Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wham Bam Thank You, Glam!

Any excuse to wear a tiara.
Dear reader, by now I'm sure you know that I prefer the comfort of a pair of broken-in blue jeans and nothing else to most garments out there. Yes, I make my own costumes, but I take them off to entertain people. I'm freckled and I have windblown, sun streaked hair. I'll roll into the same "not leaving the house" clothes for several days in a row. I'm not a glamour puss. I hate buying shoes.

The big problem is that my wardrobe is lacking in the glam department, and part of my job is being fancy (i.e., looking fancy before and after some fancy shows, going to events as a Person Who Must Look Fancy). Another problem is that I have to look fancy out of a suitcase. Merch and costumes are more important to me than fitting in yet another stupid pair of shoes and appropriate foundations for an outfit I'm not taking off to entertain people. I don't want to have to press and hang and dry clean another thing. (Most of my dresses are wash & wear or day dresses that I've made. Low maintenance. That's me.)

Despite all protestations, the casual girl is required to be a Person Who Must Look Fancy from time to time. Instead of making yet another cute day dress that shows too much cleavage to double as day job wear, I made a gown. It was a simple gown, a Very Easy Vogue pattern that I tackled within five hours. I made it out of spandex because I can wash it on the road and it will dry quickly. (If I work in a smoky club and wear it out the door, it can dry in the shower overnight.) It also won't wrinkle. Low maintenance; that's what I want. It's not terribly supportive in the chest department, but it covers everything.

There is one more thing I absolutely love about spandex, and that's the fact you don't have to hand or machine hem it. Glorious heat and bond does the trick.  I used this on my dress for the Pas de Deux and it's still holding strong. Test it on a scrap of your fabric before using it for a hem. It's incredible. I used a little to tack down the lining in the front and the back because I'm so bad at dressing myself I would probably walk around with it pulled slightly out.

I highly recommend this pattern. It's Very Easy Vogue V8358. Suggested fabrics are silk jersey, stretch velvet, and matte jersey. (I'm a renegade with my spandex.) The important thing is that your fabric has some stretch and drapes nicely. It took me about four hours to make this dress, and I added fancy topstitching to make it look commercially produced.

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