1980s Sewing Pattern Inspiration

Over the last couple of years I have been buying mostly 1970s and 1980 patterns. Although the 1980s has a reputation for some dubious fashion, there are also some lovely, wearable styles, if you know what to look for. In this post I'm going to share a few of my favourite patterns from my collection, so you can see how awesome this decade can be.

As you will see, New Look Maudella patterns form a big part of my collection. I should admit that none of these have dates on them so I am guessing that they are from the early 1980s. Some could be from the late 1970s. Perhaps some of you will be able to help me with this - I'm not an expert on 1980s fashion but do let me know in the comments if you think I've got it wrong (or right!). I have contacted New Look Simplicity a couple of times to try and date some of my favourites but they weren't able to help.

Sweet Shirts

Both of these shirts have been on my 'to sew' longlist for ages. I love that both don't have a traditional set-in sleeve and some interesting gathers at the shoulders, plus the half placket is a nice feature

Shoulder Detail

Yep, no doubt that these are from the 1980s. While the whole 'massive shoulders' 1980s style is not for me, this more subtle style with pleats or gathers at the shoulders is more appealing. I think that the red shirt on the left and short banded-sleeve top from the right could look great in a modern wardrobe.

Elasticated waist dresses

I've made both of these - so easy to make and wear and both have pockets. The one on the right is blogged here and the other one is going to be posted soon.

1950s influenced, with big pockets

 I love a big patch pocket. I've made the shirt dress twice, here and here.

Great Skirts

All of these are so classic, with great details. I love how they use pockets and buttons and the central skirt with the yoke from the bottom right pattern is a particular favourite.

Raglan sleeve jackets

I want to make the one on the left so much! I love the turned back cuffs in particular. The other jacket looks like a great casual style and the pocket and cuff tabs are a nice detail.

Are you a fan of the 1980s? Would you make any of these?

K x

26 comments:

  1. Oh I've got the bottom right Maudella jacket pattern. Definitely my fave pattern brand for style! Love 70's and 80's patterns 😍

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    1. They are great patterns aren't they? And that era is really back in style just now too

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  2. I've got a few New Look Maudella patterns and I love them. Those are the ones I look for in charity shops. I love that jacket on the bottom left, I can't wait to see what you do with it!

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    1. I just love the details and styling of New Look Maudella patterns, so much!

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  3. I have a few 1980s patterns, some of them I definately wouldn't make now! But yes, there are plenty that would look good today. I love the top 2 shirt patterns, and the bottom 2 jackets. I'd make them! I see lots of the elasticated waist dresses around at the moment, so would definately have a go at them too! I made a really nice skirt in the 1980s but don't have the pattern anymore. It was gathered onto a waistband with a tie that threaded through and tied in the front. I made it in a chambray type fabric.

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    1. Elasticated waists are definitely back, aren't they? I do like how easy they are to fit and wear - in dresses at least

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  4. Oh, that Pin Point jacket is lovely!

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    1. I know, once I dug out the patterns for this post I found so many I wanted to make but that's one of my faves

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  5. I have a few 80s patterns and I really like them. Just have to see past the shoulder pads!

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    1. Oh goodness, yes, the shoulder pads are the blight of the 80s!

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  6. My mom sewed me a bikini in the 80s and I would love to find that pattern...not that it would look nearly as cute on my much-chubbier body, just for the memories. I think I have some other patterns from then. Maybe it's time to reconsider them!

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    1. Dig them out, Bobbi! You might be surprised

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  7. I can see all of these working well today, it's just a matter of getting past the styling! Mum gave me all her patterns and amongst them is that Style skirt pattern (3852). Most of the others are HUGE in the shoulder!

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    1. Oh you should make it! It's so classic

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  8. I would definitely make any of those patterns, especially the skirts and the raglan sleeve jacket!

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    1. I want to make all the skirts :-)

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  9. I have some great patterns from the '80's too and have no qualms with sewing or wearing them today. One of the best things about making your own clothes is you can pick whatever style from whatever time period, and you don't have to be dictated to by what's in the shops.

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    1. Oh definitely, I have no desire to look like I'm wearing 80s clothes but some of the details here are so lovely and can be lacking on contemporary patterns. It's great to be able to pick and choose isn't it?

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  10. You have shown some lovely patterns. I have just finished sewing an eighties pattern for a wrap dress. I really like it, just have to take out my tacking so I can wear it

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    1. Your wrap dress sounds nice, glad you liked the selection

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  11. Fun to see the clothes that we were sewing while my kids were being born. As for shoulder pads-well, I have swimmer's shoulders which means they look like I'm always wearing pads !~! Adding them turns any top into a clown suit; I'm unable to give an accurate number of how many I have Removed over the years from otherwise really cute and well-fitting clothing. I agree that the Pin Point jacket is quite the looker.

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    1. Snap on the broad shoulders, Lynda!

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  12. I have loads of pattern from the 1980's (I am sure that there might even be some at Mum's that I *bought* in the 80's). I like those styles a lot and there are some good basic shapes if you can see past the styling and the hair. I think that the patterns you have shown for the shoulder detail have very strong 40's influences. There was quite a lot of that in the 80's, especially those men's suits that looked like "Zoot" suits. I blame Kid Creole. :) Xx

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    1. Oh yes, I like the shoulder detail before it goes too extreme - that look doesn't suit me at all as I already have broad shoulders!

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  13. I'd be willing to bet all kinds of precious goodies that the first two are 1976-79. The styling is bang on what I was sewing when I was at High School and what we were doing with our hair etc. The more structured sort styles, padded shoulders etc hit around 1981 - I suspect that Princess Diana was a leader in that change. Having dressed in these styles the first time around, I'm not a huge fan of going there again, especially as the glorious floral fabrics we could buy back then are no longer around to make up the styles. Three tiered skirts and dresses, kirta style frocks and tops were all in and I had 'em all!

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    1. Aha, thanks for that information about dates. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these are very late 70s. And now you've mentioned Princess Di, I feel like I can see that influence even in some of the faces and hairstyles

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say