Stop, Drop, and Catch Fire

Oh dear.

The dryad costume is not going well.  My inability to hand draft a corset meant I had to turn to a commercial pattern.  While I waited for it to arrive, I started working on the big branchy mask, only to find that I’d ordered the wrong gauge of wire, and this stuff was too weak to help my hair stand on end (even though this is the style my hair is normally most cooperative with!).

So now I’ve got all my materials finally lined up, but very little accomplished.  It happens to be highly traditional for my costumes to be assembled as the result of several frantic all nighters.  My senior year in college, I stayed up for 36 hours straight and finished a skirt in a debate meeting while wearing it.  This is a fun story to tell now, but made me very grouchy to be around then.

So, I’m being uncharacteristically sane and pulling the emergency eject button.  I can start work on the Dryad costume in January (after The Hobbit one is done) and make good use of all these supplies next year.  I’ve come up with an alternate idea that will take a lot less time but still seems creative and delightful.  So, I’ll keep posting updates on Monday to stay on track, and you can try to guess what I’ll be based on the progress photos.

So, what do you guess based on the dress I just picked up in a thrift store?  It’s going to have some big revisions (those shoulderpads are going to be burned) but I’ll just tell you now that I’ll be replacing those fruit buttons with something similarly striking but in a different theme.  Any hypotheses?

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  • Dorothy? 😉

    • leahlibresco

      Nope. Though long hair will also be useful here.

  • Katniss Everdeen at the Reaping?

    • leahlibresco

      Nope. But I am fictional.

  • TheRealAaron

    Alice (of Wonderland)?

    • leahlibresco

      No. I’m older than that.

  • Supergirl?

    Counselor Troi?

    • leahlibresco

      Neither of these. (Sorry, no clever tie in hint for either).

  • Kristen inDallas

    Orphan Annie? or is it raggady Anne? I always confuse, but I’m sure at least one of them had a blue dress like that…

    • Kristen inDallas

      Withdraw my earlier guesses based on your clues… but is it the other redhead… pipi???

  • Will your hair be tied into a knot?!

    • leahlibresco

      More like a beehive.

      • Ah, so my last guess is ruled out too. And I had thought it so likely I even hid it a little.

      • deiseach

        Older (chronologically) than Alice in Wonderland; long hair up in a beehive-do; wears blue with buttons? or badge of some kind?

        Looking at that dress makes me think of some kind of Scout or Guide or Brownie Den Mother/Leader, but the only woman with a beehive-style hairdo in blue I can think of is Nurse Christine Chapel, and the collar isn’t quite right for that (besides the length of the hemline, but taking it up about six inches or so would fix that).

        I’m stumped. I have no idea.

  • jenesaispas

    The only other women in blue I can think of are Cinderella and the Blessed Virgin Mary!

  • I foresee a facepalm in my future. I have an image in my mind of this character but I can’t seem to drag up the name/story. too little sleep, not enough caffeine, etc. etc.

  • Kristen inDallas

    Man if I were smart and I had a blog (which I’m not, and I don’t) I’d go find an interesting consignment store peice, take a picture of myself wearing it and make everybody guess what it’s going to be. Then (being the procrastinator I am, and actually having planned nothing) I’d go with the most interesting response. :))

  • Ted Seeber

    BVM doesn’t fit a behive.

    My first thought was Marion Cunningham from Happy Days, but then you dropped the hint of older than Alice in Wonderland, and that dress just doesn’t fit fashion from the 1800s very well, so I’m really confused.

    Florence Nightengale perhaps? Ooops, no, she’s non-fiction.

    • I thought “older than Alice in Wonderland” meant chronological age of the character (as in 7 years old) not the date when the story originated.

      • leahlibresco


    • jenesaispas

      Guess I didn’t see the beehive part!

  • Kit15

    Belle from the Disney’s B&tB? (the blue dress she wears in the beginning of the movie)

    The Dorothy idea tipped me off since I know Dorothy sewing patterns are popular among those wanting to make a Belle costume.

    Oh wait…beehive. Hmmmmm…..

  • Steve Schuler

    Let me venture a guess that, in honor of your recent conversion to Christianity, you are reviving Dana Carvey’s classic character, “The Church Lady”. The dress is of the wrong color but of the proper cut to provide an easily modified base to reasonably adorn that beloved character. I think that this character was popular somewhat before your time, so if you are unfamiliar with her here is a link to a Wikipedia entry about her:

    • leahlibresco

      No, but the character is from TV

  • I’m sorry you won’t get through the dryad costume for this year. It’s too bad! On the other hand, I’m kind of interested in making an Entwife costume now, even though the basic principle of cosplaying is against my personal principles.
    …my four year old does not share my reticience – he has his little heart set on going as the Gunslinger from the recent Doctor Who episode.

    There’s something about that dress that gives me the creeps. Are you supposed to be a little creepy? Maybe it’s just the shoulder pads.

    • leahlibresco

      Yes, the shoulderpads are bizarre, but my eventual target is not creepy, though she is a little wild.

      • Ted Seeber


  • joannemcportland

    Ms Frizzle?

    • KL

      This is my best guess at the moment, too!

    • Yeah I agree.

  • Melody

    Alice from the Brady Bunch?

    • Ted Seeber

      The above gets my vote, but gets me thinking that yes, that dress does look like a maid’s uniform.

      Did American Maid in The Tick wear such a dress as her alter ego?

  • Blue dress with striking buttons from a TV show could mean Star Trek (though that dress would need to lose a lot more than just shoulder pads). Do any prominent Star Trek characters who wear a blue dress uniform have a beehive hairdo? A Google search has not given me any, but since I do not watch the show, I can’t be sure. (There certainly are some Star Trek characters with beehives.) However, this avenue does not seem wild, which was a clue…

    • Google has lots of buttoned blue dresses for Joan Holloway, as well, who sports something like a beehive. That doesn’t strike me as being likely, though.

      • leahlibresco

        For Joan, I’d have to do a lot more tailoring. The silhouette I’ve got now (minus shoulderpads) is close enough, plus you’ll be mainly focused on the appliques when its done. Off to the fabric store to buy lightweight fusible interfacing!

  • Ted Seeber

    Just so long as it isn’t Margaret Thatcher- Reagan with a blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, Reagan with a blue dress on!

  • Mark Ferris

    I hope it is not Winehouse.