My husband and I are big fans of Las Vegas--we were married there.
This year we are celebrating 20 years!
Have you ever been to the Rio? It is such a fun place with a Mardi Gras atmosphere, which I tried to duplicate here. Look up Rio Rita and you'll see my inspiration. She is even pictured on some of the casino chips!
I spent about 3 weeks drafting a pattern to designing my hat! What an undertaking, but I'm really pleased with the final results.
I did make a simple muslin of the dress to ensure a good fit before using my purchased fabrics. I definitely see the benefits of working with a muslin and also working slowly and checking fit with each new pattern piece addition.
To get started, I used this McCall's pattern to create my bodice sloper.
It was just a starting point, because as you can see, I had to cut the bodice at an angle on the bottom. The pattern is for wovens and utilizes a zipper at the center back too. Since my dress is made from a knit, I made a full back bodice piece with encased elastic at the top. I used a method I learned making many sundresses for my girls when they were little. I also lengthened the bodice straps so they could be tied instead of fastened at the neck back.
Below the bodice, I used nude mesh for the midsection. I laid my bodice piece on top of pattern paper and extended my dress design from there.
For the skirt, I measured my waist and hips and drafted a pattern that was widely curved at the hips and then narrowed it at the lower edge. I used the same piece for both front and back. Once those pieces were cut, I laid my skirt at the bottom of my mesh pattern piece to determine the angle I needed to cut at the skirt top.
After the side seams were sewn, I rounded the slit side edges. It's hard to see that with the ruffles in place, but this opened up the skirt more at the bottom and helped to give me a proper curve to attach the bottom ruffle to. All ruffles were sewn with long basting stitches and gathered by hand. That took a painfully long time.
For my hat, I cut off the bill of an old ball cap I had. Next, I covered it with the velour and sewed it to the edge of my ball cap. I did break one needle in the process when I was sewing through the Velcro.
Next, I hot glued the fruit to the top of the hat. I was careful not to over do it with the fruit because I didn't want a neck ache hauling around a heavy hat! The strawberries are incredibly light weight and were also a good way to hide the glue used to hold everything else in place. Then I used a rectangular-sized piece of velour to tie up and around my hat. It is a little bit of a balancing act with the fruit cap while getting everything snug and tightly tied. For ideas on how to tie a turban, I found plenty of you tube videos.
For my small sleeve, I measured my arm and cut a rectangular piece of velour, leaving extra to attach Velcro. Then I cut 2 of each color of my nylon spandex. I sewed each color set together and then inserted a shorter length piece of 1/4" elastic at the bottom seam between the fabrics. This gave it the poof I needed. However, it is one heavy little ruffle! I enclosed the outer seam with FOE.
For my long sleeve, I used a sleeve from a knit shirt pattern I have. Then I simply chopped off the top portion of it, made a couple straps, which I then attached to a key ring. I made one more strap to attach at the top of the key ring with a loop at the end. One of my bodice straps is then fed through this loop to keep my sleeve in place.
I used my Sihouette Cameo to cut out silver HTV for applique designs. I also glued jewels around the top front and back of my skirt, as well as the bottom front and back of my bodice.
My necklace is a strip of velour folded with edges turned to the inside and zig zag stitched down. Then I glued some jewels spaced one inch apart, fastening with a hook and eye at the back edge.
Dress: Purple Panne Velour
Neon nylon spandex and nude mesh
Jewels & fabric glue
Silver HTV for applique designs
Long Sleeve: Key ring, silver HTV for applique designs, silver sequins
Ruffle Sleeve: neon nylon spandex, 1/4" elastic, Velcro
Hat: Ball cap with bill removed
Apple, pear, banana, grapes & strawberries
Pink & Purple feathers
So now I have a great costume to wear and it would be perfect for any Mardi Gras celebration! I will get good use out of it and perhaps my girls may want to wear it one day when they are older.
Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley