Friday, January 17, 2014

Tiki Oasis: That Tikibilly Dress

Well, good people, it's been a while.  Photographing this project really held me up.  I didn't want to give you the same old photos of me standing on the fireplace so I tried, I really tried, to mix it up and take pictures outside AT an actual event. But it didn't go so good.  This dress doesn't want to be snapped in the wild.  Really, the problem was me.  I kept making weird faces or standing funny.

Anyway, long story short...I made a tiki-inspired version of Retro Butterick B5708  for 2012's Tiki Oasis.  Here's the pattern envelope photo.  As with all retro patterns I made it one full size down from my usual measurements.

...and here's the ONE photo I was able to snap of the finished dress that came out all right.

At home standing on the fireplace again.  Uy.  Oh well.

What I will say about this dress is that I love it.  There were some tricky bits construction-wise but if I was a more seasoned seamstress it would have been a bang-it-together-with-your-eyes-closed breeze.  I get tons of compliments when I wear it, and I wear it a lot.  It makes me very happy.

However,  there is some ish to be dealt with.  The shoulder ties have a mind of their own. You don't get to decide how it will be tied, THEY do.  Also, it's not really designed for the large of bust.  There is no built in support of any kind.  If you are a D+ like me, you've really got to wear it with a longline strapless bra to make it even remotely okay.

The one I wear is the Dominique from Lauren Silva lingerie,  It's only $39 dollars and I love it.  It's actually quite pretty and it's got a plunge back, which is extremely handy.

Dominique Satin Low Back Plunge Strapless 
Here's another snap I took to show how pouffy the skirt is when you sit.  It didn't really work but it gives you a good idea of how cleavage-alicious this dress can be.

In closing, it's a great dress but would work best on someone without a large chest.  With the sarong-inspired tied shoulders (just perfect for tiki and Polynesian prints) and the classic 50s shape, this pattern is the very essence of Tikibilly!  I dig it.  If I made it again I might add some boning to the side bodice and maybe more gathers where the lower bodice meets the boob area.  I think it would be great, and very sexy, with a straight skirt instead of a full one.

Now if only I could photograph it without making crazy face?  Maybe the problem is all the tiki drinks I seem to consume while wearing it?   Hmmm... Here is a relatively non-crazy-face photo that I snaffled from Facebook of me wearing the dress at Tiki-O this past August.

...and with that, 2013's Tiki-O is finally put to bed.

I'm already looking forward to sewing for next year.  The 2014 theme is Beatnik so I feel like that excludes a lot of pretty dresses and I really don't want to go all blackety-black-black.  I might have to get creative!  Or maybe I'll just re-create all of Liz Taylor's beatnik mamma outfits from The Sandpiper! Whee!


  1. Oh my! This was a godsend stumbling upon this post. I have this pattern! I am busty; oh yeah at 38D so what you have said caught my eye with a vengeance.

    I had high hopes for this dress but now I just dunno. From the way it looks here it will definitely not do for my lifestyle (was planning on wearing it to worship; girl the sisters would have a hissy fit). Not me, mind you, but I do have to think of others.

    Sew, with what you have stated I am wondering if I can make a go of it. Hard-headed sister that I am I've just got to try. It looks so comfy and girlie. I like that. I did have a strapless that I wore to DD wedding last year, er ah, I hope it made it's way back here to my house. If not I'll just have to figure something out 'cause I ain't got $40 for another one.

    I was reaaally planning on wearing it version A1 style too. But with what you said about the straps . . . I'll just have to hope it'll work. Perhaps a muslin for the top is in order cause I absolutely can NOT have cleavage showing. The husband would be leading the sisters in the hissy, you feel me.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post. You look mahvelous darling. Oh, and do you have other pics in your other versions of it? Would be way cool eye candy to see.


    She who is transforming her wardrobe from modern to vintage style; oh yeah!

  2. Thanks Lyric! A muslin is definitely recommended for those of us who are bigger up top. The long line bra helps but ultimately without more actual structure in the bodice there will be lots of cleavage and strap slippage. Great for hot weather but not something you want in church! Lol!

  3. Giggling here thinking, yeah if I were Gertie, adding bones to the bodice would be easey peasey.