Shosanna’s “Killin’ Natzis’ Dress
Fabric: 5 yards wool crepe suiting in red
Pattern: McCalls M2401
Notions: Nothing but thread.
Time to complete: 4 hours.
First worn: Sunday for pictures.
Wear again? Probably not.
Total price: approximately $25.00
I know what you’re thinking…Cheryl, didn’t you say last week that you hate red? Yah, I did. And still do. For the most part. But my friends, this time it’s different. Because this time it’s the Oscars challenge and my movie inspiration was Inglorious Basterds (2009). This has got to be one of my top favorite modern movies of all time. Not only is it a great war movie with beautiful clothing throughout, it is a revisionist look at WWII where Hitler and the Nazi Party big-wigs meet their much earlier and twisted demise. It’s a Tarantino film all the way, and that means some pretty fabulous characters. I won’t shy away from saying that I wish I had me some Aldo Raine in real life. Mmmmmmm, Brad Pitt.
Anyways, I originally thought I would sew Bridget von Hammersmark’s fantastic suit since there is a vintage inspired pattern available. Then I wanted to make her movie premier dress that was so long and drapy and sparkly. Both were shaping up to take a lot of time and I knew that I might not have that time available. I was hemming and hawing over what I should do when I saw, Shosanna’s movie premier dress in all it’s red glory. That was it. Simple, fitted, long sleeves, and those wavy bits on the front that I learned later are called a peplum.
Since I didn’t really have a pattern for this one I decided to wing it (did I mention I was worried about time, hehe). I used the McCalls pattern for the basic structure and then just spent most of my Friday night thinking about how those peplum things worked. On Saturday morning I sewed a muslin (kind of) before I moved on to the red fabric and got things really moving. The McCalls pattern is super easy to put together so I didn’t bother with the instructions, I just went to work on the basic parts and then began to work out the best shape of my peplums. It was only after I had sewn the back pieces together wrong and finished their seems (eek!), picked out the seems and resewed things back together, that I realized my mistake. I never sewed the facings on in the first place. Inglorious Basterds! *shakes fist in the air* Luckily I had to take a break for a fancy night out with the man and some good friends at the Violet Hour. I drowned my sorrows in a handcrafted cocktail called a Tattooed Seaman. It was a great cure.
It wasn’t until Monday that I went back to work finishing the dress. Since my facings issue was virtually impossible to fix, I decided that bias tape was going to be the proper way to go. I didn’t have any ready-made bias tape that matched, so I tried my hand at making my own. I’m glad I did since it was easy and it really looks nice.
I got all dolled up: red lips, red nails, DIY hat with mesh–and made my way with J to the train with our local independent theater–The Davis–in mind for the destination. For fun, we took some pictures on the train and I am damn glad we did. J didn’t even make it to 15 pictures and the camera died. Inglorious Basterds! *shakes fist in the air again* We quick got off the train before it left the station and headed home. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the whole vision through, but in the end I learned a valuable lesson about making sure my camera is fully charged.
Ultimately I do not think I’ll wear this dress again in its current form. I had decided to only do two peplums and when looking at the pictures, I think that three would have been a better choice. I like the dropped waist, but I’m not shaped like a stick so my curves don’t really work with that style.
If When I remake this dress I am going to add another peplum at the natural waist line so that it will compliment my figure better. I will also probably install the zipper as well so that I can get a better fit and make it easier to get in and out of the dang thing.
And finally, folks, I am not ashamed to say…I think might I like red after all.