I needed a pair of tear-off costumes for my dance routine for the Atascadero Library Fundraiser “Dancing With Our Stars 2017”. This year I had another middle school math teacher for my “Community Star”.
Our dance routine starts out with the overture to “The Sound of Music”, so I needed a couple of Alpine looking outfits. I used Burda Young 7057 for the dirndl dress and McCalls 9235 (a re-issue of Kwik Sew’s 3422) for Mark’s shirt.
I did some research about tear away costumes (mostly by male strippers) and it was the general opinion that it is easier to have the tear away section on the back of the garment and pull it off by grabbing the front rather than popping it open from the front and struggling out of the sleeves.
Mark’s shirt is a cotton gingham from Fabric.com. I cut a size medium even though Mark has a very slight build. The shirt needed to cover up his disco shirt underneath, so I deliberately made this shirt roomy.
I cut the back pattern piece into 2 sections down the center back and added an inch to the seam allowances so I could overlap the center seam with 2 inch long Velcro strips, for tearing off quickly. I sewed the velcro pieces about 3-4 inches apart. I had to make the collar in two overlapping pieces at the center back as well.
It worked great for the dance performance and Mark was able to get out of it in 2 seconds flat.
Sorry the photo is so overexposed. It is a bright sunny day. My dress was a bit more complicated. The fabric I used for the bodice and dirndl is quilting cotton “Bryant Park” by Exclusively Quilters, which I also used to line the bodice. The blouse is an embroidered eyelet with scalloped borders on both selvedges. The apron is organdy. The laces and the lace eyelets are just a package of double fold bias tape. I have a set of decorative metal eyelets that I got from an Etsy vendor in Germany, but I decided not to use them since this is a costume that will be worn for 3 shows and then donated to my local dance studio.
I altered the neckline of the blouse to a round neckline for more coverage. I cut the sleeve hems right on the edge of the scalloped eyelet, which not only is a pretty detail, it saved some hemming time. I also cut the other scalloped edge off the fabric and used it as the ruffle piece for the neckline. The sleeves are super poufy, but since this outfit is meant as a visual joke, it worked for me. If I were to make this for an actual Oktoberfest party, I would pinch out some of the poufy fullness in the tissue sleeve pattern.
For the dirndl dress, I replaced the gathered skirt with a circle skirt. My post-menopausal waist has thickened (darn it!!!) plus I am short-waisted as it is and I do not need more fabric bulk there. I cut the center front bodice panel on the fold to eliminate the front zipper. I added width to the center back pieces so they would overlap by 2 inches, and sewed pieces of Velcro every 3-4 inches down the center back. It stayed securely closed even with all the silly spinning. I did tack the blouse and apron to the dress so it all comes off in one piece to reveal my disco dress, New Look 6156.
You can see the Velcro strips along the back edge in the photo above. It took me about 3 days to cut and sew this dress. I deliberately took my time since I had some figuring out to do to make this work as a tear-off.
I would like to make an actual Oktoberfest dress sometime, but that can wait until next October.