Black and blue: vintage Vogue 1101

A woman with short hair stands with her back to the viewer. She wears a royal blue and black dress and a grey bangle.

Let’s start off with a back view for a change. In all honesty there is very little difference between the front and back of this dress as seen in in photos. It’s a beautifully simple design. The pattern is vintage Vogue 1101 by Christian Dior, all the way from 1982. Not the actual Christian Dior: the date puts it in the Marc Bohan era of Dior.

Here’s the pattern envelope. The red and black version is very striking but red and I don’t get on. This was an eBay find and it’s a Canadian version of the pattern: it’s entirely metric.

Photograph of a Vogue pattern envelope. It has a photo of a model wearing a red and black short dress and an illustration of a woman wearing a longer white and grey version of the same style.

Amazingly I found a contemporary runway photograph of the design. The red looks more orangey here. It’s clear the original fabric is slightly shiny and very drapey. The pattern envelope says it’s medium weight tissue faille, which is not a fabric I am familiar with. Also is it just me or is the skirt a lot shorter on the runway photo?

Photograph of a model with dark hair on a runway showing a red and black short dress. She has her hands in her pockets and the image is tilted so her body is on a diagonal.
Anna Bayle modelling the original of Vogue 1101,

My version is made of much less exotic polyester crepe. Specifically it’s John Kaldor Prestige crepe in royal blue and black. I got it from Sew Essential. Handily they had the raglan shoulder pads too: being an 80s style of course it has padded shoulders. I love the look, but positioning and sewing the wretched things in is one of my least favourite tasks.

A full length view of woman with short hair wearing a blue and black short dress, black tights, and ankle boots. The dress has dolman sleeves and a high neck.

I can’t complain too much though. When I measured the pattern I discovered I didn’t need to make a single adjustment to make it fit me. I normally have to add a lot of length to the body and sleeves, so I always trace the pattern and make adjustments on the tracing. The pattern pieces didn’t even need cutting out on this one because the original owner had done that. Good thing, because actually cutting the fabric was a trial because of the large and awkwardly shaped pieces.

Annoyingly I don’t seem to have a photo that demonstrates the pockets. There are pockets. Boring side seam pockets, but entirely functional. I managed to hack a hole in one while running the edges though the overlocker, so the insides have an ugly repair – as always my finishing isn’t going to win any sewing prizes. I liked this dress enough to hand hem it but again it would probably be best not to look at the underside of the hems. They’re ok from the outside and that will have to do.

A woman with short heair wearing a blure and black dress with do,amn sleeves and a high neck

I like the closure on this: buttons at the shoulder rather than a zip, which might spoil the lines on the back. The belt is a bit odd. It’s a little short for wrapping around twice but far too long just to wrap around once. Twice seems the best option but if I made this again I’d add a little length.

A woman seen from the waist up. She has short hair and wears a black and blue dress with a high neckline. The dress has buttons at the shoulder.

I am not sure I will ever need another one of these – it’s very memorable – but I think it would work well in a lighter weight ponte as well as the crepe.

Thanks to my husband for the photos.

27 thoughts on “Black and blue: vintage Vogue 1101

  1. I like this, and you have chosen very 80s colours too.
    I feel like it’s only when one is some distance from the 1980s that designs can be appreciated with fresh eyes….but are we then swayed by nostalgia? I can imagine my mother wearing something like this (sewn by herself) out to a dinner party 🙂

  2. Not everyone can carry this style off but you have the perfect height and figure to do so. The blue color suits you . Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I love your ‘model like photos!

  3. I will have to show this post to my mom since she made this dress. She will get a kick out of seeing a modern version of a design she sewed up. I’m only aware of an overhead photo of her wearing it. She wore it on a business trip with my dad that included a fancy dinner and dance. She got rid of most of her extreme 80s patterns.

  4. I had a version of this the first time around, 2 contrasting textures in the same olive color. The style didn’t suit me at all but I loved it.


  5. I love a dolman sleeve, until it’s time to try to stuff it into a non-dolman coat. The button closure is an excellent detail. (I chuckled at that handwritten name and phone number on the patt envelope, without an area code. The things we could get away with when the world population was 4.5 billion rather than 8…)

  6. It looks a bit like Vogue 1326, a design from Tom and Linda Platt. But that is cut on the bias. You did a great job sewing the points together.

    1. Thanks! I can definitely see you in cobalt shoes and a dress like this. I used to have a great pair of bright blue ankle strap flats…I wonder what happened to those

  7. Lovely dress and it still looks so stylish, I think I can see another one in your future. I tink I might need to do a hunt for the pattern to.

    1. Thanks! Don’t know if you saw Barkcloth’s comment – it seems there’s a modern Vogue, 1326 by Tom and Linda Platt which is the same idea with the diagonal colour blocking, although the basic shape of the dress is different.

  8. I am so glad the 80s looks are “back in” I loved the 80s fashions and have never allowed anyone to get away with dissing them. You look perfect in your dress. Dolman sleeves, big shoulders – so dramatic. I also don’t like to admit that stuff from my youth is “Vintage”.

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