Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Time To Vote: 80's Inspired Looks!

Cirque du Bebe--Like You Mean It
I've probably been looking forward to 80's week most of all, if not just for the big hair alone. Being an 80's kid you'd think I'd have been all over this week's sew. But I don't remember much at all, apart from my mum's epic clip-on earing collection. So I got all my inspiration from modern takes on 80's trends, which I'm sure we'd all agree have come a long way in the wearability stakes. The challenge for me this week was to make something 80's in essence that I'd actually want to wear again and peplums and printed pants are it! Until now, leggings are the closest I've come to sewing 'proper' pants. I really wanted to do this amazing floral ponte knit justice and make a pair of super svelt pants with a fit like a legging and the look and details of a jean. I was tossing up between two patterns all week but as this was to be my first ever attempt at a zippered fly, front pockets, back pockets, back yoke and belt loops I went for Burda 7214 over Burdastyle skinny pants...because it had pictures!
Getting a good fit here was priority and the ponte knit was totally forgiving. I sized down to start with, then took width out at the sides, tapered the legs below the knee and relocated the back pockets. Three times. Each time I was certain they were in the perfect spot so I didn't bother basting and then spent the next half hour un-picking. And they also started out at unflatteringly bigger than a butt cheek so I resized them. The original pattern's 'knee' bands were more like half leg bands, going all the way around and way up the thigh. I adjusted the shape and moved them to sit only over the knees. And then I went to town quilting them with chevrons (had to sneak a triangle in). For the top I started with this pattern for a princess seamed peplum, to which I added some suitably 80's pleated sleeves (drafted from a shirt of mine) and a chunky exposed zip, for some punk. The fabric is a merino wool double knit and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking of the weather right here. So glad I went the long sleeves! Together these two pieces make for a totally 80's silhouette and I know I'll wear them both again as separates. Probably with smaller hair and less attitude.
Want more 80's raunch? Visit www.cirque-du-bebe.blogspot.com

 Sew Caroline--Dancing Queen
I was secretly hoping I would be eliminated before this round because... totally 80's? I am totally stumped. I was born in 1988, so the 80's for me was wearing diapers and monogrammed bows. And the clothes I did wear probably had spit-up on them.  Looking online to see what people wore "way back then" (totally kidding.) nothing really appealed to me. So I found some silly inspiration from this site + decided to go with a tutu skirt paired with a geometric printed top. I honestly don't know if this is really "80's".. but hey! we are going with it.
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The top is simply self-drafted tshirt top that I painted geometric "chevrons" on. The tutu skirt is a pattern from Violette Field Threads (that I, ironically, have been wanting to try out for ages-- great pattern, by the way!). 
So, yeah. This is my attempt at "Totally 80's"!

Head over to Sew Caroline to see how I styled this outfit for 2013, too!

The Sewing Rabbit---Retro Huxtible

For this week's look I wanted to pay respect to an 80s fashion icon, Denise Huxtible. Denise was always so fearless in her sense of style. As a child growing up who watched the Cosby Show, Denise always mesmerized me. She was slightly out there in this quirky way, wearing things I wouldn't ever dream of putting on, but she managed to make everything look effortlessly cool. She had a sense of style all her own, and complete and utter confidence to pull it off. She was a true 80s fashion icon.


Using a wide leg pants pattern as my starting off point, I was able to draft the jumpsuit in a fabulous tribal print knit. I love the urban chic vibe it lent to the outfit, while still being cool and casual. Nothing says 80s pants better than parachute, so I added side button tabs to the jumpsuit so that when the pants are pulled up it would have this iconic look (which is totally optional, you can wear the jumpsuit with the legs up or down). And of course you all know my love for pockets...an outfit always feels lacking to me without them.


To complete the look I made the Burda Style Collarless Jacket in a white lightweight jacket fabric. The only alteration made to this pattern was letting the zipper remain exposed rather than covering it up with twill tape.  I absolutely adore this jacket, and will definitely be wearing it all Summer long. It fits perfectly, and the zipper cuffs are to die for. Match the white coat, with the retro jumpsuit, and the boatload of arm bangles and optional fedora- and you have the 80s baby...Cosby style.

Want to know more about the look? Hop on over to the blog for details.

Four Square Walls--Double Denim
Ah, the 80s strike back! This theme was tough. I admit that it was tempting to make parachute pants since I actually had an excuse, but I decided to go for something a little more...flattering? For inspiration I consulted some 80s teen films and ultimately returned to an old idol of mine: Kelly Kapowski from the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. It's a little bit of a stretch because that show first aired in 1989 and ran into the 1990s, so I singled out parts of her early style that still had an 80s hangover, like her denim jackets, slim zip-fly skirts and fluffy hair. My (not mine) sunglasses here are actual vintage 80s.
I've been wanting a jean jacket anyway, so I thought this was the perfect time to make one. I'm not a fan of the acid-washed look, so I used this dark denim from my stash since it's a bit more modern. I used a Burda PDF pattern, the cropped denim jacket from 02/2010 (here). The skirt is cobalt blue stretch denim. I used the Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt pattern, omitting the pockets and lengthening it by 4 inches. I topstitched all the seams, though it's not called for, just to get a more casual jean skirt look. The top had no pattern... I just improvised a baggy wide-neck kimono sleeve semi-cropped tee. This jersey was actually in my stash because it's awwwwwesome. Lucky break that it had an 80s vibe with the colors and geometric shapes. I could see it as a Huxtable sweater, yea?
See more photos and details on my blog at four square walls!  



  1. Ah, a tribute to the Huxtables! Who doesn't love them? My vote defintely goes to Jessica allthough the other looks are great, too...

  2. Wow. Voting is getting more and more difficult. All interpretations are great and very wearable in 2013! I will have to forego voting until the last minute.

  3. My girls have watched all the Cosby Show episodes, now, from the library!
    You all did a great job.

  4. Four Square Walls! It looks 80s inspired and still wearable now.

  5. Oh man ladies! This would have been a really hard challenge to do. nothing in the 80s was flattering, but somehow you guys did! Well done!!

  6. Tough to just choose one ~ they're all great!