Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A(nother) trip down memory lane

Yes I know you are all impatient to see my latest creation, but it's not finished. You see, I had to go back to work. (Cue tiny violins...). I don't seem to have enough energy to move my projects forward physically but I can amuse myself virtually, imagining that there is some reason why I have kept the patterns, made and unmade, from my past.

I've kept them, even from the dark decade during which The Sewing Lawyer started and then graduated from law school and began to realize her life-long and still held ambition to be dressed in gorgeous garments of her own creation. (Seriously, I remember as a student thinking it would be grand to never wear anything but silk and wool. I've since added cashmere and linen to the list.)

And you know, sometimes I fantasize that I could make them up again. 

Let's get started.

Butterick 6261
This one dates from the late 1970s. I made the pleated front pants more than once during my student days.

Is it my imagination, or could these again be approaching the general vicinity of the fashion cycle?  The high waist, might it look good with a certain recently-completed vintage-y jacket?  

I remember the shirt, which I made in a cotton batik print, with great fondness. I kind of wish I still had it and wonder where it went. 

Vogue 2678
Now this beauty is one you rarely see on the vintage pattern sites. It calls for 4 metres of wide fabric, what with the tightly gathered dirndl skirt and the mile-long ties of the back-wrap top. 

I made this from a madras plaid around the time I started law school. It's still pretty cute, but I'm past wearing anything that takes 4 metres of fabric I think.

Butterick 3697 - ca 1986
So VERY 1986, isn't it?  The jacket ... shudder.  But that skirt!  I made both pieces back in the day.  I still have very fond memories of the skirt.  It was long and lean and made of a thick mulberry coloured crepe.  I'd totally wear that again.  I even have a similar piece of fabric in stash...

Vogue 9770 - ca 1986

I may be biased but I still find this dress very appealing. I remember making the long sleeved version once (navy wool jersey, without the little neck tie) and the short sleeved version twice (silk noile, cotton print). I wore these in my first few years of practice. While the shoulders might need paring down (no kidding!), I fancy the dolman sleeves and slim skirt and have enough wool jersey to try this again some day.  

Vogue 1584 ca 1985
Last (or maybe least) what about this?  I totally fell for this jumper when I was articling in 1986, and I made it as per the illustration - navy blue wool, all pleats and flaps and buttons.

It was better in theory, as I recall.  And no, The Sewing Lawyer is not going to reprise this particular style.  

So what do you think?  Which (if any) of these styles could a person wear in 2015 without prompting gales of laughter from friends, colleagues and the general public? 


  1. I really like the Willi Smith pattern. Lots of possibilities there. The top of the Perry Ellis dress is also quite beautiful.

  2. Honestly, I think any of them can be worn today. But I live in LA and Boulder, where Bohemian chic rules.

    BTW, I have 8770 too.

  3. I think you are not past wearing that perry Ellis dress, 4 metres of fabric and all! It's such a beautiful design.
    I cannot look at 80s shoulders with anything but a shudder. but that's probably because I already have broad shoulders, and those eighties delights just make me so out of proportion.

  4. Oh, my! That Chloe pattern is one of my favorites! I made that jumper and blouse as well and wore them to death. The blouse got tremendous wear. did that all look good on my five foot frame? Not sure and I didn't care. I thought it had a sophisticated vibe but in truth I think there was some strange connection to my many years of Catholic school uniforms. Thanks for the memories, Kay.

    I had a closet full of those big shouldered jackets. Dressing professionally was imperative in my career of interior design and meeting with clients. I loved how I had the opportunity to sew all those wonderful garments for work. Now, its casual Friday every day. I miss the being "dressed" part.

  5. I'm on the same page as Bunny. I miss the days when I dressed up for work - hose and jackets or lovely dresses every day.

  6. The long,oversize blouse, 6261, is shown all over Pinterest with skinny pants and boots.

  7. Kay, the top of the Perry Ellis pattern would make such a nice outfit with a pair of linen pants or a pencil skirt. I love the sash she wears around the waist. Lots of possibilities.

  8. Yes, wasn't it great wearing dresses and hose daily to work as it was a requirement on my job. These are some great patterns! This post made me think of how wonderful it would be to have every pattern that my mother and I purchased in my stash! Instead, I find myself repurchasing past patterns. Looking forward to your next finished item.

  9. I made that Butterick 3697 skirt. It was fabulous. I wonder if I still have the pattern.

  10. The last jumper reminds me of a maternity dress my mom wore in 1986. I liked it but I'm not sure it needs to make a comeback.

    I do like the madras plaid dress, though I may be biased by my love of madras ;)

  11. Ah, Willi Smith--I loved him so much. I had a few purchased pieces by him. Perry Ellis, too. RIP.

  12. I owned a blouse very similar to the Willi Smith one. I wore it to death, along with a similar long skirt and boots. Oh, and glasses with giant lenses (not quite as giant as my permed hair) ;)
    Thanks for the look back, there's some great pieces in there to revive and be current.
    I enjoy looking through other's pattern stashes as well as my own!

  13. Love the Butterick white blouse and skirt. I made several blouses like that in the early 1980s. The skirt is timeless and a favorite of mine, too.