Friday, October 1, 2010

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a .....beaver dwelling*"


It all started for me when I was young. My mom made amazing costumes. We were clowns, witches, faries and  princesses. We used to fight over who got to be the gypsy and carry Dad's heavy glitter glass round paperweight around like a crystal ball. An even bigger prize was when Mom would let us wear some of her costume jewelry. It was the seventies, and it was amazing.

And then I grew up and a terrible thing happened.

I was 14 and I wanted to be a southern belle for the church Halloween party for the youth. Wanted a hoop skirt & hat, big sleeves, the works (big sleeves because suddenly it was 1980 and Gunne Sax had taken the fashion world by storm). I wanted epic.

Here's what I got:

Yeah, you're right. Instead of looking like the amazing Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind, I looked like a frumpy polygamist wife. "What a cute pioneer costume!" I wanted to kick someone. But I couldn't. My mom had put a lot of time and effort into it, and I couldn't 'dis her at all. I think it was just a poor choice of fabric. My choice, actually. Much too calico. And not a hoop skirt to be found.

Ever since, I have gone a bit....overboard. If I'm trying for Scarlett O'Hara, I watch and rewind and take notes and re-watch and sketch until I get the details right. And I shop and shop -- fabrics are important (they don't have to be expensive -- when making costumes for small children buying a velour bathrobe from the thrift store nets you enough "velvet" for a small person costume - more on this in a later post). And instead of "frumpy pioneer woman" I get this:

Melanie's Ugly Gray Dress

Ashley's annoying sister

Behold Screamapillar and her friend as Scarlett and Melanie. Scarlett in the legendary drapery dress. And for those of you who are true disciples of the film, I had to cheat. Melanie never wore anything cute except that bonnet (I had to leave the lace out because little peep thought it was itchy). She was always wearing ugly dull colors and looked like a frump. I watched that movie so many times looking for something non-ugg on her. No dice. So I made India Wilkes' picnic dress instead. Much better. Melanie deserved better clothes. So I stole them from India for her. And yes, I made authentic hoop skirts for three-year-olds. Epic.

The Freedom Festival Baby Contest used to have a different theme every year, this year was "Stars of the Silver Screen." We won costume division for their age group and got to ride on a stagecoach in the Grand Parade. It was fun. I also made another "Star" costume which I will share tomorrow. Stay tuned....

*quotes have been altered to reflect the preferred swears of the blogger.


dalene said...

I feel your Jessica McClintock pain. Boy do I.

Aubrey said...

One of my favorite posts. Your costume skills are just one of the reasons that you are amazing. Can't wait to see your October posts. You might have inspired me to go get my cute Halloween decorations up!

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Diane said...

OMGosh, what gorgeous Southern Belles Ü Congrats on winning the contest. I'm not surprised. Those dresses are adorable.

My blog is named after Aunt Pittypat on Gone With The Wind, lol.