When I first started this blog, I was an unemployed costumer attempting to create period gowns and costumes with very limited means. Although now employed, I still try to be as thrifty as possible. I am still "The Broke Costumer"!

In addition to posts about the outfits I make on a budget, this blog includes short research articles on fashion, history, accessories, styles, or whatever interests me at the moment.

I hope you enjoy my journey into the land of inexpensive costuming and short articles.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tiki Day at Disneyland!

I am sitting in the front, just right of center.
 Amy and I had a blast at Tiki Day.   We had been planning on going for several months, and wanted new dresses for this fun day.   I was itching to make Butterick 5882.   When I was at Costume College, there was a lady at the pool party who had on the cutest dress with birds on it.   I just loved the fabric!  She was kind enough to tell me she got it at Joann Fabrics.  I went to one Joanns and they didn’t have it.

I went to Yardage Town, and found a real cute tropical bird print - and there was only a smidge less than three yards :( They told me the warehouse in National City would have more, so I took the risk and bought the end of the bolt.  A week or so later, I went to the warehouse.  We went through the rows of stock twice.  Nothing.  Well darn, can’t make a dress with less than three yards. 

Butterick 5882
The "almost a dress" fabric

As I was leaving the warehouse, I remembered there was a Joanns down the street.  I popped in, and there was the fabric!  I had a 50% off coupon, and a cellphone coupon for 15% off on top of that.  It was originally 4 yards at $10 a yard, totaling $40.  50% off made it $20, then another 15% off of the $20 made the final cost $17!

I did some modification to the pattern.  First, I wasn’t too happy with how low cut the front was.  I am small busted and like a higher, more modest bodice.  The pattern has you cut two bra shapes, and two more pieces that are pleated and sewn on to the bra shapes.  I tried this, but it basically flopped around and had no fit to it, sticking out away from my bust so you could look right down the front.  Then I had an idea.  Since I have a second dress cut out for this same pattern, I decided to cover an actual bra that could be used for both dresses!   The straps and bodice pieces for both dresses were made from red scrap in my stash, so I went to Walmart and found a red bra that was a near perfect color match!  I pleated it my own way over the bra, filling in the middle where cleavage would normally be seen.  It worked great!

The pattern calls for the entire dress to be lined.  I did not line the skirt, there was no need to.  I wore a crinoline under it.   I did line the bodice and sewed lightweight boning to the seams.  I added a little red shrug to the dress, and all done!

The second dress I am making from the pattern is my Route 66 dress.  I worked out all the bugs on the first one, so it should go fairly quickly.  This dress was FREE!! I sold one of my vintage purses, and with part of the money I got the Route 66 fabric.   This dress is perfect for vintage car shows.  The rest of the purse sale money went to fabric too, but I will save that blog for later.
Fabric:  $17
red fabric and lining:  stash scraps
boning:  $2
zipper: $2
red bra: $8
TOTAL   $29              

Elizabeth and me

Amy's dress was an easy pattern, McCall's M6958, view A.  Just 3 1/8th yards.  I made it in a day. A great plus size pattern, as it has vertical tucks in the front and back that can be taken in and fitted to a curvy gal.  Cost for fabric at Yardage Town with discount:  around $15.  Zipper $2.

Amy, me and Elizabeth
I finally got a Dole Whip at the Tiki Room!

Boarding the Columbia.  We filled the entire ship!


  1. So was Jerry in Tiki? I want to see matching outfits now.

    1. Jerry didn't go, he doesn't have a Disney pass. Just Amy and me.

  2. Totally genius! I would have never have thought to just use a bra... You look amazing as usual :)
    Great look :)

  3. So wait....you made a separate bra in lieu of that part of the pattern, and just wore it with the dress made from the rest of the pattern? Genius! Did you have two sets of straps over your shoulders?

  4. Sandra that's correct! The bra straps are hidden under the dress straps so you can't see them. Plus, I nearly always wear a little shrug over strappy dresses. This red bra will also be used for my Route 66 dress I am making with the same pattern.

  5. Awesome! I hope you post more about that (with pictures)! I want to make that dress but forsee having issues with the bodice.

  6. I wll Sandra but probably not til April. I will be wearing it to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekend at the car show. If I wear before that I will share. Goes great with Carland at California Adventure!