I learned to sew the way some boys used to learn how to build car engines or repair bikes--by taking junk apart to see how it was made. Or, more accurately, hacking it to pieces and then nipping and tucking it into something else.
This dress was one of those Franken-costumes: a turtleneck maxi dress re-cut and trimmed with marabou salvaged from a dejected negligee in a Salvation Army reject pile--a little office number for Li'l Abner's Appassionata von Climax. I'd attached a bustle train with rooster tail feathers on the back and then loaned it to a broad-shouldered boyfriend for a drag gag and the bustle came back looking as though had been in a cockfight.
Finally, I retrofitted the backside with this saucy little peplum flounce made of unopened bills for a Hell-themed costume party. This was its last appearance. One shift of dancing in a go-go cage and the whole envelope went to hell. Student loan statements, old telephone bills, and insurance invoices fluttered down on the revelers below.
I was much gratified to see that my art camp students totally got the suit project.