From jacket with a past to bag with a future

by Joyatri on March 28, 2012 · 7 comments

in 1970s,Bags / Purses,Introduction

Hi, I have been lurking here a while and this is my first post. I have become interested in sewing from vintage patterns after a couple decades of not sewing very much. Inspired by all the talent I’ve seen on We Sew Retro, I recently took a short dressmaking class.

Since I haven’t made much progress on my class project (a dress from a 1970s pattern), I wanted to tackle something quick and easy to feel a sense of accomplishment. I made a bag using Simplicity pattern 9553 from 1971 and fabric from a well-worn jacket made in India in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Bag from Simplicity 9553

Sabina of India vintage jacket

Made of hand-block printed and hand-loomed cotton, the jacket was originally sold at the upscale department store Bergdorf Goodman in New York. I bought it at a local thrift shop.

Simplicity pattern 9553

I made a few changes to the pattern and now this is my dream bag — the perfect size, shape, and color.

Although I know this period is later than what I mostly see on this site and my project was very basic, I thought readers who appreciate vintage clothes might enjoy the story of how my bag led me to meet the grand-daughter of the jacket’s original owner. Read more on my blog, Joyatri.

This post was written by...

– who has written 1 posts on

Thrifty vegan packrat who loves late 60s/early 70s styles, medieval history, traveling to India, dancing bhangra, and making stuff.

Joyatri's posts / Joyatri's website

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucia March 29, 2012 at 1:37 am

Wow, nice bag, and what a wonderful print! Your pattern seems to include instructions for making boots, I didn’t know that was possible, but how cool is that?! Are you going to make matching boots for your bag? I think they would look great. If you do I’d be very interested to read the details of how one makes boots… Enjoy your bag!


amonik March 29, 2012 at 2:43 am

Lovely bag! Finding a bag that is just right can be really difficult. Lucia, I think the pattern is for spats, not boots. A patterned bag with matching spats could look neat imo!


Jessamyn March 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

I think the readers of this site are up for fabulous vintage projects of any era – and this definitely qualifies! Great job, and I look forward to reading the whole story on your blog.


Katherine March 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

Welcome – we’re thrilled to have you along for the ride :)

I appreciate you bringing some sassy seventies onto the site – 1970s inspired projects are definitely A-OK.

P.S. Make the spats! ;)


Lizzy March 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Cool! like that print


Joyatri March 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Thank you for the welcome and comments. Yes, the pattern includes spats! I am definitely planning to make them. I also want to make the rectangular bag as I own a couple vintage bags very similar that I have been looking to replicate.


Lucia March 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Ah, of course, spats, that makes more sense… great to hear that you are planning to make them. I for one would love to see how they go with your bag!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: