Now all I need is a party!

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently bought a 1960’s Hostess Gown from a lovely vintage shop in Dunsborough, if you are ever down that way “do yourself a favour” and check it out (Oroton mesh bags, skirt suits a la Jackie Onassis etc etc, it’s a treasure trove!).

Anyway, this lovely dress caught my eye, the fabric colours are my two favourites. I don’t know the maker Noble Frocks of Sydney (last mention I found online was 1969), but I think they must have been a high-end manufacturer. The dress was very well made, with pattern-matching and tailoring techniques- it made unpicking the whole thing quite a chore, but oh, so worth it 🙂

dsc_0533.jpg  I didn’t even bother trying the dress on in the shop as it was very tiny around the waist (and those days are a distant memory for me) and the bust sat so high, I don’t think I was ever that pert!!!

The first step was to harvest some fabric from the lower hem, I took about 20cm as the dress was very long and I am not particularly tall. I added 5cm to both sides of each shoulder to drop the bust points to where I am and also to keep the balance at the back. Then I added another 5cm to both sides of the dress. Unfortunately the pattern matching had to go as what I had available just couldn’t be wangled that way. No matter though, the pattern is pretty busy and the areas I added the fabric are not glaringly obvious.

The sleeves were left open at the bottom edge. The fabric is synthetic and I wanted to have as much air flow around sweaty bits as possible. I had enough fabric left to close the sleeves with a seam, but decided against it, I may well change my mind in the future, but I am happy with the decision at the moment.

I finished the bottom with a finger-rolled narrow hem, to be honest, it’s a bit of a dogs breakfast, that chiffon just moves around so much when trying to cut accurately, methinks I will need to investigate Tear-Away… anyway, the hem is far enough away for it not to be an issue (really?).

Now all I need is a party to “hostess” !

I wonder if the original owner would recognise her dress now? It has gone from a long, elegant gown for a slim and pert 1960’s woman, to a shorter and slightly less elegant one for a slightly plump middle-aged woman.20160229_195433.jpg   20160229_194830.jpg

It is funny though, I am gradually coming around to liking this stage of my body’s evolution; it is a strong and capable one that has borne children and worked hard.  it is pretty fit and getting even fitter as I write; it is good 🙂


UPDATE: This may well be my last post for a while. Personal stuff is pretty overwhelming at the moment and I haven’t much energy for sewing or commentary; hopefully things will settle over the next few months and I can get back into this…



Evil and Art

I wrote this in July, but was hesitant to post it as it talks about subjects that carry a lot of emotion. It was in response to a radio programme I listened to, that attempted to answer the question, “Is art done by evil people, inherently evil?

It has become a topic of conversation over the last few weeks since Rolf Harris was found guilty of sexually assaulting some children in the past. Here in Western Australia, we have loved Rolf for years (me included- does anyone remember his television show and his amazing paintings?). Our populace is almost in mourning that our immensely talented and successful personality has been revealed as a sexual predator. He came from a place that revered him and gave him the keys to the town, they have now been revoked and there are moves to erase his presence from any public place which has his signature. His portrait of the Queen is (I have read) being removed from public view.queen

My question is this; does the artist being evil, mean that the artwork and every good thing  he/she has done (and Rolf has done a lot of charitable works) have to be negated?

There are a few famous people whose reputations have been shot down in flames for being paedophiles, the most notorious recently being English entertainer Jimmy Saville (deceased). The revelations about him have been truly horrifying and far-reaching, Gary Glitter (aka Paul Gadd) was imprisoned in Vietnam (or was it Cambodia) for sexual predation of children and is reviled wherever he goes, but what is it that separates these awful men from the likes of Roman Polanski and Bill Wyman, who had “dealings” with underage girls and yet still enjoy public appreciation of their work?

I don’t think Gary Glitter is known for charitable works, but my understanding is that Jimmy Saville raised millions of pound for charity, all the while intimidating, grooming and interfering with children as a sideline.

I am not an apologist for paedophiles, let’s get that straight. I am disgusted by them and find their “antics” beyond comprehension.

My question remains however, if someone evil creates a thing of beauty, is that thing also evil?

Bryan Ferry issued a public apology for his comments in appreciation of the work of Leni Riefenstahl and Albert Speer (Nazi propaganda film maker and architect respectively), but he was not commenting on them being Nazis; as an artist, he was looking at the aesthetics of their work. The Public were outraged and condemned his comment, from which he quickly back pedalled. Anyone who has been to Germany and seen the work of Speer, cannot help but be favourably impressed, in itself- the work is not evil. Riefenstahl made propaganda films for the Nazi Party, but her camerawork is often stunning.

I just found this article which presents the topic in a very balanced way, I encourage you to read it and have a think 🙂