African summer - a heat wave from the outset. Indian summer - a belated heat wave setting in close to the autumn when you thought all hope was gone for the present year. British summer - disappointing, rainy and chronically overrated misnomer scheduled between May and September, for which we wistfully brave the punishing elements in shorts and t-shirts, as if it genuinely were 3o degrees in the shade... or is it? Not if this year's anything to go by. Perhaps, then, there is a God, who acknowledged that we are still plodding our way out of recession and have had all manner of travel impediments, most of them involving volcanic ash clouds, so he/she gave us a jolly nice summer, right here, on our blessed homeland. It's been uncanny. It's worked out much cheaper than a holiday, not to mention less hassle, and the first time, since pa fell off the bus, that I can grace fair England's streets in a summer frock without feeling like a human experiment for outdoor cryogenics. Oh, what it is to step out in style, and to step out of the tawdry British tradition of lamenting the weather, instead savouring the cocktail of sizzling heat and sultry idyll with which we have been provided. So much so that I thought this called for a sultry and sizzling pop reference. Who perfectly encapsulates the two? It could only be, Kylie Minogue. All The Lovers... of stylish t-shirts must surely have noticed her Jean Paul Gaultier number from her recent single, and, here at Chic Cheat HQ, we couldn't possibly overlook it.
About £3-£3.50... probably about a hundredth of the original price!
HoursAbout 3 hours.
You will need
- A white t-shirt, available for as little as £2 courtesy of Primark
- 20cm White stretch fabric anything from jersey to lycra, as long as it stretches. Synthetic fabrics tend to be cheaper, and there's no need to push the boat out on this one.
- 1.5m white bias binding - I say 1.5 to b on the safe side, but in most instances, I'd say you'd be fine with 1m.
- Sewing machine... I say this is a £3 project, because that's the sort of price the raw materials come to. However, you are going to need one of these, and if you do need to buy one, this exercise may prove to be something of a false economy!
Cut away the middle of the T-shirt so that there is only an area of fabric about 10cm wide on each side.
Cut tour stretch white fabric into strips about 20cm long. You will probably notice that if you cut your strips one way, across the width of the fabric they will fray and disintegrate, whereas if you cut them across the length of the fabric, they can stretch without fraying.
Cut trial strips in both directions and, when you find a way that works best, cut 15-20 strips.
Pin your strips at the edge of the fabric so that they go across the middle of your t-shirt, forming X shapes around the bust and towards the bottom.
When you're happy with the way you've pinned your fabric strips, fold your bias binding in half and pin it over the raw edges. Machine stitch it in place and you should have a t-shirt that looks something like this...
...And that you hold now, in your mortal hands, the clothing of a modern-day Aphrodite.Wear it with some black hotpants and a bandeau bra to look like the real McCoy and you've got it - wow wow wow WOW!!!