Vintage Sewing

The early 1970’s was a great time to be a little girl!

December 4, 2012

I think that the early 1970’s was a great time to be a little girl. So were the late 1960’s. That is my opinion. Why? I don’t know…I just love the funky styles of that era and the bold use of color. The 1970’s saw many trends in fashion…you name it, the 1970’s had it. That decade had it all. I can see Victorian-era inspiration as well as 1930’s and 1940’s influence.

This is my first time posting any of my work on this blog. I have been meaning to do it for sometime, but I am just now getting around to it.

I love vintage Simplicity pattern 9532 from 1971, and have been wanting to make a dress from it for some time. There are two different variations of this dress, and I ended up make what I call a “hybridized” version of the two. View 1 has inverted pleats and short sleeves, while View 2 is gathered and has long sleeves. The dress I made had inverted pleats and long sleeves. Besides that, I also lined the dress. I chose 100% cotton quilting fabrics for the main fabric and the lining (the lining is the same color and material as the collar). The main fabric really makes me think of the early 1970’s…it just has that earthy feel, and the flowers on the dress are daisies, of course. I wanted to use a bright orange for the rick rack as orange is one of the colors of the main fabric. I very much wanted to make the collar for this dress. The dilemma was how to make the collar stay. The collar does have eye hooks in the back to close it, but it needed something to hold it in place. The original instructions called for basting the collar down. That is not practical, so I came up with the idea to hold the collar in place with buttons. I sewed to large orange buttons on the front of the dress, and I made the collar with buttonholes. The dress can be worn with or without the collar, of course.  I did lengthen this dress a bit because the original was very short (as was the style back then).

The beautiful models in all photographs are not my daughters. Their mother was kind enough to let them model for me. She also photographed them.


I used vintage McCall’s pattern 9532 (dated 1971) for  the next dress. This design was created by Helen Lee (I adore her work). I did tweak this design as well. I used a lightweight corduroy for the main fabric and a lightweight cotton broadcloth for the collar, sleeve ruffles, and lining. I added a zipper for the back closing instead of buttons. The version that I made was View A, and I decided to add pockets though it did not originally have pockets (View C does). Of course I lengthened this dress a bit as the original was too short for today’s standards (I don’t know many mothers who would let their daughters wear super short styles).



















About me: I love vintage patterns and I love sewing! I am an avid collector of vintage patterns and I also sell them online. I love sewing for myself and for others. I love to experiment with vintage patterns and I often deviate from the original pattern’s instructions and construction method. I am completely self-taught, and I acknowledge the fact that there is still lots more to learn. I shall not every stop learning and I shall not get weary when it comes to sewing!  Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at what I have created! ; )

  1. very cute,I was a very little girl back in the 70’s and my mother used to sew many of our clothes and i remember one easter dress that was very short like on the patterns.thankfully the praire dress the button on collar,I make myself dressess with changeable collars their great.

  2. A few years ago I made a little dress coat with a pattern from my childhood. I would say the pattern was from ’66 to ’68. I used a piece of homespun black and cream houndstooth, and lined it with bright red flannel. I even went so far as to put in welt pockets and a fur collar!! I gave it to my niece for Christmas. She and her parents went to Paris that year, and my SIL said that the Parisiennes that they met would comment in French, finger the coat and examine the contruction!

  3. @ Mrs. Leapheart…that coat sounds lovely! I like to experiment, too!

    @ LucyLovesYa…thank you for your kind words! I do appreciate it! : )

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