Sewing 80’s fashion

A little while ago I got bogged down matching fabric to sew this lovely top and I think I swore that I would never ever again, sew a garment that needed fabric matched. Well, I guess I didn’t quite stick to that statement.

This is my new, super, super, super cute summer frock complete with matched fabric. Again this took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to do right. Not to mention that I only had 1 yard of fabric, so there was no margin for error. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner pastry line voile in coral, which is actually orange,  not a shade of pink.

The pattern is a vintage Simplicity pattern (no. 9863) from 1981 which says it’s “Jonathan Hitchcock for Reuben Thomas”.

Here you can see that the back of the bodice aligns with the skirt. This took a lot of thought to get right!

I also intended to sew a fancy exposed zip or handpicked one, but this part of the dress was sewn at about 11.30pm Friday night and there was no way that I was going to start learning new things at that time of night, so it ended up being just a regular lapped zipper.

I also fully lined the skirt, but again this was done late at night, so without looking up the correct method to do this, I just sewed the white voile lining fabric with the outer fabric as though it was one and it works. I don’t know how well it’ll wash though and I’m terribly worried about how it will shrink, even though I pre-washed both fabrics, but it’s sewn and there’s no point crying now.

I made two key modifications to the frock including adding size to the waist and also significantly lowering the point on the bodice where the straps button.

I really love this little frock and can definitely see me wearing it at BBQs this summer. I love the soft pleats at the bust, which I think might give the illusion that there’s a little more there (hopefully) and I love the pleats on the skirt. I originally planned to wear this dress on Saturday, but accidentally sewed the lining a little too taught at close to midnight, making the outer bubble a bit. By then it was waaaay too late to unpick and re-sew, so my wardrobe was a little plain for the BBQ. Anyway, it’s now ready for the next event and boy do we have a stack planned for the coming weeks.

Now I really need to get stuck into sewing some more gifts for Christmas.

  • The dress looks great. You have way more patience than me, I avoid lining at all costs!

  • It looks fabulous!!! I love the little buttons and the pleats! Great work matching the fabrics…I know how painful that can be!

  • Superb!

  • Clever you, again!

  • Love the dress! I'd been checking since Friday to see how it turned out. I espiecially like how you have matched the stripes on the bodice it looks amazing!