Tour of the Costume Box: Chiton

October 26, 2011

Halloween Countdown: 5 days

In assembling this costume box I was determined to avoid the tyrannical pinks of little-girldom: pepto, hot pink, and my own particular emetics (my tenderest years were spent in the 1980’s) the urply-purply “jewel-tones” of the family: fuchsia and orchid.  The easiest way to avoid overused pinks is  to avoid all pinks, but then I thought, that’s silly.  As foolish to fear pink as pimp it.   I would much rather rehabilitate pink, promote diversity of pinkness!  What about coral?  What about salmon, raspberry, and rose?  Should they suffer for the sins of candy-floss?

Which is my preface to telling you the photos are over-saturated, the fabric is actually a very pale shell pink.  Spotting this material at the fabric store–its partial translucency and interesting drape–was what made me decide to try making a classical garment of some kind.  As it turned out, a modified chiton.

It can be worn belted:

Or unbelted:

I thought of making up a muslin to make sure my idea of how to accomplish the garment I had in mind would work, but was too impatient.  Anyhow the fabric was only something like $2 a yard.

Two pieces of fabric went into the construction, front piece wider than back for a drapey front neckline.  Graduated hem, two casings at each shoulder with stitched-in pull cords made from matching bias tape, and a tiny bit of shaping of the back neckline.  Everything worked as I’d hoped except the curve I cut into the back neck.  Once the hem was turned it made the neck hole too large.  I made a box pleat in back to fix this.

It’s off center!  Know how it is when you measure two, three, four times, and still end up somehow not getting your tuck in quite the right place?

Despite its straying pleat and pinkness, this is probably my favorite of the garments I made for my nieces.


9 Responses to “Tour of the Costume Box: Chiton”

  1. Cally Says:

    I must admit that the pink I do like is raspberry. And, oddly enough, it suits S very well. He has a raspberry shirt — a gift from India — which he and I both love (on him, not me stealing it) but whenever we look at men’s shirts in the shop the only pink on offer is candy floss. How stupid. But this shell-colour is perfect for Roman maidens, Greek priestesses, possibly even female gladiators, and the belted look is very classy.

    • trapunto Says:

      A raspberry shirt sounds lovely. And I talk about the color tyranny of little-girldom; men have it much worse. Der Mann has a couple of shirts I ought to get rid of but haven’t because the colors were so good on him. Short time in the late nineties and early 2000’s when there was a little more classic color variety in men’s button downs. Sort of the zoot suit and gangster look.

  2. zibilee Says:

    I am not that fond of pink, but do like the lighter and darker shades. I have a friend who adores pink, and will wear or purchase anything…if it comes in pink. I like this little dress, and love the belted version. Very nice!

    • trapunto Says:

      Must make clothes shopping easier for your friend. It’s interesting how pink is such a take it or leave it color.

  3. So, now they can play games in which the sword wielding fairy-winged greek goddess meets with the can-can girl doing the dance of the seven veils. I almost want to sneak over to their house and join in the fun. Only, make that sentence not creepy.

    • trapunto Says:


      I once performed a (leotarded) dance of the seven veils for a roomful of grownups in complete ignorance of any sexual connotations. I think I had seen it on Bugs Bunny. I was four.

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