but the 1800"s petticoats require lots of ruffles. Lately, I have found very pretty bedskirts and curtains that have lovely trim on the bottom. There is usually enough fabric length and width to make a petticoat with a waist band or drawstring. Things to look for are size (full or larger) and fabric type. Better quality curtains and bedskirts have broadcloth for the base. You want to avoid those that have the a loose weave base almost like cheesecloth. If the skirt ruffles are nice you can take offthe ruffles and put them on better cotton cloth. Now instead of spending time on getting all the pieces together you can have a quick and easy petticoat.