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Feb 20, 2013

TWO Jacket Muslins: 1980's Simplicity vs. Today's Burda


Readers, I forgot.  It's been twenty-five years since the Eighties, and I failed to remember how BIG everything fit back then.  Blame Gianni Versace, Rei Kawakubo, Claude Montana, Madonna, I don't know.  


Only two months ago I wrote about that classic Eighties wardrobe staple, the oversized jacket, so what made me think my pattern, Simplicity 7358 from 1983, was going to be any different?  I guess I was in denial.



Long story short, I muslined Version 2 (shown in blue), using that huge piece of taupe polyester that was such a good color for me but such nasty fabric.  When I ironed it it literally off-gassed and I had to open the balcony door to keep from suffocating.  


All I cut were the two fronts, the back, and the sleeve.  It all went together easily; it's a very well-drafted pattern and the sleeves attach open, like a shirt.  But I must say, Wow: when I put it on I was instantly transported back to the Eighties, when a silhouette like this was normal:


This pattern will require some big changes, primarily in the width of the chest (I'd already take roughly 2" off the length) and the depth of those mega-sleeves.

Then I remembered that I own other, more contemporary men's jacket patterns.  In fact, I have in my stash Burda 7617, which is in-print and has a modern, slim look.  So guess what?  I made a muslin of that too, using the same toxic taupe.


Look at the difference in the sleeve (80's Simplicity on the left, Burda on the right):


Notice too how much higher the Burda (right) armhole is cut, and how much narrower the shoulder is:


Why reinvent the wheel by making changes to the Simplicity pattern when I have the Burda pattern that fits the way I want?

Behold the Burda muslin (the jacket will be lined and worn over clothes, so it can't be super-super-snug):


Much better, right?

My plan is to add elements I like from the Simplicity pattern to the basic design of the Burda jacket.  I want this to be more like a classic flight jacket than whatever that Burda jacket, with its zippered pockets and super-wide cuffs, is supposed to be.


In closing, friends, WHAT is up with those Eighties clothes: why was everything so big and boxy?

I'm sure this worked for some (big and tall) people, but like I said yesterday, when you're on the petite side, oversized clothing makes you look liliputian.  And while small women are cute; small men are targets.

OK, I'm off to muslin some collars and cuffs -- cross your fingers.

Have a great day, everybody!

PS - If pics seem smaller than usual, you can click on them to see them larger.  Weird stuff going on between Picasa and Google + formats.

28 comments:

  1. OMG you are swimming in that first muslin! Your idea of adding design elements to the Burda jacket makes SO much more sense to me.

    I have no idea what was going on in the 80s.

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  2. Yay! This is looking like a winner. It's a "blank canvas", and you can add what ever design elements you'd like. Please skip the hood.

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  3. You are so helpful. First you try out the man's shirt pattern for me now the Burda pattern. I have this pattern from the magazine. It's traced and ready to go. Just waiting for the perfect fabric. I can't wait to see your version.
    I am a product of the 80's. Funny how when I was in sewing class in high school I never had ANY fitting problems. I miss the 80's for that reason only.(and kissing Eric behind the bleachers)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kathi,

      Could you tell me the month and year of the Burda Magazine with this pattern? I would like to try to find it for my DH. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Hi Andrea
      This jacket is in issue 10/2008 #133/134.
      There is another nice man's jacket in 4/2008 #135.

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    3. Thank you Kathi! I start collecting these Burda's issues with men's patterns recently. It is much cheaper than buy the single pattern. I have just got an old one from 02/2001 that has several shirts, bermudas, jacket and even a sommer suit.

      Delete
  4. The Burda looks so much better! I was in grad school in the 80s and made all of my clothes. I remember how oversized everything was.I still dislike that look.
    Are you doing the hood? If yes,consider a detachable one

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  5. Haha, liliputians. What a great reference. I love the fit of the Birds, I can't wait to see the collar and details added.

    As for the 80s, I don't think I'm allowed to have a legitimate opinion on that as I was born in '89. However, there were definitely similar styles of "intentional bagginess" that bled through into the sad confused 90s.

    I like to think it began with good intentions, probably with a couple of years where draping was all three rage on the runway. By the time it trickled down to the "everyman"stores, corners had been cut and lesser fabrics substituted.

    The fact that the 70s had more tailoring also probably meant that people were looking for something new and interesting, but interesting doesn't always mean good.

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  6. I'm guessing '80's jackets had to be oversized with gigantic sleeves to allow for covering up the giant shoulders and sleeves beneath them. I have no idea why the under-layers were so oversized, early attempts at computer-aided pattern drafting vs very misguided thoughts that more was always better, even when it comes to shoulder pads.

    On another note, 2 modern patterns in a row... have I taken too much cold medicine or has something just gone very wrong in the universe? I'm getting scared that Cathy's next dress will be some sort of asymmetrical wrapped mini-skirt kind of thing a la Vogue 1256.

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    Replies
    1. He he. There is something nice about making and reviewing a contemporary in-print pattern -- I think people are more interested since there's a greater possibility they might make it for themselves.

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  7. The burda muslin looks like a good fit, I can't wait to see what you make of it.

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  8. The 80's were just very anti-hip. Nothing makes your hips disappear better than big shoulders and oversized tops. They even made people believe that pleats hid your hips.

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  9. Fashion designers periodically go off on extreme tangents. Things have been much crazier than mega shoulders. My Mum would just say that they had run out of ideas. During the 80s I worked at 39th and Broadway where we shared a floor with a fashion forcasting company. I would frequently run into a carefully dressed young woman, not much over five feet tall, thin and very small boned. A photo model type. Her jackets were so extreme, even for that time, that they almost covered her straight mini skirts and hid her entire upper body. Didn't Carol Burnett once do a skit on her TV show that was a take-off on Gone With the Wind, in which she walked on stage wearing the fabled gown made from velvet drapes, but with the curtain rod across her shoulders?

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    1. A smile here, generated by your comment. Almost everyone who was there, and partook of da pads, looks upon the strong shoulder era with embarrassment. However, it did made me feel powerful. I was a woman moving ahead in what had been a man's profession. I guess that's why they called them "Power Suits."

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  10. Nice work on the jacket. That color isn't so bad. Doing alterations on my shirts has taught me some of your demonstrations through hard way. Great blog Peter. Nice jacket.

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  11. Thank you, Peter, for reminding me why I subscribed to your blog. I enjoy your scientific approach to an art form. I enjoy your passionate investigation for your evidence and truth...not someone else's take on what is or is not relevant.

    I also enjoy your honesty...the world has too many fakers, frauds and phonies. You make me want to make things.

    Your female excursions may be entertaining to some, but I know to move on when you go there. However, they are yours to proclaim and enjoy. Glad when you can fit in a male excursion or two. I am then rapt.

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  12. i believe the '80s clothes and cocaine craze had something to do with each other. thank gaud i spared myself both...

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  13. Woah, the simplicity sleeve looks more like a piece for a cowl neck than a sleeve! The burda is looking great-- have fun putting your own spin on it with the details!

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  14. The Burda jacket is simply Mr. Roger's version of biker chic. There is nothing more satisfying than Frankenpatterning. It's going to look great.





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  15. That's annoying, because the illustration on the Simplicity pattern doesn't look THAT roomy. Maybe boxy, but not overly so for a men's garment I would say? What do you think of the "Suede Says" men's jacket pattern put out by Simplicity? I just picked it up last weekend (along with the pants) in case my boyfriend ever asks me to make him something. If you never want to look at your Simplicity pattern again, I'd be more than happy to take it off your hands *wink* He is after all the same size as you.

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    Replies
    1. I just added a photo of the drawing from the Simplicity instructions. It gives you a better idea of how voluminous the jacket is meant to be.

      I'm not loving the "Suede Says" jacket pattern -- not for me anyway. It does echo the Eighties, though.

      Delete
    2. I think it's telling that nobody on Pattern Review has ever reviewed it.

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    3. I have the "Suede Says" jacket pattern too. I've seen the pictures. I'm afraid to make it.

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  16. I loved eighties fashion at the time. As a young woman, I was top-heavy with slim hips, so the big shoulder look gave me extra room for my bust, and the slim-hip look fit just right. Now, after two kids and the ravages of aging, the figure has literally gone south, so it wouldn't work anymore.

    I'm glad you're doing the modern pattern. I'm waiting to see how it works for you.

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  17. I think you have the right idea here, using the Burda pattern with the Simplicity details. I love your inspiration jacket, so I can't wait to see how this turns out :o) And thanks for opening my eyes to Burda 7617. Somehow I never noticed that one but it looks like it might be fun to make for the husband. As for the 80's I really have no idea, but maybe over-sized was a lazy attempt to fit more people, regardless of body shape or size, into the same designs.

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  18. Look at your first images: big shoulders, big sleeves, big everything. BTW, I'm glad you survived the off-gassing from that poly.

    I bought a Bill Blass woolen trench coat in the 1980s, and although I'm 5'6" it seemed to be designed for a linebacker. Nonetheless, I wore it to shreds.

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  19. I disagree with all this '80s bashing. Apart from the high waisted pants, I miss '80s fashion, especially the oversize style. As a teenage girl in the '80s, I found the androgyny and loose fit really liberating. You could be cool and cute without objectifying your own body. You could be stylish in a thrift store blazer made for a grown man. I remember feeling so oppressed by Jennifer Anniston when tight fitting clothes made a come back in the '90s. I spent last night watching old '80s pop videos (mostly Tears for Fears and Howard Jones) and even though the clothes look ridiculous now, I'm still moved by the gender-bending/gender neutral/androgynous aspect. There was something truly transgressive about it. It's the difference between Queen Latifa's Ladies First and Beyonce's Girls Rule the World.

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