When my sister announced this spring that guests at her big anniversary party in August would be invited to wear “Aloha Attire,” I decided to embrace the theme and make a dress in honor of her special day. And even though I’m not usually a wearer of Hawaiian prints, I’m quite happy that I did, both because it made my sister smile and because making it got me back on the garment-making wagon after a few recent disappointments.
Here I am with my husband at the party a few weeks ago:
As you see, I ended up making both a dress for myself AND a matching bow tie for my husband. For the bowtie I just used one of the bowties that he already owns to trace a custom-sized pattern and then followed Burdaystyle’s construction instructions (their how-to on turning a bowtie is genius). It really couldn’t have been easier, and now I’ll be on the lookout for tie-appropriate fabric remnants.
For the dress, I turned to New Look 6775, which I’ve been wanting to try. I made only two changes: First, I simply gave the yoke center two gentle curves instead of pointy angles; and second (inspired by Floating World Views), I pleated the fabric at the center of the front panel instead of gathering it.
And the fabric? Well, I was surprised, in working on our Aloha Attire, to learn how difficult it can be to find a print that evokes the islands without being at the same time childishly kitschy or tackily tiki. I surrendered to online fabric shopping, and Hart’s Fabric of Santa Cruz saved the day with a cotton print that was just what I’d been hunting for. Mahalo to my sister for inspiring me!