Steely Seamstress

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Sewing The Seventies: Make 2 – Denim Jumpsuit Part 1

Don’t forget, it’s the Sewing The Seventies deadline tomorrow. It’s been such fun seeing all the cool seventies makes. I’ll be doing a round up post after that, featuring all your creations.

To be honest I have had some problems with my seventies makes this year. I had a disorganised start to the year and was away from home for about two weeks. I then bought a 70s pattern from Etsy that took an age to arrive. I’m not making anything from that pattern at the moment, because if I was never going to finish that before the end of March. So I embarked on a project for my second make than I would not have otherwise undertaken. That said, it is a fantastic make that I’ve really been able to get my teeth into.

Abba-esque jumpsuit

 

Line drawing of Burda “Cher” catsuit (V2-70)

I decided to make a denim jumpsuit. I had a pattern already for this. There is a jumpsuit pattern in the 70s Burda special. It’s called the “Cher” catsuit and is a rather Abba-esque all-in-one made from jersey. But it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I was leaning towards making a jumpsuit in denim. I took to the internet and pinned various images into Pinterest and here’s a compilation of the images that I liked:

In a nutshell, my aim was to create a jumpsuit using the Burda pattern, with a few key changes. I favoured short sleeves and pockets with top-stitching. The Burda pattern also includes making a lining for the jumpsuit, which I have done away with.

I chose some light-weight, non-stretch denim locally in Calico Fabrics. Yes, I know you’re thinking that this pattern has been designed to be used with jersey! It’s a dark indigo denim, which I always associate with a 70s look. I opted for the contrasting orange top-stitching.

The instructions that come with the pattern are truly awful. Yes, Burda strikes again, but they really surpassed themselves with this pattern and it was a challenge to sew this. I took to repeatedly reciting the pattern instructions out loud in the hope that they would make more sense…..it didn’t work.

I’ve never sewn a jumpsuit before and I was worried about how I was going to get the fit right, particularly given that the pattern is designed for jersey. I made the trousers and the top separately and then tacked the two together to investigate the fit. Wisely, I’d anticipated that once you get the zip in, a change to the jumpsuit would be very difficult. The fitting involved some interesting antics such as bending and touching my toes and curling up into a ball to be sure that the crotch didn’t cut me in half!

The pockets were taken from two other patterns. The back pockets from this Seventies pattern. I did some top-stitching on the pockets in two different colours. The effect is perhaps a little too subtle, since the two colours weren’t too dissimilar. The slightly darker top-stitching thread was a left-over from another project. The front pockets came from the Lander pattern.

I’m nearly there with this make now, but I’ve still got to add the collar and the sleeves. Actually, I haven’t even cut out the sleeves yet! I need to find some short sleeves, preferably with bands (that I can top-stitch).


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Sewing The Seventies – Inspiration Part 4 Dresses and Jumpsuits

In the final install of my inspiration posts for the seventies, I’m taking a look at dress and jumpsuit styles.

I’ve found some great maxi dress styles. There’s the Alix dress from By Hand, which has a very seventies vibe:

byhand_alix

There are also some re-released vintage patterns by Simplicity. I particularly like this flowing faux wrap front dress:

Of course, the most iconic dress of the seventies is probably the wrap dress. Originally designed inĀ 1974 by Diana Von Furstenberg. The dress was so successful, Diana and the dress featured on the cover of Newsweek (see the montage at the top of this post).

There is a superb article here, if you want to find out more about Diana Von Furstenberg, her design style and philosophy

Diana also released a sewing pattern of her dress, but it goes for silly money on Etsy and Ebay, so I thought I’d focus on some more affordable contemporary patterns. First of all, there is the Diana wrap dress by Wardrobe By Me. This is definitely inspired by the original (note the name of it!) and even features a version with a collar:

wardrobebyme_dianawrap

The Ultimate wrap dress by Sew Over It is another wrap dress for jersey knits:

sewoverit_ultimatewrap

Or how about the Gillian wrap dress by Muse, which has long and short-sleeved options plus wrap top and skirt versions too?

Finally I love this fantastic dress from Victory Patterns. It is described as a fusion between a wrap dress and a kimono. It does look amazing in silk.

Now for the jumpsuits! I’ve seen lots of incarnations of the By Hand Holly jumpsuit online. It has a bias cut bodice with a slight cowl at the neckline. To me it looks perfect for summer.

byhand_holly

I think this Vogue jumpsuit is very glamourous. I could see myself wearing this to a party – perhaps it is just the sparkly fabric, but it just says Christmas party to me.

vogue_v1506

The Sallie Jumpsuit has both a full-length and culottes version. Even better, there are pockets and interesting V-back feature.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my tour of dresses and jumpsuits. There is so much choice out there! I promise my next post I’m going to share something I’ve been making.