Monday, February 5, 2018

That 70s Thing

For some reason, a couple of weeks ago I had an overpowering urge to make a 70s style long vest. I was feeling nostalgic about a thrifted, long, knit vest that I had in the early 90s (long gone) which was pea green, cream and orange -- I wore the heck out of that thing. It was nicer than it sounds ;)

I had the perfect lightweight, stretchy sweater knit in my stash, picked up last year on sale at my local Fabricland, just enough for this vest. I'd bought it originally because I loved the colours and thought I could make a cardi or something like that at some point. This was the time to use it!

I had some difficulty figuring out which pattern to use, though. The shape of the vest was very specific in my mind, to reflect that old original piece. Which meant no modern waterfall or shawl collar, just unfussy finishing. I thought about using a cardigan pattern and lowering the armscye a little, or adapting something else, but finally I came across this wardrobe pattern in my pattern stash, Simplicity 1593.

This vest was essentially what I wanted, with only a narrow band finishing the front edges. So I went for it.

This was an easy sew, even with the soft and springy knit. I used a narrow zigzag (.5 wide, 2.5 long) in the perfect grey that just disappeared into the fabric. I cut it with no alterations -- even though I'm only 5'2" and usually shorten everything, I wanted a really long duster style vest. The only thing I did which was not in the instructions was to sew the shoulder seams with some seam binding to limit the stretch, and I also topstitched down all the seam allowances -- because you can't see the topstitching at all I thought this would be the best way to keep the inside looking neat, as it is quite visible when I move around.

I really love this piece -- it turned out exactly as I had pictured it, which doesn't happen too often! I also wore it exactly as I'd pictured it, with my favourite basic dress, Kwik Sew 3559 (which I only made just before Christmas but have worn many times since - it goes with everything). I added a fabulous thrifted necklace in the perfect colours, and also my favourite thrifted shoes. So all in all I was feeling quite fabulously 70s today, in the best possible way. 


  1. Paring it with the black dress creates a completely new look! Well done!

    1. Thanks Annie! It does make this dress look quite different :) I'd like to make a dark grey dress now, to pair with this vest!

  2. Hi Melanie, I love your 70's thing - on you! Unfortunately I have come to realise I never wear dresses.... amazing. But I wear a uniform to work, and pants and tops for all other occassions. In fact the skirt I used in my outfit in the last literary sewing circle challenge was my first in many many years. I think a top like this looks better as you are wearing it - with a dress. Unless a person is tall it just doesn't suit pants. Although the pants in the pattern appear to be quite a slim leg - maybe I just need to relook my whole approach to wardrobe choice and this would expand my sewing choice! Lovely to be inspired.

    That said, I remember wearing these tops particularly the late 70's early 80's, when I did wear dresses/skirts (and didn't have a job with a uniform, so wardrobe was way more varied).

    Makes you realise what you do for a job can have such an impact on our wardrobes!

    1. I so agree about jobs and wardrobes! What you can and do wear to work has such an effect on what you buy/make/wear every day. I find that I almost always wear dresses, and agree that a long vest looks best over a dress, at least for a short person such as myself ;)


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