FO: Another 1980s Dress. And I'm on holiday!

It seems I can't get enough of this decade, and can you blame me? I'm delighted with this dress.
On holiday in Spain! At the start of this month
Style Sew Simple 3597 - a pullover dress with elasticated waist and cut on sleeves, from 1982
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The kimono sleeves, the pockets and the fact it would be easy to wear and sew

Fabric & Notions
Gorgeous viscose from Regency Rags on eBay at £2.99 per metre. I was so struck by the great geometric design and gorgeous colours that I bought 3 metres, so I still have a length left in the stash for another project. It's a really nice quality of fabric and I'm delighted with it.

From the stash, I used bias tape for the neckline facing and elastic waist casing, plus a piece of elastic from my Walthamstow Market bundle.
Pattern alterations or any design changes
I made a quick toile in a heart-print poly crepe (also from Regency Rags) to check size. This seemed fine and I will finish the toile at some point to make a going out dress.

I didn't want to use facings so used bias tape for the neckline and I also left off the front pocket and the banded cuffs, although this was enforced as the cuff part was missing and I couldn't be bothered to make a replacement piece. (I later found the cuff piece as it had fallen out of the packet).This meant I only needed 3 pattern pieces for the front, back and pockets. I lowered the neckline but it could have done with being widened also, for a better shape.
 Neckline looks a bit uneven here, but it isn't in real life, I think it's the way I'm standing

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
Yes. Next time I would widen the neckline as well as lowering.

Did you use any new techniques?

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes - if you can find it! This was a lucky eBay find when I was lurking cheap patterns. I noticed how similar it was was to Tilly's new Bettine dress pattern but at a fraction of the cost.

Fabric - £8.97 (for the 3m length, I didn't use it all)
Pattern - £2.49 inc. postage
Elastic & Bias Tape - Stash - About 0.50

Total - £11.96

This is my 8th Vintage Pledge Pattern this year. I'm delighted to be finding so much inspiration in vintage patterns though I have definitely been drawn to simple patterns that won't present much challenge in terms of fit or technique. This increases the chance of me ending up with a wearable end product which helps to keep my motivation up. Unadventurous? Yes, but I know my limits. Not of skill so much as motivation - if I spend ages making something that doesn't fit I feel like I've wasted my time.

I've seen lots of versions of Tilly's Bettine dress popping up online and at £12.50 for the printed patterns, it isn't cheap. But there's nothing new under the sun, and the style is so similar to 1980s dress like this one. Of course the pattern illustration from this version isn't as appealing, but it has good bones. The main difference is that this dress is all in one piece with waistline casing attached, while Tilly's is two pieces. I do prefer the shape of the pockets on my Vintage Style version too.

The great thing with vintage patterns from mainstream pattern companies is that you know they will be drafted to a standardised set of proportions. Also, this is where vintage patterns beat contemporary Big 4 for me too, because vintage patterns don't have the same in-built ease that modern patterns too, which can really trip you up if you don't check out the finished garment measurements before you sew.

All in all, I am delighted with the dress and really happy to continue to be sewing with vintage patterns.

K x


  1. Looks great. Wonderful match between pattern & fabric - looks destined to become a favourite

  2. I love that style! And yay for holidays, you're making me yearn for summer again! :)

  3. Love it. Great fabric and perfect summer dress. Enjoy your hols.

  4. Fab dress and I love that fabric. I totally agree with you and love 70s and 80s patterns 😀

  5. Ooh I really like it! The dress on the front of the pattern really doesn't appeal to me and I never would have bought it but your version looks brilliant so maybe I shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Hope you enjoyed your hol!

  6. Loving that dress and I'm with you on the the 80s thing - I'm thinking of knitting more from this decade

  7. I completely agree with you regarding the better fit of vintage patterns! This dress looks so easy to wear! Perfect for vacation.

  8. It looks really cool! I love the fabric you have used. This pattern looks eerily familiar, like I may have made it when I was at school, or maybe I just spent so many hours scouring pattern books back then!

  9. This is so cute! I love the print! I really wonder why modern big 4 patterns have so much more ease than vintage ones. I've noticed it, too. What could be the reason for that?

  10. This dress is fantastic! Love the fabric especially :)

  11. LOVE the fabric! Geometric prints are one of my favourites.


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