1970s impulse sewing: knit dress with underbust belt (Simplicity 7575)

So a few nights ago I was on Instagram scrolling through Me-Made-May photos and I saw this really awesome feather-print 70s vintage dress by Cation Designs and then she was saying that Tanit-Isis got her hooked on 1970s dresses and then I was thinking “hey, I have a kinda similar 1970s vintage dress pattern in my stash” and so then I found it and I grabbed some stash fabric and I cut it and I made it and… here it is.

AND it fits! So score. VINTAGE IMPULSE SEWING WIN.

The basics

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 7575, from 1976, a topstitched raglan-sleeved V-neck knit dress with slightly gathered skirt and attached belt to create underbust shaping. (I actually got my copy from We Sew Retro—but you should be able to find one on eBay or Etsy fairly easily).

Fabric: Two yards of a wonderful soft medium-weight purple rayon or cotton spandex blend knit with amazing stretch, drape and recovery (and maybe a BIT too much cling). It’s been in my stash since before 2010 and my notes say I bought it at “NY Fabrics” but I can’t remember where or what that store is in the Garment District.

Notions: Just thread and some fusible webbing tape for taming the belt and facings.

Size: 12 (it’s a one-size pattern). The body measurements for this size were about 3-4 inches smaller than mine, but I trusted the power of spandex and negative ease, and made no adjustments except a 1″ FBA. The dress actually has quite a bit of ease, as it’s the belt that gives it a fitted look.

Inspiration: This dress totally makes me think of my amazing mom Beryl, who was a total 70s girl and loves to sew knit dresses. Here she is with my dad and her parents (both in ensembles sewn by my grandmother) at her wedding in 1973:

It also reminded me of the last vintage 1970s pattern I sewed back when I was super pregnant, which also had a similar attached belt thing going on.

Full details and lots more photos on my blog post.

• Meet the Author • m1khaela


Cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer with delusions of making as many of my own clothes as possible and an obsession with bright colors, bold prints, retro and vintage styles and sewing projects far out of my skill set. I live in Brooklyn with my cartoonist husband Masheka and our sleep-averse toddler Ms. Z.


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