#SewcialistsMiniChallenge Sew Your Birth Year!

Well hello! And welcome to my version of 1982, my birth year. We’ve had this Sewcialists mini challenge planned for months, but it ended up coming at a time when lots of us could use a frivolous distraction.

This time the challenge is to “Sew Your Birth Year”. Since I’m organising it, I obviously had a head start! I picked up this floral knit on my last IRL fabric shopping trip, just before all the stores were closed. It’s a scratchy loose knit which is has clearly been sitting in stock since a previous decade, sometime after those thick 1970’s poly knits but not as recent as ITY or anything I’ve sewn with before. I’ve been eyeing the print for years at my local Len’s Mills warehouse store, and it finally was perfect for something!

Can you guess the pattern? It’s a Cashmerette Concord, and I made a nearly identical dress hack in 2016. I tested this pattern when it was first released and I fit a size 16… after years of adding a bit of ease when I cut new versions, I finally reprinted in a size 20. I still wear all my original versions though – thank goodness for forgiving knits!

For this version, I brought in the shoulders slightly, lengthened the hem a few inches, and added on a ruffle. I gave the ruffle a lettuce hem on my serger for extra motion and swinginess. That’s it!

Now, I’ll admit, my fashion recollections of the 1980’s and 90’s are totally jumbled… and if you look at my dress and think, “Girl, that is all wrong!”, that’s ok! My main 80’s memory is pastel tracksuits, but I didn’t want to sew one of those! I searched for images from teen magazines on Pinterest, and came up with this board of inspiration. I found quite a lot of stuff I like, actually – plenty of stripes, bold colours, dolman sleeves, and chunky accessories. The following picture ended up being my final inspiration!

Now let’s look at goofy pictures of my in my dress!

The belt is something I thrifted 10 years ago – I think it must be “vintage” 80’s or 90’s? Turned out to be perfect for this!

The purse was plan white canvas and seafoam trim, and last summer I used internet inspiration to draw designs in Sharpie. The necklace was a gift last year from my dear from Sarah, and is made with FIMO (polymer clay) which I loved crafting with as a kid.

I had a lot of fun sewing this dress and taking picture – I hope you were entertained as well! During these stressful times I’m trying to lean into what brings me joy – and that means a whole lot of cat photos and sewing summer clothing! What are you doing to stay grounded?

12 thoughts on “#SewcialistsMiniChallenge Sew Your Birth Year!

  1. Well, you look about 10 years younger than being born in 1982. When I first read your email in my browser, I thought it said 1952. The dress would have worked for that decade, too. I know, I was there, and I had made a few dresses like that, but without the ruffled hem.


  2. I wanted a dress like this for ages when I was at school. Eventually found one that I wore to death!

    I am surviving by sewing and cooking. Sometimes doing the family ironing pile and most of all by ignoring the media.


    1. I”m with you on the sewing and cooking – but not the ironing! 😛 How desperate will I have to get before I do that??


  3. This dress (and print) is spot on! I had a few similar dresses, and the drop waist style was popular throughout my tween years. I’m not much for sewing challenges myself, but I did enjoy seeing everyone’s results from this one, it was a lot of fun. I’m basically living as though it’s the weekend, but with spurts of work in the mornings. I tend to stay home quite a bit anyway, so I’m not too stir crazy. And yes, minimizing news and social media has helped to keep me sleeping through the night. Calm but aware. And trying to squeeze in some sewing when I can!


    1. I”m so glad I was spot on with my inspiration! “Calm but aware” is a really great way to put it – I need to work on the “calm” part in the evenings leading up to bedtime because sleeping through the night is getting harder!


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