Thursday, November 21, 2013

Poodle-less Poodle Skirts

A few years ago, my sister (Borg #7 of 8) bought some fabric and patterns to make costumes for one of our nieces.  That niece has since outgrown dress-up, but the fabric was still around.  She gave it to me in hopes that I might find the time to make up the garments before we ran out of nieces little enough for dress-up play.

One of the costumes was a poodle skirt  for which she had bought pink felt.  I happened to have some lime polyester green felt sitting around from a time when I had planned to make a tree skirt with it.  (After purchasing the felt, I realized this fabric choice may have been fine in the 70s but fleece would be a better fabric for a tree skirt since it is much more washable, has a nicer hand and comes in a greater variety of colors and patterns.)

So I had it in my mind that I had the fabric on hand to make a pair of poodle skirts some day when Maggie announced that the theme for her birthday party this year would be a Cat and Dog Birthday “Pawty.” Now "some day" had a deadline.
No poodles here. 

Neither Maggie nor Lily are really poodle people, so I was inspired to use the cat appliqué in the pattern for Lily and the Scottie for Mags. 

I envisioned designing the skirts to coordinate by using this lime green polka dotted ribbon (from my stash) to make a bow around the neck on the pink skirt and a matching hot pink ribbon for the green one. I had pale pink soutache on hand from the Victorian velvet coat which was perfect for the traditional leash. (Probably the one traditional element left by the time I was done)   The cat appliqué pattern included a face, but it looked too much like those mean Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp.  I came up with this design for green eyelashes and a little hot pink embroidered nose which I adapted to the Scottie as well.  (These are clearly not faceless Amish pets.)
Detail of embroidery and matching ribbons

I mailed off the skirts in time for the party. Their mother (Borg #6 of 8) reported to me that it is impossible to wear a poodle skirt and not spin around in it until you’re dizzy if you are Maggie.  

Dizzy Maggie kerplops with her Scottie skirt

Here, she and her friend Caitlin take the skirts for a spin. (Lily is boycotting dresses at the moment.)  
They just can't help themselves.
I wonder what it will take to get me to make the other costumes my sister entrusted me to finish for her.  Tick-tock.  Maggie and Lily are not getting any younger... 

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