The “I Wish I Were a Ballerina” Dress
When I was a kid my mom bought me a tutu and matching bodice when the local ballet theater had a costume sale. The top was pink water-stained taffeta with a big fake rose right in the middle. The skirt had layers and layers of pink tulle and another fake rose at the waist. I think it goes without saying, that little-girl-me was enamored. I wore the outfit for Halloween that year, but would (when I thought no one else was around) put on my taffeta and tulle and a record and dance around the living room of my parents’ house. I have very distinct memories of jumping and twirling off the brick fireplace to the crackly 33 1/3 rotation of The Nutcracker Suite.
Alas, I never took dance, (My folks were more instrument type people.) which is a shame since I grew to be a six footer, and I really think the training in coordination and balance would have helped me out. Nevertheless, I still do daydream about high kicks and pirouettes . . . and also shuffling off to Buffalo, but that’s another dress.
Granted this dress is red. I am just not so much into pink anymore. But, the combination of the sheer fabric and fullness of the skirt at the hem sort of took me back. The cut of this dress and the way it draped made me feel like I used to when I would dress up. I like the way the fabric lightly tickled my knees. I don’t think grown-up dresses do a lot of knee-tickling.
So . . . I may, or may not, have had the house to myself this past weekend. There may, or may not, have been an obliging fireplace. And I may, or may not, have done some twirling.
- Fabric: Red (cranberry?) chiffon, probably synthetic, which someone gave me. Satin for the lining.
- Pattern: Vogue 8615. I was going to go real risque and make the whole dress sheer and wear it over a slip or something. I got a little shy, so underlined and lined the bodice and added a loose-fitting straight skirt to line the chiffon full skirt. I have been wanting to try this pattern for quite a while. With a stiffer fabric, I think it would be a totally different dress. I want to try it again. Next time I will remember to add length to the waist.
- Year: 2009
- Notions: Zipper and thread. The latter of which I ran out of, so some of my hand stitching is done in a non-matching true red. Embarassing!
- Time to complete: About 10 hours. Hemming the sheer skirt by hand took forever. Felt like it anyway.
- First worn: Just for photos so far. I need more fancy parties to go to.
- Wear again? I think I will.
- Total price: zipper – $2 + on sale satin – $9.73 = $11.73
I originally started working on this dress because I had the red fabric in my stash and wanted to try out a new pattern. When it all came together, I thought it looked like a 1970s bridesmaid’s dress. (I know it’s probably the bow, but I like bows! OK?) It wasn’t until I put on the finished product that I thought it was actually cute. Sure, maybe slightly juvenile and very modest, but still cute.