Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pineapple Upside-Down Dress

At my Star Wars fan group's yearly get-togethers, Thursday night is Games Night, and on Games Night you wear pineapple clothing.  Why?  No one's quite sure, but we do it anyway.  Usually, I wear my pineapple pajama pants that I bought from Delia's several years ago, but for 2004 I decided to be a bit more elaborate.  I had this big idea for a fifties-style prom dress where the skirt would be the pineapple and the bodice would be the leaves, and then I realized that if I reversed that, I could use this fun green chiffon I had on hand.  And thus was born the idea for the pineapple upside-down dress.  (You know, like the cake.)

This was very much a last-minute costume, so I made it pretty much straight from a commercial pattern, and I didn't make a muslin beforehand.  Thus, the fit suffered quite a bit, and I actually had to gaff tape myself into the bodice so it would stay in place. I used McCall's 4460, view C, except I omitted the tulle and added a lot of layers to the skirt.

My decision to make this dress was cemented when I found a pin-tucked, cross-hatched muslin at Hancock Fabrics.  It practically screamed "pineapple!"  I bleached it and then dyed it with RIT Golden Yellow, which I had left over from my adventures in rainbow dress dyeing.

There are four layers in the bodice: the outer layer of decorative muslin, an underlayer of bright yellow cotton, a stiffening layer of cotton duck, and a lining of bright yellow cotton.  I didn't use any boning, although I should have.  The dress closes in the back with a zipper.

The skirt also has four layers: two underlayers of dark green poly/cotton, and two overlayers of iridescent green chiffon.  The underlayers follow the pattern, so they have a straight-across hem, but for the overlayers I had each skirt piece come to a point, to simulate the pineapple's leaves.  I rotated the top layer about 45 degrees so that the points are staggered, rather than overlapping.  All hems are finished with a serged rolled edge.  The seam between the bodice and the skirt is kind of messy, and the yellow zipper really shows up against the green of the skirt, so I added a gold ribbon around the waist in the hopes of camouflaging these imperfections.

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