Friday, May 2, 2014

Fashion Flash Back

This post is both; a bit of a flash-back and also about flashing your back.

I would like to apologise up front to those of you I might alienate with my unbridled contempt towards very feminine fashion. I think the Duchess of Cambridge looks fabulous, I just wish fashion buyers would put something else on offer in-store for those of us who's style is different.

Just sayin'.

I love my little girl to pieces, but not her taste in clothes; when we go shopping together she makes me try on what, to me, are the most extraordinarily ugly dresses.
Always uber-girly; always floral (with a strong bias on Liberty prints)  and more often than not flouncy with pinched in waists and full skirts.

I'm not a girlie-girl or a flouncy flowery dress person.

I'm more of a style-fan of Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn. I like straight uncomplicated lines and I NEVER wear florals - unless it's a Vintage 60's shift-dress the likes of these..

I hate gowns that resemble meringues with a passion so the last ball I went to I wore a custom tux with a backless fly-wing shirt inspired by the 1983 movie Flashdance .

I've always loved wearing suits. I used to go to a lot of balls, and the 'who's-wearing-the-best-dress? contests' used to make me gag, so that's why I decided to opt-out and join the guys.

Suits are classics, if they're cut well, they're dead sexy, ageless, timeless and you get a nice warm jacket as part of the deal with pockets which beats the hell out of dancing around your handbag.

So I thought, for our weekly 'crafty' I would talk about my conversion of a simple halter top into a fly-wing shirt.

I used a McCalls pattern, wish I could tell you which one, but there are quite a few vintage patterns on Etsy that would convert well.

Something like this, cut down, would be ideal.
I cut a pattern for the Dickie front laying tissue paper over the front pattern pieces. As my shirt front pieces had darts for the bust shaping I made sure that my Dickie fronts didn't cover these.
Then I took two pieces of my main fabric and pleated them before cutting them to shape (with allowance for turn-under).
After that, I pinned them to the shirt front panels and top-stitched them in place, lined up with the centre front (leaving the turn under for the front facing clear).

I sewed the  facings and side seams, attached my modified collar and left the button holes till last.  I wish I could give you a short cut for the fly-wing collar, but how you do this depends entirely on your original pattern's collar and you just have to tweak it until it looks right. I always experiment on paper first, even pinning or using sellotape to add pieces to the pattern.

Adding pearl or glass buttons and satin ribbon, gives it an even more formal finish. If I were younger and still had a six-pack I would do a cropped version with a fringe of beads along the bottom. Sadly I still have the beaded fringe I bought to do that, but not the six-pack. 

So here you have it; my timeless masterpiece (eh-hem) and back-flashing flash-back to Flashdance:
 a movie that launched several iconic fashion looks most of which enjoyed a renaissance in later years (even legwarmers!).

Thank God the monster shoulder pads didn't quite make it across the line the second time around.

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