Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Takes Me Back


A little while ago my parents told me to go into their attic and see if there was anything I’d like to have! What? The attic is a treasure trove of old stuff, sentimental relics, unwanted items but too good to give away – probably like much like everyone else’s attic.
Along with a few too small patterns, I did find this fabric: I’m guessing it was made in the 1970s; it is blue with little flecks of red and yellow, a slight stretch, knobbly on the outside and a smooth sheen on the inside and I wouldn’t wear it within 10m of a naked flame! You know the stuff?
I’ll call it polyester but it probably had a specialist name back in the day. It won’t catch fire – it’ll MELT!
Just shy of 2m I knew I could knock something up from it.
I choose Vogue 8825.

Firstly this pattern reminds me of the 1970s, especially the sleeve design, wide sleeves all gathered into a long cuff and what better fabric to use than a 1970’s man-made, non-biodegradable, industrially produced, oil based product? Cutting edge for its time no doubt.
I was about 12 then – memories just starting to form – and the enthusiasm of youth to propel me onwards.

 “Polyester’ knit dresses from the ’70s.

Secondly, I like the style – mock wrap bodice front, straight skirt, tie belt,  puffy sleeves that are part and parcel of the back and an easy shawl collar. And it’s rated easy! And you get the trousers thrown in too.

The pattern comes as a tunic length or dress – I had just enough fabric to make the dress but not enough to make the ties, so they are single sided with a narrow hem for finishing. I would have liked it to be a little longer too but free fabric that’s 40 years old is hard to come by.

 Oh, wearable, wearable.

It takes me back to when I was child and my mother made all my dresses from nylon, Crimplene and other polyester derivatives – almost anything as long as it wasn’t natural.

 Oh the 1970s!

Elvis and Janis Joplin were still alive; we started to learn about this country called America where everything was in colour while we lived in black and white and fashion was, well, just weird, if not high waisted!

The world was never going to end back then…….

35 thoughts on “Takes Me Back

  1. The very word Crimplene is so evocative. My aunts would wear Crimplene in colours like maroon and fawn!The dress looks very elegant.

  2. This is so cute! Is it going to be a part of your SWAP?!

  3. Lovely. The 70's were never this pretty πŸ˜‰

  4. how lovely you have made something that is not only very wearable but full of memories – well done

  5. Oh, Ruth! I made this recently too- you look amazing- I will have to add more dogs to my pictures to get any 'oohs and ahs' after seeing this! Love it!!

  6. Hey, isn't that colour "petrol"? Very now!

  7. Oh I do remember this fabric! I can even smell the fabric store, rolls and rolls of the stuff! You remind me – I dropped an ash (horrors, from a cigarette, a bunch of us girls, crammed into one car, the boys all outside swaggering around)and I got a melt straight through to my leg! Took forever to heal and I still have the scar. So you are spot on! anyway – your dress is lovely, I really like the color on you. Pretty.

  8. Oh crimplene, crimplene! How I remember it, it was terrible stuff. The static electricity could have powered our house!

  9. This is better than an Osti dress which was in at the time – 'it's Osti, Osti!"

  10. Fantastic. TLove the way the dress looks, and the color is great on you. Just be glad few people smoke anymore! And thanks for the memories! Early 70s was my first internation travel adventure, and I went to a wonderful place with the most friendly people ever. Ireland!

  11. What a wonderful trip down memory lane…yes, I was there! I have been loving all the versions I've seen of this pattern and yours is no exception…truly the perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. Great job and post!

  12. This dress looks great! I just hope it feels comfortable enough to wear. On the upside, I am sure that the fabric is machine wash friendly:-)

  13. The dress IS great and I remember having one similar to that in the '70's! Same color and similar style. I think I made it from a Marlo pattern. Good times!

  14. You look great! I think the single layer for the belt is actually better in some cases because it reduces bulk around the waist.

  15. I seem to remember it made a sort of crunching sound…

  16. You know Carolyn, I'd thought about that – there is also something 1940-ish about this dress too – I'll think on this a little longer.

  17. But at least you lived in the land of colour!

  18. There's just no way you're getting away now without showing us all what you've made – dogs and all

  19. Petrol is a very good description of this colour along with its pedigree

  20. Oh I laughed at this – no health and safety either in those days!

  21. That's the stuff! Think of all that wasted power – all we had to do was walk around! My hair (which was long) used to stand on end

  22. New one on me – Osti. I'll Google this right now

  23. Come back again – we wear cotton and linen and wool nowadays

  24. Mmmm…. I actually now starting to wonder about the average age of my readers!

  25. No creases, no wrinkles, this dress will survive at least 2000 years after I'm gone. Archeologists in the future will dig this dress up and be amazed at 20th century textile ingenuity.

  26. Verification of pattern and fabric – you've made my day

  27. Never thought about that benefit – but you're right Cennetta – much less bulk in an area that doesn't need any more!

  28. Love the dress, and what a wonderful find! I wasn't around to enjoy the seventies, but I definitely wore many of my mom's things from that era as "dress-up". One of my favorites was a crazy polyester dress in sea-foam green with a sheer cape that was attached to the shoulders. I think Mom wore it to be someone's bridesmaid. I loved that thing and would wear it any chance I got as a kid. πŸ˜‰ I also recovered several of her platform shoes and used them in the 90's when the 70's made a somewhat return via flared jeans and peasant tops. It'll come back around again, I'm sure.

  29. Beautiful dress in nice color! Please wear a floppy hat,too. That would look more than perfect!Good job!

  30. From my distant memories only Nana's wore Osti Frocks as we (12 year olds) called them!! They were in 'interesting' florals and abstracts in muted and dark pastel type colours. This is much better than what I remember an Osti Frock being!!!

  31. Oh how absolutely fabulous!

  32. Oh, I do like your dress!

  33. OK, now you have to stop it. You are making all the dresses I want! I just bought that pattern at the last Vogue sale, I swear! You look fab, BTW.

  34. Pingback: Vote For Me | corecouture

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