A Folles Dress

Last Saturday I went to see La Cage aux Folles at the opera in Gothenburg. A girls’ night out with women of two generations; my two SILs and myself, my MIL, her sister and their friend. It was a very nice day and the musical was a lot of fun as well as thought-provoking and touching (the final song of act 1, I Am What I Am) was very emotional. In a contrast we should all learn to live by The Best of Times. The character of Ann Dindon was wearing an extremely cute dress, which I fell in love with.


I apologise for the bad quality photo, I photographed the opera programme. I am lazy like that. Anyway, the dress was very flowy, had flutter sleeves, a bodice which was gathered under the bust and a wide midriff band. I couldn’t quite figure out what skirt it was, I want to say half circle, but I think it hangs too straight. Or could it be gored, bias cut or is it a half-circle. I don’t think it felt full enough to be a circle skirt.

Another thing that happened this weekend was that we got a save the date card for SIL’s wedding. So much fun! Plus, the perfect occasion for a replica of Ann Dindon’s dress. I pressured my SIL for the dress code so I knew what to work on, the dress code is “kavaj” which is the lowest formal dress code and equivalent of smart casual. To keep this dress “low” I will make in a simple fabric; lightweight cotton, rayon or something similar. I want it in a bright colour, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten in that matter.

So I need a pattern. My guess is that I won’t find a pattern that totally matches this dress (leave a comment if you know one) so I’m thinking of Frankenpattering. What I need a pattern for is mainly the bodice and the midriff band. The skirt can be drafted if it’s not a total match and for the sleeves I’m thinking that Colette’s Taffy sleeves can work.

I browsed patterns yesterday and at first thought of Simplicity 2145 . But I wasn’t totally convinced that it would match the dress above. The Burdastyle Shari was also an idea, but I don’t think it’s flowy enough, plus the bodice isn’t quite right. By chance I then stumbled upon the 1940s tea dress by Sew Over It. I’m thinking it might work.

I want to make a special dress, suitable for the occasion, but still me and definitely me-made. It’s the perfect match for the dress I fell in love with at the opera. I just need to find the dress.

Have you ever seen a garment you “must” have? How much are you willing to work for a garment like that? Do you know any patterns I could use?


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