Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Sewing the Genuine 70s


A quick look on ebay, few clicks later and I bought a real life vintage 1970s dress pattern – Simplicity 5728 printed in 1973. I won’t do a full pattern review because most (if not all) of you will never make this dress.




The fabric is one of the rayons I got from Craftsy sale: black with flowers and foliage.


Updates for 2017 include a 32″ length on the skirt, an invisible zip and a belt rather than ties. I did include single welt pockets in the skirt too – so useful.  Otherwise the dress is as the dress is: long sleeved with cuffs and something called an “Italian” type collar and a centre back zip. there was only a white plastic buckle in the notions box so it got a few coats of nail polish to turn it deep pink.

So, to the dress. Pics are a bit fuzzy – apologies in advance.

I love my pockets; I love the Italian-style collar, although I’ve never heard of it before.


0b32c388ceb7322f876e5d745f557ceeItalian style collars are from men’s dress shirts and describe the amount of spread between the collar points and length. (I think).


I love the length – it looks good with shoes and boots alike. I love the gathered sleeves.

TIP: If you can’t put a sleeve in without gathers, then just put in a gathered sleeve!

One more rayon to go, then off to mark 10,000 exam questions and a quick trip to London.


I shall be maintaining radio silence for a week or two but I haven’t gone away, you know!

36 thoughts on “Sewing the Genuine 70s

  1. Now thats some seventies fashion I like! Love a floral dress with boots. Fabulous fabric.

  2. I absolutely love this one, it’s exactly the style of dress I yearned to wear when my mum wouldn’t/couldn’t get me fashionable gear [ie always]. Beautiful, and very flattering. I wants one!

  3. I LOVE the 70’s! I’m a similar age to you and was probably a little young to have worn much of it, but all of the Annie Hall and Studio 54’s ‘looks are my absolute fave. Your dress is gorgeous. You wouldn’t know it was vintage, it looks quite modern and very versatile with boots and for Spring and Autumn too.

  4. Just love it. What a fun post.

  5. Very 70’s yet very wearable today. That floral fabric is perfect for this dress and it looks fantastic styled with the boots.

  6. OMG! I made that dress for myself when I was in high school. White collar, seersucker stripe in turquoise and white. Your version is terrific, I love the print! Well done.

  7. So 70’s, but still totally wearable today. Love the fabric and how great it looks with your boots!

  8. I think I made that pattern when it was new! Probably still have it in a box in the garage……………in the wrong size now, of course!

  9. Ruth, you are sooo rockin’ this style ~ love it!

  10. I wasn’t sold on the pattern but you won me over with the dark print that takes the emphasis away from the gathered bust and you got rid of the ties, which would make it too baby doll, on my humble opinion. The length is ideal, too. Nice job and great pockets.

  11. Little tip straight from the 70’s: sew a little gathered poof of fabric into the sleeve at the shoulder to keep the gathers from collapsing. Those gathered sleeves are great for us narrow-shouldered gals. Love your dress!

  12. The bust and sleeves look a lot like my high school graduation dress, which I sewed. I wonder if I can find an old pic. I just might have one …..

  13. We all wore that dress in 1973 and at the time men wore platform shoes and huge knotted ties to fit under those collar points. You have chosen the perfect fabric and boots to make this truly modern!

  14. What an excellent dress on you. Love the colours and print anyway, but your version of the style is very flattering too: a slim line; elegant; and feminine without being ‘girly’. You could wear that anywhere and look fab.

  15. I love “art school teacher dresses” but seeing your new beautiful fitted dress makes me yearn for one. Wish I had the figure for it. My other wish is that you would re-photograph you and the dress. You’re both worthy of some fabulous photographs.
    A question: Is that series of pocket stays you have shown us? Or is that a seam you’ve added to the pattern?

  16. I also made that dress in 70/71 when I lived in Canada. It was the most flattering pattern, mine was a mini and I loved it. Yours is a true homage to the original and looks modern and vintage at the same time.

  17. This is just beautiful. I want one! 🙂

  18. …..oh my goodness – I made the maxi version of this in a royal blue jacquard fabric back in the mid 70s for our school Christmas dance. I was very proud of myself. How nostalgic to see the pattern again after all these years ! We were so lucky to be taught textiles ( or Fabrics and Fashion as it was called) back in the day – and I had a wonderful teacher !

  19. ….. Forgot to say that I love your version !

  20. So wishing my mother had not disposed of all my old patterns when I got married in 1980… 😉

    That dress looks fabulous! Love the print 🙂

  21. What a lovely dress! You’ve really made it fresh and modern. The pattern makes me smile with memories…I’m pretty sure I must have sewn that dress back when I was a teenager.
    Thanks for a great post.

  22. I made that pattern in the 70’s. going to have to seacrch some old photo albums, but I don’t think I have a photo any where? Rest calico with white collar with lace trim around the collar

  23. Nice one Ruth, love the fabric and the length is very ‘you’. I get the feeling you channel a Stevie Nicks vibe quite often? This 70s ode was perfect for you.

  24. The print of the fabric has a Liberty vibe. I think it looks fabulous!

  25. I am sure I made this dress when I was in college, the short sleeve short skirt version. Yellow dots, as I recall, and not a huge success on a redhead, but I loved it. Your version is much more timely even if it does take probably twice as much fabric as my short tailed one did!


  26. Love, love this dress. The shape really suits you. It has worked well in the fabric. I didn’t think I would like the longer length but I definitely do, it makes the shape more flattering. Hope London is good.

  27. This dress is so very very nice. Enjoy

  28. Little bit country, little bit rock and roll….

  29. Oh wow! I made two of these dresses in high school. I’m pretty sure I still have old black and white photos of me wearing one. I’ll have to go find it. Your rendition is lovely.

  30. Oh, what a fabulous dress! That fabric is amazing and the long length is so flattering on you with those boots! (Why must I be so short???!!!)

  31. Ha! Like a few others before me, I made this dress in high school! I made it with a too stiff double knit and it had a contrast collar. Your version is much more fabulous!

  32. I was wondering where you’d got to and checked in to realise you made this! I love it! Very Stevie Nicks, like Lesley said, but with your pixie hair you make it entirely your own and …. more like the point where the seventies turned to the eighties and everything was exciting! Great posing too!

  33. Pingback: Sewing the 70s Today | corecouture

  34. I think my sister sewed up that dress way back when. I loved it then and I love it now! Nice work!

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