It’s been a while since I’ve been able to go to an actual opera. Not that it’s been a frequent thing in my life anyhow, especially since the Met started broadcasting their Live in HD series at the movie theater. Still, there’s something really special about being able to go to what might be one of the few venues where you can dress up truly nicely without suspicion.
The last time I was able to go to an opera in such fashion I was in New York for a weekend with my opera going friend. My sewing skills were not then what they are now, so I was wearing the dress I wore for my senior violin recital in college–a pale blue and silver crocheted sort of flapper dress. I still love that dress, but it’s too big for me now and it’s time for an update.
So I’m currently working on an ensemble involving a blush colored ponte dress and matching gloves that I think will fit the bill quite well for opera wear. I had a little bit of faux fur on hand that I thought I could make into a little fancy bolero to go with everything, but I didn’t have quite enough for that project, so I set about making what I originally intended for the fur–a collar.
I used the collar piece from my motorcycle jacket and a pinky peach poly satin I used from another project. I trimmed the seam allowance on the fur and pinned the two fabrics together at the match points and sewed away, leaving a little hole to turn everything out. I slipstitched the opening and called it good. The fur was a little tricky to deal with on the bottom side of the collar where I was stitching against the nap.
I had intended to use a hook and eye as a closure as in Tilly’s excellent pattern and tutorial, but my particular collar came off a pattern that doesn’t meet at CF. I needed something that could sit a little more open. As it so happened, I had a cream satin ribbon of just the right length just hanging around in my very modest notions stash. If I had thought things out more thoroughly, I could have sewed it inside of the collar and turned it out when I turned out the collar. As I did not, a little hand sewing took care of the situation.
The resulting collar is warmer than a scarf and passes the violin playing test because it’s not terribly bulk. I think I will end up wearing this quite frequently as I think it will go on top of pretty much any dress or sweater I can think of save my cowl necks which are admittedly warm enough on their own.
So score for a fast, simple project with big impact. The dress for this ensemble is completed, and I’ll be working on the gloves today provided I don’t get the horrid stomach virus that’s making the rounds at my house…