My “Elton John” inpsired outfit

The Facts
: Leopard printed polyester for blouse, black gabardine for pants
Pattern: New York pattern # 1779 for shirt, Simplicity 3688 for pants
Year: 1940′s
Notions: Interfacing and 7 buttons for shirt from stash; 1 hook-n-eye & waistband interfacing for pants from stash
Time to complete: ~4 hours
First worn: May 2012
Wear again? YES!!

Total Cost: $13.03 for blouse fabric, pants fabric from Angie’s stash but I did buy pattern for $1.08




Vegas….Vegas….what to do…

Many years ago I actually worked in Las Vegas designing uniforms for casinos such as Cesars, Treasure Island, Mirage, MGM Grand and Binion’s. I know there were others but memory fails me at the moment. It’s not as glamorous as you may think, you spend a lot of time in meetings trying to out-guess the competition and trying to explain the evils of sweat-shop produced clothing. Not that I didn’t meet a lot of nice, hard working people but trying to make an item of clothing cheaper than a factory in Vietnam isn’t my idea of the dream job. And the day I was trying, very delicately, to explain to a roomful of men why having a leotard with an 8″ wide crotch might be uncomfortable to the average woman (and then having Steve Wynn walk up behind me…yeah…) was the day I knew that I needed to do something else : )

So when it came to the Vegas challenge it was just a matter of picking an era and an icon AND it needed to be something I could wear in public. The last time I was in Las Vegas was about six years ago and the highlight of my trip was getting to shop at the Elton John store in Ceaser’s. One of the prized items in my wardrobe is the shirt I bought, here is the label:

The very first Elton John song I ever heard was “The Bitch is Back”. Considering that I was raised on a steady diet of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and was in the third grade before I heard that “rock-n-roll stuff” this song just made my JAW DROP. We were able to play records during Art classes in high school and this was the first song played my first day there. I was IN LOVE. Elton John was the first live concert I ever went to, it was the first live show I took my daughter to (but she dragged me to No Doubt, Offspring and a BFD concert so she returned the favor, at least I side stepped Korn). I tried making some of his outfits, I played the piano so I got some of his sheet music, I saw his shows as often as possible and onetime spent a whole 20 seconds talking to “him” on a radio station!  He may not be Mr. Las Vegas (I think Wayne Newton still has that honor) but to me he epitomizes Vegas. So I’m channeling the outfit he wore on the very first album of his I ever bought, Caribou.

I was tired this week, work was busy but I knew I was REALLY tired when trying to describe what I was thinking of making to Angie and I said “He’s wearing a shirt on the cover that is zebra print only orange and black” and she looked at me funny and said “You mean tiger?” Yeah…. My big mission of the week was to find some sort of animal print that wouldn’t make me look like I re-worked little kids PJ’s or a Halloween costume. I actually found the leopard print at JoAnn’s and was set. I decided to try the retro 40′s pant pattern that Trish most recently raved about and guess what? It’s fabulous. Just as easy as everyone says, the only tweaks I made were tapering the outside leg seam an inch and altering the waistline of the pant so the waistband sits in the right place. When I put these on I felt like they shaved 10 pounds off!

I used the same shirt pattern I’ve used several times lately because I wanted that yoke at the top and this time I made the long sleeved version and just gathered the sleeves instead of doing those pleats.I used three different styles of button, it’s what I had on hand that worked and ironically the buttons down the center front were left over from a project for the Mirage! Little touch of Vegas there for you…

That is the album I bought in 1974, my very first, along with the piano I grew up playing : )  Cool glasses too, huh?

Then my daughter and I started playing around with photos and photoshop-

But my favorite photo that came out of the day has to be this:

We were trying to figure out just WHAT the heck his hands were doing in the original shot. Was he dancing? Was he grooving to his own drummer? What was going on there?

I tried to see if we could reproduce that postion without feeling totally awkward…

Yeah…dork central…but what the heck…we were laughing and having a good time : ) I think when I wear this to work I’ll leave the glasses at home and not dance on BART.

And now for one of my prized possessions, the shirt I bought in the boutique:

I don’t wear it often, not because of the reaction I might get but because I don’t want the glitter to wear off : ) At least you know what you’re getting into if you see me in this…

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