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The Creators' Collaborative: Marcia Spencer

Hi, I’m Marcia also known on social media as Keechii B Style. I’m a mother, wife, sewist, maker, lover of style and fashion, entrepreneur and DIY style blogger. Those who follow me on social media know that I’m a 70’s style kind of gal. I love easy going, minimalist retro styles from the era of bell bottoms and platform shoes!! However, this summer there has been a hint of 80’s trends coming back around and I must say I’m loving every bit of it! The puff sleeves, tiered ruffles, square necklines and baby doll dresses trending now have been made chic and minimalist and I’m all the way here for it!


I try not to get stuck on trends that don’t last but for a split second in my wardrobe! I like to be able to wear my clothes for years to come without worrying about them being outdated. However, I think it is safe to say, these summer trends have a way of staying chic and fresh in our wardrobe for years to come. Whether it is RTW or DIY there are so many ways to achieve these looks without making them dated. As a sewist and maker I’m always looking to recreate all the looks that I’m coveting for the season.  And this season is no exception!


There are several ways to incorporate the puff sleeve into your wardrobe! They come in so many shapes and sizes from itty bitty puffs to the oversized ballooned puff sleeves. If you are looking for a more dramatic look, go from the balloon puff sleeves, but if you are looking for a subtle way to ease into this trend a hint of puff will do! As I mentioned before, the 80’s weren't my best years. So, never did I expect the puff sleeve anywhere near my closet again. After a certain age at least! Yet, it's hard to resist the temptation with all the beautifully designed puff sleeve dresses and tops out this summer!  Try adding a simple top which you can mix and match with more modern pieces in your closet. You can throw on with a pair of jeans or a pencil skirt. That way you don’t get stuck on one look! A solid color can tone it down and also be more versatile in your wardrobe! 


This top is a pattern hack I managed using McCalls dress pattern 7802! I wanted a piece that I could interchange easily. I used the deep V neckline to make it more modern and although I could have gone bigger on the sleeves, I went for a subtle puff sleeve. Choosing crisper fabrics such as cottons, poplins, wovens and organza will help the sleeves hold shape and give it a fuller look.  McCalls Pattern S8880 and 8108 are more recent patterns that offer a great subtle puff sleeve for tops and dresses.

Another great trend to think about this season are tiered ruffles. One of my all time favorites! I really don’t know if tiered ruffles ever went out of style but the trend is so forgiving on a woman's figure and Boho Chic to say the least! I don’t think I could ever dismiss the look. These cascading ruffles work great on skirts, dresses and even pants. You will find this look on styles in boutiques this summer by several different designers. If you plan to recreate looks yourself, the looks are endless! You can decide how many tiers, how long you want your tiers and how full you like them! For a more dramatic look go for more tiers like McCalls Pattern 8087 the Aurora dress. If you are looking for less ruffles McCalls 8090 is also great! The great thing about tiers is that they're effective in just about any fabric and any length. Of course, for the summer I would lean toward lighter breathable and even light weight jersey knits. The Maxi and Midi lengths work for either!

This dress was actually inspired by a dress I saw from & Other Stories boutique online. An A-line ruffled Midi dress that is tiered perfection, with a great open back detail. To achieve this look I used a pattern I’ve had in my stash for a while, Butterick 5878. I’m not sure if it is still in print but it was the closest pattern to get the look I was trying to achieve. However, any of the newer patterns I mention can also be used to achieve this tiered look.  I used a seersucker fabric but other lightweight woven cotton fabrics would work for this look also. I only added three tiers which makes my dress a little shorter than the original but I'm loving it either way. I plan to make another one of these before the summer is over and add more tiers to the hem.


Now, I know all of these trends are so feminine and romantic but I think that is the point for the season! Hints of romantic gesture in all your clothing! And it remains evident in the square necklines that are still rather popular since they re- emerged from the renaissance era and  hit the runways for Spring 2020! I absolutely love it! Spring brought us beautiful square neckline dresses and frocks. However, I think we see more and more square neck tops now that the Summer season is setting in. The look is very flattering on just about any neckline.  With so many styles of square necklines out I don’t think this a trend that will fade away quickly! It's fresh, flirty yet, not overly revealing. I haven’t created many square neck looks but, I'm just getting started. I look forward to making many square neck garments this summer.  A few of my favorite patterns I will be using to re-create my favorite looks are McCalls 7962, Vogue 9320 and McCalls 8108.


With McCalls 7962, I used a navy and white gingham fabric to recreate this trend. It has a flat square neckline with a flounce ruffle accent across the shoulder and down the bodice! This was a very popular style in some of the earlier spring dresses also. Square neck babydoll dresses and picnic dresses, with spaghetti straps and even ruffles have settled into fashion quite seamlessly if I don’t say so myself. I believe it is only fitting to carry this square neck top over for Summer as well. It's a very versatile piece for a summer wardrobe. Pairing it with high waisted trousers and jeans gives it a more retro vibe! However, the styling options are endless.


This season's trends have surely captured my heart! There are so many cool styles to play with but I think the most important thing is to make them yours. Don’t let the trends and styles of the season define you, you are the author of your stylebook so you must control the style narrative! For more tips, trends and style ideas visit me sometimes on instagram @keechiibstyle

Until Next time!

Marcia xoxo


Marcia, thank you so much for being our very first contributor to The Creators' Collaborative! And what a start - I don't know about everyone else, but my creative juices are seriously overflowing! Reading this has given me inspiration overload and I want it all - the puffiest sleeves, cute square neck prairie dresses and allllll the gathered tiers! Marcia's style proves that retro can be made to look effortlessly modern and up to the minute, and that there is so much fun to be had experimenting with different styles - marrying old trends with the new, hacking your favourite patterns and expressing yourself through your sewing practice.

Comments on this post (4)

  • Jul 23, 2021

    What a lovely mix of useful practical advice and drool-worthy eye candy to get the artistic juices flowing. I never imagined myself in puffed sleeves or square necklines again but, after seeing your post, think I will have to give them a go.

    — Jean Moore

  • Aug 02, 2020

    What a fantastic read 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾. I thought I’ll just skim over and save on my reading least but I have read it all through 😃. I really love how you’ve given a fashion history lesson. Loving it and I’m here for it. Can’t wait to make a puffed, ruffled, squared neck, and tiered something 🤩😁 let’s go 💃🏾💃🏾.

    — @thisnovembergurl

  • Jul 17, 2020

    Oh my, those pants.I wish I had your curves, but those pants will add flare. Thank you for this inspiration!

    — May

  • Jul 03, 2020

    How dare you tempt me so before my first cup of coffee!!! Marcia, your style is GLORIOUS.

    — Marcy Harriell

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