8.11.2009

Running away to join the circus



"What ever happened to that Solanah girl?"

"Oh she ran away with the circus and makes hats for the tattooed lady."

Last week I found this amazing old circus fabric while thrifting, and instantly thought of making a 1930s dress out of it. Kind of a "30s girl ran away with the circus and needed a new dress" dress. The fabric is already nice and worn thanks to age, it's always odd trying to make a vintage dress that is all stiff and crisp. In high school I made costumes for a play and rubbed them down with sandpaper to make them look used. I wouldn't do that for anything in my own wardrobe, but it is nice to have something look authentic and not like a reproduction. Is that weird that I would rather have worn down clothing than nice new frocks?
The pattern is the same as my 1930s bow dress, I love the pattern as it is so simple and versatile, and plan on making more, maybe even a long sleeved version for fall.

The only circus I have been to is Circ de Soleil, which is amazing, but I don't really have any desire to run away with the classic one after seeing Freaks.

Dress: Handmade by me!

Shoes: Etsy

Hat: The Urban Eccentric

37 comments:

Frances Baker said...

That is the most rad dress ever! You did such an amazing job, the collar and red buttons are the perfect detail! I love it

poet said...

Beautiful dress! And I always admire your courage to dress in such bold colors and patterns!

Greetings,
poet

Fleur de Guerre said...

My best friend grew up on the circus, her dad was a clown and all her friends were acrobats, clowns and stunt riders! It's not all its cracked up to be though - it's a hard life with its own set of politics! Fun to tell people about though ;)

I love the dress, you are so awesome, madam!

Eline said...

OH DEAR GOD THIS IS SO AMAZING! Gah!

Rose said...

What a lovely unique bright dress! I love the little red bow too.

Rose

Casey said...

Egads!!! I love that fabric--it's so amazing! You did an utterly fantastic job pairing it with a 30s style. So, so fun (and so Solanah! hehe!)!!!

Rachel said...

good score on the fabric... and great design! jealous!

The Momma said...

Love it!! Man... I REALLY need to learn how to sew!

Andi B. Goode said...

Good golly gosh! That dress is beyond amazing. Great work! And what a fabulous fabric.
-Andi x

Tamina listening said...

Ok...so I've been sewing from a lot of 40s and 50s patterns lately...but you've just inspired me to work on some 30s day dress. Yours is so cute!

Lapetitemort said...

I love it! That fabric is so fun.

Freaks is one of my favorite movies. =)

lpm

avintagespirit (Lizzy) said...

Wow, what an amazing dress. I love the red buttons! You did such a beautiful job! Such cute fabric.
I wish I could sew such amazing things!

The Glamorous Housewife said...

Love it! Especially the bow tie and buttons.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

sarah anita victoria said...

Oh god, i'm in love. It's so charming, well done!

Kathryn said...

Fantastic! The hat looks great with your dress as well!

Dizzy Dame said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress!!

Ivy said...

It is totally NOT weird to enjoy wearing a worn dress. It makes you live the vintage period more authentically, kind of sparks your imagination. And this dress is worth a million bucks. Beautiful! :)

Michelle said...

That print is fabulous! What a great find and perfect for the lovely '30s style.

Anonymous said...

The dress is amazing. Who is the maker of the pattern?

Ms. B said...

I love it! I love all of the fun prints used for clothing back then. I came across a great zodiac print skirt while in Chicago but the zipper was not working and the owner wouldn't come off the price, so I had to leave it there. Sad.

sarah said...

That is an amazing dress! I love it. My grandparents live in a circus wintering town, and I have always been enthralled by the fact that people have trapeze apparatus and animal podiums in their backyards instead of grills and lawn chairs like normal people.

And it is not weird to love the look and feel of worn fabric. If I had the choice between a new, crunchy cotton dress and a soft, worn old cotton dress, I would choose the latter in a minute. :)

Solanah said...

Hehe, glad you all like at it much as I do, I wish I had a circus backdrop to pose against!


The pattern maker is 'Du Barry' number 1919B.

Hanako66 said...

oh my goodness, I love this!

reilly said...

!!!
What's left for me to say, this is so great! You look perfect from head to toe (and of course, you already had a matching hat)! The colors in the fabric are so wonderful.

Lizzy said...

Nice dress!! I wonder if I had the courage to wear it.

MissRedLips said...

wow!! now that is what i call creative clothing!! you can really rock that look dear-kudos!! every last detail is just perfect!

Jessica Cangiano said...

Seriously adorable - and awesome! I love that despite the seemingly wild pattern, the black shoes and timelessly pretty red hat ground the "loudness" factor of this wonderful frock and make it seem to wonderfully wearable.

Fantastic creation, sweetie - and congrats on finding such a unique old fabric.

Big hugs,
♥ Jessica

Charlotte said...

FABULOUS fabric! Love it!

Maria Confer said...

You are so cute in your printed dress.

Eyeliah SS said...

What a unique dress, and so lovely that you found eachother as it's perfect for you. ;-)

Peldyn said...

You really pull this look off well. Kudos!

bungalowbliss said...

Fabulous! You really inspire me--though I know I'll never come close! :-)

jessibee said...

So awesome. It's just so amazing to be able to make a dress like that! You can wear anything, can't you? I'm not sure that too many people could pull of a circus fabric dress but you are rockin' it!

catherine_sr. said...

You look absolutely amazing! The candy-colored red buttons are a great touch.

Jessica / Lola Vintage Clothing said...

I can't get over how much I love that print! WOW! And you made the dress? It's amazing, I love it, I love it, I love it.

Jitterbugdoll said...

Fantastic dress!

I had a friend in high school who was rumored to have joined the circus. I always wonder if she really did :-)

EyePopArt said...

You are just so damn cute, I can't stand it!