80’s revival, hot and cold

I am completely hot and cold about this dress. On the form, it gives me a bit of a sinking feeling of 80’s redux. Now, I am not one to think “if you wore it the last time it was in fashion, you are too old for it now.” I am reaching an age when, if I were a strict adherent to this belief, I would be naked most of the time. And really, I love the 80’s. It was the decade that I became a dedicated follower of fashion. So why do I have such a problem with this dress? It may be the inverted-triangle silhouette that I think is so shocking.

Then when I try it on, a completely different feeling comes over me. I am the glamorous hostess at a fabulous house on the Cape enjoying aperitifs with my guests on a balmy summer evening after a day at the beach. I thought about ironing it for the photos, but the wrinkles lend it a beachy air of authenticity. Unfortunately, I am not motivated to pose for a photo today.

Which brings me to the topic of Me-Made-June. Zoe has organized yet another me-made-month, and of course I am joining in. Perhaps you could consider joining as well. Details are here.
If you don’t want to join in but would like so see some truly lovely hand-made clothes (and some great photography),
You can see the Flickr group here.There are no photos there yet, because, well, it is not June yet.

Back to the topic of the dress. The chambray is linen from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston IL. It is heavier than a shirting weight, which works for the dress. The grosgrain ribbon came from Soutache Ribbons in Chicago. I purchased both at PR Weekend Chicago a couple of weeks ago, which was a blast. It was my second PR weekend (I went to Philadelphia last year), and I am hooked. I may become a lifelong attendee of PR weekends.

The pattern is from the Japanese magazine Mrs Stylebook, Spring 2011 style P7D. This is my second Mrs Stylebook project, and I think I may make more garments this way. I hope to get to the point where the difficulty drafting is on a par with the difficulty of tracing a Burdastyle pattern. I’m not there yet, but this dress went much more smoothly than this dress.

I shaped the grosgrain to fit over the collar piece. this post contains some instructions about how I did it.

I shaped the grosgrain to fit on the collar piece.


Hem detail


For the sleeve tabs, I cut the ribbon in half longways and trimmed it with the chambray.


Tie front. I did not have enough ribbon to go all the way around, so I used a different ribbon in the casing, and stitched this ribbon to the ends.


Back View




  1. frifris
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I hope you’re not disappointed, but this doesn’t look 80s to me at all (and yes, I’ve been there, too 😉 No, it looks nice and indeed, very “beachy”, but in a 1920’s good way. Love those colours!

  2. shams
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is really cute, Claudine. And I bet you will get a ton of wear out of it.

  3. Posted May 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think the dress is really cute. Look forward to seeing it on you in June 🙂

  4. Kathryn, aka fzxdoc
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    I like the vibe of this dress, Claudine. Yes, it’s reminiscent of the 80s but in a good way, to my eye. I enjoyed seeing the touches of genius in the use of the ribbon at the hemline, for the sleeve tabs and even eked out for the belt. Great job!

  5. Posted May 30, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    as usual, your work inspires me. I love it.
    And I agree with you about the old saying “if you wore it the first time …blah blah”.
    I have a love for the aesthetic of the 70s and I hope it comes through in my wardrobe as I develop more.

  6. Posted June 2, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine, thank you for your lovely comment! We lived in the US for a year, and I heard “June two” (and so on) enough times to know it is pronounced just like that also! I thought it was adorable!

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Me Made June Wrap-Up « Adventures in Couture on June 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

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    […] Chambray and gingham dress, blogged here: https://couturearts.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/80s-revival-hot-and-cold/ […]

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