If the ’70s aren’t your style, try ’50s fashion

Is it too late to wish you happy new year? I hadn’t intended on such a long blogging break, but various forms of technology conspired against me*, and so I find it’s been a whole month since my last post. It hasn’t been a wholly unpleasant hiatus, with trips down to Sorrento and some DIYing among the activities that have kept me occupied. 

This year, one of my blogging goals is to learn to use my new camera (or perhaps more accurately, to get my boyfriend to learn to use it, haha) so that I don’t have to rely on selfies taken in the backyard to showcase my creations. Here’s our first attempts at a fashion shoot. Not bad, considering it was crazy windy, we were both being attacked by flies and it was about 40 degrees in the shade – and that this dress is made from what seems to be 100% polyester.    

 Really, how on earth did people survive summer in the ’70s if they were all wearing synthetics? I’m sure all the spray-on deodorant they must have had to douse themselves in is entirely responsible for climate change. But I must be confusing you – this dress is not ’70s style at all, is it?

Ah, well that would be due to a spot of DIY. Originally, the dress looked like this (and originally, my photos looked like this – these shots were taken on my old camera and are the before-mentioned selfies in the backyard!)  

 Of course, it was an op-shop find – at $4, I couldn’t say no when I found it a few months ago at Animal Aid in Croydon, even though it was a bit too big and not exactly flattering. I knew I’d eventually find a way to wear it!
I decided to transform it into a jaunty nautical-inspired number with a swingy ’50s-style skirt. To do this I needed more fabric at the waist, so I chopped off the skirt just below the back zip, which was at about hip level (this is the view from the side).     

 I worked out how long I wanted the skirt to be from the waist, then marked that measurement all around from the hem up.

 I then trimmed off the midriff section. I didn’t use it for anything in this project but no doubt I’ll think of something, so for the mean time it’s sitting in my fabric stash.

The next bit involved taking in the bodice a bit so that it fitted better, and then pleating the waistline of the new skirt section so that it matched with the white and blue panels at the front. But as this involved me standing in front of the mirror with a mouth full of pins and both my hands full of fabric, taking photos was not exactly practical! You can get an idea of what I did by looking at any sewing pattern that joins a fitted top to a fuller bottom section.
The final step for this project was to dig out my other op-shop finds to put this ’50s-influenced outfit together! My white cane handbag is from this trip to Vinnies, heels are from the Salvos, headscarf from a flea market in Bonn when I studied there many, many years ago and earrings are also from an op-shop.         

And there you go – the too-big ’70s maxi-dress is transformed into a flattering ’50s model. Now, if only I could work out how to change the sweaty synthetic fabric into cooling cotton…

*My grand plan was to shift this blog to WordPress and also to upgrade my 6-year-old MacBook for a shiny new laptop which allowed me to run current programs and actually be able to see all the content on websites. Having never understood the PC vs Mac debate and having used both with no problem previously, I bought a PC – and realised fairly much straight away that I am most definitely a Mac girl. I’m now trying to sell the PC and buy a Mac. Once all that is straightened out then I can get on with all the changes for my blog! Although now I’m wondering if I should go with Wix rather than WordPress? Any ideas? Stick with me anyway – the ride might be a bit bumpy for a while but it will hopefully be worth it!