70s Week

Last weekend, amid the trauma of saying goodbye to my brother, I decided to begin my self-imposed Me-Made 70s Week. Yes, for one week I would pull out the stops and wear every 70s and 70s-inspired garment I owned.

Now, I feel like I should insert a disclaimer here. Because while I may have found “my” vintage decade in the one that preceded my birth, I do not now and never will fully embrace the 70s. The fabric of choice, double-knit polyester, is abominable; the earth-toned colour scheme does nothing for me; and I have a limited tolerance for leisure suits. That being said, properly interpreted, the 70s has some of my favourite styles.

Cold calculation would make it obvious that at least some repetition would be involved. I had (until Saturday) really only six garments made from my various 70s patterns (sad, I know.) Even worse, the weather was not cooperative, so two of my dresses which are particularly summery went unworn. It was also not a great week for getting stuff like, oh, makeup on. So basically, not my best bash at making the 70s look good. Sorry. I’ll do better next time. Maybe in August, when we’re more likely to have something resembling summer.



70s Jacket


Dress #3 (unworn) (Style 41 34)

Dress #4 (unworn)

Day 1: June 12

June 12

70s Dress

The first day. With my houseguests gone I didn’t need to worry about frightening them with my outfits. (My brother’s used to me, but I don’t want to scare his girlfriend, or she might never come back.)

Day 2: June 13

June 13

This is an example of my early-morning outfit—that is, what I throw on over breakfast to get hubby and kids out the door in the morning. No makeup, no hair (hence the cap), but it is all me-made (except for the cap)

Winged Cardi
Ruffle-back top

Day 3: June 14

June 14

Another 70s dress. Headless due to unforgivably bad hair. My new sewing room is already getting nicely messy.

Day 4 and 5: June 15 & 16

June 15 and 16

This will pass for my outfit for both days, sadly. The only difference was the top. I really like this jacket with the skinnies (which I know is very un-70s), moreso than with other pants I own.

70s Jacket in corduroy
Skinny Jalie Jeans
Day 15 boring shirt
Day 16 boring shirt

Day 6: June 17

June 17

A really awful photo of me, but it was a looking-after-sick-hubby (who absolutely refused to be my photographed loved one) day. Ah, well, the kids out-cute me at the best of times. (I made both their shirts and the vest Syo is wearing, too). You saw the other photos from this series here.

The Bellbottoms
Evil JJ blouse


Although the JJ blouse is contemporary, I feel like it goes well stylistically with the 70s outfits: fitted body, puffed sleeves.

Day 7: June 18

June 18

My daughters have decided they want to be like their daddy and take about computer bits. My husband recently replaced the power supply for our desktop… and now my back deck is littered with the shreds of the old one. Also an impromptu fort made from a plastic picnic table and scrap wood. Aren’t my children ingenious?

70s week was rescued from early termination by a repeat of my day 1 dress, topped this time with the rather-over-the-top cowl-sleeved jacket. This is one of those outfits that pushes even my comfort zone for everyday wear, but I was expecting to go to the local Comic Con today (which got bumped to the 19th), by which standards I’m pretty sure I would be beyond prosaic.

I’m a little disappointed with the amount of recycling I had to do this 70s week. I’ll have to try it again when the weather is better and my wardrobe is a little more well rounded. I certainly have no shortage of appropriate patterns…



Filed under Sewing

9 responses to “70s Week

  1. I cannot get over how much I love those jeans!

  2. I would have to agree with you that some elements of the 70’s are best forgotten, and others are really fabulous. I am so old I actually got to wear smock tops, flares and weird crochet vests ! (I think you might need to learn to crochet to really do the decade justice.) Looking at the fashions now, what really strikes me is how many older styles were recycled then–especially the 1930’s. And then there is the music. . . .

    • Yeah, the resemblance to 30s fashions is quite striking!

      … I can crochet (if I must) but I wouldn’t hold your breath ;).

      I have no recollection of ever wearing flares as a child, but most of my early hand-me-downs came from a cousin who was born in 1972, so I think a fair number of my clothes as a child were, in fact, from the 70s.

      My husband, on the other hand, was traumatized by being forced to wear a pair of green bell-bottoms (probably c. 1985). I attribute to this his continued loathing of both flares of any kind and the colour green.

  3. I think every decade has its “problem children” (80s shoulder pads, anyone?). Having said that, I never thought I would become a fan of 70s fashion again. You look so marvelous in your creations — love the corduroy jacket — that I’ve considered broadening my stylistic horizons. I’m usually happily stuck in the ’90s, which did experience a brief 70s revival as well. If I recall correctly from my photos of my mother, long t-shirts and turtlenecks were worn under the blousy tops to counteract winter chill. It was an bad fashion era for colder climates.

    I do think one should draw the line at macrame vests, though.

    • I basicaly came of age during the late 90s 70s revival, so I guess it’s a fairly natural decade for me to gravitate to in that sense. Both the blouse patterns I got recently show the short-sleeved blouses being worn over turtlenecks.

      We’ll see. I’m still ambivalent about turtlenecks in general. Although not about being warm. Being warm is good.

  4. LinB

    I think you should visit some of the large shirt collars — 70s details that are due for a comeback. The collar stand was normal, but the collars had really long front points. I recall a whole year of “dog ear” collar points, maybe 1974? Also, for accurate make-up, you need bright blue eye shadow from lid to brow, round dots of bright pink rouge somewhere near a cheek, and white lipstick. False eyelashes would help, preferably thick-and-thin. And in the late 70s, we carefully glued sequins in a line on our upper eyelids, as a sort of sparkly eyeliner.

    • LMAO! I am waffling on those huge collars, I admit. You’ll note to date I’ve avoided them, even to the extent of altering patterns. I’ve been a round-collar girl since I can remember. But you’re right, they are striking…

      I don’t know that bright blue eyeshadow does anything for me ;). Although I have been known to glue glittery crystals around my eyes, if only for performance purposes…

  5. Joy

    “Properly interpreted”! ha! Very funny – and true. When I flip through Sear’s catalog from the 70s it’s funny to see the text singing the praises of the wonderful new synthetics. My grandma’s generation excitedly embraced canned goods for the same reasons (novelty and convenience), not noticing that canned peas are lousy compared to fresh.

    • It’s all about interpretation, right? 😉

      Canned peas scare me. Although, my parents used to grow masses of peas and then poach and freeze the majority of them. Which is a terrible thing to do to fresh peas, in my opinion. But then, fresh peas are probably the only vegetable I love enough to bother actually growing in a garden.

      Wow, that was a diversion, wasn’t it?

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