What shall I wear to Windy Lindy 2010?

Last year I got your input on a costume for the big Wellington swing event.  And you have seen the Dorothy costume from the year before.  So of course I need your input this year too!

This year the theme is ‘Puttin on the Ritz’.

Woohoo!  Right up my alley!

Unfortunately, I’ve decided that 1) I should be good and finish all the projects I have started already rather than making something new, and 2) I already own enough fabulous 1930s-esque evening gowns anyway.

Blast.  I really, really wanted an excuse to make Ginger Roger’s Night and Day dress:

So, as I’m giving up this excuse in favour of practicality, which of my (gorgeous, but not quite as gorgeous as that dress) 1930s evening dresses should I wear?

Any of these can be dolled up with fab accessories and fabric flowers up the wazoo.

The white?

Yes, it’s my wedding dress.  And yes, I firmly believe I should wear my wedding dress as often as possible.  I could add garlands of fabric flowers ’round the neck and the hem, and it would look a bit more like Ginger’s dress.  And it is a wonderful dress for dancing.

The black?

I know, that is only the most pitiful image ever of a really fabulous dress.  And I’ll confess, I didn’t make this one.  But it’s a great dress nonetheless – you’ll have to use your imagination.  It’s all lace, with the shoulders and back unlined.  It clings to the body all the way down to the knees, and then flows out into a soft mermaid when you spin.  And this might be the last opportunity of the year to wear it before it gets too warm (it’s synthetic – very unusual for me!)

The red?

The Tango dress, also great for dancing in – I am going to blog about it…here is a sneak peek.

Or the green?

The Stella dress, very sophisticated 1930s. Check the post for more pictures.

Random New Zealandness

I’ve been driving a lot lately, doing things with friends and helping tidy Nana’s house.

Here are some things I have seen:

Beautiful mornings:


Long and winding roads:


Seaweed through crystal clear water:


Pastoral tranquility:


Prairie schooners:


Yes, really! That isn’t what they called them (they had some fancy name) but they were little wind powered sailing machines and I want one.

Oh boy do I want one…

Living Pogey Bait

My friend Madame Ornata may be mad about costuming, but she has a variety of other interests as well.

Among her talents, she is an official skink and gecko carer for the Department of Conservation. When people find injured native skinks and geckos and bring them in to DOC, they get tested for diseases. If they are disease free, they go to a sanctuary, and if they aren’t Madame Ornata takes care of them. Her skinks get taken round to schools to educate children about New Zealand’s native wildlife.

This is an amazing experience for the kids, because most of the skinks and geckos that Madame Ornata cares for are so rare and shy that you would never see them in the wild.

Which makes it even more exciting for me that Madame O let me visit with her geckos, and take photographs of them!









Aren’t they gorgeous? These are Wellington green geckos. They make a little barking sound when they are frightened, and the insides of their mouths are bright, vivid violet blue.

I think Madame O needs to make a Wellington green themed dress. It would be amazing, and would go magnificently with my Luna Moth frock.

Of course, like me, Madame O needs to make dresses with all the fabric that is already in her stash before she buys more fabric for a new project!

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Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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