I like to sew a new dress every year to wear for winter events. This year I got this dress done just in the knick of time to wear to a secret surprise date night I planned for Adam in December. We dropped Biscuit off with her grandparents, got a hotel room in the city for the night so we wouldn’t have to rush to catch a ferry home, went out to a fancy dinner, and went to see Elf: The Musical. For the years that Adam and I were dating, my mom would always let him pick the Christmas movie that we would watch as a family when we were home for the holidays. Every year he picks Elf. So it has kind of become a running joke between us and it seemed the perfect, silly, fun thing to surprise him with.
I did make a quick muslin of the bodice and was pleasantly surprised that it required very little modification to fit well enough on my body. I did futz with the shoulders and sleeve caps a little, but that’s something I do on every woven top thanks to my narrow rib cage / broad shoulder combo. The fabric was from that big box fabric store that shall remain nameless. I bought it while on vacation last summer. Adam was working on the trip and I had several days to kill with Biscuit in tow and I didn’t want to be stuck in a hotel room all day with a toddler so, between naps, she and I hit every fabric and thrift store within a 30 min drive. I’m not usually a fan of animal prints for myself (despite the fact that I covered everything I owned when I was 13 in leopard print faux fur and rainbow glitter) but something about this fabric just called to me from the shelf and I knew it needed to be a wrap dress.
The pattern is Simplicity 7705 from 1976. I opted to keep the ridiculous, giant 70’s details of the cuffs and collar. I figured it was go big or go home and making a floor length leopard print dress already put me in the “go big” category! I did make the self belt for the dress too, though I found it actually looks a little dressier with it so for more casual occasions (like this photoshoot when I was just hanging out with friends in Portland) I dressed it down with a giant leather belt and ankle boots.