Thursday, July 26, 2007

Flashback Friday - 1980

Looks like the sewing blog world has decided this is the week to reminisce about past sewing projects - kind of like a Flashback Friday rolled into one week. There's been photos as well as a few stories of well loved sewing projects that are no longer worn but are still kept tucked away somewhere.

Me? I typically purge my closet twice a year - once when I pull out my fall/winter wardrobe and again when I pull out my spring/summer wardrobe - so, while I have photos and patterns of sewing projects, I don't have too many of the actual garments.

But I have this one!
Vogue 7454 circa 1979.


I sewed the dress as a model garment for Joann Fabrics - back in the day when Joann Fabrics was located in shopping malls and carried high end fabrics. C'mom, let's be honest here...I *know* some of you remember that!


I worked there after graduating from a"Fashion Sales and Merchandising" technical program I attended fresh out of high school. Working in a retail environment was about all that training was good for. Sheesh, what a waste of time, but I did get to model in a fashion show and you never know when that skill might come in handy.

Anyway, back to Joann's and the dress. The store had a mannequin at the entrance to the store and corporate would determine what pattern the model garment was to be sewn from (as well as the fabric.) I ended up with many of the model garments because they were usually quite trendy and no one else wanted them. Me? I was thrilled! Hey, I was a poor single mama and these outfits were mine - all mine - free of charge! All I had to do was sew them.

This black dress had a sheer upper bodice and sleeves.


The bodice back had a large keyhole bias bound opening that closed with a loop and button.


This was the first time I had attempted a french seam. I don't know why I only did a french seam on the shoulder. The armhole as well as the rest of the seams were sewn in a double stitched narrow seam.


All of the bias binding was turned under on the inside and sewn in place by hand. I guess I had more patience in my younger years.

I never bothered to try the dress on until after I it was completed. Ah, the good old days, when you could sew a garment right out of the pattern envelope with no alterations...

The problem with not trying it on was that I discovered, when I was ready to wear it, that the lower sleeves were too tight! I opened the sleeve seam from the elbow to the wrist and finished it with a narrow hem.


After it spent its time on the store mannequin it was mine to do with as I pleased. I did wear it out on dinner dates a few times and I know I wore it to a New Year's Eve party at The Oz Discotheque - THE place to be. I'm not sure why I even kept this dress as I will never ever fit into it again.

Blogger Trips Down Memory Lane
In case you didn't have a chance to read the other sewing trips down memory lane, here are the other bloggers that

Marji shared a story about sewing a burgundy wool flannel and made the tunic, pants and skirt, fully lined, from a Vogue pattern, when she was 13 or 14. Wow! I was afraid of Vogue patterns at that age - and probably lining and wool flannel also.

Carolyn brought out a fantastic ribbon jacket that she created in the 90's. It's beautiful!

Lisa shared a couple of her vintage sewing projects, including a great Gunne Sax skirt from the early 80's.

Summerset, who makes some of the most incredibly beautiful gowns I've ever seen, shared her prom dress (and she can still fit into it 18 years later!)

And it was good to know that I'm not the only purger out there. Beth purges like I do, but she wrote about a couple of special projects she kept.

I'll be continuing with my trips down sewing lane with more Flashback Friday memories next week. Y'all come back now! Pin It


  1. So? What'd you think about Pilot John? Isn't he precious? Even my husband said he understands how I would want to enter that contest, lol! You need to enter the new contest--just comment him and tell him you want to be entered, then blog about it! You and I would be twin-ners! Then I'll send you a Fred Thompson '08 tee--you'd like one, right? xoxo

  2. Fabulous, Sharon!!

  3. Sharon... LOVE your Flashback Fridays! Neat how you kept your sewing project... somewhere buried in my parents garage more than likely is a "duffle/gym" bag that I made in my 6th grade Home Ec. class... it's not lined OR made made out of wool flannel! Lala :o)



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