Friday, July 22, 2011

Night Blooming Peony:Shaheen-inspired Tiki glamour


So I should be working on my 16th century linen jacket for the Nor Cal Ren Faire. Am I? Of course not!

Next weekend is Costume College (hurray!) and the theme for the Gala this year is Creatures of Night. Suggestions were things like an Elizabethan bat, a late Victorian owl, that kind of thing. Do I already have anything that I could wear, since I really didn't want to make anything for CoCo this year? Well, sort of. I have a black 1920s dress that I probably could have done something with. But, eh...

But then I fell in love with Alfred Shaheen, or more precisely, with his Hawaiian sundresses from the 1950s. I luuuuuuuuuuuurrrves them! And I had to have one. And thus began my agony. You can find them on ebay and etsy, but they cost an arm and a leg and are almost universally made for very small women. I am not a very small woman.

Whirling Turban makes recreations of some of Shaheen's most popular styles and they'll make them in my size, but there we are back to the arm and leg factor. Sigh.

On ebay I found this gown being sold by Bombshell Betty.

If I was still the size I was in high school and had a spare $350 laying around, I would have been on this like ants on something sweet and sticky. The drape, the color, the circle skirt. Oh.My.God.

So, I'm making one. Of course I am. Because what else would I do? I'm working on a pattern to do the style like this

with the built in bullet bra, but that's going to take too long to perfect for this event.

So I'm using Vogue 1176. Easy to scale up and modify to include the shirred side panel, easy to fit, easy to change the skirt out for a circle. Hurray!

Here is the fabric I have to make it--a gorgeous cotton from the Alfred Shaheen line. Hard to tell, but it's accented with gold. Very glamorous! The fuschia is cotton sateen for the lining.

I'm gonna bone the hell out of the bodice (heh), add fun straps like on my inspiration dress, and TA DA! Night-blooming Peony! All in less than a week.