The Barrymore Ballerina Dress

Remember all the fall sewing I was going to do? Well, I’m still working on the very first of the 6 pieces. Yeah. Live really gets int the way sometimes, doesn’t it? But don’t judge me too harshly. You see, I had the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and because I promised people who kickstarted me handmade tote bags, I find myself in the untenable position of having to actually made the damn things. So a lot of my sewing time has been spent make tote bag after tote bag and feeling deep sympathy for industrial seamstresses. But I’m almost done my purple wool skirt, and I will have that thing up and running (with a great deal of commentary, for a simple skirt this guy has been a BITCH) soon.

But until then, you will have to content yourselves with the OTHER thing that has eaten into my Fall Palette Challenge, and that is my dress for the Barrymore Awards! The Barrymore Awards, for those of you not living in the Tri-State area, are Philadelphia’s Theater Awards. Named for the Barrymores, American Theatrical Royalty, they come but once a year and this was my first time attending. They are kind of like Prom for grown up actors (read: children) and artists of the performance variety, and everyone gets dressed up and boozed up and, after the ceremony, parties the night away as alone artists can (read: chain smoking, drinking, eating everything in sight and dance fighting). As a serious writer with a full time job at a nominated company, my first thought was obviously, what am I going to wear?  Now, for many people this event might have meant a trip to the mall and a tearful breakdown in a Macy’s dressing room, but I sew, folks, if you hadn’t noticed, so I obviously decided to make myself something pretty. Did I succeed? You be the judge of that:

As my mother said, it’s very “pretty pretty princess”. And you know what? If I can’t be a pretty pretty princess at Theater Prom, then when the hell can I?

The pattern is BurdaStyle 10/2010 Full Dress with Cut Out Bustline . Because it was BurdaStyle it of course meant that the instructions where less then useless, but what can you do? I used 1/2 inch seam allowance and put it together through logic, rather then trying to follow their insane directions. I hand picked the zipper, and I couldn’t really understand the skirt instructions so I just sort of made it up as I went along, and I’m fairly thrilled with the result, I have to tell you!

I told literally anyone who would listen (and several people who probably really didn’t want to listen) that I made this thing. What can I say? You can’t honestly be subtle in bubblegum pink. The material is taffeta, and the bodice is lined. I was going to line the skirt, but taffeta is so stiff and swishy anyway, and the furthest thing from opaque, so I didn’t really feel like I needed to do so. Taffeta may scream “bridesmaid” to many, but I can honestly say I like working with it, it’s stiff and doesn’t slide, and it looks a lot richer then it actually is, and you can’t beat the variety of colors, at least, on Fabric Row!

My lovely and talented friend Victoria, who took most of these photos, felt strongly that I should be twirling. So here it is, my twirl. Drink it in.

However, the glamor shot of the night was by my friend Emilie. Thank you, ladies (both of whom looked AMAZING on this particular evening) for the patience and the excellent photography! And that you to everyone who pretended to care that I made my own dress! And thank you, Barrymore Awards, because we won one! Ah, Theater Prom. Some much better then real Prom, because the drinks are legal, and the guys are openly gay.

That’s enough of that. Back to all the other things I wanted to make!

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3 Comments

Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Sewing

3 responses to “The Barrymore Ballerina Dress

  1. I totally agree – if you can’t be pretty pretty princess at Theater Prom, well, then, there’s something wrong. I wish we had events to get dressed up for. But considering the fact that the vast majority of my co-workers look dressed up when they decide to wear a new t-shirt and new jeans, I will have to keep dreaming…

  2. Pingback: Not Only Is It 2012, But It’s Also Almost My One Year Blogiversery! | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

  3. Can you believe that just thinking to make this frock now, but I think I’ll substitute with a straight skirt. Your version looks great and I hope you got many wears out of it.

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