Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #18 - Poetry in Motion

The Challenge:  Bring to life a garment
inspired by a song or poem.
I wonder why does ev'rybody look at me
And then begin to talk about a Christmas tree?
I hope that means that ev'ryone is glad to see
The lady in the tutti-frutti hat.     
1943 - Carmen Miranda in "The Gang's All Here"
Busby Berkeley Technicolor Musical

Carmen Miranda, 1909 - 1955, was a Portugese Brazillian samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress, and film star.  Prior to becoming a superstar in Brazil, Carmen was a hatmaker.  She developed her costume with the distinctive fruit hat from the traditional headdress seen on women fruit sellers.  She arrived in New York City, United States in 1939 and was popular until she passed in 1955.

Photos of Carmen Miranda's tutti-frutti hat show a golden turban base and my online research discovers this wonderful vintage clip.

 How to Tie a Turban: Women's Turban Fashions - 1942 by Vintage Fashions on YouTube
What a stroke of luck to search eBay and find an auction for some vintage fruit picks from Sears Roebuck &  Co., Chicago, Ill.  While I don't know the age of the picks, they are exactly what I need and I win the auction!

I find some gold and red fabric remnants in the stash and I make a 12" wide by 48" long scarf.  You can see my red fabric was a bit shorter than the gold but I just adjusted the ends.
I stitch the fruit picks to some tiny grapevine baskets, add hair clips to the bottom of the baskets, and the parts of the tutti-frutti hat are complete!

When Carmen Miranda poses for her photos she wears tons of jewelry and a fabulous smile!
Time to drag out every necklace I own, some fruity earrings, my red lipstick, a peasant blouse, a ruffled skirt, and here is my version of Carmen Miranda's tutti-frutti hat....
Carmen Miranda on one of her recording covers and my tribute to her...

She was a fabulous lady!

Historical Sew Fortnightly Details
What It Is:  The Tutti-Frutti Hat
The Challenge:  #18 Poetry In Motion
The Song:  The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat, Carmen Miranda
Fabric:  Silk dupioni
Pattern:  None
Year:  1943
Notions:  Fruit picks, grapevine baskets
How historically accurate is it?  Vintage fruit picks and period methods based on research.
First Worn:  Photos today
Total Cost:  $30 for fruit picks won on auction, grapevine baskets, and fabric

Keep smiling!