Tuesday, May 21, 2013

project sewn: 80s challenge

Three challenges in! I'm thrilled to have made it to this point of Project Sewn, so thanks to those of you who have voted for any of my outfits. Today is the reveal for the next challenge, for which we had to sew something inspired by the fashion of the 1980s. I'm excited to see what my fellow contestants have come up with for this one, because there are so many routes you can take. 

I decided to go with a jean jacket, a colorful slim-fitting fly-front denim skirt, and a graphic top. I almost can't believe I finished this whole outfit by the deadline; come Thursday, I had only started the jacket. I was in a cold sweat, scurrying around JoAnn's after work on Thursday, hurling bolts of cobalt blue stretch denim and interfacing at the woman behind the cutting counter yelling "Chop, chop!" Just kidding. I don't use fabric cutting puns out loud.

All of the Project Sewn challenges so far have been difficult when it comes to settling on an idea, but this one was the hardest by far. I don't personally remember fashion from the 80s, since I mostly wore diapers and onesies back then, and there's a fine line between an 80s-inspired outfit and an 80s Halloween costume. I admit that it was extremely tempting to make a sequined Tina Turner dress since I actually had an excuse, but I decided to go for something that was a bit more practical. Man, there were some scary silhouettes in 80s fashion. I just couldn't go dramatic with it, I'm sorry.

For inspiration I watched some clips from teen movies such as Sixteen Candles (1984), Secret Admirer (1985) and St. Elmo's Fire (1985). I even watched some early Cosby Show but those women sure liked their oversized clothing. I eventually returned to an old idol of mine, Kelly Kapowski from the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. It's a little bit of a stretch because Saved by the Bell first aired in 1989 and ran into the 1990s, so I singled out her earlier style that still had an 80s hangover, like her denim jackets, slim skirts and fluffy hair:


I've been wanting a jean jacket anyway, so I thought this was the perfect time to make one. I'm not a fan of the acid-washed look, so I used this dark denim from my stash since it's a bit more modern. I used a Burda PDF pattern, the cropped denim jacket from 02/2010 (here). Luckily I had extra yardage because I completely forgot to add seam allowances when I cut all the pieces out the first time. Genius. Burda magazine patterns are insane. How would any beginner know where to start with them? For this jacket, there were three different style patterns printed on the same sheets, but I didn't know that until I realized there were extra pieces that didn't actually go with this jacket. Plus there are no illustrations for the steps, and adding your own seam allowances means a higher risk for inaccuracies. Anyway, I like the jacket for the most part. The buttons are kinda big, though.

For the skirt I used the Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt pattern, omitting the pockets and lengthening view A by 4 inches (I wanted the length but not the hem band of view B). I topstitched all the seams, though it's not called for, just to get a more casual jean skirt look. I wanted it to sit a little higher than intended so I cut a size 4 in the waist and graded out to a size 10/12 at the hips. I used a denim/lycra blend for the skirt -- which creases and wrinkles like crazy, btw -- but if I used a non-stretch woven I'd probably go up a size further so I could comfortably sit. I really like this pattern and will probably make more. Getting tired of all my work-appropriate skirts and having nothing to wear out on weekends.

The top had no pattern... I just improvised a baggy wide-neck kimono-sleeve tee like Molly Ringwald wears on her birthday in Sixteen Candles. I know I should have layered it  over another tee but I can only make so many pieces in a few days' time, people! This jersey was a local find I already had in my stash because it's awwwwwesome. Lucky break that it had an 80s vibe with the colors and geometric shapes. Huxtable-approved, I hope.

I swiped Corey's sunglasses to use for these photos since they're clubmaster style, actually from the 80s. I think he found them on eBay.

Be sure to check out the other 80s looks on Project Sewn today and vote for your favorite by Thursday! If you vote for me, I'll be like:

Thanks everyone!!