80s sewing plan

I’m so close to finishing my 80s coat. I literally just have to sew the lining to the hems and topstitch the edges and then it’s done. But that isn’t happening until next week. And I’ll need something 80s to wear it with, so in the meantime here is my 80s wardrobe sewing plan. It’s basically ‘make these four vintage Vogue patterns and a few supporting pieces’ so I can’t claim any credit for putting outfits together cleverly here.

There are two coats, two pairs of trousers, and two dresses. I’m going to make a boxy black polo neck jumper to pair with both sets of trousers, and a belt for one of the dresses. I’ll also need a pair of leggings or thick tights to go under the dresses and some stompy footwear, but I already have those.

The first pattern is 1767 by Claude Montana from 1986. I’m making the coat and the trousers with the turnups.

The coat as previously mentioned is almost done. It’s made in fairly heavy chartreuse green felted wool with bright pink lining. That’s a lot of colour, especially for someone whose entire wardrobe was black, white, and grey until three months ago.

These sort of coat styles were shown on the catwalk paired with black polo necks and trousers. So the trousers from the pattern are going to be black cotton twill. They’re typical 80s style with a lot of volume at the top which is gathered into the waistband. I think I’ll change the gathers to pleats.

Next is 1476 by Issey Miyake from 1984. Special thanks to Charlotte for helping me out with the missing instruction pages from my copy! The pattern has a shirt, trousers, and a coat but I’m just making the coat and trousers from this one, and I intend to wear the coat as an indoor garment – it’ll keep me warm while working from home in the loft.

The coat is going to be dark bluey purple; I have already got a length of a lightweight brushed wool coating for it. Black for the trousers again, but these are more drapey than the Montana trousers so I’m looking for a wool twill for those. And the polo neck will go nicely with the other two. I’m not a big shirt wearer; I get cold too easily.

Then there is 1071, another Claude Montana, from 1982.

The oversized dress is shown in a pale neutral colour on the pattern (cream? beige? greige?) but after much internet searching I found a photo of the original design made up in black, which I think is a lot more practical. I want a flannel for the base fabric. Haven’t decided whether to do the suede accents yet, but if I do it’ll be polyester fake suede so it can go in the washing machine.

The last dress is 1652, Montana again, from 1985. Very Grace Jones. Don’t think I’ll be doing the opera gloves thing, although apparently they are fashionable right now. They do look stylish on the Vogue model.

The original of this dress was almost certainly made of wool double knit although I haven’t found a reference picture. That’s difficult to source around here and I’d normally substitute a mostly polyester ponte knit, but I think most pontes will be too heavy for this style. The dress has a lot of pleats on the hood and sleeves and is two thicknesses at the front. I’m going for a satin backed crepe so I can use the shiny side as the contrast. Hopefully it won’t be too slithery. This dress also needs a belt, and as luck would have it I have an 1985 issue of Burda with a very 80s belt pattern.

I think I’d make the belt out of two layers and turn it out rather than binding the edges as Burda have done, but the shape is perfect. It also amuses me that the Burda dress the belt goes with has a certain resemblance to the oversized Montana dress.

I don’t have a contemporary pattern for the polo neck jumper but there are a couple in my Burda collection that will do. I’m mainly looking at 120 from 11/2020, minus the gathers.

Burda 120 12/2020 line art, Burdastyle.ru

That’s eight pieces, but two of them are coats. This is going to take a while! I’m hoping it won’t come out too costumey for daily wear. The hooded dress is very of its time, but it’s also fabulous, and I think the rest are fairly wearable. And if 90s style is really back in the mainstream as I keep reading, this is all probably going to look quite sensible and practical by comparison: thick layers of warm fabric and lots of pockets.

20 thoughts on “80s sewing plan

  1. The Isley coat really is like a blanket – I haven’t looked properly at the trousers and might be falling in love with the pockets. I made the coat in the 2000’s and still have it – not gone out much in the last two years so it will be a resurrection!

  2. Lots of drama in the 80s! I love looking at the styles from before, learning what still works today. The Miyake coat is to die for. I can see that as a great around the house/in the loft blanket to keep warm on those days when you can’t keep the cold out. Will you belt the first Montana dress? I think you could pull it off either way. And we are definitely thinking alike in putting together a series of combos. Back to sewing. Must hem the pants on the La Roche suit I just nearly finished so I can wear it Monday!

    1. I think the big dress will likely end up being belted some days. Unbelted will be tricky unless the length is just right. Looking forward to seeing the suit!

  3. Jean is correct. The Miyake coat is more like a blanket. I made it back in the eighties, had to lay it out on the basement floor as it is really wide. Your choice of a lightweight wool is a good one, there’s A LOT of yardage to contend with. Can’t wait to see how yours comes out. I know it will be spectacular!

    1. I haven’t traced it yet but I expect I’ll end up cutting mine on the floor too; the pieces look huge. Have to find a day when I can have the living room to myself!

    2. I also agree about the Miyake coat. I made mine in a thick wool and it has ruined many a plastic hanger over the years; a light wool is the way to go! Be prepared for the size; the coat is a beast. I made it over 30 years ago ( still looks new!) when I was 32-24-34 and I’m now 40-36-46, and it’s still feels a bit overwhelming. It’s worth it though and surprisingly easy despite how dramatic it is. I love seeing more of these out there. I always wanted to make the pants but I grew out of the pattern. Can’t wait to see both of these.

  4. I’m dying to see the chartreuse Montana coat – that’s MY COLOR!! And I have the same pattern that I got …in the 80’s but never made. I love all these pieces, especially the hooded dress, tho as a retiree, I’d never have anywhere to wear them!! But I enjoy seeing your wardrobe. Love the colors you’re adding to the wardrobe – they’ll go great with your palette.

  5. This is an incredible selection. I love those eighties styles. I drooled over many of these patterns many times but never got them. I definitely regret not purchasing them back then.- before I was a ‘collector’.

  6. My favourite two pattern designers Catherine! I get such pleasure from making these clever designs up- don’t you? And the challenge is satisfying too.( I will be posting another IM outfit on IG later today.@sarahjw70)

    1. Oh yes – the Montana patterns I’ve made are beautifully drafted. It’s just subtle little details, but it all adds up. And they are easier to wear than they look. Haven’t made an Issey Miyake before but there’s got to be a reason they’re so prized. And I have been really enjoying your Instagram posts – such amazing colour choices

  7. Oh this certainly takes me back… I remember drooling over all those wide leather belts when they were in style the last time around. These patterns would offer some great opportunities to play with color, too. So much of 80’s clothing was color-blocked.

Comments are closed.