Tag Archives: Costume Shop

The Bastille Day Dress

Spoiler alert: There is nothing French about this dress. Except that it is awesome. And France is, by and large, but for the not-so-latent racism, pretty awesome! I mean, on the one hand, a longstanding intolerance for all non-French people, on the other hand, WINE. So, that’s a toughie, am I right? But despite it all, I have to tell you, I like those cheese eating surrender monkeys, I do, I can’t help it, with their Gallic shrugs and their delicious bread and their belief that lung cancer is something that happens to other people. And so when my mother asked what our theme should be for our summer BBQ, and we discovered the best date was on the 14th of July, well, the choice was clear, Bastille Day, of course! Viva la resistance!


Ahem. Excuse me. Sometimes my rage about Les Miserables interferes with my life and my eyes get all black like I’ve been possessed by a demon, and I just hold the shift key down and let the world burn….okay, that’s it, move along, folks, nothing to see here.

So, where was I, Bastille Day BBQ! So given that I was going to be in Philadelphia anyway to watch a good friend change her name, my mother and I agreed that I might as well stick around to help cook and enjoy the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille together. I was like, a chance to cook a gigantic meal in a non-New York kitchen? Uh, yeah, I’m all in. And so we prepared a plethora of french-themed goodies and had a delightful time, or should I say, it was magnifique! Tre jolie! I would think of a third thing but I….don’t know any other words in French. It was fun, is the point, and I wore a new dress, because that’s how I roll. And it looks a little something like this!


Full disclosure, I’m aware that is a particularly blinding smile from someone who smiles deeply in general, but there had been wine, because, FRANCE, and also, it was a day ending in y…

Also there were mojitos. A very traditional french beverage…

This dress is, as you can see, awfully simple, which is part of why I love it. It’s McCalls 6744, a knit dress that can be both a tank or a wrap bodice. I clearly choose the tank option, but it was so easy to put together that I’m now eager to try the wrap as well. (P.S: The model on the pattern package is Angelina Jolie-ing SO hard with the leg thing, why is that still a thing? Discuss).

I like this pattern quite a bit, as no-frills as it is, because it really lets you highlight the fabric you use. This particular fabric was a gift from my supervisor Sam at the costume shop, and I will forever be grateful to her because, um, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FABRIC?


Don’t you love it? Even if you don’t love it, I don’t care, I love it. The print had a repeat so I thought a lot about how to cut it, but in the end I decided to place the repeat on the bodice and let the skirt but a little plainer (as if anything about these silver and blue feathers is plain…). The material is some kind of slinky slippery synthetic, rayon, maybe? I’m not actually sure, but it feels amazing on the skin and is pretty good in the heat. I wore this out to karaoke a week or so ago and I am, shall we say, an enthusiastic participant, and also in my mind I secretly believe it’s also dance-eoke, and the dress survived and kept me pretty cool, even during a rousing round of “Please Don’t Stop The Music” (not my choice, but I was happy to do back up vocals…)


It’s close to a racerback in the back, but not quite, which is good, because I hate constantly feeling like my bra is showing. Some people just seem so cool about that, but not me, oh no, I’ve never been cool a day in my life an I’m sure not starting now…

The bodice is designed to be a bit baggy, and I think it works because of the elastic stitched into the waist. The pattern has you just flip and stitch down the neck and armhole edges to finish them, which I did, but I don’t know how I feel about it, aesthetically. I mean, I guess it’s fine, it just feels a little lazy. Thoughts? TBDD 2

In my parents garden the thistles are in bloom, so I insisted my friend Ben (hi, Ben!) who is not only one of my oldest friends, but currently working for my parents, take my photo near them. I love thistles. In another life, I was totally Eeyore.


So pretty. See, at my parent’s house, everyone eats well, even the bees.


I know I did! So there we are, my Bastille Day Dress, which I will be wearing on many non-Bastille Days, because shut up France you don’t own me! I’m an ADULT!

In other news, I realize that I’ve made, like, 5 dresses in a row. I gotta make something else, people. This is getting silly.

Real talk? I probably wont, though…


Filed under Clothing, knit, McCalls Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 30, The East is East Dress

East is East is one of my favorite movies. AND my screenwriting teacher from the past semester, the incomparable Sabrina Dhawan, informed me that this is actually a play as well, which just blows my mind. But beyond that, I titled this dress with that name because this derives from the fabric my friend brought me from India. Really, he’s only my friend BECAUSE he bought me fabric. Yes, I’m a fabric prostitute, but with friendship. Fun fact, if you want me to like you as a human, just bring me some fabric. It’s really that easy. Oh, and be awesome. That helps too. But honestly, I can forgo the being awesome for the fabric, and will, nine times out of ten. So, you know, one or the other. Whatever works for you. OH. Or have a great dog, like, a really wonderful dog. No poodles. All bulldogs. Okay, so there are lots of ways to be friends with me. Honestly, if you show up with whiskey I’ll probably give you the time of day. I know, classy dame.

ANYway. The thing I made. It is a dress! And I adore it…

EIE 7The pattern is Simplicity 5355, a vintage pattern from 1964. It has gathers at the waist on the back and front bodice pieces which is a bit odd, but I’m okay with it. Initially I was a bit concerned about this fit, because I very much did not muslin it, because I am a degenerate, but it somehow worked out! It’s a little billowy, especially in the back, but it’s comfortable and I just belt it and go.

I actually made this for my Mad Men Challenge dress, and, like a fool, didn’t get around to photographing it until THREE DAYS AGO. Fail. Just, fail. It’s inspired by Megan’s outfits of the previous season, which I think were sort of Indian influenced:


b07bab9533f266f9d37ece000ca6e488Especially the second one. I’m not one to imitate Megan, because, um, I don’t exactly share her attributes, but I figured a sheath dress can work for both of us. Thoughts?

EIE 1I do so love this fabric, it’s an ikat and a bit darker then it seems in these yellowy indoor photos. I took these at work at the costume shop, because I really wanted to prove that I work in a costume shop, I was a bit worried that you might think it was all an elaborate ruse…I am so prone to ruses.

EIE 3I went for the sleeveless version. Obviously.

EIE 4A little semi-back view for you, or as my boss Sam, (hi, Sam!) says, the 3/4 view. THEATER. It’s the best. It’s got a word for everything. How nice is it that my boss took these? She is the best. Friday was my last day at the shop until August (and oh! In the Fall they are doing Ragtime and I made the majority of a corset last week, so I’m feeling like a boss, or at least an account manager of some time), and so I’ve got the summer off from the shop and then come August it’s chemises and bloomers and 1910’s stuff galore!

EIE 2The back view. I have nothing to say about this, except that I like it, and that I hope internet creepsters don’t find it.

EIE 5It wouldn’t be a blog if I didn’t share the moments in which I look like I’m having a seizure. And here is one of them…

I’m trying to think of any construction details that are worth mentioning. Really this was a very simple dress to make. I ommitted facings and lined the bodice in white cotton, and hand picked the back zipper like I always do, and there is a tiny kick pleat. Should I make this again, I would extend the kickpleat up the back of the skirt, because given that I am short and even the “short” version of the pattern which I shortened on the pattern piece seems to have been made for a gazelle, I kind of ate up the kickpleat shortening the skirt once I had assembled it. Sigh, it is my cross to bear…Other then that I think this one was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

EIE 6I’m doing the pigeon toe thing here. I always see it on fashion blogs and they look so elegant and guileless. I think I look like I’m about to fall. Oh, well…

And there you go! I have one more Me Made May post to go, a new outfit that deserves its own induvidual post, and then we are DONE. Thank goodness. I’m exhausted.


Filed under Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage