Space clothes or curtains?

I’ve been making a top inspired by this outfit from Blake’s 7. For those who weren’t brought up in Britain in the late 70s/early 80s, this was a TV science fiction series known for its dark themes, strong characters, and spectacularly silly costumes. This is one of the more wearable ones. The character is Jenna, who was the spaceship pilot from the good guys in the first two seasons.

(Picture from Lisa’s Frame Capture Library).

And here’s my version.

Vogue 1195

The pattern is the top from Vogue 1195.

The fabric is a black and white chiffon bought on Goldhawk Road in London. The fibre content is a mystery. There is no point pressing it, as no amount of heat and pressure will put a crease into it. On the upside, it doesn’t melt even with the iron at its maximum temperature. It frays quite badly and it’s a challenge to get iron-on interfacing to stick to it. I had to press it for twice the time the instructions said. Is there such a thing as Teflon fabric?

I replaced the fabric belt with a loop of wide elastic with its ends stitched together permanently. The belt runs inside the top at the back which makes the back hang completely loose, unlike the original.

Vogue 1195

The top has a bound neckline and bound buttonholes for the belt to run through. I used Vilene bias tape on the neckline and stabilised the binding strips for both the neck and buttonholes with lightweight knit interfacing; the fabric was far too slippery on its own. This was my first attempt at bound buttonholes and they weren’t as complicated as I’d been led to believe. Not that mine are perfect, but for a first try I’m very pleased with the results.

This isn’t the easiest thing in the world to wear. It needs high, chunky heels and leggings (or possibly very skinny jeans) otherwise it looks like a tent. Even with the heels it looks a bit like I woke up and decided to put on a pair of curtains rather than clothes. Still if I am ever called upon to fly a stolen spaceship I have the right outfit now.

Vogue 1195
Vogue 1195

5 thoughts on “Space clothes or curtains?

  1. Oh, I forgot to write that I will be in London in July. You’re in London right? I am meeting up with some other sewing bloggers as well. Would you like to join us?

    1. That would be great! I’ll drop you an email. And thanks for the nice comment about the top. I haven’t quite dared wear it out of the house yet but maybe I’ll give it a go 🙂

  2. You can definitely carry this look off so I hope it will make it out of the house soon. Teflon fabric sounds like the perfect thing for an outfit inspired by Blake’s 7!

  3. Hi Catherine,

    I like the top… It’s so on trend with this season looks, and you should wear it out of the house. It’s definitely a top to show off this summer.

    Colleen G Lea

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