Monday, 6 April 2015

Vintage pattern pledge - with a twist

Well, I took last week off work to sew and boy did I sew! One of the first things after my Project Jacket was an easy, quick sew which is also No.2 for my Vintage Pattern Pledge. As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to sew it. It's Style 3982 which has a basic batwing sleeve top with neck and shoulder variations. The copyright date on it is 1982.

So what's the twist, I hear you asking? Well, I confess that in the early 1980s when I was a child sewist (!), I had this pattern and made view 4 in black poly-cotton. I wore it all summer long and certainly during a family holiday to Kent. I really loved that top and thought I was the bees-knees in it! Somewhere back in the mists of time, I got rid of my copy of this pattern (why?!?) so when I saw it again on Etsy or Ebay I'd bought it faster than you could say 'Duran Duran'. And so, Vintage Pattern Pledge No. 2 (pattern) was decided. 

The pattern is very simple, containing just two pattern pieces. The front is cut on the fold and the back has a seam. There are folded back cuffs and that's about the most difficult and time-consuming thing about making this top. 

So, I'd got the pattern, but the next big question loomed up for me - what fabric could do justice to this 1980's gem, this trip down memory lane? Does anyone else get so attached to a me-made piece of clothing it instantly brings back where you were, what you were doing and the music of the time? Just out of interest, the best-selling single of 1982 was Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Also big in 1982 were Adam Ant, Haircut 100, Yazoo and of course, Madness. Enough of that mental-meandering and back to 2015! 

It was difficult but I did find a worthy fabric for this pledge, an electric blue, purple and black animal print which I feel know is very reminiscent of the 1980's. 

It's 100% viscose which I pre-washed. I made view 4. Again! I cut the back on the fold as there's more than enough room to pull the top over my head. It also avoids unnecessary pattern-matching! 

It's really quick to sew this up. There aren't any facings or bias binding for the neckline. The edge is just turned over and stitched. I pinked the edged as the fabric frays, especially after washing. I've not used this technique recently so we'll see how long the neckline lasts!

I decided not to do the folded over cuffs and just turned up the sleeve hems an inch and then folded the raw edge under and machine stitched them. No raw edges are showing but as the sleeve is quite wide the wrong side can be seen. The close-up of the sleeve hem lets you see the fabric in all its glory!
For the hem of the body I turned up 7 cms and then turned under the raw edge. I prefer a wider hem on the body. The hem is also machine stitched. 

You can't really see the shape of the top so here's a photo:

 And then just when you thought I'd finished...ha ha! I decided that I needed to make a snood (going full immersion in the 80's here) to go with the top. So I used up the fabric left-overs and here is a photo of the whole ensemble. They're quite a sight together, aren't they, but see how happy I am wearing both?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this Vintage Pattern Pledge and although it has been very easy and quick to sew, that's the point about this make. I really needed an easy sew after Project Jacket but I also thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected memories of long-ago 1982 and a much younger me! 


  1. I loved my snood. These tops are so comfy. Great make.

  2. I really like the two garments worn together, something I'd never have imagined before starting to make the top. I love the tops I've made from this pattern. They're quite simple in style, let the fabric pattern speak and are a wee bit dramatic too without being over the top. Or at least that's what I think!

  3. Having been a child sewist in the 80's myself I loved this post! I've been on the lookout for a Laura Ashley pattern I made that I regret getting rid of- a sort of New Romantic look. Great choice on the fabric in yours- even the electric blue is perfect.

  4. I had so much fun writing this post and I think that shows! I've utterly astounded myself by being drawn to the vintage (!) 1980s patterns on Etsy and Ebay and I'll let you into a little secret- I've also bought the pattern I used in 1980 to make my school skirt. Can't wait for THAT project and post!

  5. What fun to make up a pattern you had previously made in the 1980s! It looks fab on you no in 2015!! Great choice of fabric.

    1. Hey thanks Linda. I wore the top and snood ensemble together for the first time today when I went out for lunch with a friend who's coincidentally also called Linda (but spelled slightly differently). She took a photo of me for Me-Made-May, thankfully pre-wine. This was one of those projects when pattern-fabric-sewing aligned perfectly!