Just last Friday, I hit play on the entire catalog of David Bowie and culled my closet, in the hopes that his supreme domain over the word cool would somehow seep out of the speakers and guide me as I determined the fate of each garment. Friday was also his birthday, and the day he released his 28th album. It was his final album release, as he fell back away from Earth this morning. 

I don't so much think I have the right to wax on about the loss of Bowie. Although he was a god to many, he was a human to many more, and that deeply personal loss is theirs. But he always has (and will continue to) inspire (really the word inspire doesn't cover it), so I thought it would be fitting to simply look back on a Bowie inspired creation of the past. I wrote the following post in April 2013. 

I love every glittering hard edged sexy speck that is David Bowie. In fact, I've been known to get into serious arguments with close friends about the neverending cool that is Bowie. I defy you to find a rocker that has always been as undyingly cool as Bowie. I'll fight you. EVEN LABYRINTH COULD NOT STOP HIM.

So when that wildfire storm of a bloggess Tempest Devyne announced a Bowie sewalong, I was aaaaaaaaaall in. Bowie sewie, baby. The only problem was too many ideas. Glam rock outfit...punk acid rock leather...slick R&B gospel suit...I landed on the look from "Jump They Say," from the album Black Tie/White Noise. VERY COOL VIDEO. He's on skyscraper rooftops, being pushed and pulled in medical rooms and elevators by sharp suits and pale nurses...the tune was written about his half brother, who, I believe, did jump. To me, it always sounded like an admonishment, a commendation, and a warning at the same time. VERY COOL SONG.

But I couldn't seal the deal, as the fashion was clean lines, tailored coats, and, well, black and white. 

Summer's coming, I can smell it in the air, it makes me feel alive, and I'm hellbound for color. Enter Nicole's (of You sew girl!holyfrig amazing Drape t-shirt dress pattern. This is "pattern magic," with no magic required. I'm of the no-thank-you camp when it comes to figuring those bad boys out, so imagine my delight when I had an artsy draped dress in UNDER AN HOUR. My first crack was made up in silky grey jersey, in the hopes of a slim resemblance to Monochrome Tailored Jazz Bowie... and I would've went with it, but I really needed to shoot it on top of a building (seriously, you gotta watch the video).  

But then I remembered this magnificent print, picked up at Spandex House. Or maybe it was World. Whichever one, IT HAS A SIX DOLLAR A YARD RACK. I had enough of this fabric fulla colors-to-light up-your-face to extend Nicole's pattern to maxi proportions. I believe there's even some serious moonlight in there. Definitely some blues for those red hues. And nothin says sway like jersey. The "Let's Dance" dress was on.

Big Daddy was always quite fond of this tune, we'd duet often. And Bowie is just, as always, the coolest. I revisited the video: a sweaty, white gloved Bowie lolls against a plaster wall with a lone upright bassist, a disinterested yet slightly worried singer, squinting into the sun bleached distance, as bar patrons of all ages drink and shimmy. You feel like you're in a mix of present and past Mexico, and Bowie is so cool, he doesn't even need to be in the video. You leave him halfway through the first verse and follow a young girl who happens upon a pair of patent leather red shoes, and then it all goes wrong in that Bowie video way: a mushroom cloud blossoms in the distance, and she and her beau are transported to some kind of New York (I may be projecting here), where they find themselves scrubbing streets, thoughtlessly spending, and dragging mechanical factory inventions around like packhorses. In the end, she ditches the shoes, and they snap out of it, back dancing barefoot atop their mountain, the sharp city intact in the distance across the water, the red shoes abandoned.

Appropriately, I went sans shoes for these photos, taken while away this weekend with Hollow Leg Dad, Hot Mama, and The Child(ren). Also appropriately, I would rather be dancing barefoot in their sun bleached backyard than heading back to the sharp city.

I'll put on some Bowie tonight for sure. It's the best for dancing when you have the blues.

2016: This dress has since been shortened to mini length, and now graces the (over 6 foot tall) frame of a stunning actress/singer/dancer who exudes joy twenty four seven. I don't regret the giving of it-- it was an excellent reincarnation. And there will always be Bowie in my closet.


  1. Thanks for this post. I cried when I heard the news- for various reasons- and I've been a bit down all day. I did go to work in a space-print dress and blue glitter socks though!

  2. This is my favorite post I've read here, and I thought I've read some great posts. Along those lines (and since I can't find a link to contact you directly on your blog): I wanted to tell you that you've been a big inspiration to me recently. I fell back in love with sewing over the past year, and your blog convinced me to start my own blog (currently in very early infancy) and try to join in to the online sewing community.

    I spent a few hours attempting to write a post, today, about Bowie. When I was 9 and my brother was 10 we (and our mother) flew across a few states to meet my Dad somewhere. I sat with Mom -- and my brother sat next to David fwacking Bowie. No lie. All I remember about the man was watching him exit the plane, as he turned around and waved at John Larry. He stood out, as you might imagine. My brother was ecstatic.

    Said brother passed away in 2010, and as I was driving to the airport after I found out I remember imagining him being in a little airplane, following me as I made my way to say goodbye, a 10 year old boy again, grinning from ear to ear.

    I imagined something similar for David Bowie, as I'm sure a lot of people did. How delighted I would think he must be with all the great art he left behind.

    Thanks, Oona. You not only sew what I so far haven't been able to sew (so far!!) -- you've written a great and lively tribute. I feel better now.

    1. I can't thank you enough for sharing that beautiful story. You truly made my day better as well.

    2. I'm in tears here! But, yes, thank you for sharing your post, Oona, and your story, Waco.

  3. "Happiness is Happening", so I didn't cry when I heard that David had removed from this very grounding world of ours; but the space around me did, for an instant, become still and silent. I think your using the term "inspire" (meaning in spirit or spirit within), when applied to Bowie is more pertinent now than ever before. Genius, once born can never die.
    "I'm stepping through the door,
    And I'm floating in a most peculiar way,
    I'm feeling very still,
    And I think my spaceship knows which way to go,"

    Love to his wife and family, whom he loves very much - (they know!)

    Love to you too gorgeous Oona, for the constant inspiration you send to we sewists who aspire to acquiring just some of your creativity and mettle.
    Baci Sxx


    1. and love back at you, thank you for clarifying inspire! as for mettle, a healthy dose of "let's see what happens" always helps ;)

  4. I also was totally shocked, saddened, and depressed by the news. Bowie got me through my teen years and helped me walk tall and wear my weirdness proud. But rather than get too lost in the idea of losing, I decided to celebrate with some of his greatest hits while I puttered about the house today. Love your throwback tribute to him! He'll continue to be an inspiration and artistic safe haven for those that need it - that's the beauty of music and art. It's immortal! (and I'm not totally convinced that we weren't borrowing that beautiful alien for a time to begin with...)

    1. you and me both, sister. when i heard about Rickman today, i basically decided a crew of beautiful aliens were heading home.

  5. Yesterday was such a sad day for me, and this post brightened my mood. Love the print and the dress. How fitting a memorial to that fabulous man!

  6. Wonderful post. You have to be older to really appreciate the shock that was Bowie when ziggy appeared. Parents were appalled and as a young teenager I was amazed ... And challenged in a way that helped minds to open. My favourite album was Aladdin sane and I can actually still feel being 18 and driving too fast to the relentless beat of let's spend the night together.

    1. that IS strange to think about! i wonder what would be the equal today? miley cyrus twerking? ugh...

      thank you for that fantastic earworm (of course you were speeding! how could it be helped?!)

  7. 2016 is beginning really brutal... Lemmy, Cole, Bowie and now Rickman and it's not even Feb yet!

  8. Thanks for sharing this touching story here. Yes, we are at a loss after Bowie died but his family and close friends are much more in grief. We lost a music icon and an inspiration but I just can’t imagine how much pain his loved ones feel right now.

  9. I was very saddened not only at the death of this paragon (and dedicated patron) of the arts in genral, but also at the death of an actor I personally considered to be fantastic in every way (especially THAT VOICE), Alan Rickman. You know, I think I'll just pull the covers over my head and tell the rest of the world to P* off for a day...then get back to my comparitively inconsequencial life... :(


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!