Vintage Sewing

70s Jumpsuit

July 20, 2012
McCalls 5265 from 1976

I recently found this McCall’s pattern for a jumpsuit from 1976 at a local charity shop. It has several wonderful features. Foremost, I like the simplicity of it coupled with the gathered detail at the shoulder/sleeve area. The other feature I really like is the channel at the back for a tie (which you can see on my photo) or through which you could insert a belt of your choice.

Even though this was an incredibly easy pattern to follow and sew, I had two problems that delayed my finishing and almost reconciled this garment to the scrap heap. The major problem was that the torso was too short and whenever I attempted to lift my arms there was an issue with “cramming.” I was happily able to solve this by adding the smallest of gussets. What a difference! That led me down a long and winding trail through the history of gussets and the construction of men’s pants (a garment where apparently you really want a gusset if you’re planning to ride a horse or make a high kick).

it looks all puckered here, but it could be ironed flat (if one wanted to do such a task before taking pictures)

The second problem was my own fault. I used a second hand zipper because I wanted an authentic 70s feel when I zipped it up. Unfortunately the zipper I chose was more worn through than I thought and the fabric began to tear away from the garment. I reconciled to replacing it with a new one. I also decided to shorten the trousers to knee length (those wide legs were so heavy!). You can see more pictures on my blog.

  1. The knee length matches the time period of the pattern very well. I was a teenager when the pattern was printed and one of my fashion-forward friends had an outfit that looked very much like your end result. I had boots just like that. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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