Layer cake

I’ve been a little absent lately, as I’ve spent the past week being distracted by this gorgeous monstrosity (which you may have already seen if you follow me on Instagram).

Those of you who have seen Firefly will recognize Kaylee’s layer cake dress from the episode Shindig. This dress has been on my to-do list for absolutely AGES (according to my sketchbook swatches, since 2007 at least!) and it feels amazing to finally be doing it. I’m planning to wear it to PAX East in April, which gives me a good six months to figure out that damn mandarin collar.

For those of you who’ve not had the immense pleasure of watching this show, go do it now. And this is what the dress looks like.


Yes, it’s massive. Eight layers of fluff on the skirt plus a peplum on the top. And puffed sleeves!

I’ve started with the skirt, since it’s a lot of work but actually really easy other than the math. It’s been my break from the traumatizing experience of learning to match plaids. More on that later.

I bought 45″ poly chiffon in pink (5 yards), peachy pink (4 yards), and super pale pink (2 yards). I think technically it’s supposed to be white but it just looks too contrasty so I’m going with a pale pink. I also got 7 yards of tulle and 4 yards of some kind of super lightweight cotton/poly blend for the skirt base. Most people’s versions that I’ve seen have made an entirely separate ruffled skirt to wear under the chiffon skirt, but realistically, I don’t see wearing two ruffle skirts plus a hoopskirt being all that much fun so I’m going to see if I can get away with just the one skirt, hence the tulle.

The base skirt is made up of five panels, 36″ wide at the bottom and 45″ long, French seamed.ย Currently, I’ve sewn down the three layers of pink and one of the peachy ruffles, as well as the four layers of tulle that go under them. Four more to go, and then onto the top!

And yes, I’m definitely bringing a little bag of strawberries with me to PAX as a prop.

24 thoughts on “Layer cake”

  1. wowee! I was wondering what it was that you were making on IG! This is so incredible! I hope you get it all done in time – its going to look awesome!

    1. Thank youu! I shooould be ok with 6 months to do it, I figure that gives me a few months of “getting annoyed and giving it a time out” time. hehe fingers crossed!

  2. she’s one of my favorite characters of all time and i plan to make this for my daughter at some point (she’s named after her). so i am very much looking forward to your creation!

    1. Aww that’s so cute!! You definitely should! My sister named her new kittens Malcolm and Kaylee and is trying to wrangle me into making them cat versions of their Shindig outfits -_-

    1. Hehe I hope so! I’ve been in love since I saw Shindig the first time so I hope I can do it justice!

  3. Shiny! I love firefly! In fact, I love firefly so much that i’m going to my third annual Firefly-LARP (live action role play) this coming weekend!

    Good luck with your dress, please post pictures of the finished dress ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. OMG, this just came up in my feed and I was all “IT”S KYLEE’S SHINDIG DRESS!” to my empty house. I was just rewatching this last night and thinking how fun this would be to make. This is going to be FIERCE! I can’t wait to watch the progress ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Bahaha I definitely squee-ed out loud when I found the three perfect shades of pink chiffon sitting next to each other at the fabric store. People stared.

  5. I still get all sad panda over the demise of Firefly. Why do all the good shows die???
    My favorite episode is definitely “Out of Gas.”
    Also, this looks like quite the endeavor! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    1. M e too! I constantly bitch about how shows like Hart of Dixie or Secret Life of the American Teenager got multiple seasons and Firefly was canceled after not even a full season. W.T.F.

      And Out of Gas is hands down my favorite episode too!! I LOVE how Kaylee meets the gang bahaha

  6. Aaaaand this is why I love your blog. ๐Ÿ˜€ Dr. Who, Firefly, pretty clothes- all wrapped into one bundle is irresistible. I’m very excited to see the finished dress. Good luck!

  7. Thers’s no power in the verse that can stop the rufflyness of that dress. ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like it’s going to be absolutely amazing! I’m eagerly anticipating the finished product, probably a little less than you are!

  8. I always thought this dress was one of the most memorable outfits on Firefly, so well done to you for taking on this ambitious project, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    1. Thank you! I’m having so much fun making it and I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that it’ll turn out ok!

  9. Holy CRAP! I remember the first time you started talking about making this…way back in the OD days. Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished!

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