Sewing the Seventies

When you say ‘vintage fashion’, most people’s minds jump to the ’40s or ’50s. However, the oft-overlooked ’70s packed an almighty fashion punch. Yet so many current trends stem from this decade’s fashion, so whether you want to fully embrace it or give it a subtle nod – here are my top picks for sewing the seventies. 

WIDE STRIDES

Sewing the seventies would not be complete wuthout those wide leg trousers you’re seeing everywhere, they scream ‘70s effortless cool. There are a number of patterns that would recreate this look, and they’re super comfy to wear. The Narcisse from Deer and Doe and Jessa from Tilly and the Buttons capture the ’70s spirit without overdoing the flare-vibe. I often pair my Sienna Palazzos from The Pattern Preacher with a stripy t-shirt for full-on 70s feels! 

JUMP AROUND

All that disco dancing required a practical yet glamorous outfit. Cue the jumpsuit. Whether you go for a big collar or a halter neck, jumpsuits are perfect for putting a modern spin on a vintage classic. There are a number of incredible vintage patterns online, and for a more contemporary look, the McCall’s 7910 and Sirocco from Deer and Doe keep the glam factor while working as part of your modern wardrobe. 

BETTER BE–SLEEVE IT

Sleeves have been a big deal for a couple of years now. Voluminous shapes have become more common in our everyday wardrobes, and the ’70s was known for its glamorous big sleeves. Bell sleeves were very popular, but may not be the most practical. To avoid a sleeve in your dinner, opt for big sleeves cinched into a more fitted cuff. One of my latest favourites is the Irma shirt from I AM Patterns. The sleeves are HUGE, but they gather into a neat little cuff so you get the big sleeve energy without the faff.  The Thea Boho Sleeve shirt from Liberty is another beauty, and for a modern take I’d highly recommend the Cologne Blouse by Bella Loves.

WRAP IT UP!

Wrap dresses were so popular in the ’70s. Diane Von Furtenburg’s influence lives on to this day, and it’s fair to say the wrap dress hasn’t ever gone out of style. Elodie from Closet Core Patterns and the Calvin Wrap Dress from True Bias are beautiful, while the Heidi Dress from Sew Over It combines a wrap top, maxi length and incredible sleeves for full-on ’70s glam. 

BOHO 2.0 

Boho can easily be dismissed as an early 00s trend (hello, Sienna Miller), but elements of it have come back around again. Maybe it’s the need for comfortable clothes that the last year has brought around, but loose, flowing shapes with a bit of a glam edge have made a huge comeback. The Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Co and the Charlie Caftan from Closet Core Patterns are perfect for an up-to-date boho look. 

TO THE MAX

Floaty maxi dresses have become so common these days, and it’s easy to forget that they actually stem from decades past. Elegant, comfy, swooshy and fabulous, the maxi dress is a wardrobe staple. Favourites include the Beatrix Maxi Dress by Liberty London, and Vogue 9328.

A final nod to the decade can be with your offcuts. Scarves placed round the head and tied at the nape of the neck, or a slither around the neck adds a nod to the styling we’ve come to know and love the 70s for. 

So, did you discover some fashion gems you didn’t realise are from the 70s? There are so many points of reference from the decade that are still relevant and fashionable today. Now to decide which look to make first…

To find more sewing patterns to sew the seventies visit our Pattern Preview page