I was a choreographer/dancer in my local library’s 10th annual fundraiser dance show in March. The theme this year was “Back to the 80s”, (yep, get out those scrunchies!). My number was Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl”, a very popular 1980s song and music video. So I went on Etsy and found this 80s pattern, Butterick 4398 by Rimini. I’m not sure who Rimini was/is. Anyone know?
Wow, those giant puffy sleeves and the ubiquitous bow! I think I actually wore something similar to a company Christmas party back in the 80s. Go check out this Youtube video by Professor Hallay (one of my favorite’s for info on fashion history) on 1980s fashion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rpXjHe6dRw She calls the 80s an “Excess of Excess”. No kidding! I remember the BIG hair, tons of makeup, giant shoulder pads, ginormous sleeves, and bows on everything. I think every bridesmaid dress I wore in the 80s had the requisite giant butt bow. I permed my hair back then until it was crispy!
The fabric I used is this Telio Kala Lace in Black and Gold, from Fabric.com, and a polyester lining fabric. I underlined the lace with black silk organdy (fortunately in my stash) to keep it from sagging. The lace turned out to be VERY fluid and this pattern needed fabric with some stiffness. The sewing was fairly easy since this jacket is collarless. I did add an organdy ruffle to the inside of the sleeve cap to help it hold its pouffy-ness. You can see here I only serged the armscye seam. If this was meant to be evening wear, not just a costume, I would have encased the seam with binding. As it was, some of the metallic threads poked through and were a little itchy, but I could live with it for the 10 minutes I was wearing/dancing in it.
I used one of those button cover kits for the buttons. I really liked the look of them.What I didn’t like was when the top button cover popped off before going on stage for the last night of the show. I’ll have to look into how to prevent this from happening in the future. Maybe some E6000 glue where the shank attaches to the button insert?
I’m really glad I took the time to do a muslin. The neckline had major gaping, which was easily adjusted by pinching out the excess in the pattern. I’m really happy with how it turned out. Maybe I can wear it for real? I’m seeing hints of 80s style creeping back into current fashion lately.
The skirt is Simplicity 1200, view E, in a stretch panne velvet. I like this fabric for its fluid, swishy drape and the shininess. The pattern is meant for woven fabric so I treated the stretch velvet like a woven and interfaced the waist facing with a sturdy interfacing. Since the waist has zero stretch, I inserted an invisible zipper in the side seam.
That bow cracks me up!
That’s hubby in the back playing the Billy Joel Auto Mechanic part.
The fundraiser show is loosely based on the Dancing With The Stars concept, minus the snarky judging panel. My star this year is Peachy Canyon Winery owner Nancy Beckett who raised money for the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF). They provide FREE classes to kids under 18 years in art, music, drama, dance… pretty much all the visual and performing arts. How great is that?!?
Nancy’s (on the left) jacket is 1980s pattern Butterick 5174 by Jessica Howard. The PRYAF sewed her costume as part of a costume making class at the Foundation. Pretty cool that the kids made her outfit!