Bombie Samba #4: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The fourth Bombie Samba chorus dress was embellished using organza table runners from  The table runners are 14″ wide and 108″ long, which makes them a great size for creating ruffles.  The really nice thing about them is that all the edges come pre-finished, which makes the project really zip along.

I began with a black shift dress with narrow straps.

I decided to make a side-to-side angled skirt just to mix things up a little bit.  I marked the stitching line with chalk, and then checked the placement on the dress form (the line is faint in the picture, but it is there).

Next I took two of the red table runners and stitched them into a circle.  I ran a row of gathering thread along the top of one edge and fit the table runner to the skirt.  I added a similar row of black under the red.

gathers in place

I pinned some black sequin embroidered appliques along the ruffle line and stitched them in place.

I made an “bolero” of sorts out of two more table runners.  A fellow costumer had posted a costume using this technique,  and I thought it would work really well here.  I took two of the table runners and folded them together lengthwise.  A row of stitching created a casing along the long edge.  The organza was stiff enough I did not add fishing line to the edges.

making the casing in the organza

I measured behind the neck, around both shoulders, and then around the back, and cut a corresponding piece of elastic, which was threaded through the casing.  The ends of the elastic were stitched together to make a circle . . . and the costume was done.

I didn’t choose to add any more bling, but you certainly could, especially if this was a stand-along costume.

Cost:  Dress (either $3 or $6, I can’t remember).  Table runners were $1 each, so the cost of those was $6, plus elastic and the sequined embroidered appliques.

You could do something similar to this to make a mermaid costume.

3 thoughts on “Bombie Samba #4: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  1. I love the way that dress came out. Sometimes simple things just do the job. Watching this process is making me wish I had something similar on the horizon. I love variations on a theme. I will have to look into tablecloth factory. I used all OntheGoLinens for Mermaid but unless you need $50.00 the shipping can get high. I always managed to need $50 worth so it was fine.


    • I hit return too soon. I watch how you just cut garments to change the shape and I am going to try that. We have a huge stock of tuxedos mostly 80s and 90’s style. I am going to see if I can turn one into tails. They seem to be cut long so it might work. Might solve my menswear problem for Sound of Music. Last time I did Sound of Music one of the boys had a Dad who operated a tux rental shop so that worked out well. Either that or some Tuxes from China will do the job.


      • I have also seen examples where the legs of pants are cut off to use as fabric to create tails. I haven’t tried it, and you also have to not need the pants. We adapted some old band jacket to make tuxes for “Young Frankenstein”. We had some heavy fabric in a napped (like no-fray veveteen stuff) and cut double layers. We stitched those together, and then appliqued them on the back of the band jackets (which were sort, like the front of a tux jacket). We shaped the top of the tails at an angle, so it looked decorative on the backs of the jackets. They worked quite well.


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