Ultimate 80s

Last week took a rather unexpected turn and I ended up first in A and E and then having surgery. I’m home now and feel a lot better – thank you NHS! And I bought a sewing pattern to cheer myself up so I thought I’d share it because this has got to be the ultimate 80s power dress. It’s Vogue 1376, I think from 1984. The design is by Claude Montana.

Vogue 1376 envelope photo

I’m pretty sure it’s the dress from this magazine ad.

Ad from Vogue (image from Pinterest)

I even found a YouTube video of the Montana 1984 spring/summer show with several models all wearing the same dress.

Here are the line drawings.

Vogue 1376 view A line drawing
Vogue 1376 view B line drawing

I love the pockets. They’re quite fancy welt pockets made using a clever technique that was new to me. The pocket bag is sewn on to the pocket opening, turned through, and then folded up and back to form the welt. There is no separate welt piece so it’s much less faff. And then that triangular flap gets sewn on top, hiding the beautiful welt. Or the not so beautiful welt if it goes wrong.

The pattern doesn’t have a photo of the dress back which is a shame as there’s a lot of interesting detail there. The video shows that the back belt is made of a different fabric which looks like leather. I think I’d stick to self fabric though.

The shoulder pads are immense. The pattern says 2.5cm thick. I think it would take two sets of modern ones to get that height. It amused me to see that at the time Vogue offered a shoulder pad pattern which the envelope suggests as an alternative to buying pre-made pads.

Although it’s obviously very much of its time I think there is a wearable dress in here. Just need to find the right fabric.

31 thoughts on “Ultimate 80s

  1. Blimey! You don’t do things by halves. I hope you’re feeling ok now after your issues.
    That dress is absolutely you. You are slim and talk enough to carry that amazing design. Enjoy!

  2. I echo Kim: Blimey! Glad to hear you’re home and well though. Only 1″ thick? I distinctly remember making a huge-shouldered 80s jacket for a customer, which ended up with about 4 shoulder pads layered on each side to get the oomph she wanted. The more pads, the harder they are to keep centred on your shoulder as I recall!

  3. Ugh! Good to hear you’re better now. Best wishes for a full recovery. The dress looks awesome, can’t wait to see you wearing your version. Do tell how you will handle the immense shoulder pads. I have an old coat bought in 1990 that I cannot part with because of the beautiful wool. Maybe seeing what you do will give me the courage to fix my coat…

  4. Good to know you are well.
    I remember this pattern! I made it in the 80’s in my Claude Montana phase. At that time, I was much slimmer.

  5. This is an awesome dress, and very “you”! It’ll be stunning on you. I hope you’re much better after your hospital trip.

  6. Hope you are feeling well and recovering nicely. Wow I love that dress and it would look great on you. Can’t wait to see you make it. I agree with someone above, denim would be perfect.

  7. Aww, amazing dress! I love those strong lines 🙂 can’t wait to see your version 🙂
    Hope you get better after your surgery 🙏

  8. A striking dress that will look great on you, I’m sure. Interesting that the back has so many darts and the front has none. I assume shaping is built into the front’s vertical seam lines, but it is quite fitted so someone with an generous bosom or poochy tummy would find this dress extremely challenging.

    1. Yes, although as always with Vogue there’s a lot of ease when comparing the finished garment measurements to the size chart; the waist and bust are very generous. The hips are more fitted. I’m making my usual size in Vogue which is one down from what the measurement chart recommends but I might add a bit to the hips.

  9. I have made this Catherine- it is a great dress! There is a photo of it on my IG @sarahjw70 from January 19th if you would like to see my version.

  10. sorry to hear you had to be in hospital and glad you are on the mend – I always liked the sharp lines of claude montana – rather minimal especially as there could be a lot of ruffles in the late 80s. looking forward to your interpretation!

  11. Please be gentle on yourself, surgery is a big deal…. don’t be upset if the dress takes a few weeks more than it would have previously.

  12. I’m sorry to hear you had an unexpected visit to the ER, and am very happy to hear you are on the mend. What a great way to cheer up oneself! I loved Montana designs in the 80s. This is very much your style, and I look forward to seeing your version.

  13. Oh wow! I remember making this dress for a client back in the mid 80’s. In hot pink satin.

  14. Hope you are feeling better! Taking time to relax and recover is always good.

    Also, I’m excited to see the dress! Those shoulders are intense but I think they will look fabulous.

  15. Glad you are feeling better. Interesting design lines on the front and back. The wedge is such a 80s silhouette – brings back memories for me. My mom me a Karl Lagerfeld dress with a similar shape and enormous shoulder pads and extended shoulder line. She also made me a Perry Ellis dress from wool double knit in the wedge shape. The dress is long gone but the buttons have been salvaged.

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