Disco Car Wash. Sewing the Sink The Pink Summer Ball Pt 3. The Ribbon Outfit.

“Hey, how do you feel about sewing a ribbon dress for the Sink the Pink Summer Ball? Do you reckon you could?”

Ribbon costume

Try and stop me, GlynFamous. Try and stop me.


Sewing a Ribbon Dress

This outfit was a spur of the moment decision we made whilst buying fabric for costumes. Glyn fell in love with the ribbons and I can’t say no to him. And why would I? Especially when it involves playing with so many gorgeous colours. I mean, how hard could it be?

Sewing Ribbon Costumes

You better open another beer, Ness. And you better go buy more ribbons (thanks Mermaid Fabrics). In fact, Emil and the cats might need to move out, this is going to take up a lot of space.

Sewing a Ribbon CostumeIt looks pretty straightforward and, no doubt, it is but it’s also really, really easy to make these things look cheap and shitty. There’s a great ribbon costume Alison Golfrapp wore at Glastonbury 2008 but, I was sewing for a tall, lean man in nosebleed heels so my proportions were different.  It took longer and a lot more ribbons than I thought.


Let’s talk practicalities. That stuff is HEAVY. I mean use-weights-to-hold-it-down type heavy. Really heavy. And you’re probably going to end up hanging that weight off someone’s neck. I used two rows of petersham to build up volume and attached the ribbons to it. I tried hanging them diagonally but, ugh, so ugly, ended up hanging them perpendicular/straight down.

Then we had a fitting. Glyn can make anything look good but I’d like to think I can do better than “good”.





So, I went home and bought more ribbons. It needed more volume so doubled the amount we had, added another petersham ribbon and stitched it to the original ribbon for a bit of volume. I didn’t like how it split and looked flat so I wove ribbons horizontally through the vertical ones. This gave a bit more substance to the torso and allowed for movement.

Ribbon costume


It still lacked something but then a friend on twitter mentioned Randy Savage  (he looks amazing) and it all fell into place. I added the arm pieces and it started to look right. Nice and easy, two bit of elastic round the arm, ribbons attached to black horizontal ribbon then attach to the main garment.  You better believe I was a perfectionist arse about cutting these ribbons at a 45 degree angle.

I love Luke’s set for the show. There’s a wonderful balance between design and what looks like casual, accidental beauty. I wanted to do that justice.

Ribbon costumeThis. This is my favourite photo. Glyn and I met in Perth, Australia when he was over from Bristol for a kind of gap year in 1998-ish. My mum and I made him a pair of PVC trousers, apron and velour, animal print top for a gig in Connections. 16 years later here we are and here he is singing about homosexuality and his 12 inch.






About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------> smittenness@gmail.com
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2 Responses to Disco Car Wash. Sewing the Sink The Pink Summer Ball Pt 3. The Ribbon Outfit.

  1. This costume is inspired! I may have to steal the idea sometime. It would give me the excuse of running up to hot guys at Halloween parties, calling them “dirty,” and then offering to rub them clean.

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