Hot! The “Channeling Björk” Outfit

The Facts 
Fabric: Pettiskirt: pink sheeting from stash, and cerise tulle $7.88 Top: black/cerise stripe remnant with fault $1.49
Patterns: Pettiskirt: based on tutorials for a half slip and Carrie’s SATC tutu skirt from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing and Trash to Couture Top: self drafted from existing top with sleeves inspired by Sistahs of Harlem t-shirt hack tutorial
Year: 80’s/90’s inspired
Notions: 1/2″ elastic from stash and thread
Time to complete: Pettiskirt: 6 hours, Top: 1 hour
First worn: 29th April 2012
Wear again? Yes (but not together….one can have too much pink)

Total Cost: $9.37 (£5.77)

The challenge: “Tickled Pink: This week, we’re going all girl and sewing with the color pink”.


“Pink is for girls. Girls are delicate and ladylike”

“Fat women shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes”

“Women in their 40’s shouldn’t wear tutus”

I say pah! Pif! A pox on society’s opinions!

This week, I’m channeling my inner Björk, and P!nk, and Cyndi Lauper and all those other strong unconventional women who’ve triumphed in pink.

Now I know this looks a rather ‘unusual’ get up this week…..and I’m not totally sure I’ll be shopping for my groceries in it real soon (especially as these are Goth Child’s army boots (my eldest) and she needs them back for ROTC)……but there was method in my madness.

For weeks I’ve been making do with a petticoat I made out of 3 tiers of bed valance and a folded piece of red tulle gathered by a waist elastic under my circle and fuller skirts. I’ve been thinking for a while I needed a proper tulle petticoat.

And trust me, I did start out with the intention to make a 50’s style 3 tier tulle petticoat ala the wonderful tutorial on Sugardale. But then I thought about Carrie’s tutu pettiskirt at the start of every Sex and the City episode, and I wondered if I made one of those whether I could wear it as underwear AND outerwear.

Then the pinkness of the pink made me feel all 80’s rather than 90’s so I thought I’d adapt Trash to Couture’s Carrie pettiskirt tutorial to more of a ra-ra skirt feel, with 4 shallower tiers so they’d stick out more. Which is what I did.

I made myself a bottom cotton half slip as per Gertie’s tutorial as a base, and sewed 4 rows of tulle in 6″ wide strips (2 layers in each tier, the bottom two tiers being 6yds gathered to the slip width and the top two tiers being 3yds gathered to slip width…..I wanted it pretty straightish, I don’t need any extra width at my hips!).

Unfortunately, I can’t leave things well alone……so I decided now I’d gather 4 pieces of tulle 3yds long each and 12″ wide for a top layer. Hence the shape of the finished pettiskirt. But look, my pettiskirt now has a petticoat underneath! (I’m sorry, little things amuse me):

I made the top out a piece of black and pink striped knit that I found in one of my favourite discount fabric stores. It had a rip in it so I got it even cheaper! Result! And as the rip lay exactly on a stripe it was mega easy to darn. I used an existing t-shirt I had for the pattern and the Sistahs of Harlem t-shirt hack tutorial inspired the ‘sleeves’.

Unfortunately the t-shirt I used as a template has more stretch in it than this black/pink stripe material… I could have done with cutting it with more ease……and then perhaps it wouldn’t keep rolling up at the bottom so annoyingly ;)

However, that’s one of the lovely things about these Sew Weekly challenges isn’t it? You live and learn.

This week I learned:

  • check how much stretch your material has in comparison to a piece you might be using as a template
  • don’t be an idiot and roll out your 6yds of tulle before cutting 6″ strips from it……roll it into a nice uniform even tube and cut it up like sausages as shown on Trash to Couture tutorial (why the heck didn’t I think of this?! It would have saved so much time and frustration)
  • sewing knits isn’t as difficult as I thought it was….I shall do more!
  • making a t-shirt isn’t as difficult as I thought it was……I shall do more!
  • how satisfying matching contrasting stripes up can be (which you can just about see on the side seam here)

I was also reminded how much I adore Björk from the days I first danced to her wonderfully unique voice with the Sugarcubes through her beautifully crafted videos with Michel Gondry, her fashion choices (and madness) to her incredible innovations with music and interactivity in recent years….I can’t actually choose my favourite song, there are too many but the one that always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end is her performance of Hyperballad at the Royal Albert Hall. Gorgeous.

I’ll be more conventional next week, promise :)




Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. Please don’t ever, ever go conventional.

    • Sorry, it’s too late….this coming week I will be conventional…..but as I’m sort of breaking the rules, or at least expectations perhaps I’m being unconventional…’ll have to wait and see ;)

  2. Pshaw….if you go “conventional” I’ll have to stop reading your stories : ) Just be yourself my army-boots-pink-tulle-elvis-impersonating-rowdy-girl!!

  3. Outrages! I’d say this look is so “editorial” (like the say on Project Runway, when something is worthy of putting in a magazine). Your posts are always so interesting and entertaining. More please.

  4. I adore this out-fit. I have a simalar skirt, but it hasn’t got as many layers of tulle – think you have inspired me to rectify that. My skirt has a plain lining so I can year it inside out with a bit of the tulle peaking out the bottom if I’m feeling a bit more conservative. I’m 48 and re-living the teenage years when I didn’t have the chance to be outrageous.

  5. This is just too fun. And is very Betsey Johnson!

  6. I have been waiting for your pink post so long (saw it pending forever!) and it was definitely worth the wait! Absolutely great outfit and the boots are such a cool choice. I never had a tutu when I was a little girl (or big girl) – I might have to make one of those for myself but probably won’t wear it for grocery shopping either. (And I’ll make sure not to roll out the 6 yards of tulle right away. Good advice!)
    And what great t-shirt. Even self-drafted!
    So you’ll go conventional next week, huh? (Giggling to myself right now.)

    • Thank you :) I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.

      Yep, I’m going conventional. I have an ‘old family photo’….sort of….it’s a big family….yep, I’m going to be as conventional as you’ll probably ever see me…..

  7. I feel like you and I must live on neighboring wavelengths. Once again, love the outfit, love your writing, and love your moxy. Awesome.

    Knits are sooo easy aren’t they?

    :) Please go grocery shopping in this outfit. And take pictures. I would love that.

  8. And how, pray tell, do you intend to be “more conventional” when the challenge is mixing prints? Hmm? Right… ;)

    • Oh blimey, you scared me there….all week I’ve been making something for the Family challenge (which I’ve just checked, twice, and yep it’s the Family one this week, and Mix It Up the week after).

      Ohhhhh, I’m going very conventional…..very straight-laced…..very goody-goody….

      “Here’s the story, of a lovely lady….” ;)

      • Ooooh! I woke up last night and realized I got the weeks mixed up! I’ve been working on the prints one, that’s why I was confused. Silly me.

        Heheh… Straight laced.. SURE. ;)

  9. OK, it’s official, you are amazing. Love, love love it.

  10. Love this! I really like your shirt, in particular. I have to say, I always hated that stupid tutu Carrie wore in the opening of Sex and the City (perhaps because I despised the show generally), but I quite like your outfit, especially with the combat boots. Very Clash, or something.

  11. LOVE!!!!! So bold! So fun! We should all make one and wear them on the same day wherever we are and remember that life is supposed to be fun!!! You are so fun. Thanks you for making this and sharing it with us-

  12. Oh, this is stunning! Love it!! (And I totally dare you to wear it grocery shopping one day. That would be awesome. :-) )

  13. Gorgeous!! Thanks for the link to the Carrie skirt, I’ve always wanted one! I always love to read your posts too. I know that even if you sewed a “conventional” outfit your personality would still be shouting out in how you write your post. Fabulous as always :)

  14. AWESOME Tempest!! please don’t be conventional next week it’s not really your style :P. As soon as I read the word Bjork my ears pricked up and I was like hello this is sooooo cool. I love your tutu. I once went out in Bjorks swan dress. hehe. I’ve seen Bjork a couple of times and every time I have cried with joy. She is amazing. Well done again Tempest.

  15. I really love that shirt. And very clever use of the petticoat. I’ve a pattern for one myself I need to get to sometime.

  16. ROCK STAR!!! I absolutely love it!

  17. You look so kick ass. You are so awesome.