That 1980s Feeling- Designer Vogue and Pink Landers for Fall

I recently took a gander through my old, old patterns and found this Vogue American Designer pattern from the 1980s.  How about those sleeves?! So is this vintage? or retro? Whatever the term, it is most definitely awesome and not at all outdated.


Yes- I was alive in the 1980s; and yes- I was sewing clothes for myself way back then.  I still remember -vividly- how great I felt in the dress I made from this pattern even though I don’t remember much else from the 1980s. I was in graduate school and a newly-wed during that decade. I do remember the Police, Talking Heads, shoulder pads, E.T., Duran Duran, Dirty Dancing, mullets, The Breakfast Club, big hair, arcade games and Madonna. I have seen the 1980s referred to as the greed decade- which might have something to do with the size of those sleeves- among other things.

I decided that another go-around with this pattern in a new century might recapture that great 1980s feeling- minus the greed part. Plus, I love how aspects of this pattern still feel modern and current.


I remember my first dress out of this pattern was a black and red print. And I know I sewed the pattern view B. This time around, it was easy to modify the pattern to create a spiffy knit top.  I simply widened the bodice from the bust-line and lengthened it slightly. 

This fabric is a very drapey knit from Treadle Yard Goods- so the sleeves did not turn out as voluminous as the first dress I made.  The pattern also calls for a sleeve cap header, that I remember making out of interfacing as a shoulder pad stand in- but I skipped that step.  I also modified the pattern to button on one shoulder, and sewed the other shoulder closed. Finally, I eliminated the button cuffs for the sleeves and simply attached sleeve bands.


I actually hand hemmed this top- because I wanted it to look pretty when worn untucked. Although, I found out I prefer how the top looks when it is tucked into these newly made Landers.


The pants are stripped down True Bias Lander pants with the zipper expansion.  No pockets anywhere. The fabric is a soft and comfortable- albeit a tad wrinkly- Robert Kaufman all cotton twill from  The Lander pants are a great fit for me.  I blogged about these previously, you can get all the details here.

Wearing the pants: True Bias Lander

Wearing the fabulous Lander pants- finally!  You might be thinking I am rather late to make the infamous, celebrated, honored, and lauded Lander pant by True Bias- and you would be correct.


The thing is, I am a bit biased to making dresses. I absolutely love making and wearing dresses.  And, truth be told, I don’t know if I ever had a pair of pants ready made or otherwise that were truly comfortable, flattering and well-fitting.  But that was before I made the Lander pants.

And here’s a bit of a dress-making back-story.  I grew up in a small town and I wore a uniform –a simple plain blue pinafore- to primary school every day.  Besides a few play outfits, I didn’t have many other clothes.  I dreamed of owning and wearing a closet full of dresses. Because there weren’t many ready-made dress choices in my little town and funding was an issue, I figured the best way to accomplish my dream was to learn to make dresses for myself.  So, I begged my Mom to teach me to sew.  She put me off until -left to my own devices at my grandma’s with a swath of fabric, scissors, and access to her ancient sewing machine one lazy Sunday- I made myself a dress.  When my Mom came to pick me up and I was decked out and proud in my completely self-drafted cobbled together hand-made dress- she finally agreed to teach me to sew.  And my dressmaking odyssey began.

So- back to these Landers. These pants might rival some of my favorite dresses and convert me to a lover of pants.  They are comfortable and the pattern is so flattering.  And they are pretty close to a perfect fit.   I did not make a muslin and I would only add a few fitting tweaks to the next pair.  These are probably my best fitting pants right now.


The pattern is well drafted and the instructions are clear and straightforward.  This pattern is definitely deserving of the praise and legions of followers.

Amazingly- I discovered the Lander sizing is very close to my measurements.  Extra bonus- this pattern is drafted for a 5’5” individual- just an inch taller than me.  And although a muslin is recommended- I felt so encouraged and emboldened by these similarities- I simply cut a size 6 and went for it.

I used the Lander fly zipper expansion- I like the clean look and don’t want to fiddle with buttons on the fly.  The zipper pattern and instructions were clear and easy to follow. I also eliminated the pockets- because I may be one of the few people out there who is ok without garment pockets and I am always looking to reduce midsection bulk- both front and back.

The Jetsetter Twill I purchased from Lakes Makerie turns out to be the pant fabric of my dreams.  This is such an awesome color and a perfect weight and smooth twill face.  The fabric has stretch-love that in pants- with great recovery- no bagging out.


The shirt is a mash-up: self-drafted somewhat including bits and pieces of various patterns.  It is not super successful so it doesn’t deserve a discussion except to note that the fabric is the best, lightest weight, silky cotton lawn- purchased from Mood Fabrics..