For my birthday suit this year, I wanted something insane. AND I LIKES TO GET WHAT I WANTS.
Ruggy was informed mid-July that I didn't care what the venue was, I would be thrilled to eat a hog dog from a cart, so long as I was doing it in a simple yet extravagant girly frock. August's MSN allowance provided me the materials for my plans: Oscar de la Renta silk taffeta (
all gone, sad face hey! it's back!), and magenta dotted organza (almost gone...and don’t be fooled by the picture, it’s magenta for sure!). But plans, as usual, changed once I stared the yardage in the face.
And changed. And changed. I wanted a cap sleeve vintage silhouette with crinoline. I wanted a mermaid ball gown. At one point I thought I would make an actual three piece suit. But after seeing the Charles James exhibit, curves called... although I was ready to start a good old fashioned slice 'n dice drape session, something made me stop. August is the craziest month in all of Kalkatroona (like 86 birthdays, for real, ancestors got tres happy round Thanksgiving), and my brain was too full! I wanted to be told what to do.
Cynthia Rowley 1802 gave me my manifetso for the skirt, and Simplicity 0320 was the plank I walked for the bodice. A TNT pattern, it was heavily modified to get the look I wanted at the shoulder and back, which was also inspired by a giant of fashion, Christian Dior.
Christian on top and Charles on the bottom! SMELL ME.
But don't inhale too deeply. Yikes, some of those seams...one could almost say ham handedly modified. I definitely manhandled the bodice! Did I muslin? No. I used the “stitch, rip, repeat” method. You can see the silk was getting a little vexed with this decision on the front bodice. And either the dress is too tight in the back, or the just-off-the-shoulder-look meant I needed boning...
It fits comfortably enough for an evening of pizza though, so I’m not complaining!
Yes, the venue was birthday pizza, in a magical back garden of a Greenwich Village joint, and I felt splendidly overdressed. Ruggy, I soothed, I can always trim the magenta away if I want a less costume-y frock.
But I literally cackle every time I look down at this combo, so I do believe they’ll be mates for some time.
Have you ever heard taffeta move? Such a delicious rustle! It’s like a slightly hollered whisper, egging you on to shake and shimmy and sway…which we did, to some seriously stirring after-pizza blues.
No surprise, my guy treated me right. Mais, as a photographer, he is not so into the details, he’s a big picture kinda guy. But I do like his eye. Both of them, actually. So allow me to throw a few close ups into this picture heavy post, it is my birthday dress, after all...
This little bow is an extension of the shoulder hack-- fully lined and sussed out over a cocktail or two...
Three thousand inches of rolled, serged, topstitched edges, the topstitching done with a smile by my baller Pfaff, the serging done under threat of pain by the old Elna (which will only do wovens now). The dress is so insane, I didn't fret over the exposed serging. Having too much fun to fret.
This lining & invisible zip are actually neon coral pink in hue. My extremely old camera refuses to accept this fact.
This one was a joy to make, and that’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday dress..FUN! I find more and more that I truly only want to sew FUN things. And if wearing them out means going for pizza, hey, that only adds to the FUN.
Phew! I can hear the sound of that taffetta right now, sweet music! What’s the last thing you sewed purely for fun?
this birthday dress was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network. Thanks Mood!