When the 1970s started I was seven; when they finished I was 17. The world was going to hell in a handcart (not much changed there then) but they were the very best years of my life (so far)…..
I began the decade as a child and left it as a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. These were my formative years – personality, temperament, style, likes and dislikes were all set in concrete during the ’70s. – which might explain a lot…… My happiest and lasting memories were formed and the trials and tribulations of the world did nothing to dissuade my youthful, energetic optimism for the future. Years and years later, my optimism is still not dampened although it’s not so youthful nor energetic these days. God bless all of you who marched for Women’s Rights this weekend! Thank you. I think we will be marching a lot over the next four years…..
Recently I watched Divorce (HBO) on TV. The storyline is not the most addictive aspect of the series, however, Sarah Jessica Parker’s clothes are. I watched every episode just to see her wardrobe. Apparently, they bought genuine vintage 1970 dresses, ripped them apart and remade to fit SJP with slight style updates for 2016.
This is also a Sucker for Sales post – Craftsy had a January sale and usually I ignore all offers from America because of the import tax. There was a time about six years ago when I started sewing seriously again that I, and I alone, managed to sustain the UK economy with my fabric purchases from USA. Every. Single. Time. All my packages were caught at customs and wouldn’t be released until I paid the import duty. Then I found some UK and EU fabric sites and used these instead. This time next year I might have to leave off the EU sites as there will now probably be import duty applied to all purchases from Europe – thanks everyone who voted Out!
Anyway, I got 3m (sorry, yards) of three rayons for a song and reckoned that if I had to pay the tax, it would still be a good deal. From a great distance I psychically draped a tax-invisibility cloak around the Craftsy box and it worked! No tax, no import duty, just delivered virgin-like to my home.
Way to start 2017!
I might be a wee bit stupid here but can we get rayon in the UK?
This fabric is fab. Drapey, robust, opaque with deep printed colours, presses well, slight fraying but nothing excessive – I love it.
This one today is an Italian crepe in green with a blue border print. Just had to put that border print to good use….
If you’re still with me at this point, here is the actual sewing inspiration in a nutshell:
2. Sale fabric
3. Wardrobe from Divorce
Not having a genuine 1970 dress pattern at hand I hacked one together. There are certain characteristics that define The Dress and I tried to incorporate these into my (first) Sewing The 70s frock. Based upon extensive Internet research these are the essentials for an authentic 1970 frock –
- Patterned fabric – no solid colours
- Flared A-line skirt – tending towards half-circle, although gathered/pleated skirt is also acceptable
- Neckline detail – collar/tie/lace
- Defined waist – two-piece dress in other words
- Belt – covers the waist seam and helps 4
- Sleeves, preferably gathered/puffed – full
I took Kwik Sew 3782 for the top and a four gore skirt using the border print at centre front and just stuck them together literally with the sewing machine. Had to shorten the top and used the skirt waistline as a guide.
I also used the border print at sleeve hems for a bit of continuity and at centre back on the button belt. The neck tie is cut from the blue border too. I also added a few other things.
Single welt front pockets, with inside stays to stop them from flopping around inside the dress. Secured at side seams and across the centre front.
Can you see the pockets?
Changed the length; because I like this midi length, it suits my legs and the 1970s either had very high or very low, so a little bit of of the 21st century added.
More 21st century with an invisible side zip closure.
Additionally I made a button belt to cover the bodice/skirt seam. Just completes the dress somehow although a purchased belt would also serve the purpose just as well.
Finally, I just had to have new shoes that reflect the 1970s aesthetic and match my new dress.
Clarks Cass Pop in bottle green and I really do hope they are named after Mama Cass – a V&A 1970 inspiration style and, of course, bought in the January sales.
Oh and green tights to match….
The first of my Sewing the ’70s. What’s that you say? Are there more……?
Shall we start a sewing challenge Sewing the ’70s? (motivation/inspiration)