70s Pattern Haul


Four grooooovy 70s patterns and one chic 90s pattern. All picked up at the Salvos last weekend on a quick scouting mission. I think they’re all from the same donor as they’re all carefully wrapped in plastic and sticky taped the same way.  So thank-you Peggy Charteris of Queenstown for looking after them so well. I got some lovely light corduroy as well in a beautiful red colour.


I adore the boiler suit look of the girl in yellow Simplicity 5125 and her blue shoes are wonderful. The red cap is very fetching too. It’s from 1972 and the hairstyles are groovy, man.



Style 2631 is from 1979 and reminds me of the hair styles and dresses my more grown up cousins wore that year. Style 1842 is clearly aiming for more sophisticated with the blue wedges and Charlie’s Angels hair. I especially love the pockets on these dresses.



I’m envious of those black t-bar shoes in Style 1233. This one is 1975. I’m not sure I could imagine ever sewing this one but you never know.

And the Vogue, I love it. It’s from 1992, the year I was married. I could imagine sewing some version of the jacket although I might have to alter it and ditch the shoulder pads!

I had assumed the Queenstown on the address stamp was in New Zealand, but when I Googled the address it turns out it’s in South Africa.  So now I’m imagining Peggy moving to Australia with her small children (well someone made that squiggle). Maybe fleeing apardheit. Then settling in the Adelaide Hills where she shopped at Fabrics Plus in Blackwood in the 90s. The 17yo just called my investigations ‘stalkerish much?’ But I just love to imagine how these patterns fitted into someone else’s sewing journey!



Upsized upcycling




I picked up these pants for Milly at the op shop on Saturday, but they were too small. I thought they would be, but it was half price day on blue labels, and at $4 I couldn’t pass them by. So… I unpicked a section of the back waistband and the back crotch seam part way. Then made a wedge shaped insert to widen the back. I added a section to the middle of the back waistband to fit across the new wedge bit, then sewed the belt keeper back on. The extra fabric came from the legs which I hacked off to turn the pants into shorts. Wouldn’t you know it, I was a bit enthusiastic with the wedge and they’re actually now too big, but, the handy thing is they have that hidden elastic thingy that some kid size shorts have, with holes in the elastic to pull them tighter and do up to a button on each side. Which means they can get pulled in and will probably fit until the child is a teenager!

Vintage awesomeness!




I’ve had such brilliant op shop finds in the last couple of weeks. Firstly this vintage pattern from 1960, in my size (which is not usually 16, but sizing was different then). I’ve ordered some fabric to make it in from Spoonflower and am waiting patiently impatiently for it to arrive. Checking the post box every time I walk past!  I plan to make view B, the sleeveless, single collared version, and will shorten the skirt, which is much longer than it looks in the pattern picture. The pattern pieces have been cut before, but are in perfect condition. I love to think that I’m sewing something that a woman sewed with 60 years ago.

I also picked up this beautiful velvet piece of fabric for just $7 at the Salvos. It was really hard to get a good photograph of the rich colours, suffice to say it’s just gorgeous. On the same day Laura got a short denim pinafore in the latest fashion for $6. It fit everywhere but her tiny waist so I’ve just been supervising as she’s unpicked the waistband and back seam, taken it in to fit, topstitched (only one broken double needle…), shortened the waist band and yoke, then reattached and top stitched the yoke.


And, bargain of the year, Laura and I chanced upon a pair of sparkly, genuine, red-soled, seemingly unworn Louboutins at the same Salvos. They were a bit more expensive than the average, $50, but still a bargain. Unfortunately they are too small at size 38 for either of us, so we’ll just admire them for a while then either sell them on ebay or find a friend who wants to buy them. I just tagged this Louboutins – bet I don’t get to do that again!

Paisley and gilt

A lovely Saturday spent thrift and antique shopping in Strathalbyn with my Partner in Crime and eldest offspring. I pounced on this amazing corduroy paisley, genuine vintage 70s, a couple of metres for only $17. I can see a very groovy skirt in my future. The plates are just handy, and the lunch was delicious. We even found a cafe that knows how to serve tea, and doesn’t merely cater to the coffee fiends!

Cheap, cheap, cheap!

The $2 dress – made out of a dress I bought from an op shop, which was actually brand new with tags, but had a ripped seam. It is Ottobre 3/2008, #12, with the back changed into a yoked style, so as to let me take advantage of the skirt part of the original dress being already hemmed and attach it in one piece. The ties from the original dress make good hairbands. The plan is that it will look good with a black skivvy and leggings worn underneath in winter.

And a little striped top I made a few weeks ago out of leftovers from the surf top of a year ago. I have yet to manage a keyhole fastening that isn’t too bulky once the button is put on, so I don’t think I will try it again, my machine isn’t up to it. Much easier just to make the head opening big and stretchy enough not to need a button at the back.

I hate hats.


I really do hate making hats, yet for some reason I keep making them. As you can see this hat is made from the leftovers of the dress from a couple of posts back. The dress is a vintage pattern, an anomaly in vintage patterns in fact because they usually run small, but I made this 2 years ago and it was massively too big. I finished it off a few weeks ago by finally adding the straps and it is just right. The straps were supposed to be tie-at-the-shoulder, but wouldn’t stay up, so I have made them twice as long and ruched them over stiff elastic so as to make them stay on Milly’s shoulders.The fabric is lovely light voile and it makes a perfect summer outfit with little short leggings.

The skirt for me was a tiny size 6 ankle length denim skirt, which I picked up in an op shop for a couple of dollars. I have chopped off about half a metre from the top of it to make it knee length, and to make it fit non-size-6 me, then added a side zip and button. I didn’t have any fabric to match for the waist band but I won’t ever be wearing anything tucked into it so it doesn’t matter. I wore it to staff training today and regretted it because I had to keep my knees together all day LOL! Otherwise I am quite delighted with it.

How not to save money…

I decided that as I have spent so much money on fabric lately, I really ought to prove that sewing saves me money, by recycling some old jeans into a pair of overalls. The plan was going well – take a pair of old jeans, some paisley corduroy I bought for $2 / metre at the end of winter, use an Ottobre pattern that I already have, use old sample swatches for the applique – alas I had forgotten the pull of ‘the perfect button’… I am such a sucker for a beautiful button!! Don’t go near Lincraft anybody, they have the most gorgeous range of new buttons. So all up – overalls, about 50c, buttons $7 *blush*.

Summer pants and Curtain pants!

bias-pants-2   curtain-pants-003

Summer pants – for me for a change 🙂 Made from polished cotton. I cut them on the bias and left out the side seam so that they would fall nicely. Also added a self fabric belt and belt keepers to the elastic waist. I think I’ll make another pair, they are so cool and comfy.

And pants for Miss Milly which I ran up last night from an old curtain I bought at the op shop. The fabric is like a cotton sateen and I still have plenty of it left. I dressed little miss in her cardigan that I knitted from Jo Sharp ‘silk georgette’ yarn – it’s a mix of alpaca, wool and silk and was so lovely to knit with. The pattern is from an old knitting book of cardigans and matinee jackets that I also bought in an op shop. Big sister took the photo so I had to choose between the one with milk curds on her face, the one with her head cut off or the one that’s slightly out of focus…