Friday, December 11, 2015

The Flamingo Project - Part One

Sorry I have been so busy I haven't had a change to write up the next section of Mrs. Claus.  In the mean time I am posting the write ups on the Flamingo Project.  If you remember I mentioned it in the Father Christmas write up.  This project has an interesting story behind it.  Enjoy!
The Original Flamingo Brothers - November  2007

In June of 2007 the DH and I visited my DH's best friend Duff for a holiday.  We goofed around and had fun.  In fact Duff took the DH on a short motorcycle ride, where my DH fell and put a good gash in his arm when he hit loose gravel on the road.  Little did we know this would come back us in prophetic irony.

Duff called the DH his flamingo,  IE his best friend that he would be willing to do anything for.  The term of being someone's flamingo  goes back to Boston Legal where the characters of Denny Crane and Alan Short are close friends despite their great political differences.  In one episode despite their difference they are willing to both dress up like flamingos and make fools of themselves together even if they disagree. Duff and the DH are  perfectly each others flamingos. That whole weekend together Duff teased that I, as a seamstress should make them matching flamingo costumes.  He meant the bird, but it gave the DH an idea.   The DH and I joked about the whole thing on the drive home, and honestly didn't think we would put much though into it.

The following day, a Monday,  I was in a meeting when Duff called me, which was odd.   I sent a text saying I was in a meeting.  Something told me I needed to take the call then, so I left the meeting and called him back.   Heavily sedated he told me he had been in a terrible motorcycle wreck 2 hours after we left.  Going around a turn he hit loose gravel on the road and lost control of the bike.  Somehow he managed to control the bike enough that instead of hitting the cement wall, or the mesquite tree, his body landed in the 18 inch space between them.  The bike went airborn into the tree and fell on him breaking 9 of his ribs.  Thankfully he was ridding with a body builder who bench pressed the bike off of him, and whose wife is a trama nurse, so he knew what he needed to do.   Long story short, Duff should have died that day but didn't. The whole situation scared us and the only thing we could think to do for him was show him how much we cared about him by making him  his own Flamingo outfit.

The accident put the project in high gear.  The plan was to make a Renaissance Festival Flamingo outfit for the two of them.  I sneakily got his measurements, and went to work. I used a carnation pink linen as the base fabric. The shirt is a basic poet's shirt off an Out of Print McCalls shirt pattern. There in 2" cotton lace on the cuffs. In January of 2009 I added Persian style black/gold/magenta trim was added to the cuff it's self to make it more fancy.

 The pants Design was based from a "Pendragon Ventian Pants". They were blocked off of a Simplicity Men and Boy's Lougewear pattern. There are button on the sides with snap and pant hook waist line closures. In January of 2009 I added magenta and gold trim down sides of pants, and invisible zipper in the front. Trying to go all day with a sash around your waist, plus your belted gear is not easy.   Having the zipper allows for easier relief.  Since then I have added one to some theatrical garb I did for show.  The actors didn't appreciate why I did it until they had  60 seconds to grab a potty break and didn't have to take off half their costume to use the privy. 

The cape is made of a magenta 100% cotton denim. The store gave it to us at a 50% discount because after a year NO ONE wanted it. The design is based off a 1/2 circle cloak from the 1700's. It is lined with a white lining & trimmed with Magenta martiboa trim. In January 2009 I added more mariboa trim to the collar, and matching magenta and gold trim was added to edge and collar. Also  added were 12" sequined flamingos to the back. The DH is right handed, Duff left.  The capes were done in mirror images of each other so when they are walking along they look really cool. In May 2009 I added a 1" high flamingo pin to the collar.

 Lastly is a basic red cotton sash.  It is really simple.  3 widths of 12" panels sewing together end to end, with the edges finished and tied around the waist.

We presented him with it that fall at the Texas Renaissance Festival. He had healed enough to be able to go with us.  It was fun to watch the two of them walk through the faire proud to be wearing their pink.  I mean you can look really mean wearing  studded black leather, but would you REALLY want to mess with a guy who has the self confidence to walk around wearing THAT much pink?

The story doesn't end there.  After the TRF trip the DH and I began going to Scarborough Faire.  We had season passes so we went nearly every weekend.  The DH is not hard to spot wearing all pink, so he began to get a name for himself.  He became known as "The Pink Pirate" or PP for short.   In some circles he is still called PP even years later.

Honestly I was happy with it because the Flamingo Brother's were happy with it, but it wasn't my best work technique wise.  I wanted to do better, which led us to phases 2 and 3 of the Flamingo Project.