Friday, September 2, 2011

The Circus Wedding

We have been invited to a circus wedding in October!!! I am getting SO excited.  Everyone is being encouraged to dress up in circus garb an you know how I LOVE a theme!  I am going to be the ringleader.  I am not just talking about what I am wearing here.  I am going to be the official, master of ceremonies, side show barker, ringleader FOR THE WEDDING.  As in, I will tell guests to "step right up folks" and remind them that they are about to witness "a spectacular event, the greatest show on earth, the wedding of two young people!"  I am still working with the bride on what the various "acts" will be, but I will have a little sideshow vaudeville style banter each time something new happens in the ceremony.  I intend to be fabulous and I need an outfit to match!
Thanks to Google images and my new Pinterest addiction, I have lots of fun ring leader references to look over.  They all have the red jacket, top hat, and boots. They usually feature some combination of red, black, white and gold. Some have accessories like a vest, a tie, gloves, whips, and whistles.

I already have the jacket and top hat from a few Halloween's ago.  I could have just used what we had and looked alright, but I really wanted something unique and I just couldn't get excited about the same old traditional ideas.  Besides, this is not a traditional circus theme.  The specific slant is a 1930's dust bowl era carnival.  Much more interesting than Ringling Brothers!  So, I wanted to be feminine and fabulous and vintage and not so clean and perfect looking.
 I also wanted a POP of color beyond the expected.  Enter my new Pinterest addiction!  A search for vintage circus brought up this cuff and I was immediately smitten with the teal and brown added to all the red, black and gold.  I am still trying to find a way to work in some ribbon roses like those, maybe on my hat.  We'll see, but the important thing was I had found my color pallete and it was time to hit the thrift stores!
At Goodwill, I found a simple teal tank top, but it fit great and reminded me of a plaid skirt that I bought at AmVets month ago and had never worn.  I remembered it was a long skirt and had touches of teal and gold, so I thought I could make it all work together somehow.  I also found a gold patterned shirt that seemed circus-ish in an exotic gypsy kind of way.  I'm still not sure how that is getting used, but I have it for when I need it.

After deciding on teal and brown with the red and gold, and AFTER settling on a plaid skirt, I found this inspiration image on Pinterest.  She is a little more rugged than I will end up, but I am shooting for her, 15 years after she has been running the show.  Similar coloring, similar dressed down formality, but a little more lace and a little more coverage.
Speaking of lace, I remembered a piece that I got a long long time ago from a relative.  I haven't used it for ANYTHING in over 15 years, and it seems SO right for this project.  Still, I hated to cut into it and kind of obsessed to make sure that if I did cut it, I would not waist any part!  Here is the lace on the cuffs of the red jacket.
Here is the lace going on a fancy cumberbundt style sash that should be visable underneath the red jacket.

  I decided it would be better to cut the swirl out of the lace and am working on stitching one to the top of the sash and one to the bottom.  I may pull in some pieces of red and white striped fabric in the hem of the skirt and I think I need a tiny top hat with feathers or something.  I also need Lydia and PJ to coordinate with me and I think I have finally figured out our family circus "look."  More on their outfits soon.  Happy long weekend!

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