Monday, August 1, 2016

Sew What?! A Shimmering '60s Minidress???

How often does it happen that you start out with every intention of creating a shimmering, '60s minidress...

Only to end up - after hours of sewing and hand-finishing - with Jane Jetson's housecoat?

Sorry, George...

It probably didn't help that this Mr. Tiny Original was made out of a lightweight upholstery fabric featuring alternating stripes of purple and gold lamé (recognizable from Mary's red Happy Holiday Frock); the metallic fabric sewn into a Star Trekian v-shaped yoke only added to the mid-century, space-age sensibility. 

Yes, Mary was fated to look like a dress-extra from that lesser known sci-fi masterpiece, Mars Needs Matrons.  

I really should have seen this one coming.

As I don't often sew in shades of violet, I was devoid of an appropriate lining
material.  In typical cheapskate make-do fashion, I dove into my stash of remnants,
emerging with this piece of Marimekko's beautiful Tulipunainen print (1960). 

Brainstorming for a way to elevate the humble housecoatery of my creation, I returned to the sewing machine and made a matching pair of fully-lined dance pants.  

Dance pants or decorative diaper cover?  You be the judge.

It was only then I realized that, when paired with the brevity of the hemline, the briefs only served to make the dress look like a '60s babydoll nightie.  Undeterred, Mary took the dress out for its first spin last year at Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap at Downtown LA's Regent Theater.  So busy dancing were we that, of course, we photo'd not a single op.

Fortunately, representatives from LA Weekly were on hand to catch Mary "Tighten Up."

Truly, the only pictures we have come courtesy of the Weekly's Lena Lecaro.

Languishing among the racks of barely-worn Mr. Tiny creations, this dress came to mind when Mary was deciding on potential outfits for the Brian Wilson "Pet Sounds" concert we attended over the weekend.  As the event was the highlight of California's Mid-State Fair (and the lives of these two California kids), we attempted to make the most of our surroundings by making our way to the midway! 

Armed with only our phones, we did our best to
capture the ambient light provided by the rides.

In honor of the wheel, we call this dress "Bueller."
(brought to you by Spacely's Space Sprockets).

Mary swings with...well, swings!

My favorite ride has always been the carnival swings.
I love the feeling of flying amongst the romantic portraits 
of all those lovely ladies painted on the canopy.

Details of the dress are few in these photos but one is certainly evident.
Like all women who wear dresses, Mary was particularly pleased with the pockets!!!

This dress marks the millionth time I have kidded Mary for rarely/never wearing the clothes I make for her.  After two nights out on the town, I tell myself that I am allowed to count this dress among my successes.  Without any resentment, I am satisfied if the future of this frock is relegated to becoming the futuristic housecoat it was always meant to be...I guess "[It] Just Wasn't Made for These Times."

"I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" - The Beach Boys (1966)


Mr. Tiny


  1. I'm not sure, but from the tiny viewing area on my phone this dress and her style and 'tude, of course, are wonderful!

    1. Thank you! Her 'tude would be evident through even the tiniest viewing area. Hahaha!!! Thanks again.

  2. I could have sworn I'd seen that dress on Ann-Margret in "Made in Paris." You're another Helen Rose!

    1. Thanks, Peter! Now I know what movie I need to watch next; I've never seen "Made in Paris!"

  3. it is looks so cute! i love those little bloomers. I have to decide what to see the night I get to see Brian Wilson perform this fall. My first dress making foray was a success, so maybe I can repeat it! Or maybe I can go see Brian Wilson dressed as Spock. Hmmmmm

    1. Thanks, Rae! If your Brian Wilson experience is anything like ours, you will be among a sea of wine-drunk seniors in aloha shirts - you'll look super cool whatever you wear! Hahaha!!!

  4. I really love it!!! And I also LOVE your model, what a beautiful way to dance :-)

    1. Merci bien! Does it sound like I'm bragging if I say that I dressed her AND taught her everything she knows about dancing?!! Hahaha!!!