80’s Vintage

I recently pulled this pattern out of my stash with the intention of finally sewing it.  5636It was purchased last year on Etsy, when I was going thru a backless-or-interesting-back-detail dress phase.  This See and Sew 5636 is from 1987, and while I like the back, the front was going to be a surprise, since there was only the line drawing to go off of!

This pattern is a fabric hog, and I didn’t have enough yardage of anything in my stash to make it, so I grabbed 3 yards of this green midweight cotton sateen and decided to go for it!

I cut the size 10 and held up the skirt pattern piece – it came down to my ankles. So I lopped 10” off of the skirt pattern piece before cutting into the fabric.

greensateenThe fabric, by the way, is really nice; it’s sturdy and has some nice stretch and body to it.

I cut the top on the bias to break up the check pattern a bit and the skirt on the straight grain.  It was pretty simple to sew, nothing too challenging in terms of technique. The fabric cuts and presses and sews very nicely and was easy to work with.  It has a crisp drape and I like the way the skirt hangs and even the way that the front bodice/sleeve has some body to it.


When it was finished I was kind of pleasantly surprised by the result! The mystery front turned out fine, and I love the back.



I’ve learned not to be afraid of vintage patterns because of the styling or fabric of the era.  The photo may look like something my Mom tried on from the Dress Barn sale rack when I was 8 years old, but it really is a cute dress. I’m pretty sure you probably wouldn’t even know what era it was originally from if I didn’t tell you!  I saw, I sewed, I have a new dress.

I really liked working with this sateen…. and I kind of want to make pants and a jacket out of it!  It is a true midweight, and I think it has enough body and structure for some bold pants.

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11 thoughts on “80’s Vintage”

  1. I love it! I agree sometimes 80’s patterns envelopes make me cringe because I remember the styles, but a fabric can update or date a pattern, and that’s what makes it awesome! I have tons of vintage patterns that were given to me and you’ve inspired me to dive in and use them now!

  2. Love this dress, it looks amazing on, I’m nervous about older/vintage patterns though I keep looking at them for this reason, some don’t even have a line drawing just a dodgy photo. Yours definitely paid off its a great dress

  3. You’re so right! I never would have guessed that was an 80s pattern. Shortening the dress was a good move –and I love the fabric print (but I’m probably biased since green is my favorite color). Awesome job!

    1. I love green too. I have to force myself to buy and sew with a wider color palette!

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