The theme of my work social club's Christmas party was 'under the sea'. I thought for a bit about making a mermaid outfit or some other kind of nautical/marine costume and then I remembered I had eight metres of tropical fish printed cotton in my stash. I know you're wondering why I would have eight metres of this fabric and I must admit I wondered the same thing. I purchased it so long ago I can't remember why I got so much of it. I know it was very cheap and for me to have bought that much of it it must have only cost $2-3 per metre. I have a feeling I bought it at spotlight but can't be sure. I must have had some kind of plan for it, curtains maybe?
So suddenly I had a brilliant plan to make a matching shirt and dress for my partner and I out of this outrageous fishy print. My bloke was pretty reserved about the whole idea and his children were absolutely horrified when they saw the fabric but I kept going and got both garments finished (I sewed the last button on my dress 10 minutes before the party started). He looked spectacular in his shirt and was pretty impressed with the quality, he said he'd just expected a bag with holes for his arms and head.
Two people wearing this fabric together looks completely over the top, and if you weren't at a costume party you'd look completely bonkers, so I had a minute of extreme horror when we walked into the party and I couldn't see a single person in costume, only people in normal clothes!! Fortunately once we walked around the corner we found all the pirates and sailors, whew!
To cut a long story short I got the prize for the best dressed woman, which I think I probably got because everyone was so impressed that I'd gone to so much trouble to make our outfits. I've worn the dress again to our December WSBN pretty dress theme picnic and my bloke actually wore his shirt to work on casual Friday. He was delighted that he managed to upset so many of his colleagues with it (his boss hated it) so hopefully it'll have a few more outings. Here's a photo of him in the shirt at work. Check out that fantastic mo, he grew it for Movember and shaved it off on the 30th. November 30, most disappointing day of the year
The technical stuff:
Dress pattern: McCalls 6696
Shirt pattern: Vintage Style 1226
Fabric: 100% cotton tropical fish print
Extras: I used David Page Coffin's excellent Shirtmaking book because I'd forgotten how to do flat felled seams. I bought it years ago with the video. The techniques are fantastic for producing professional shirts. I used a vintage men's shirt pattern, men's shirts don't change much so I just chose one with a slim fit