1950s | Dresses

Happy 40th Birthday to me!

May 9, 2014

If it’s May, then it’s my birthday!  If it’s my birthday, then it’s time for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival!

This year was a little extra special – it is my 40th birthday!  (My mother feels she’s too young to have a 40 year old child, but I reminded her that at 63, she’s still young, especially in spirit!)

The Burlesque Festival did not disappoint and neither did this popular pattern!

I used Butterick 4790, the reproduction pattern for the walk-away dress.  I had my heart set on a specific fabric, but couldn’t find the yardage I needed, at a price that was reasonable, that I could get my hands on in time.  Boo!

While I was sulking, I found a delightfully kitschy zombie print at http://www.canadiannationalfabric.com/ .  Not exactly what I wanted, but a fun 2nd place.

THEN, I stumbled upon http://www.hawthornethreads.com/ and found exactly what I wanted, for the price I wanted and shipping was reasonable and fast!   Michael Miller’s Atomic in Turquoise!

Love both choices, but my heart called for turquoise!

Full disclosure:  I made this dress for my friend a couple of years ago and already knew what kind of alterations I would need for myself.  The neckline on this dress isn’t as scooped as it looks in the picture, so I went ahead and dropped the neck about an inch and half.  I have narrow shoulders, so I narrowed the shoulders by half an inch.  I purposely made this dress a size smaller, as I planned to wear a waist cincher.  I’m also 5’2″, so I brought up the hem by two inches.  Instead of a button and loop to close the back, I used elastic tabs and snaps – much more comfortable! I also used two inch horsehair braid for the hem of the full skirt.  It’s worth the extra time!

I had heard the complaints about the skirt flying up, so I decided to wear a vintage slip, and lucky for me, I had one in coral that matched the fabric!

Oh la la la!

I was rushing around and didn’t get very many post-able pictures, but here’s one that shows the full length view.  I was stopped a couple of times and asked where I purchased my dress!  I was also asked if I was one of the performers.  Those ladies are always so pulled together and elegant, I was pleased to be mistaken for one of them!

Awkward blocking the stairs pose in the theatre.

Here’s an extra picture of me and my friend being silly before the rest of the girls showed up!  Happy 40th to me!

Cheeky selfie!
  1. That may be the best walkaway I’ve ever seen, and the way your hair co-ordinates with the color is the icing on the cake!

    1. Thanks Sandra, that’s really kind of you. I had planned to wear a different wig, but didn’t like it. I had forgotten I had just purchased this wig and that it would go! Happy day.

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