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!




Pretty Birds on a Pinny and a Vampire Bat



Presenting a threeway collaboration between Laura, me, and my partner in crime (hence forth known as pic)! I bought this gorgeous velour print off the bargain table at Spotlight for maybe $3 a metre. It’s one of those buys where you wonder what on earth everyone else was thinking that no-one had snapped it up before it ended up being sold off. Anyway it was such a bargain that I bought about 5 metres of it. I still intend to make myself a winter skirt, but it in the meantime Laura’s been eyeing it off for a pinafore.


Laura cut it all out, using this 70s skirt pattern, and cutting the bib parts based on an existing pinafore she owns. When I say she used this skirt pattern, it’s been so completely hacked there’s almost nothing of the original pattern, but it was a starting point. Laura sewed the skirt together and fitted the darts to suit her tiny waist, then asked for my help with the top-stitching… at which point she realised she didn’t have a plan for how to do the side openings. Apparently my description of how to do it involved lots of confusing words and waving my hands around and was all clear as mud, because she decided to just hand it over to me to do the rest.





It’s not a complicated design, but did take a while to do all the top stitching nice and straight.  Including running out of top-stitching thread and having to wait a couple of days before I could get to the shop and buy some more. The heavy multi-layered seams resisted my best efforts at getting the twin needles to work so I ended up stitching them one row at a time using a heavy jeans needle. They’re not quite as even as a twin needle would have been but overall (see what I did there…) they’re pretty straight. I should have made the side openings a bit longer to make it easier to get on and off, they need a bit of a wriggle (!) but they work.

The third party to get involved was when the pic got asked to hammer in the buttons. I’m adamant we marked the button spots clearly, yet somehow he managed to put one of the side opening buttons further around the back of the waistband, and we had to hunt up another one to add to the side opening. I’m a bit bemused as to how he managed it but he’s sticking by his story that it was intended that way to hang a hammer off the overalls!

We took these photos inside because it’s pouring down rain today. I read online that Adelaide has had the wettest summer in many, many decades and it certainly feels like it. My lounge room floor is looking very much in need of a vacuum but I needn’t tell anyone reading this that there are far better things to do than vacuum! Rather than vacuuming (who am I kidding, I would not have been vacuuming anyway), I’ve been to the most gorgeous baby shower this afternoon for a friend who’s waited a long time for her soon-to-arrive baby girl. I’m so excited for her! We all got given a letter and number to draw things on a wooden block. Isn’t that the best idea? My artwork isn’t up to much but what a awesome and useful memento.


Vintage purple floral




I love this dress!! This is the second time I’ve made the pattern. It’s a Vintage 1961 pattern McCalls 5780 (published 10 years before I was born). I was lucky enough to find the pattern in an op shop and it is the exact right size (miraculous!) The first time I made this lovely pattern was 12 months ago before I fired up my blog again, and I haven’t got around to blogging that one yet. So it was fairly straight forward this time, vintage techniques and all. The fabric is just a cotton from Spotlight but it’s got a nice soft hand. This dress takes a lot of fabric and they didn’t have enough on the roll when I bought it, so I rang around a few other Spotlights and got my lovely partner in crime to pick this up for me at a far flung store when he was nearby for work.This is #5 on my holiday to-do list. Technically I’ve finished my holidays since I’ve been back at work for 8 days so far, but school isn’t back until this coming week so I say it still counts. I’ve just had a four day weekend for Australia Day so I got the chance to finish a few more things off.



The dress has a lapped side zip, which is really a pain in the neck when it comes to getting the darn thing on and off, but it does give a lovely look with no back zip. The back darts fit perfectly and I’m a fan of the sleeve facings. The pleated skirt is the fiddly bit – I always find it’s pretty much impossible to get pleats exactly right the first time round, so one ends up having to tweak them to get them to fit exactly to the waist stay. Plus the way it fastens is interesting. I’ve put in a photo of the waist fastening instructions and you can see it has an extended underlap, with press studs which do up hidden in the pleat. They’re great pleats though, it sits beautifully. The purple satin ribbon waist stay looks pretty (even though only I get to see it!) and is a nice finishing touch.

I made it a little longer this time than last time, only slightly shorter than the pattern pieces intended (they’re always so long these vintage dresses!) I like it, I think it gives nice proportions. I’m very much looking forward to wearing this to work. I don’t have any fancier occasions planned so I think I might have to remedy that.