The “For Mena” Outfit
Fabric: Purple satin dress bought once in a sale but never worn, 2yds ribbon embroidery net $15.98, purple faux fur offcut $2, burgundy velvet curtain from Goodwill thrift store $2.99 (only part used….rest coming next week),
Patterns: Self drafted.
Notions: Sequinned applique $1.99, 3 burgundy feathers $2.97.
Time to complete: 9 hours
First worn: May 27th 2012
Wear again? Possibly to justify the cost Total Cost: $25.93
The challenge: “Viva Las Vegas: Something inspired by Vegas in some way”.
I’m not going to say much this week, because I’d rather you spent your time watching Mena’s speech at Big Omaha if you haven’t already. Yes, it’s about 45 minutes, but trust me….watch it all the way through to the end, it’s worth it and it will give you a greater appreciation of what Mena Trott has given the sewing community and all of us who love sewing.
I had no idea what to make until Friday. I’d done a Viva Las Vegas Elvis shirt dress for the City/Local Colour challenge….and I’d done a rat pack look for the Circle Skirt challenge. I thought about doing a showgirl type thing…..I had 2 yds of ribbon embroidered purple net, some purple faux fur, some purple appliques….and a purple corset that I’ve been meaning to work into a burlesque costume for some years. But I decided against that because I didn’t want to rush this and not do it justice to be used on stage.
But I also had a purple satin dress I bought ridiculously cheap in a closing down sale about a decade ago but have never worn because I couldn’t handle the way it creases just under my belly. I thought I could make it something I’d possibly wear if I sewed the ribbon embroidered net to it as an overlay (especially as that’s really on trend at the moment).
So that’s what I did.
I’ll let you decide whether I’m a lady just off to blow all her money on the blackjack or something more Vegas-seedy ;)
I also made a purple stole from a faux fur offcut, lined with some burgundy velvet from a curtain I bought from Goodwill thrift store/charity shop ready for next week’s challenge. This was my big learning experience of the week – learning how to cut faux fur from the back with a razor blade and then easing it apart so as not to have it molt everywhere; basting it carefully first to prevent wobbly stitching later, and sewing it with long stitches so the trapped fur can be tweezed back through to the right side.
The burgundy serendipitiously matches some velvet gloves I already have. AND I had some similarly coloured ostrich feathers I’d bought a while back when I was trying to unsuccessfully find purple ones. So I sewed these together and glued them to a purple sequinned applique. I glued two metal hair clips to this and made a make-do fascinator. Oooh, and I sewed a burgundy tassel onto the zip as a spinster’s helper.
And that’s the story of this week’s outfit.
And the eagle fountain was the nearest I could get to the Bellagio’s…
Now go watch Mena’s speech….my outfit is dedicated to her, without her getting out of bed each morning I wouldn’t be improving my sewing skills and wardrobe each week, I wouldn’t be learning tons of new things about fashion and history each week, I wouldn’t be stretching my creative brain each week, I wouldn’t be getting tons of inspiration from the other sewers who post here each week and I wouldn’t be making friends with you lot each week. As someone with cyclothymia who intimately knows the difficulties of getting up in the morning and carrying on when all you want to do is hide in a darkened room (and worse), I have the upmost respect for you. Thank you Mena!