'Flashdance' styles easily made at home

It's the off-the-shoulder look from the movie ''Flashdance,'' and it's seen everywhere today. Especially popular with teen-age girls, garments with the ''Flashdance'' look can be found in most department stores - and they're quite expensive.

If you buy your own material and sew it yourself, you can make the ''Flashdance'' look yours for a fraction of the price. Garments are usually made out of sweat-shirt fabric, readily available in all fabric stores.

''It is quite easy to adapt a pattern for the 'Flashdance,' '' explains M. Grace McMahon Johnson of the White Sewing Maching Company. ''Buy a loose-fitting top pattern that may already have the shoulder line extended beyond where it would be normally, and eliminate the facing patterns.

''You will end up with a raw edge around the neck and the arm's eye, and you can finish this off on a regular sewing machine. Or you can use an overlock machine and cut and overlock the fabric at the same time, thereby preventing raveling.''

''The easy thing about making a 'Flashdance' garment is that there is not much fitting involved, since the clothes are extremely loose-fitting,'' Ms. Johnson continues. ''The fabric tends to stretch, so use a stretch stitch that will give with the fabric. Be sure to use a No. 14 needle and strong thread, and preshrink the fabric.

''Compare your cost with the prices of 'Flashdance' clothes in better department stores and you will realize how relatively inexpensive it is to make them at home.''

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