Flashback to the 70′s – from Grandma’s Basement

by DeborahG on March 18, 2013 · 6 comments

in 1970s

My mother taught me to sew starting at about age 8 or 9, my older sisters were making most of their clothes for high school, and I was just starting junior high, so that puts me at about age 11 or twelve.  We had monthly “mixers”   or dances, and I wanted something “hip”.  My choice? Simplicity 9354:

1970's Peasant Dress

Well I still have it! Not the pattern, the dress that is. I searched for the pattern online and recognized it as soon as I saw it!  The dress was carefully stored in my basement with other dress mementos.  I question the color red, but the fabric is still vibrant and fresh, no fading at all. You can’t really tell from the picture but the print is a scatter of flowers on a red background.  Here is my granddaughter, Christina, modeling it. 









It is a little big on her, I made it in a size 14.  The lessons that I remember as an 11 year old sewing this was using binding tape to make the casing for the gathers at the neck and sleeves,  and learning how to gather for the ruffle. I remember thinking it was fun using a safety pin and snaking the elastic through the casing! I think it is a good dress for a beginner sewer, no darts, no zipper.  Christina  was a good sport being my model (yes, there was eye rolling!) I only wish I had a picture of ME wearing it circa 1970!

“better to burn out than fade away…”


This post was written by...

– who has written 1 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

I am a 50 something woman who loves to sew for myself, my family and for my collection of fashion dolls. I love the different fashion eras from the past centuries, and my dolls all reflect that.

DeborahG's posts / DeborahG's website

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

paloverde March 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

How lucky you are to still have this dress! I wish to pieces I still had all the wonderful late ’60s and early ’70s clothes my mother and I made for me. I’ve been able to reacquire a lot of the patterns, but the fabric can’t be re-purchased. I did once see online a piece of the same print I had used in my all-time, favorite dress, but the material had long been sold.


Patrice March 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Oh, does that take me back! I wore dresses like this all the time. Very feminine and very hippie! Far out!


Beth March 19, 2013 at 7:02 am

I also made this as my first sewing project. As in 11-year-old in 1973 I borrowed a copy from my neighbor and made it without the ruffle as a nightgown and mom made a matching sleeping bag cover to use at a girl scout sleep-over (camping indoors in a large hall). I remember crying late one evening over that binding on the neckline when my safety pin wouldn’t slide through my crooked seams. Mom told me to try again in the morning. In hindsight, I suspect she unpicked and resewed. In the morning, the pin slid through.


Jessamyn March 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

What a sweet story!


Jessamyn March 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

Thank you for sharing this – so much fun to see an original project resurrected. And it’s a really cute dress.


Beth Florey April 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm


I like your long peasant dress that your granddaughter Christina is modeling. When I was in 9th grade, I was chosen to play the piano at high school graduation (Pomp and Circumstance). My mother made me the very same dress, using a lavendar print. I still have that dress. I loved it.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: