I Love the ’80s Dress

It’s time to show the ‘80s some love, with this dress by Paquette Too.

The shoulder pads and shape of the dress make me look tall and boxy—like one big rectangle. I guess the dress is just fulfilling its intended duty, since that was the favorite shape of the time. I didn’t even think it was possible to look boxy or tall in anything with my body type.

When I saw this little beauty hanging at the thrift store, I was immediately drawn to it. As soon as my eyes glimpsed the sliver of a bright floral pattern on a black background, I was sold. Luckily it didn’t break the bank, at $3. (I never spend over $5 on an item. The average price of my thrifted goodies is about $2 or under. Yesterday’s dresses, for example, were $4 together.)

This floral really made my imagination run wild.

I used to feel that the ‘80s were the worst time in the history of fashion, but I’ve recently re-evaluated that assumption. There are some aspects of ‘80s fashion that can be acceptable.

So, let’s start with the things that are brilliant about this dress:

-Bright floral fabric, in a light and airy material? Check.

-Pockets? Check.

-Buttons down the back, a loose, flowing skirt, and elastic at the waist? Check, check… and check.

Big buttons down the back of the bodice – I ❤ big buttons

I think I was drooling as I looked at the dress in the thrift store, and dreamed about what it could be.

Now that I had it home, I had to get to work. As you probably already guessed, the first step was removing those abhorrent shoulder pads.

The shoulder pads were about half the size of my dog. I was speechless upon viewing them…So was Newton (he even went so far as to play dead).

I actually really didn’t mind the sleeves, but once the shoulder pads came off, they looked pretty sad. So, I would have to deal with them when I worked on the bodice.

The bodice portion of the dress was too long. Unless I magically grew by eight inches, something had to be done. Separation of the skirt and bodice was inevitable, followed by trimming the trunk of the bodice.

Fixing the bodice

The next step was shortening the skirt a bit.

Now we’ll show a little knee. Oh my!

I wanted to change up the neckline, so I juggled around the idea of creating a sweetheart neckline. This meant I would need a little elastic down the center front of the bodice, and the bodice would need to be more fitted.

As I was experimenting, I realized that there was just too much of this floral. I needed to add a solid color in somewhere.  So, I grabbed a nice blue shirt from American Apparel that I’ve worn once, if at all. It was time to get it some time outside of the drawer.

Bright blue shirt

I used the blue shirt to cut out a new bodice, using some of the excess floral fabric for an accent strip along the top. To create the straps, I cut off the end of the floral sleeves.

I plan on using the rest of the floral bodice for another dress (I just can’t give up on that button-up back).

Pieces for the new bodice

After cutting and prepping the new bodice, it was off to the sewing machine.

Bodice basically complete

Since I didn’t want to be wearing a crop-top anytime soon, I joined the new bodice and skirt.

Now it’s going to look like a dress again.

Elastic was necessary for a good fit. I reattached the elastic, using a shorter length of it for a better fit. The sewing machine had to keep chuggin’ away.

The Little Sewing Machine that Could

Finally I was approaching the thrill of completion.

I hemmed the bottom of the dress, and added a little button to the middle of the bodice.

Adding a little flair

This new dress says, “I love the ‘80s, but I’m not stuck in them.”

Do I like the Result? Like, totally!

Tune in for a later post to find out the fate of the top of the dress.

Change of scenery for ya'. 😉

It can be worn with a little belt as well.

The colors look really vibrant in the following picture, and I wanted to leave you with a picture of Newton and his antics.

He really was hiding, and waiting for me to find him. He loves a good game of hide and seek, though he likes it most when he's the seeker.

About Becca

I am a self-taught seamstress, and I love to create unique women’s clothing. This blog is a record of the hodgepodge of sewing projects that occupy my time. Reconstruction projects are my favorite, but I also create clothing from my own designs using both recycled and new materials.
This entry was posted in clothing, diy, dress, recycled, retro, sewing, thrifted, upcycled, vintage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to I Love the ’80s Dress

  1. Michelle Laffoon says:

    This blog is like totally awesome. That dress is rad!
    Hahaha, Love ya,

  2. Laurie Laffoon says:

    I LOVE THIS DRESS!! I seriously want one!

  3. Jennifer Krumrei says:

    What a cute dress! I am amazed at your creativity! Your blog is so much fun to read.

  4. Sarah Lewis says:

    Very nice and also amazing that you spend less than $5 and come up with a high price dress. Good job, dahling!!! ❤

  5. Trudy Callan says:

    That was an amazing transformation. I adore your reconstructed dress.


  6. Fabi says:

    Loved it with the belt. Great job again!

  7. Thanks so much everyone! 🙂

  8. Janelle says:

    I have officially decided that I will visit this blog often! You have such a creative mind, and I love the thrifting aspect of it! Kudos on the dress recreations – I really love the lavender striped one – sorta inspired by you!

    Also – I have always cut my own hair, but I’m pretty sure that you did a better job your first time cutting it than I usually do! Good work – your friends have all got to be jealous! 😉

  9. Ashley says:

    I love this!! You are so very creative! I’d love to see more!!
    Thanks for sharing 😉

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