More 70s love

Simplicity 5803

I got another package in the mail the other day from my 70s pattern crack dealer, Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch(the seamstress formerly known as the Cupcake Goddess).

Simplicity 5803 is another 1973 pattern (a banner year for Simplicity, I have to agree with Carlotta). Let’s see, cute puffed and fluttery sleeves, fitted and empire waist options, sweetheart neckline… yes, please! The only downsides are the lack of a back seam (helpful for swayback fitting) and my intense fear of double-ended darts.

I will probably pass on the heart-shaped pockets. I know, you’re crushed.

McCall's 3838

McCall’s  3838 is a superficially similar pattern, but it had enough different details that I went for it: a full sleeve option; a collar option, and a couple of different takes on the empire-waist detail. This pattern does have a back seam—actually with a zipper in the button-front views. Apparently the button-front is supposed to be just decorative. I would probably skip the zipper and make functional buttons, thanks. I think my favourite view is the black one on the left, which happens to be the only cut view. Interestingly, it was cut with pinking shears, which I gather saves time (no seam finishing required) at the expense of precision.

Also, how can you beat “extra carefree”?

Simplicity 7836

And, finally, one last maxi-dress. This is perhaps my least favourite of the three, but it’s still cute, and sized for stretch knits! (Complete with stretch gauge on the back on the envelope). There’s an interesting front yoke detail, and more cute fluttery sleeves. Though there’s also the distinct possibility I will look like a linebacker. We shall just have to wait and see…

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “More 70s love

  1. Great patterns! I like all the details in the blouse patterns. Double pointed darts aren’t too bad…have you tried starting in the center of the dart and sewing out to each point?

    Someday, I will be brave enough to try sewing from a vintage pattern.

    • I haven’t actually attempted double-pointed darts since back when I was a noob, so I suspect they won’t be quite as awful as I remember, but the fear is still there ;).

      Patterns from the late 60s and 70s are fine—they have markings out the wazoo and the instructions are as good as anything you’ll get nowadays. I love how the single-size patterns have the seam-lines and everything printed, too. Though if you usually grade between sizes in different areas, that could be a pain. Technically I need to do that at the waist but I haven’t had a problem with it yet…

      It’s *really* old ones (like early 50s and before) that are scary… ;)

  2. Love, love, love these patterns! Have you sewn any John Kloss (Butterick) patterns? I’ve started collecting them, and they’re in my sewing queue. ~ Peggy http://peggyscloset.blogspot.com/

  3. Hehehe, I have both 5803 and 7836, and considered buying the McCall pattern several times! 1973 Simplicity RULES (thank you for the link by the way, even if I’m ashamed I don’t write nor sew these past two weeks)…

    Alas, the blouse is one size too big for me (I don’t know how to grade) , and messing up my first knit project made me even more afraid of my serger than I was. I had even planned to use two or three different colors for the dress, maybe you could use this trick so that you won’t look like a ‘linebacker’?

    • LMAO. We could have twin outfits! ;)

      Grading down one size can’t possibly be too hard. Maybe compare the shoulders to a pattern you know fits and make little tucks until it’s about the right dimensions?

      For the dress, I would try a nice stable knit, like a doubleknit. Hey, you could even go REALLY vintage and not use your serger at all! ;)

  4. Karen in VA

    Now I feel really old…. I swear I made one of the blouses from Simplicity 5803 when it first came out….pretty sure it was view #1….I also skipped the pockets….

  5. No heart-shaped pockets! But those are the BEST part! I think I made both of the top two patterns when I was in college. Also – the cutting out with pinking shears people drive me CRAZY.

  6. There’s a definite empire line theme going on there!
    My sister and I had matching dresses just like the black top, in a Holly Hobby print!

    • Aww! I had a Holly Hobby lunchbox… come to think of that, that may have been vintage even when I was using it ;).

      I have rarely met an empire-waist I didn’t like…

  7. Those heart pockets just made my day, hahaha. I just posted a new poll on my blog, come take it if you have time.

  8. Ooo, I like the blouse patterns! I’ve been wanting to make some blouses with button-down fronts, and these look like they would be a bit more fitted? My favorites from the 2nd one are the 2 on the left (the black and white ones). I like the ones on the first pattern too, minus the heart pockets ;)

  9. Please make the heart shaped pockets.

  10. Ohh, 70s patterns are the best! Can’t wait to see your renditions of those patterns. :]

  11. That Simplicity pattern was one of my favorites back in the day. I made all the views (minus the heart pockets…what were they thinking?)…still have it. I may have to dust it off and do it again!

  12. These look awesome! I HATE fake button fronts — drives me crazy, it’s not any easier, it just makes more work. Changing them to regular buttons makes sense.

    In regards to the pinking shears, my mom sent me some of the 60s and 70s patterns my grandma used to sew for her. Grandma basically chopped around the patterns willy nilly, and from that made dresses as good as couture (I remember some of them from when I was little). I’m still amazed that she was able to match seams and sew anything together that way, never mind making them look so professional. There’s no accounting for some people’s methods, I guess.

  13. oh! i have a vintage maxi dress like the last pattern from ma mere in my closet– girl, just make it into a v neck. it makes the shoulder fluttery goodness all elegant and no fear of linebacker! there’s a tiny pic of it here:
    http://oonaballoona.blogspot.com/2008/09/goodies.html
    you would ROCK that.

    • Oooh, that is gorgeous! As if I don’t already have enough desire to raid your closet… I think it’s the second row of ruffles that causes the fear :)

  14. I will have to start looking for 70′s blouse patterns like these. The ‘empire’ line (without the gathered lower section, which makes one look pregnant) is what works with a ‘short, non-defines waistline’ torso, and is extremely difficult to find in RTW tops at the moment. Can hardly wait to see which one you decide to do first!

  15. Ali

    Love these! Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

  16. The heart shaped pockets and the flouncy sleeves had me instantly thinking about Marcia Brady (a first love). They look very cute!

  17. Pingback: The Bell-bottoms | Tanit-Isis Sews

  18. Pingback: My (almost) sewing room | Tanit-Isis Sews

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