New Wave Sewing – a maxi dress pattern from 1981

Continuing on through my vintage pledge goals I have finally reached a favorite time period for music and fashion, the early 80s. Bowie was still going strong, Duran Duran was just beginning and I was just barely starting to become aware of the radio. It doesn’t seem like 1981 would be vintage but that was 35 years ago. Yikes.

IMG_0229I love maxi dresses. Being short, I can rarely find them off the rack. Simplicity 9562 has a short view and a maxi view. It can look totally 80s or timeless depending on fabric and accessorizing. It also has nice big patch pockets. I was pretty stoked to make this one!

Since I was attending an “undead” luau I thought that some sugar skull fabric from my stash would be perfect to use. I again used pretty much all of the fabric and only had scraps left. I kind of love when that happens as I really have no idea what to do with fat quarters and such. I’ve been saving my decent sized scraps to give to a friend’s daughter. I’m glad they have a good home that isn’t mine.

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My mock up was pretty spot on. I thought it was just a touch tight though so I just cut more generously. As it turns out, I maybe didn’t need to do that. The cotton I used for the mockup was left over from my uncle’s tiki shirt. It doesn’t have much give or softness which may have made the mockup seem somewhat tight. It’s not like adding a little extra “hurt” anything though.

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I decided to use actual topstitching thread to do the topstitching details. With the large and busy motifs, I didn’t think anything else would really show up. Some of the top stitching turned out really great but some was a bit sloppy for my taste. I used a new topstitching needle so the only thing I can figure is that my machine handled the layers of fabric differently. There was some variation — some topstitching was just two layers of cotton. Some was fabric and bias tape. The machine just may not have liked the situations equally. It’s something that bugs me more than I think anyone else will notice. When one part turns out so perfect it’s annoying when the next part doesn’t.

 

IMG_0390This dress is super comfy to wear, especially when it’s humid and hot. I also wore it flying home from my recent trip to the UK. Beside being sweaty and ill, I still managed to look halfway decent in this dress. I’m already itching to sew another. It went over well at the luau too!

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With this make I’ve done four of my five pattern pledges. I still need to make a piece with vintage fabric and I also have more UFOs that need some love. Not bad for halfway through the year!

As much as I want to make another dress from 9562, I need to switch gears back to Regency to get ready for Costume College. I also need to chill out on my new Pokemon Go obsession and stay inside at the sewing machine. Gotta catch and sew them all!

 

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