Hot! The “Freaky Déjà vécu” Dress













The Facts

Fabric: Blue cotton solid $7.49, Pink satin remnant $2.99
Pattern: Simplicity 2444
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 18″ zip 74c, hook & eye
Time to complete: 16 hours
First worn: 23rd January 2012
Wear again? Possibly, if I can be bothered to iron it well first.

Total price: $11.22 (£7.22)

The challenge: “Made This Look: This week, we’re sewing creations based on outfits in the Make This Look archive or our own Make This Look combinations.”


So…..I started off the week with very good intentions. I was going to make a straight forward dress. I wasn’t going to do anything fancy. And I’d choose one from the Make This Look archives.

The idea of making/having a denim dress in my wardrobe appealed so I chose the Indigo Denim Prom dress MTL:

I also liked the Yellow Prom Dress Make This Look based on the same Simplicity pattern.

I went to my favourite bargain seconds fabric shop to get some indigo denim. But…..unbelievably they only had 2 yards in that matched, all the remnant shades were different. Which was a bit strange, they always have loads in…..strange….

So I made a snap decision, this week I would make myself an ‘apprentice piece’ or a muslin to try and learn new skills and get my sizing right (see my week 1 creation my first attempt, getting my head around my different sizes at bust, waist and hips is going to be an on-going challenge). That way I could make this pattern again later in the year with more expensive fabric and not be taking a risk.

Bearing in mind the Yellow Prom Dress is meant to be made in broadcloth cotton, I picked up 2 solid cotton ends of rolls in sky blue. Of course me being me I couldn’t just ‘Make This Look’ as I was supposed to…..I had to Tempestify it a little, so I also spotted a remnant of gorgeous pink satin that I thought I could use for the pockets.

And won’t you look at those pockets? They make me happy :)

I also had enough pink/cerise satin to make the facings/linings for the neckline and the armholes….oh and a very 80’s bow for my hair obviously.

Because this was the thing, I was making the dress and getting serious déjà vu (or is it déjà vécu, I know one is feeling you’ve experienced something before when you haven’t and one is feeling you’re experiencing something you actually have experienced before?) I could swear there was something about this dress. But I honestly don’t think I’ve ever owned or made one like this or in these colours. I wore tons of pink in the 80s but it was pastel pink…and the same with blues, I was always a pastel blue girl.

So I put the thoughts aside for a while until I started trying to think up a name for this week’s project. I was going to be simple and go with the ‘Pink and Blue’ dress…..but by this point my plans to keep it simple had been thrown out of the window…..I was doing top stitching in matching pink thread and chose the same colour for the visible zip down the back.

The ‘Pink and Blue’ dress soon became the ‘Pinky Blue’ dress, which then reminded me of an Altered Images album I had in the very early 80s. So then I decided to Spotify this to sew along to…..and the album cover cemented the name of the dress as the ‘Pinky Blue’ dress – would you look at that, it was in exactly the same colours! Things were getting freakier. Do do do doooo do do do dooo (that’s me singing the Twilight Zone theme tune).

Me being freaky...or Lady Gaga, one of the two

Sitting in the queue in the school run one day I decided to put some Altered Images on Youtube……and as the plan was that I was making this dress to go out to my birthday dinner in, I put on the band’s best known hit: ‘Happy Birthday’.

AND this is when I saw it and it messed with my mind – in the 1981 Christmas Top of the Pops performance of Happy Birthday by Altered Images, there was Claire Grogan, the lead singer…….wearing the dress I was making! In the same colours…..Deja Wow!

So hence the name of the dress.

OK, my thoughts (other than freaky ones) about this project:

  • I wasn’t happy with the shortness of the bodice on my wk 1 dress, so I added 2″ to the length of the pattern pieces for this dress…..I think it worked out quite well.
  • I’m never going to work in a plain coloured cotton again – trying to iron it to look perfect for the photos took forever. I’m sticking to patterns or a material that hides little creases etc.
  • Simplicity 2444 is a dream pattern. I love the neckline and the ease of fit of the neck and armhole facings. I’d already sussed that seeing it made up beautifully by Oona last year and Mary from Idle Fancy has made a gorgeous lacey version recently too. I’m looking forward to making different versions of this pattern again ala Project Runway.
  • I also added 2 inches to the length of the skirt pieces because I’m now a 44 year old woman and don’t suit short skirts anymore. I also don’t suit bouncing up and down on my birthday present in a posh frock….but that doesn’t stop me…

  • As you can possibly tell Mr. D (the hubby) wasn’t around to take the photos this week but luckily I had the help of Goth Child (my 14 year old wunderkind) and my camera’s wireless remote…..and one thing this week has taught me, is you can never leave me alone with a remote control and not expect me to be silly taking ‘shots’ with it:

So now you know that too!



Tempest Devyne is a Brit who loves rain. She was therefore exiled to the deserts of Arizona. She started tentatively sewing about 3 years ago to make her own burlesque costumes. She'd now like to make pretty clothes for herself that don't rely on velcro and poppers to stay on. She's self-taught with help from the internet and lots of books from the library.


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  1. Hi Tempest, halarious, I can’t believe the performance from Top of the Pops!

  2. LOVE IT. That blue looks absolutely fantastic on you, as does this pattern. Isn’t Simplicity 2444 amazing? The full skirt is just so fun to wear.

    Incidentally, your pink pockets put me in mind of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty dress…the one that kept changing from pink to blue and back again. As a kid, I loved that dress – why should a girl have to choose between two equally great colors? I love the pop they give your dress.

    Basically: awesome dress. (And thanks for the shout-out!)

    • It certainly is a lovely pattern and I love what you did with it with the lace and that gorgeous coral.

      I like having secret luxurious linings or facings that just your secret…..unless you go around showing everyone like I do :S

  3. Great dress and how freaky are all those ‘signs’! I am actually in the middle of making up this pattern at the moment, really liking it so far!

  4. I really like the colors you chose. What fun pockets! I love little hidden details like that.

  5. You are AMAZING! The dress is fun! You are fun! Makes me want to have more fun! Please keep keeping things ‘freaky’ around here m’dear :)

  6. I agree with Cheryl, you are fun and funny! I love how your dress turned out and how your process went. Your photos make me giggle.

  7. Freaky coincidences! How fun.

  8. I was so tempted to have a go at this dress too before concluding that the pattern wasn’t in my stash – (and then it turned up!!) Very cool coincidence and a great looking dress. loving the pink pockets… And your curtains!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks Jen. Making curtains throughout the house was how I first started to teach myself to sew…..and when I saw these two fabrics in a local store I knew I had to have something special for my sewing room/lair.

  9. bahaha your photos crack me up! That is exactly what I would do if I had a camera remote. Actually I think I might invest in one just so I can do this. Your dress is so pretty! I love the pink pockets. What a fun little feature.

  10. You are a riot, and your clothing captures your fun side :P fantastic!

  11. Thank you everyone for your kind and wonderful comments. They’ve brought a huge smile to my face. I’m a bit of a nutter most of the time but there was just something about this dress (probably the colours) that brings out the kid in me. Not a bad thing.

  12. Your photo shoot was AMAZING. I adore your sense of fun – so fabulous to see! Love the dress – that pattern is one of my absolute favorites. You look fantastic in that blue, and I love the pink accents. Well done!

  13. I adore you pink pocketed pageantry.

  14. This is so awesome! Plus cons and adorbs pockets? Win!