30/52 Green 80s Sack Dress and 31/52 Floral 80s Sack Dress

This was my Monthly stitch April Double up entry… which I finished sewing in early April, took the photos at Easter and then… life, sickness, more sewing, work and general stuff happened so TA-DAH! Here they are… my double double cheese cheese burger burger please… I mean my double up dresses.

At Christmas in Palmerston North Arthur Toye I found these on the remnants table (all half price) and I could picture it straight away a patterned front/plain back simple shift dress. But I couldn’t find the pattern I wanted, I had limited fabric to work with so I didn’t want lots of seams or sleeves. Then I got this 80’s kimono sleeve shift dress – a.k.a a 1980s sack dress.


It was perfect – I cut out my first dress – the green and black version, and sewed up the side and shoulder seams, tried it on and voila – A SACK! So I attacked myself with pins and created under bust darts that curved down to the side (similar to what I have used in vintage patterns) and back waist darts to give shaping.

I unpicked, re-sewed, transferred the dart markings to my pattern pieces, hemmed and did a bias bound turned in neck instead of a facing as I had scooped out the neck line from the original pattern. Then in just over two hours I had a new dress and an altered pattern for the next one.

So the next night I cut out the pink floral version. This had a new challenge as I was working with a remnant strip with a directional pattern. On the previous one I had just ignored the grain and turned it sideways to fit on the fabric, but I couldn’t have flowers flowing around my body, so I created a ‘design feature’ with a seam at the mid-thigh. I didn’t pattern match due to no fabric, just topstitched the seam down so it didn’t irritate me by flapping about. I also curved off the top of shoulders so they didn’t stick out as much as my first version (this was good feedback from a workmate when I had strutted my stuff in the office that day).

So again in just over 2 hours I had another stunning dress. Total of five hours work maximum and less than $50 = two unique dresses.


This is why I love sewing.




7 thoughts on “30/52 Green 80s Sack Dress and 31/52 Floral 80s Sack Dress

    • Thanks. I am wearing the floral one today and was contemplating whether I could make a third. I have a great black and white print from the starfish close down

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