We were invited out to the races and picnic day in Orange, a beautiful regional town about 4 hours west of Sydney, for a 40th birthday party. Perfect opportunity for me to wear one of my under utilised beautiful frocks and hats and generally dress up as one does (or should do) for the races. Sadly though this group of my husband's friends just love the themed dress up party - the last big party we went to was an Elvis and Priscilla theme. Ever seen a Chinese Elvis?
The funniest thing about that photo is not my husband wearing an Elvis costume (made out of some white overalls bought from an op shop with triangle godets sewn in to make flares) but the fact that we were staying in a very fancy hotel and got quite a lot of amused/horrified looks from the other guests in the lobby whilst we tried to hail a taxi!
Anyway the theme for this weekend was the 70s. As I said in the last post I was planning to try to embarrass my husband as much as possible, and so I had planned to make him some brown polyester pants and a brown + orange paisley print body shirt from this vintage Simplicity pattern (all of which I actually do have in my stash):
But last week we had such heatwave conditions that it was just too much to do anything other than loll about in front of the fan, let alone sew with polyester. Plus the forecast for Saturday was for very hot weather too, so a back up plan was required. Which is where a bit of research with Dr Google came in handy. I came across this photo of Asher Keddie looking gorgeous as Ita Buttrose in Paper Giants (a fantastic ABC mini series) on a post from BusinessChic on 70s workwear inspiration:
|photo via Businesschic.com|
Whilst I love that green patterned skirt with the minty green fitted shirt, it's the guy in the background with the newspaper that really caught my eye. He may look like someone out of Abba but the short sleeved shirt, dress shorts and knee high socks is the quintessential smart casual look for men in the 70s. Although I remember some school teachers of mine during the 80s still rocking this look, and even worse some old school building inspectors from my first council job still wearing this style in the late 90s!
So I dug out a cotton knit/mesh style top that was my grandad's, cut the legs off some chinos to make shorts and finally tracked down some knee high walking socks. Boy are they hard to find these days - if anyone else is looking for some try Lowes (if you're under the age of 65 they'll know straight away it's for a dress up costume ha ha ha).
And no, he still wasn't embarrassed by his outfit, just a little hot and sweaty. Finding something for myself wasn't going to be too difficult since I've sewn quite a few things from 70s sewing patterns but I decided to go 100% authentic and wear a shirt dress that was my grandma's in stripes of purple in varying shades that is proudly labelled as 'crimpelene':
I accessorised with a pair of oversized sunglasses and a timber/chain necklace which was also my grandma's that Toby spend the entire day chewing and pulling on. The hat is my everyday hat for sun protection, but it has a bit of 70s vibe with the floppiness. Even though I felt a bit frumpy in the dress because it's a little too large for me, I didn't actually feel in costume at all because a shirt dress is totally something I would wear now (although not in polyester). Not like the others in our group who were in mini dresses with white knee high boots, maxi dresses in crazy prints with wedge heels, safari suits and one guy getting around like Hugh Hefner in a satin smoking jacket.
And now on my with my normal sewing - I have January's Burda of the month about 80% done and I want to get it done before the month is out.
One last photo from the Paper Giants show - I love that the character of Ita who is a high flying fashion magazine executive is not only sewing at home, but is sewing on a bright orange Husqvarna sewing machine because my mum still has and uses that exact same sewing machine!
|photo via abc.net.au|