My husband knew what he was going to wear to the event: his Steeler's hard hat. I suspect the main impetus for his attendance was to further remind as many people as possible the uber-status of his fandom for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (OK. So, he's on the hospital board and that's probably the real reason we were there.) My point in all this is that his "outfit" was a piece of cake.
"What am I supposed to wear?" I asked him.
"Google hard hat gala and figure something out. Buy a roll of caution tape or something," he said. I think he temporarily forgot who he was talking to.
I bought caution tape.
Fortunately, I watch entirely too much Project Runway for my own good and figured I could handle an "Unconventional Challenge." (And, mind you, I did it on a Project Runway time-table too: I began sewing Wednesday morning and the gala was Thursday evening.) So, I took inspiration from two of my favorite designers: Michelle (her quilting techniques -- and the way she did extravagant vests) and Melissa (who always has fabulous necklines/collars).
So, I dug up an old pattern for a suit-coat that I'd picked up at the Humane Society's Annual Flea Market for 10 cents and used it as the base pattern.
I will have to say, the "model fitting" was pretty frustrating. I don't own a form, so I had to pin the vest and adjust the seams on myself.
Once I had the pieces the way I thought I wanted them (the collar was a complete guess and I just crossed my fingers on the back), I began quilting the caution tape onto the compact batting. I channeled Tim Gunn's make it work and commit to it as I tried to figure out how to place the words and angle the tape.
Somehow I managed not to burn my fingers while ironing the bias and finished the piece properly without cutting corners. I even lined up my chevrons in the back with Nina Garcia's voice in my head. The end result was remarkably close to what I'd imagined--which doesn't happen very often. And off to the gala we went. (Not sure what in-laws thought when they came to watch the kids...)
Everyone at the gala told me "Oh! You win the prize!" which had me totally giddy because I hadn't known they were giving out prizes, but looking around, I was pretty sure I would indeed win the prize--if there had been prizes, which there weren't. It was just a phrase people were using to be nice. Duh. If there is a prize, it's that I have a crazy-fabulous vest made of caution tape that I can only wear once a year for Halloween. Unless... I become a Hard Hat Gala crasher. Hmmmm.... google search....
|photo courtesy of hospital CEO Oscar Weinmeister|
Thanks to the fashion consult provided by Erin MT who recommended a big bun. This was the best I could do.