1980s

I recently bought a small stack of 1980′s Kwik Sew patterns of of eBay. I don’t usually go for the 80′s, but there were a few that were super cute and the price was right. I didn’t have any immediate plans for them, but figured something would pop up in my fabric stash that would go with one of them.

The last few days I’ve been picking out pieces of fabric, either stuff I honestly can’t fathom why I ever bought it, or large remnants from past projects to list of eBay. While I was sorting through it all, I came across a piece of fabric that had so far proven too small to use for anything. I fell in love with it and ordered the very last 1.5 yards a few years ago, but I didn’t want to make a tank top, and so far that was my only real option aside from a top I had just made a few days previously and I didn’t think that fabric was right for it.. Then I realized Kwik Sew 1425 only uses a little over a yard of fabric. I decided to sew view B, but without using contrasting fabric for the sleeves, which makes it the same as view C, without the straps in the back.

The entire project took about 2 hours from start to finish, mainly because I had to rip out a couple of seams. I say its because I used a perfectly matched thread color- if I had used a contrasting thread, there would have been no mistakes, and everything would have gone perfectly. I also finished the neckband and sleeve ends a bit differently from the instructions. I used a size Large.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, though if I make it again I’d add a few inches to the bottom. I didn’t hem the bottom edge because if I had, this would nearly be a belly shirt, and I didn’t want that. I also really like my fabric choice for this. I also really like the way the back is low, but not bra-strap-showingly low. Its a nice scoop and constrast to the high neckline in the front.

Excuse the face I’m making and the yoga pants. I usually take photos with my good camera and a tripod, but my camera died, and my boyfriend apparently doesn’t know to take the picture when I’m not making faces. I figure I was lucky to get him to snap them at all. :p I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this top though, even if I was making faces for the photos.

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So I’m working on a couple of WIP that I let fall by the wayside over the summer and have finally finished a sun dress I cut out months ago!


I used a vintage curtain I found in a charity shop about a year ago to make this dress- I loved the fabric so much so I wanted to wait until I’d decided on the perfect thing to make with it.  I’m glad I did because I really love this dress.  I’m pleased with its finish, I’ve only just learnt to bind the inside hems and love how it looks!

The bodice is made from Simplicity 4070, and the skirt is a rectangle piece I played around with until I got the pleats right.

It’s a totally shame I have to put this away until next spring/summer, but it really is just too cold to wear right now!

For more photos and construction info, check out my blog – The Dressmaking Diaries

 

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Hi all! I’m not sharing today but rather asking for your help! I have been invited to a prom-themed birthday party for a friend. We are all about ten years or more out of high school. I never went to my prom, and neither did she, but I really want to make this awesome. I’m still very much up in the air about the dress I want to do for this, but here are a few I’ve seriously considered. The first one I really like the very classic and conservative lines.

Neither of these are vintage, but I fell in love with them just the same. What’s my question? What are some vintage dress patterns that would be prom-appropriate that you can think of? I’d love to find one to fall in love with and go that route instead!

I do have a few prerequisites though for you to consider.

  • Nothing strapless, plunging backs, or spaghetti straps- I’m a big girl up top (F cup) and finding a good bra is hard enough- finding a strapless good bra will be a nightmare. Not wearing one at all is not going to happen! haha
  • I would prefer a fairly sleek silhouette, but I’m not adverse to a full skirt.
  • Full length preferred, but others are okay too.
  • 1950′s and previous I’m very open to, as some 80′ s styles.
  • Sleeves are very welcome as we may be outside quite a bit for this event and it is being held in November!

As I said, I never went to my prom, so this is my chance to do it and I want to look amazing!I never have opportunity to dress up like this.

I also need to find a good men’s dress shirt pattern that’s not terribly difficult. My boyfriend has agreed to go to this as long as I make his shirt… I never thought I would hear that as a request! O.O

Anyway, show me what you’ve got! I need some fresh ideas, and if you’re already sewn the dress in question, I would love to see photos of the finished item to get a better feel for it.

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I’m sure we’ve all seen those 1970′s patterns that imitate 1930′s and 1940′s lines, right?  Simplicity 6164, Simplicity 5844, Butterick 3174, Marian Martin 9327 . . . you get the picture.  Well, I decided it was time to turn the tables.

Since I spent so much time and bother fitting 4727, I figure I might as well get as much use out of it as possible.  I’ve actually used it as a semi-sloper a couple of times, not to fit precisely but to ballpark the sizing of other patterns before I do detailed alterations on them.  I’m getting a lot of wear out of that orangey-tan gingham sundress, so I figured I should do a few more projects out of that pattern to make it pay for itself.

Back to that turning-of-tables bit.  Alas, I don’t have any pictures of the dress on me yet, but I used the bodice to make a 1970′s-style prairie sundress.  I raised the neckline a bit and rounded it to make it easier to apply bias binding (I wanted a little bit of trim on the neckline and armscyes).  I had four yards of . . . probably 1980′s or early-1990′s black Concord calico with tiny yellow roses.

Four yards sounds like a whole lot unless you want to make a dress with a long skirt and a flounce, because flounces take up an insane amount of fabric.  You can do a 2:1 flounce:skirt ratio, but that’s really minimal–your flounce will be adequate but still kind of skimpy-looking.  I did a 3:2 flounce:skirt ratio and I think that, for this project, it came out just right.  Fluffy but not ridiculous.

I saved calico by making all the interior parts out of solid black scrap fabric.  Here, you see the pockets, inset belt lining, neck facing (I added a neck facing even though I was bias-binding the neck because the calico was pretty thin), and the back button placket:

I also used up five different colors of hem tape.  Ha, ha.  Navy, teal, electric blue, pale yellow, and olive green.

The front is plain.  I did hours of lunchtime Google research on Gunne Sax dresses, trying to choose a pattern for the front of the bodice, but I couldn’t settle on anything.  I knew I needed trim to break up the sea of floral-ity, but I didn’t want it to be that Seventies, and I wanted it to be a kind of neutral look so I could wear it with a belt and denim jacket, and I had just spent the weekend hanging out with metalheads and didn’t want to interfere too much with the . . . blackness?  Yes, I know this is the least metal garment in history that isn’t pastel, but aesthetic influence is weird stuff.

I went with just binding the neckline and armscyes, and adding a trim strip around the skirt above the flounce.

It buttons up the back.  This is completely impractical but it’s hot.  Yes, hot.  As in, I’ve had to block Flickr stalkers who love back-buttoning dresses hot (I wish I were joking about this because it’s actually pretty creepy, but . . . nope.  Not kidding).  I think it’s because it suggests that one needs help getting undressed, but I’m not going to go too far into that because this isn’t that kind of blog.

For the record, I can dress myself.  I button the mid-back buttons, slip the dress over my head, and then button the nape and the waist (reverse the process to undress).  It’s tricky but I’m going to enjoy it while I can before I dislocate something and have to convert it to a side zipper.

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