Retro Huxtible Fashion – Project Sewn


This week at Project Sewn we were challenged to create an 80′s look. After sifting through boatloads of neon, rocker chic, and Madonna images for inspiration – I decided to go a different route.

I wanted to pay homage to a true fashion icon from that era – Miss Denise Huxtible.



Denise always seemed to be on the cutting edge of modern day urban chic, creating a style that was all her own. Her fresh take on fashion, mixed with her complete sense of confidence and self worth, made her stand out from the crowd in an otherwise neon world.

Using a fabulous tribal knit print, I was able to draft the jumpsuit utilizing a wide leg pants pattern as my base starting off point. I added pockets, with an elastic waistband to make the outfit wearable with a belt or without. Furthermore, to add to the fun ‘parachute pants’ style that was ever so popular during that era, I sewed button tab closures on the sides so that the pants could be worn up or down.


For the jacket I used the Burda Style pattern Collarless Jacket made with a white lightweight jacket fabric. The only alterations made to this pattern was letting the zipper remain exposed rather than covering it up with twill tape, and fully lining the coat – rather than just doing facings.  I absolutely adore this jacket, and will definitely be wearing it all Summer long. It fits perfectly, and the zipper cuffs are to die for.



Match the white coat, with the retro jumpsuit, and a boatload of arm bangles and optional fedora- and you have the 80′s baby…Cosby style.


Now, onto the Photoshoot.

This time I was behind our local grocery store, next to the dumpster and loading area. A place I thought would be completely void of on-lookers. I was wrong. Apparently this is a high foot-traffic alley, and I had loads of young adults constantly walking by giving me the stink eye. A few cat calls of ‘say cheese’, and then a bunch of repeat walk-bys just to see what the crazy girl with tripod and remote were up to next to the dumpster. And it stunk. And it started to rain a couple of times, which made me jump just to cover up the camera in time. And it was only a slight photo bomb this time as the only people who saw me consistently, outside of the teenagers that kept walking by, were the chefs and delivery person from the Chinese Restaurant with the back alley open door just to the right of this photo. I would say that is a step up from the last 2 weeks.


Now be sure to head on over to Project Sewn and vote for your favorite look. 

Rock On….



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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Christina, you are always so nice. It is so weird taking photos of yourself, but at least I cannot complain anymore of there never being any photos of me :)

  1. says

    WHAT?!?! This is the best thing I’ve ever seen. I cannot tell you how happy I got when I scrolled down on PS and saw this. WHAT? First of all, you win just for choice of inspiration. But then you win for nailing it. And I can’t believe you actually look good in that crazy jumpsuit. Amazing work Jess!

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Jess – coming from you that means a lot! Denise was always the coolest, she got major street cred growing up in NY – lol. Love her :) – I am going to rock that jumpsuit like its 1989 this Summer!

  2. Annika says

    Wow, you totally rocked this one! And let me tell you: This photoshoot is amazing. Really great pics!

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Annika! I have been secretly stalking photo blogs that I love who take pics of themselves frequently for inspiration :)

  3. says

    I love that you did 80′s without being cliché! Lisa Bonet is one of my favorite style icons of the 80′s too .I love that jumpsuit! Where did you get the fabric.?

    • Jess says

      I know, I love her – and I love her even more that she was with Lenny Kravitz….they were one of my favorite power couples :). The fabric was found totally randomly in the clearance section at Hancocks. Just sitting there on the table right when I first walked in. Not a fabric I would ever normally look at, but so happy I did. It taught me to keep a more open mind when fabric shopping! Just in time for LA :)

    • Jess says

      hahahhahahah – thanks! I always feel like such a dork when doing these photo shoots. ***I am going to fake laughing now, and pretend there is someone there right off of the camera screen*** lol

  4. Jen L says

    Only YOU could pull this off and still look gorgeous! The Chinese restaurant could have at least given you some takeout, lol!
    I love it!
    aka Piggybaby :)

    • Jess says

      I know – right?! HA, that would have been awesome, free food! And thank you so much, that is so nice of you to say :)

  5. Amy Hindman says

    I love it!! And you are so rockin’ the photoshoots! I hate sewing for myself b/c then I have to take pictures. I need to get a remote and I think that will go better than involving my husband :)

    • Jess says

      That comment from Karen LePage in our FB group totally saved me for this competition, I don’t know what I would have done without my remote! It has totally changed my selfie life :). Thank you so much Amy!!!

  6. says

    This is AWESOME!! I grew up with the Cosby’s, and I always thought Denise was sooooooo cool. What a great idea to use her as inspiration. LOVE IT!! And the photos are great, I can totally relate because I always find myself in questionable parts of town with my tripod and remote. I do get some looks, for sure!

    • Jess says

      hahahahhaha – I keep asking myself now, what shady ‘vintage looking’ wall can I find to take pictures in front of?! HA – thanks Kelly :)

      • says

        Aak, I meant to say “Cosby show”…and yes, the most run down falling apart buildings are the best for photos, but not necessarily the best for personal safety, ha!

    • Jess says

      hahaha – thanks Raeanna! I can honestly say, I don’t think I will wear this outfit together in every day style – but I will totally rock them both separately all Summer long!

  7. says

    You KILLED it this week, Jess! And the COSBY’S!?!? Way to think outside the box and go there for clothing inspiration (one of the best sitcoms ever imo!) You are so awesome and created something deliciously 80s, and yet modern and chic.

    • Jess says

      Thanks so much Heidi! I think I *may* be the only one left in the competition that actually did grow up in the 80′s in my impressionable years, so I may have had a leg up – HA!

  8. says

    Oh my gosh, Jess! I was totally walking through the store today and one of these jumpsuits caught my eye and my exact thought was, “No way! That’s totally from the Cosby era! That rocks.” And now here you are sporting one and it’s FAB! I seriously wanted to be part of the Cosby family growing up. And I’m so utterly impressed by your ability to take such amazing photos with alley way onlookers. Ha! I get embarrassed taking the kids out for photo shoots! You rock!

  9. Leigh Anne says

    You rocked it!! I loved Denise and I never would have thought of her…..but you nailed it. The jacket is amazing……I need one now! I voted for ya’ :) I always love your description of your photo shoots….cracks me up. You are so brave and your pics turned out great!

    • Jess says

      hahaha – thank you! I love explaining the photoshoots. Its always so fun to try to figure out a good place to take them :)

  10. says

    Boy oh boy does this look bring back memories. You totally rock this look and it really looks comfortable. And your photo shoot…what a good laugh I had.

    • Jess says

      hahaha – thanks Sally! It was either this or neon. I may *may* have sported a whole bunch of black and neon jogging suits back then. Ahem.

  11. says

    You look incredible! I would never in a million years dream up a tribal print jumpsuit, but you look freakin’ amazing! And the jacket is super delicious! I want it!!!! Amazing work!

    • Jess says

      hahahahha – thank you Stef! I think the most fun was going through the jewelry and finding a million and one bangles to wear with it. I wore those things in the 80s like they were going out of style (and they did! HA). Except mine were all neon and rubber back then :)

  12. says

    So. I love your inspiration choice. I love this look – the jacket …to die for!!! and I love the P.S. :) Totally voted for you!!

  13. Tiffany says

    Okay, you so totally rocked this week’s outfit! Before I even read your title, I thought, “That looks like a Denise Huxtable outfit” and then, bam! It was! We 80′s kids sure know how to pick ‘em! Amazing job and I must say I think you smoked the competition!

  14. Stacy says

    I started sewing a year and a half ago and adore your blog. I hope one day I can sew half as well as you. I love this outfit and that jacket is spectacular.

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Stacy – what a sweet comment! Keep at it, you are probably already better than you think! I bet you are fantastic!

  15. Mie @ Sewing Like Mad says

    OHHHHMG I can’t stop laughing thinking of you there all by yourself snapping photos next to the dumpster ;-) Love the outfit and LOVE the jacket.

  16. sorahart says

    Everything you did this for this week turned out fantastically! I love the outfit, the inspiration, and the photos. Congrats!

  17. says

    You’re the cutest!! Your photo shoot story is hilarious! That jacket is seriously awesome and you can pull off the jumpsuit- which is kind of a big deal.

    • Jess says

      hahahha – I didn’t think I would like it, but I actually really do. I love it when things surprise you.

  18. says

    Bravo Jess! I found Project Sewn last week…in time to vote for you I might add..and you’ve nailed it again. I was tempted to jump on board the 80′s train and sew something inspired, but after what seemed like hours in the fabric store, I left empty handed. It’s not that I have anything against the eighties, in fact I’m currently searching on ebay for some vintage {Gak, am I that old?} Vogue Designer Perry Ellis patterns that were particular favourites of mine back then. And, the eighties were probably my most productive sewing phase. Being in my twenties, working in a fabric store, and slopping back espressos at midnight all contributed to my sewmazing success. I can only guess that some decades are better left in the memory bank.

    Sorry for the novel…off now to vote for you.

    Sue xo

    • Jess says

      The 80s look was definitely the toughest challenge in my opinion. I did some research for ESPRIT looks as I remember being enamored with them as well back then. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do acid wash and pastels…lol

  19. says

    So my favorite part of project sewn / project run & play is when contestants REALLLLY go outside their normal style and push themselves, and i think you totally did that this week. It’s AWESOME and while I don’t think I’d have the guts to wear the jumpsuit, I love it on you!

    • Jess says

      Thanks Kristin! It is so hard to push yourself, the last 2 weeks I thought I had something amazing and ended up in the bottom. This week I was so nervous and thought I was going home, and am in the top. Perhaps its when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, if you aren’t a little bit scared, then you haven’t tried hard enough….perhaps.

  20. says

    I just saw your outfit on Project Sewn – I have to say I love it!! It’s such a fun outfit ~ I’m going to check out the Burda pattern for the jacket ~ I want one! Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Dagny says

    OK, the jacket is amazing! I would never wear a jumpsuit (except to sleep in), but you look ridiculously fabulous in it.

  22. says

    EEK! i just saw that you won this week. not a surprise though:) just wanted to give you a big hi-5!! can’t wait to see next weeks!! when the heck are you doing all of this? gosh your superwoman.

  23. says

    I’m french and it’s difficult for me to understand every idiomatique way of talking but, i tried cause your project was to die for.

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