80s flashback

12Dec10

I finished the tartan dress. The background to this is that few years ago (long before I started sewing) I saw a Yohji Yamamoto dress in Selfridges that I really liked but couldn’t possibly afford. I can barely remember a lot of the details now, but this is my take on the features that did stick with me: tartan, exposed zip, narrow waist, wide skirt, and drapey bits.



I think there’s something quite 1980s about it. (For the avoidance of doubt I’m pleased with that! Hence the pirate boots in the pictures rather than heels.)

I was planning to wear it with a belt but having tried that I now think it’s better without. Here it is again with the belt for comparison.



I’m really pleased with the exposed metal zip. I did wonder if the weight of the zip would make the skirt hang awkwardly, but in fact it doesn’t seem to make any difference. None of the back views we photographed looked strange. I always find that any faults show up in photos even if they are totally invisible to me in the mirror, so I think the zip is a success.



I ended up having to let the side seams out a little – I should have done a full bust adjustment but I thought I wouldn’t need it with the cowl neck. I don’t think it really shows though.



I love the circle skirt but hemming it took a whole evening. I machined it (can you imagine hand hemming six metres? I can’t!) but even so the marking, pinning up, easing, basting, pressing, and finally stitching it took an age. I could have left it raw for a more punky look, but I like this dress too much to want to risk it fraying into nothing!

Many thanks to all who gave me such good advice and encouragement about this one – it turned out to be a much more difficult project than I expected, but I’m so pleased with the results!



3 Responses to “80s flashback”

  1. It’s wonderful, Catherine. And I really like the way you’ve styled it, too. Yes, it is pretty Spandau Ballet! Looks good, though…

    I really want to make a very full skirt or dress out of some incredible fabric I bought on the open market in Oxford. £5 for 11 metres. I have to think of stuff to do with it – it’s totally bright yellow thick cottn, and in your face! Haven’t sewn for months. Just haven’t had any time. Keep inspiring me – I need it!

  2. Hi Catherine,
    Your dress look wonderful and fits well, the zip fastening is funky too.

    Colleen G Lea



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