Maeri Certo



(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Model: Lola Loveletter; Photographer: Bridget R. Caswell

Outline the story …

Being a member of FR staff, I can only enter as an exhibition. Cathy and the team decided to offer us a stipend for materials if we wanted to exhibit, and I decided to use that as an opportunity to make a burlesque costume for an up and coming POC performer who wouldn't normally be able to afford a bespoke costume, rather than something for myself. For the theme, I looked at endangered species from the US and decided the Puerto Rican Amazona parrot was the perfect choice. I wanted to highlight species that need us to care about their survival, and somehow I have a knack for designing bird costumes, despite a bird phobia! Pictures of the bird are in my pinterest link so you can see how I translated it into a gown, hat, bra, and knicker set. Design-wise, I wanted to do a vintage-inspired ensemble because that's the focus of my business, Certain Sundries. The bra and knicker patters are adapted from The Underpinnings Museum cathedral bra and a plain knicker, and the dress is a Mrs Depew 1950s French draft at home pattern with no instructions.

Outline the construction…

Materials: spring green cotton twill flat lined to both the metallic brocade of the undergarments and to the rayon satin of the gown; lime green rayon satin gown fabric; lime green poly lining; metallic brocade; synthetic organzas layered in the drape accent; nylon horsehair in the hems and in the overskirt's cartridge pleats; a mix of flat steel and synthetic whalebone boning in the bra and dress bodice' metallic gold tassels; YKK zippers, skirt hooks, clear snaps. The hat is a combination of teal sinamay and uncolored horsehair, with layers of soft tulle matching the parrot feather colors. The biggest challenges in the build were accommodating body changes after my model had emergency surgery, and navigating sewing a complex outfit with a new dog that hates not being next to me all the time. I did also have some challenges tweaking the bra fit and determining how I wanted to make things work as separate pieces instead of a one piece dress. In the end, the majority of the dress involved hand sewing because the dog hated me being in the sewing room, but the bra and knicker are mostly by machine (see video for evidence of his feelings about sewing room time and his "help" hemming the skirts!).




  1. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 9, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Love how they all work as individual pieces but also come together so nicely! That green is stunning ❤️

  2. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 10, 2023 at 1:52 am

    This is gorgeous! I love your inspiration! The whole ensemble is serene, sexy and quite tasteful! Lovely!

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