Using an adapted version of McCalls M8037 I give you my 2024 Birthday Gown. Sewn with a stretch mesh sequin fabric and lined with interlock, I used the bodice from View B and the skirt from View C. The alterations I made were to lengthen the skirt and train, lengthen the sleeves, omit the tie belt, and add a full lining with facings around the neckline and hem; with a full facing covering the entire underside of the train. I would have lengthened the bodice too, but it slipped my mind completely. I didn’t notice until I attached the skirt to the bodice. I have enough fabric to recut it, but I don’t think it’s a bad fit, though I’d have preferred it longer. I’ll write a more comprehensive review of the pattern for a later post. The stole is a simple rectangle cut curved at each end. I almost went without it but I’m glad I didn’t. I ended up needing it in the 40F° night. It’s faux fur meant to imitate fox fur and it’s ridiculously soft. I ordered more than I needed and am contemplating making a jacket out of the remaining bit.
Even though it wasn’t part of my original vision, for now, I’m reveling in a job well done and ahead of schedule by four days. This gown is something I have been wanting to make for a while and it turned out to be absolutely perfect for this birthday: I had dinner with friends and afterwards headed to a burlesque and vaudeville show. After the show I was invited on stage by performers Rosie Lipps, an absolutely wonderful burlesque performer, and Hazel Von Houston, a true drag diva, who said, “You can’t be in that dress and not get on this stage!” I was able to offer them my appreciation for their performances and got a snapshot with Rosie, which is the only full length shot I have so far of me in this dress.
Later, after a round of shots bought by a group of friendly strangers at a bar nearby, we ended up at 24 hour cafe to eat cake and revel the night away. One of the staff came to the table to tell me especially that I looked like a golden mermaid from heaven. The best compliment of the night!
I had a beautiful night and I almost can’t ask for more. But I will. I’m thinking of using the techniques I’ve been studying for my initial design process of this gown for my 2024 Half-Birthday Gown! I’ve never done a half birthday gown, but there’s a first time for everything. I don’t need an excuse to wear a pretty dress, but I’ll make one up if I have to.
Now, that the birthday gown is done, I’ll be getting back to completing Round I of my Fabric Stash Challenge and working on some furniture projects – more on that very soon!