When Michele of @winmichele announced that she and @faithstjules were hosting the Flashback Sewing Challenge on Instagram, I immediately knew which era of fashion I’d be honoring: The 90s!
Maybe it’s because I was coming-of-age in the 90s and early Aughts, but I love fashion of that era (and the music!). It holds so much nostalgia for me, taking me back to a time when—admittedly, driven primarily by my teenage hormones—everything felt important! And meaningful! And when it came to fashion, I often drooled over the outfits in magazines and T.V. shows and music videos (Friends or MTV Total Request Live, anyone?). The reality was, most of the fashion I longed for was slightly out of my reach as a young teen who’s wardrobe budget came from Mom. So as an adult, I find myself drawn to the style, at a time when I can buy my own clothes, or even better…make them myself! BOO-YAH!
Enter: the Sadie Slip dress.
First of all, I feel the responsibility to make a PSA: Make yourself a bias cut dress!!! The drape and flow of this little number is really flattering, and I don’t think I have ever felt so comfy in a dress. Definitely an easy win of a project—it was simple to make and looks great on. I recommend letting it hang for about 24 hours before wearing to let the drape of it settle into the fabric.
The Sadie Slip Dress embodies everything I love about 90s style…romantic, versatile, and effortlessly sexy. Yep, I said it. This dress is sexy! It is so timeless and definitely something that will be a staple in my wardrobe from here on out. I took on this project like a little 90s-inspired capsule wardrobe. There are so many ways to style a dress like this, and here’s my take on it!
Scroll to the bottom for sizing, fabric, and cost details.
Sweet + Casual
For my first look, I paired the dress with a white “baby tee”. I actually made this tee from an XXL thrifted t-shirt (it looked like it was never even worn!) that I cut down to my size using the Nikko Top pattern from True Bias. I preserved the neck binding and sleeve hems, and sewed it up in less than 15 minutes!
The t-shirt underneath makes the dress bra-friendly, and I could totally wear this outfit with a pair of Birkenstocks (not shown) just about anywhere during my normal daily errand-running.
Coffee House Poetry Reading
That’s, like, SO 90s! Snap, snap, snap…
I found this denim vest at the Community Finery vintage thrift store in Lansing, MI. I used to have a vest almost identical to this one and for some reason I got rid of it a couple of years ago. Bummer!
Again, this look lends a casual vibe to the dress and makes it easy to wear without feeling too exposed. I also love the worn, rough denim against the delicate, ditsy floral print of the fabric.
One can never have too many cardigans! Remember when tank top and cardigan sets were a THING? Maybe the was the early Aughts…but I love how sweet and sophisticated this dress looks with a simple cardigan. It feels very feminine, and I love that!
This cardigan was another score from Community Finery.
Alanis Morissette Concert
While photographing these outfits, I put on the All Out 90s playlist on Spotify. Appropriately, You Oughta Know started playing…and you oughta know I belted it out, because I can’t resist a good fem-rock anthem.
The 90s brought us grunge, and I love the playful femininity of the dress paired with the rockstar vibe of black boots and sunglasses (sunglasses also thrifted from Community Finery—I love that place!). I made the little choker necklace with some velvet ribbon and jewelry findings from Joann.
Last but not least: Date Night!
A dainty necklace, a slip dress, and some strappy sandals were all it took to complete this look. And that’s why I love this dress so much: it can be dressed up, or dressed way down. Either way you go, it just works!
And I made the little necklace with clearance jewelry bits, also found at Joann (I couldn’t believe my luck finding this little smiley charm on clearance for 97 cents! Perfect!).
Sizing, fabric, and cost
For the Sadie Slip Dress, my measurements put me in the Medium range in the bust, Small in the waist, and Large in the hips. I knew that since it was bias cut, it would probably be just fine to sew a straight size Medium or Large, but I really wanted to shape the silhouette and give the skirt a bit of “flounce”. So I ended up with a Medium Bust, Extra Small Waist (which I took in after the dress was finished), and I graded to the XLarge size in the skirt. I also shortened the skirt by about 13 inches after I had a chance to try it on, before hemming with a narrow hem. The result is exactly what I was hoping for, and the skirt has a flounce-y, flirty hemline that I love!
I bought my fabric from JS International Textiles on Etsy. The listing says that it is an organic rayon challis (but I am a little skeptical of the “organic” label, as I’m not absolutely positive that it is possible to have rayon with an Organic certification…just something to consider if that is important to you). The quality is great! I ordered 3 yards and still have a good bit left over for another project.
Total Cost for all looks:
Sadie Slip Dress PDF Pattern: $8.54 USD ($12 AUD)
Rayon Challis Floral Fabric, 3 yards (including shipping): $25.91
Denim Vest, Yellow Cardigan, and Sunglasses (plus tax): $22.26
Thrifted T-shirt (cut down and re-sewn into baby tee): $3.00
Choker necklace and Smiley Necklace supplies (with lots left over for other jewelry projects): $12.11
GRAND TOTAL: $71.82
And that’s it! I’m outtie! :)