Monday, March 7, 2011

Call me Scarlett

Yes, that one, from the book, and then the movie.  Scarlett O'Hara, who pulled those green velvet drapes down from the wall.  Somehow she fashioned a gorgeous gown from those curtains because she needed to impress.  Not that it worked.  But maybe she was one of our original reuse-repurpose-recycle fashionistas.  

Brown dress front

A friend who redecorated recently gave me their old curtains, and I thought I could use them to try out a dress design I was working on.   The fabric is a faux silk-duppioni, I am sure polyester, but it had a lining which I incorporated as the dress underlining.
I almost wish I could find more of this fabric as it has a very nice sheen, and a really rich warm brown color, not to mention that it presses perfectly.  

Back to Scarlett - Do you remember the first time you saw that movie?   
When I was around 14 it played in a local theater, decades after its original theatrical release in1939.  What a great way to spend an afternoon, just me and mom and 4 hours (plus intermission) of tears, drama, the sweep of history as only Hollywood can tell it.  However my lasting memory is not so much the story or the characters, but the dresses!
The garden party dress, the black mourning dress, the red velvet and tulle dress.  Amazing costuming on all the characters and how great to see in technicolor on the big screen.
I remember being fascinated by hoop skirts, which also featured in movie versions of Little Women, another novel I read at that impressionable age.  At the risk of alienating some readers, do you think Twilight compares?  From what I have seen, the costumes certainly don't.  I love to watch old movies for the clothes, in particular the 30's and 40's where they did amazing things with bias cut fabrics.

I would love to hear what is your favorite movie based on the costumes, and why?
Most of those Katherine Hepburn movies have great dresses, of course Roman Holiday and Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn are fashion all the way.  I can't think of any newer ones but as soon as I post this I probably will come up with a bunch.

I cannot resist some embellishment, so here is a bias fabric rose which can be pinned on or not.  There are a lot of tutorials on how to make many different versions of fabric roses, I follow an article from Threads Magazine Apr/May 2009 issue.  (which does not seem to be available on their website, I checked)
Brown flower

This muslin turned out to be entirely wearable  :)    so I think it will go in my Etsy shop.

pink camellia

Here is today's SunnyGal Garden photo, 

the camellias are in full bloom right now.
Beautiful but messy when the flowers drop.
I have 6 different ones, all in shades of pink and red.  But not a white one, which was a favorite of Coco Chanel.   
Although I do have an empty space next in the back corner of the yard. . . . . 


  1. The dress and fabric rose are gorgeous. Camellias remind me of the two years I spent in S.C. as a child. We had to walk through a very old cemetery to be picked up after school and we would always pick the camellias growing there for our mom.

  2. I really like the armseye detail on the new dress. Hope it proves successful for you.

    I too love watching/listening to old movies for inspiration. The witty dialog keeps me company in my sewing studio, which is less then sunny-lol
    A favorite is: The Philidelphia Story. I think my love of organza comes from her wedding dress.

    thanks for the picture of Camillia...sigh. Love those flowers and glossy leaves. Here in Wisconsin we are still buried under a few inches of snow, simply desperate for some signs of spring, so thanks for providing a ray of hope.

  3. Your curtain dress is wonderful! Who would know? I loved Mammie's red petticoat in GWTW! Rhett was such a bad boy for buying it for her, and yet she wore it, and it changed her mind about him. Goes to show you what a frill will do for a gal!

  4. I love the dress! And your flower is beautiful. It's very rainy here in the NW, so nothing is blooming yet.

  5. Your dress is stunning! I could almost be converted to liking the colour brown after seeing it ;)
    Truly beautiful.

  6. It's hard to believe that your beautiful dress was once a pair of curtains! The fabric rose is a perfect touch.

  7. This dress is just gorgeous! I love the feminine soft pleating at the front of the skirt, offset nicely by the smooth bodice front.
    Hmmm, modern day movies don't offer so much in terms of fashion inspiration. I'm like you and get inspired by high end fashion...and actually the Oscars are better for that sort of thing... yes, I heartily agreed with you about Cate Blanchett's gown. Divine!
    I think modern day movies often reflect a more quietly sophisticated wearable aesthetic. I remember a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, married to a much older Michael Douglas (can't remember its name, but I think she was plotting to kill him) and I drooled over her wardrobe the entire movie. Same for her wardrobe in Sliding Doors. And MIchelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. All quietly glamourous but everyday wear.
    I agree with you about Twilight. I'm guessing either the actors didn't change out of their own rehearsal stuff, or the movie had a really low low budget.
    But a glamorous wardrobe is not always in the movie plot's best interests. I saw a movie recently (sorry, can't remember its name either, I'm not very helpful, am I!) a newish Australian movie about a young woman living with her father alone on an island looking after a lighthouse. The wardrobe mistress decided that such a character would make her own clothes, without much in terms of inspirations or direction from the outside world. So her wardrobe was a bit bodgy, and a bit cobbled together. I found the clothes to be quite charming and fascinating, in spite of this. Or perhaps because of this.


Related Posts with Thumbnails