In case you hadn’t guessed, this is going to be about Bowie.
Specifically, it’s about this outfit, from 1973. It’s made of vinyl and was designed by Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour. I chose this as my starting point for Tempest Devyne’s Bowie Sewalong! Also, it has red shoes (for dancing the blues).
I’m making my version from… old T-shirts, what else?!
These T-shirts came from (L-R below) Deptford Salvation Army shop, £2; PDSA Bolton, £3.99; Scope Barking, £2.
To make my black and white Bowie-inspired dress, I had to make a pattern. I traced off my trusty jersey dress block and started sketching. First thing was to add a bit to the neckline so that would stick up. Then I drew on the rough position of the stripes. Because of the size of the T-shirts, I had to cut the dress into sections so that it could be pieced. I cut it horizontally around the bustline and waistline and made these lines coincide with the style lines/corners of the stripes.
After cutting it into a bazillion strips, I cut the pieces from the disco print T-shirt, not forgetting to leave a minimal 5mm seam allowance.
I had to play a bit fast and loose with the grainlines for some of the pieces. I was a bit short of material since I couldn’t use the part of the T-shirt with the print on it.
There was only just enough!
I cut some white strips to make the piping from the white T-shirt. I just cut 1.5cm strips perpendicular to the grain with a ruler and rotary cutter.
My original idea was to use the overlocker for this project, but it just ate the pieces. After a frustrating few hours unpicking overlocked seams (NOT fun), I gave up and used the zig zag stitch on my machine instead. It turned out to be a lot easier to control, even with the tiniest pieces, and it didn’t eat my work. That said, it was still quite tricky to get the white piping completely even. I ended up stretching out the white strips before folding them to try and maintain a bit of consistency.
Here is the top section pieced together.
This is what the inside looked like… not exactly perfect ;-)
These are the pieces for the middle section. Interesting fact: when you cut thin strips of jersey in the direction of the grain, it rolls up. A lot.
Here are a few more work in progress shots. The plain black one is the back of the dress – cut from the third T-shirt. That was pieced as well, though not into quite as many pieces.
And the finished product:
The question is will I actually wear this? Possibly only at Halloween (it has a cobwebby vibe to it). I could possibly cut the waist seam to make a skirt and top, which would make it a little less overpowering. What do you think?