How do you turn a simple evening gown into something a bit more stunning?  Something with a bit of panache. The best example is Vogue 2065 (recently out-of-print and out-of-stock at Vogue patterns).  As you will note, you see the gown with and without the topper.  The simple gown is attractive on its own, but the topper does add the panache.  There are no other accessories needed to complete this presentation.  Also notice that this particular topper has a slimming effect, affording the model the illusion of being taller and appearing more willowy.  The effect achieved here is more subtle than using a bold contrast in colors. It is this subtlety that creates a more elegant and sophisticated style.  Notice the lines or spokes in the material of the topper.  At the base of the neckline where the spokes draw closer together it creates the illusion of a longer neck.  Great finesse to be admired!!  Hats off to Messrs. Mischka and Badgley.



There are many patterns out there that serve up the same recipe for a simple gown.  Here are but a few that I’ve found.  However, if you use your imagination and creativity, you can add your own panache to any simple gown.  It doesn’t have to be a topper.  It’s just one of many possible solutions or suggestions.





McCall’s 8901      Simplicity 5698      Butterick  4391

So, how does The Big Bopper come into the mix?  Uhmmm, well… I looked up Chantilly lace when I was seeking out some examples of lace to use in this particular comparison.  Of course the song, Chantilly Lace, popped up in the search along with The Big Bopper himself.  In a nostalgic moment, I was side-tracked into listening to the song by The Big Bopper.  More on this later.

I did find some gorgeous lace with gorgeous prices.  This particular one is described as: French Chantilly Lace – Fan Motif.  Vintage-look Chantilly lace. Fan motif measures approximately 5” high from bottom to top of fan.  Graceful swags border both edges.  $367.98.  Yikes!!  However, I did find more lace in the same shop (Haberman Fabrics) at more affordable prices.  There are many places to find lace.


In keeping with sharing what I found out there in Patternland, I’ll share the nostalgia as well.  You can enjoy The Big Bopper singing Chantilly Lace on (back in the day – 1958) American Bandstand, hosted by the one and only Dick Clark.

Honk, Honk 


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