Get Down and Derby!!


Yesterday was the famous Kentucky Derby, and as a local Louisvillian I felt compelled to host a Derby party. I used to attend the Derby in the infield in past years, but for those of you not familiar with the infield antics there is usually lots of drunken debauchery including topless ladies and public urination… nothing but class! That ship has sailed for me, and unfortunately the next step up from infield is box seats, millionaire’s row and such- a bit outside my price range. Though I hope that we will get to go and do Derby right someday, I would love to make a big fabulous dress and wear and awesome hat!

It was also a rainy day, so the comfort of my own home seemed like a great alternative! Of course I had to make a Derby dress for the occasion, and I found this vintage neon print of a horse racing scene and I was super pumped. There was only 1.5 yards of this material available from the seller, so I snatched it up and went back to my old faithful Simplicity Passport dress. I’ve made it a million times and its so easy to wear, I figured with only a yard and a half of fabric I had no room for mistakes. I think it turned out really cute!

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It was a tight squeeze getting the dress to fit a yard and a half and still showcase the print, but I somehow managed. I had no construction problems, but I do think I could take the waist up a bit. I plan to wear this dress to the race track at some point so I’ll fix it before then. Check out our fabulous mascots for the evening, I named them Kriss Kross in honor of the fallen 90’s artist. May his backwards pants forever live on!

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The party was a blast, Chris smoked ribs and pork butt, and I made Derby pies and lots of yummy appetizer. Two of the big hits were my mini hot brown bites (think mornay sauce, turkey, tomato, bacon, and parmesan cheese… (delicious ridiculousness! recipe here) and shrimp orzo salad. I have had a major obsession with orzo pasta lately, this recipe is great. It makes a ton and it is a nice light side dish. I was hoping there would be some left over so I could take it to work for lunch this week, but no such luck!

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True to the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, we had much gambling throughout the day and night. We watched each race and sold each horse for a dollar out of a deck of cards by number, winner taking the pot. I only managed to win one race on a horse named Stephanie’s Kitten… $8 whole dollars! However, my winnings were quickly confiscated when the dice started rolling for a never ending game of Philly three’s. It is highly addictive… not sure I can recommend it on a clear conscience.

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Our friend Joey’s perfect roll of the evening… that dog.

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Despite the rain, we had a super fun time with great company. Even Harper enjoyed herself!

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Happy Derby everyone! Looking forward to next year :)

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20 Comments on “Get Down and Derby!!”

  1. Kathy says:

    LOVE this dress. I am so jealous of your fabric. I’m in Baltimore and the Preakness is coming up soon, I WISH I had such fabulous fabric to make a dress like this for the day.

    • cjgal says:

      Thank you! I have been looking for horse fabric forever and I finally stumbled onto this one. Sometimes you just gotta wait it out!

  2. macstabby says:

    That fabric is amazing! The dress is super cute, and I like your lil fascinator.
    I’m also mourning for Chris Kelly- the whole situation is wiggity wack.
    hahaha…you said “pork butt.”

  3. Michelle says:

    I LOVE your fabric! It makes this dress so much fun and oh so colorful for warm weather

  4. Amy says:

    That print is amazeballs! Really makes the dress extra special. Your party looks mega fun!

    • cjgal says:

      Thanks! It was a lot of fun, stayed up a little too late though. I’m usually not a neon kind of gal but this somehow worked!

  5. So many awesome things in this post-the dress most of all (love that the darts haven’t interrupted the print in any obvious way) but also the dog, ‘pork butt’, ‘may his backwards pants live on forever’. Gems one and all.

  6. Such a lively, and topical, print! You chose a great pattern to showcase it. :)

  7. aww! Super cute fabric–what a great find. The party looks like a blast–you sure know how to have a good time!

    • cjgal says:

      Thanks, I was really excited when I found it. My husband isn’t so much into my “theme” prints but he just doesn’t get it… Men…

  8. CGCouture says:

    Dude! That is so freaking awesome!! Who knew that such a crazy awesome fabric existed?! And your party looks like it was a hit, even if there wasn’t any public urination and topless women… ;-)

    • cjgal says:

      Thank you! I know there’s many a hidden treasure to be found out there. And btw, who said there wasn’t public urination? Haha I kid, I kid. However, topless women, well….

  9. gingermakes says:

    How fun! I’ve always wanted to go to the Derby. :) I love this dress so much– it’s adorable!

    • cjgal says:

      Thanks! You should definitely go one year, it’s pretty awesome. Check it off the bucket list, and get yourself a bad ass hat!

  10. Gjeometry says:

    Eeeeeee (high pitched noises!!). That’s the most awesome dress ever! Great print and great, sort of neon pastel (if that is even a thing) colours! Love it so much. May come over to your country to borrow it one day. :)


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