My Cat’s Meow Purple Dress

A girl needs more than just one dress. Don’t get me wrong I love the vintage original dress Mom made for me but I did want something special.  After I whispered in her ear she did a little sketching and dug around for special fabric.  When Mom showed me the purple fabric she had — I said YES!!!  I wanted to say Hell YES! but figured she would get mad at me because I am Miss Kitty!!

My new dress idea on paper.

This was not going to be a quick project.  I heard Mom again say “By the seat of my pants”. I think she learned from messing up the arms on my coat to cut things a little big.  Well, you will see what I mean once we get to audition phase.

Check out Mom had pattern pieces and all set to cut out in a jiffy

Are you ready for the first audition of my super duper purple dress?  Check it out!!

My new dress just cut out – lot of fitting work to be done yet.

Just like my original dress this one will have trim. Mom had two kinds of ribbon that might match so we did some auditions to see what we liked the best.  First is this baby blue ribbon with cream running down the middle of it.  She put it around one of my sleeves.  Then she tried a sheer iridescent blue ribbon.  See what you think?

Blue & Cream ribbon audition on my cuff
The second ribbon that is iridescent

Next we tried the ribbon as a sash or belt on the dress.  Here is one of the options we tried out.

Does this look like a Kimono? (not sure what that is but my parents seemed to know)

Mom called Dad over to tell us which one of the ribbons he liked.  First thing he said was …. I looked like a Geisha Kitty in her Kimono.  The three of us giggled at that and Mom said when she was done it would probably not look like that.

Then he said he liked the sheer blue ribbon.  As usual Dad is the best designer and we all agreed that was the one.  Mom got busy working away. She went into the big closet and pulled out a bin full of stuff including a bag of thread. The usual black or white thread just won’t cut it on my Cat’s Meow Dress she said.  Mom loves to try things out so here is that thread test with the best three she picked out.

Thread matching test. Which one do you like?

Mom said that the one that disappears is the right one.  Geeee!!  I learn new things every day.  That means the purple blue one at the top is the perfect match.  She was smiling that her sewing stash of 40 years has paid off.  She must have had that thread for decades.  I heard her mumble about her parents and a depression.  How they taught her to never throw out good things that you might need later.  Dad chimed in then and said….  No Hoarding in my House!!…  They both laughed at that.

Moving along now…  we decided it was best to sew the ribbon on the sleeves before we sewed the top up.  Before we could do that we had to make a facing for the back closing.

Attaching the facing to my dress top.

Now I was confused since I was not facing the dress top and had to tell Mom she must be confused too.  Then she told me it is a sewing term for when you finish the raw edges of a garment. That the closing in the back has to look nice and tidy not cheap and quickly made.  Big People clothing is made like this and I deserve only the same beautiful things.

Next we folded over the sleeves and attached that pretty ribbon.

Ribbon Cuffs ready to go.

After we got that done we sewed up the sleeves and sides of my dress top.

Cat Meow Dress is shaping up

Another thing I have learned about this sewing thing is Mom is always pressing seams with a big hot iron. She took this cute top to the back and got the ironing board and iron out.

But before she came out I heard those bad bad bad words she uses when things get Messed up.  I think she said a word that starts with F.  When I asked her what that meant she said… F*)(#ed Up Beyond Repair.

Oh no.. I started to cry and she then patted me on the back and said not to worry.  This little boo boo would not show cause it was on the bottom of my sleeve.

See the melted ribbon on my cuff? That was Mom’s Boo Boo

We then moved on and did our second audition to make sure everything was shaping up.  Mom was pleased and said with a little Velcro my top would fit perfect.

2nd Audition Front View
Back side pinned together to show how it will fit

It is time for the collar. We want to make sure it covers up my vintage dress white collar.  Mom said she planned to do a Nehru collar.  I asked what is that & she “googled it for me and here is the definition she found.  (Not sure what google is but he has lots of information best I can tell)

The Nehru collar was a lost form of fashion. … Taking its inspiration and name from the clothing of former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the collar stands straight up from your shirt or jacket, has slightly rounded edges and doesn’t quite meet when fastened together.

Then she cut some fabric out and sorted out how big it needed to be.

Test drive of my dress’s collar

Dad came over and said that it was more of a cowl collar.  Mom agreed it was not a Nehru since it was not fitted enough nor did it have an opening in the front.  Boy my head was spinning on all this fashion talk. I was getting tired.

So, it was time for me to take a nap and go rest in my bin bed.  We will finish up the dress tomorrow.  Mom said she did not want to hurry the process.  She had already messed up and besides it was time to fix dinner.

Night Night!!


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