Elvis is a Girl's Best Friend

Holy hanna guys. It's been like.....forever since I posted something. Apparently it takes this gal 3.5 months to get over a Euro-hangover. I think my head is properly screwed back in place now, and I'm happy to report my sewing nook is back up and running! I have lots of goodies planned for this space so hopefully my readers are still out there. Mom? Can you see this? Good. 

I thought I'd ease back into things by sharing a few projects I made awhile ago but never got a chance to properly showcase. I made an awesome Marilyn Monroe dress for my pal, Chantel, last spring, and myself an Elvis suit the Halloween before that. It only made sense for us to play dress up and head to one of our favourite summer hang outs for burgers and ice cream.  And the fact that this is Elvis week makes it the perfect time of year to finally share these projects.  Little known....ahem, well known fact, is that I'm kind of a big Elvis fan. I've even been to Graceland once or twice.

Twice. It was definitely twice. 

Elvis' voice sounds like home to me and frankly I just love a good rock and roll rebel, of which he was undoubtedly "the king". It's funny to me listening to Elvis songs now and picturing all the parents and priests of 1954 losing their shit. I can totally see why he shaked, rattled, and rolled conservative America into a frenzy. Those lyrics and hip shaking dance moves are so tame by today's standards but if you really listen to those lyrics they're totally dirty for their day. Like, the equivalent of Dr. Dre, Easy-E, and Ice Cube rolling out of Compton and into....well, conservative America. I realize this may be a ridicuous concept to some but just think about it. When Elvis sings "One Night of Sin" I don't think he was caterwauling about breaking into a mini mart. Just sayin'!  

I digress. The short version is I'm a huge fan of Elvis. I love his music, his showmanship, his costumes, and his ex-wifes glorious, glorious beehive hair-do which is unquestionably the best 'do to come out of the sixties. For Halloween of 2013 I decided to combine my love of Elvis with my love of  Priscilla Presley's iconic beehive by making a feminine version of his infamous "50 000 000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" gold lame suit!  The fall of 2013 was a weird and whacky time in my life. I was working at a mascot factory (true story) making all kinds of crazy critters, making zero money, and barely had anytime to work on my own creative endeavors. I recall taking the Thursday before Halloween off for an orthodontist appointment (former braces nerd :D), and to work on my costume. I was so rushed to get it done that I didn't even do a prototype first. I just marked and cut on the real deal fabric and made adjustments as needed after the fact. I would for sure have made the collar a little more substantial but I was going for more feminine and thin lapel and overshot it a little. Either way within 48 hours my costume was complete!

The Marilyn dress came about because.....hey who wouldn't want to? And mainly because my pal Vicki (who you may recall gave me that awesome glittery pink fabric for my NYE outfit), commissioned me to make a replica of Marilyn Monroe's infamous "7 Year Itch Dress" for a Barbie themed fashion show put on by the Edmonton Doll Club. Naturally I said.....YES!! The bonus was that the dress would end up being gifted from Vicki to my beautiful bestie Chantel who just happens to be Marilyn's long lost relative (not really.....but as you can see she could be!). 

                                                                  An absolute American icon. 

                                                                  An absolute American icon. 

We picked up the fabric from yet another of Edmonton's now defunct fabric stores, Estee's. (I miss that treasure of a shop!) Anyway, Vicki had another fabric in mind but we thought we should pop into Estee's "just to see". Sure enough we found the super luxe ivory pleated knit fabric that would become this dress. Vicki loaned me a few vintage patterns to work with but as is often the case....they weren't complete. I copied some of the skirt and bodice from one pattern but had to fill in the blanks for the rest. The whole back skirt was completely missing and the halter top was just easier to figure out myself. Draft, draft, draft, cut, cut, cut, sew, sew, sew - done! 

I had this idea to round up Chantel and have a Marilyn and Elvis date night at one of our favourite summer hang outs around this time last year but a busy summer for both of us and a lack of wheels meant it just didn't happen. It's a bit of a hike if you live in Edmonton proper but I highly recommend making the drive out to Jack's Drive-in in Spruce Grove Alberta. This tiny little shack of a burger and shake place has been kicking around since the 50's. It's building has that classic atomic area structure and the inside is a hommage to it's rock and roll 50's heyday. Red vinyl seats? Chrome detailing? A jukebox? Super awesome tasty treats? Check, check, check, and check. It's got it all. So of course Chantel and I had a blast rocking our custom Nicole A Gogo creations in this setting. Burgers, fries, sundae's, frozen chocolate covered bananas, and a lot of laughs lead up to the photos you see here. Once again, my fella from dbphotographics.ca worked his magic behind the camera! Big thanks to him for the photos and to Jack's Drive-In for letting us set up lights and goof around in your burger joint on what was an unexpectedly busy Sunday night. We had a great time and I'm so happy to share these fun projects with you. I love making this kind of stuff! 

Speaking of which, if you're a Halloween nerd like myself you're probably already thinking of your your costume. I do a limited amount of custom ones each Halloween so if you're thinking something along the lines of Scooby Doo, the Man From U.N.C.L.E, Emma Peel & the Avengers, James Bond, Fembots, Barbarella, Audrey, Marilyn, girl group, Barbie, Beatles-esque, Flight Attendant, old timey sports, anything retro, send me a message

Thanks for reading!! I hope you enjoyed the outfits! I also hope it's not another 3.5 months before I share the next round of creative goodies. 

Stay tuned!! 


Nicole A Go Go