The Feliz Cumplieanos Dress!

It deserves an exclamation point, it’s such a big deal. So, my birthday is ACTUALLY tomorrow, but because I figured no one would be up for a wild time on a Tuesday (or maybe they would, I don’t know, I tend to spend my Tuesdays watching Buffy and sewing, but hey, if you guys are going to raves could you please call me so I can…not go to the rave with you? Thanks, appreciate it.), so I decided to throw myself a birthday party this past Saturday. But it wasn’t going to be just any party, oh, no, that’s amateur hour, no, I went theme. And the theme was? Well, I turn 26 tomorrow so OBVIOUSLY my theme was Feliz Quinceanera! DUH!

For those of you who are not/don’t know any 15 year old Mexican girls, a quinceanera is, as the name would suggest, a lavish 15th birthday party. Like a Bat Mitzvah (which I of course had, and my portion was the song of Moses, and I wore all black and almost gave my grandmother an aneurism, it was pretty cool), or a Sweet Sixteen Party (which I did not have, but I did go to some of them, at country clubs, which I’m surprised let me in, because, well, I will refer you to the earlier information about my BAT MITZVAH), a quinceanera or quince, as the kids say, is, like all parties given to young women, pretty much an indication that the lady is, er, open for business as it were, at least, the business of marriage. And so the young lady wears a bright pink dress, gets thrown around a dance floor, and everyone can see what a good wife she is going to make. Side note, in view of all the events the world over that show society that a woman is ready for marriage, from debutante balls to coming out parties (I’m referencing the Regency, not the closet, fyi)  I think it’s very funny/horrible that historically these events ended in women marrying men who were much older/total strangers/marrying them directly for their dowries, but hey, at least you get a get a great party first!

But I live in the 21st century and I’m a feminist and also, I’m an adult,  so I threw myself my own damn quinceanera at a bar half a block away from my apartment (read, within stumbling distance). It was really wonderful, and lots of fantastic people who I have somehow deceived into spending time with me showed up and bought me far too many drinks and for whatever perfect Kismet reason there was a taco stand IN THE BAR, from the fantastic and deeply friendly B’klyn Burro, a trio of lovely men who make divine food. They made me a special birthday taco! What the WHAT!? Check them out if you are in New York, they operate primarily out of my least favorite part of Brooklyn (i.e. Williamsburg) but don’t hold that against them.  So I believe a good time was had by all, but especially by me, because you only turn 15 twice.

And while I of course received many respectable marriage proposals as a result, I think I’m going to stick with my one true love for now:

FC 15

He wasn’t invited. He’s still pretty mad about it.

Enough of this chit-chat, onto the CLOTHING. For my quinceanera dress, I was torn. I could have gone the more accurate hella pink shiny where-taffeta-goes-to-die route, OR I could make something I might actually wear again someday. Which did I go with? You be the judge:

FC 1Yeah, I went wearable. And I have to say, I don’t regret it, cultural accuracy be damned (and, I mean, I’m a half-Puerto Rican girl throwing myself a Mexican teenager’s birthday party, what the hell am I trying to prove?). This may be more of a hipster quinceanera dress, but why should we deny Mexicans the right to be hipster? I mean, that would be really prejudiced, you know? I don’t want that sort of narrow-minded thinking at my quinceanera, thank you very much.

FC 2I used my bodice block again, man do I love that pattern! Liz, you have my eternal love (well, you always did, really…) and added a half-circle skirt. I had actually wanted a full circle skirt and instead of just drafting it like a normal person I used a pattern I had in my stash, a vintage Vogue 8199, which for whatever reason I assumed was a full circle. BUT IT’S NOT. Ah, well. Still good, no?

FC 3

A little back view for you, with my attempt at appearing coy. I hand picked the zipper, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the fit of this dress.Well, the neckline sags a bit, and I really don’t know why, but c’est la vie. Any ideas? I can totally live with it but for the future I would prefer to eliminate that aspect…

I tried to blow out my hair, because nothing makes me look more like a telemundo newscaster then straightened hair, but it was, shall we say, not cold on Saturday and my blow out lasted approximately 30 minutes in the humidity of July in New York. And if I was the kind of person who cared about that kind of thing, this is what I would look like:

FC 11Life is SO HARD. Like, I can’t even deal with how hard my life is. If my hair wont stay straight what is the point of anything?

FC 6I’m just kidding! Back to the dress. It’s got pockets! Because why make your own clothing if you aren’t going to try to make pockets a part of as much as possible?

FC 10I legitimately don’t know. How baller is this tiara? I got it at Claire’s. REMEMBER CLAIRE’S? I hadn’t been there in years, not since I valued sparkles more than, well, anything else. But I wanted a tiara (because it’s my quinceanera DUH!) and I also ended up getting those sweet enormous hoops you see on my ears (NOT EVEN THE BIGGEST IN THE STORE.) and glitter tattoos for the people who ended up at my get together, and oh my, is that place a special one or what? The next time I need literally anything with One Direction’s faces on it, I know where to go! There were a lot of tiaras, I’m not going to lie to you, but I feel like I made the right choice.

FC 8At some point in the evening my cousin Elyse wanted to take my tiara and I threatened to cut her face off. It was pretty special.

FC 13DON’T TRY TO TAKE MY TIARA, OKAY?

FC 5Oh, how I crack myself up. The dress, the dress, what else is there to say. Oh, the fabric is from a flat sheet set I bought last year. I actually make a set of pajamas out of one of the sheets, and then I made this, and I still have some material left! Sheets are the best, so much material! I’m sure it’s a cotton-poly blend of some kind, it’s pretty lightweight and breathable. I lined the bodice but didn’t bother with the skirt. I hand stitched the hem, like you do. As I look at these photos I realize that some more ironing should have happened but whatever, I’M AN ADULT!

The shoes, which I don’t normally talk about but these are actually cute, are Chelsea Crew from ModCloth.

FC 12In a pink sparkly tiara. At a fake quinceanera. Because if that’s not adulthood I just don’t know what is.

So there you go, my rather vintage flavored quinceanera dress, appropriate for drinking ALL the wine and eating ALL the tacos. Thank you, everyone who came to my gathering (and to the very kind people at Bar Sepia who allowed us to invade their bar and give them the contents of our wallets) and helped me celebrate my 15th birthday as a Mexican teenager. Oh, and special thanks to my friend Anna, who took me out to dinner AND took these photos!

FC 14And thank you all for reading! May your birthdays, whether they are soon or a ways away, be as enjoyable as mine.

FC 4And may you love your garments as much as I love this! I kind of can’t wait to wear it again, actually. Then every day can be my quinceanera! Dios Mio. Que Bueno!

26 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Fabric, Sewing, Vintage

26 responses to “The Feliz Cumplieanos Dress!

  1. THANKS FOR THE INVITATION TO YOUR PARTY. I don’t feel left out AT ALL. Because, I mean, I’m sure it was FILLED with internet friends that you’ve never met in real life.

    Anyways. Ahem. The dress is FABULOUS! I love love love love LOVE it– it’s just so pretty and fun! And your tiara is fabulous as well! I bet you felt like a mo-fudgin’ princess in it!

  2. well – that’s one freaking amazing dress, lady! and happy birthday to you!

  3. Happy Birthday!!! 26? I remember I was 26 once… what a sweet age.. sigh..
    Lovely dress! I wish I had a sheet with such a pretty print..

  4. Happy Birthday!! :) I might steal your idea and have a quinceanera for my next birthday just so I can make a mega pink dress

  5. Sue

    LOVE the dress! I turn 26 in 10 days!! Yikes, adulthood.

  6. So, so pretty! You should definitely wear this one a lot! Happy birthday!

  7. Yaaaay birthday! Love the bedsheet dress, and the fact that you threw yourself a quince!! And oh, yes, Claire’s…I remember how sparkly it all was.

  8. This is all kinds of epic! The perfect frock- with pockets!
    And I had never heard of a quince before- I must gooole this STAT!

  9. Happy Birthday! You look beautiful in your birthday dress. What a perfect summer dress – love the big roses and the pockets. Always enjoy seeing what you sew, your witty writing, and your joyful photos. Have a great year!

  10. I’m not going to lie, I thought your hair looked quite lovely and Kate Middleton-esque! Adore the theme, and the pink sparkly tiara is perfect (At 25 I have decided to reclaim all that I loved as a child, so I’m with you on this way of thinking. Oh yes, pink and sparkles and my little pony, love it!).

  11. happy birthday! you and your dress are gorgeous! and i cannot say enough about the awesomeness of sheets for yardage. and the shoes? perfecto!

  12. Soooo purty. The perfect birthday dress and birthday tiara. Glad you had a i!i! fabulous fiesta !i!i

  13. Happy birthday! That is one awesome tiara, and an awesome dress! It looks so great on you…I am a little sad that you didn’t make a shiny pink fluffy dress, but hey, this works too :)

  14. I’m so late to this, but happy birthday!! I love your birthday dress, I cannot even believe that was a sheet in a former life (wait, yes I can. Some beds get all the good fabrics, at least in the first go-round).

    Also, I’m secretly glad your hair refused to be straight because GIRL why would you blow it out when you have such majestic curls?! My limp, straight, sad hair is weeping in envy right now.

  15. I have to confess that I have been lurking around your blog for a little while, but I just love reading what you write! You are adorable and hilarious, and this dress is lovely. And happy birthday, a bit late! :-)

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