Orange Firebirds – Sewing the 70s


I have no idea what sort of birds these are! But I was crazy about phoenixes in the 70s (Phoenix and the Carpet anyone?@?), so I’m pretending they’re phoenixes, ie firebirds, since it sounds cool.


Jazz hands!

Excuse the weird photos.  The light was odd, so I tried fiddling with the settings on my phone camera. Which really just made it worse. So I tried to fix the overexposure in editing, even worser.  Then I had daughter #1 taking photos, and she kept trying to take them from her navel, aka looking up my nose. And it was blowing a gale.  Oh well, you get the picture.

I looove this fabric.  It’s from  The Needleworks at Marion and is a beautiful quality stretch cotton sateen. I coveted it the instant I set eyes on it but resisted initially as I’m not exactly short on fabric at the moment. Then I went back quite some weeks later and it was still there, which was clearly a sign, right? Plus it was on sale the second time so really that’s two signs…

Chic chicks.


The pattern is from 1977, picked up at on op shop recently. I wanted to choose a fairly basic style that would allow the large print to be seen and this fits the bill. The bonus is that it also fits the criteria for the ‘Sewing the Seventies’ challenge from Steely Seamstress.

The tunic looks pretty much like the picture except that I added in splits at the sides and finished them with bias binding, plus added a longer hem to give the lower section a bit more weight at the splits. I love the pockets in the picture but didn’t want to spoil the print this time.

The points at the neck were too high initially so I took them down about 3cm. And I also used bias on the sleeve hems.


The zip is a bit of a fail since the only orange one I had was shorter than it was supposed to be.  I used it anyway, but realistically it hasn’t made it easier to get on and off and I could have done without it completely.  The only consolation is that the pattern stripe matching on the zip is kickarse, if I do say so myself.


When I cut it out I was focusing on the pattern up near the face, so was quite chuffed when I realised that the pattern placement at the hips almost looks like a belt. I now have something orange to wear for Harmony Day which is coming up soon. And I even picked up a couple of bangles that match perfectly for $1 each when op shopping. My (also thrifted) jeans are looking a bit tired. I think a lighter blue pair would look nice with this. What do you think? An excuse to buy more fabric?



One thought on “Orange Firebirds – Sewing the 70s

  1. Great fabric and pattern pairing. Honestly, this top is the sartorial equivalent of an energy drink. I feel inspired already, and I’m not even the one wearing it 😉 I love these shots of the details, and your pattern placement is masterful.

    I need to check out that sewing challenge. I could definitely use more ’70s in my wardrobe. Plus, I love looking at contemporary projects from that decade’s patterns. Low risk and lots of potential.


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