Here are a few versions using the Bustle Skirt Pattern posted earlier!
my second attempt at the bustle skirt I did a few things differently:
Instead of having a full base skirt, I did 4 ruffles that just went 3/4 of the way around the waist. This required less fabric - I think ~2.75 yds
I also used 2 snaps instead of buckles to close it in front - this works well for quick release.
I also made the waistband only 2" high, which eliminated the problem of it being too far from my body.
You can also eliminate the problem with the waistband being to thick by staggering the fabric.