This is the first GBSB challenge I have had chance to enter; last week was children’s week and I didn’t have a pattern, fabric, or even a child in mind, and the week before was cotton week but I was away from home with only my overlocker. So here we are, three weeks in, with my entry for the 1970s week.

I had a couple of searches through my stash, and came across some tropical palm viscose type fabric which would be enough for a dress or trousers, but after consulting other sewists through an IG poll decided it wasn’t truly 70s. I had a good look online, particularly as so many places are generously offering GBSB related discounts, but then I checked myself and decided I couldn’t justify buying more.

Pattern-wise I am also quite fortunate – I have 2 boxes full of vintage and two with 1970s dates on the envelopes. However, one was a 12 and the other a 14, and I believe the measurements of what constituted those sizes then is somewhat different from now so both would have required some sizing up and altering, and as I knew I would already be pushed for time this just didn’t seem sensible in the end. I was also conscious that I wanted to make something that I would actually want to wear, rather than a novelty item.

On Friday evening I suddenly remembered I had a suitcase full of vintage fabric that had been very kindly gifted to me by a family friend. It was in a cupboard in the spare room, and I hadn’t looked inside for some time. Imagine my surprise (and delight!) when I opened it and began to look through: there were so many 70s/early 80s type prints in a wide range of patterns and colours. I chose two that there were decent lengths and stuck them in to prewash. Fortunately they both washed well.

As I still hadn’t settled on a pattern, although had nigh on decided to make some Marigold trousers, as they are on my #make9 list anyway and would work in a colourful drapy fabric, I had a quick flick through all of my patterns. I found Newlook 6524 which although not vintage, had some pretty sleeve options. It’s a pattern I have only recently purchased plus it didn’t appear too technical or time consuming to make. I chose View A.

It was very strange returning to sewing wovens after a winter of knits – I don’t actually know what the composition of the fabric is but it is definitely vintage and I really love the colours and print. I enjoyed doing the facing, the invisible zip went in nicely and I changed the sleeves to keep the flared shape but remove the ties – I felt this might make it less 70s.

I didn’t alter the length of the dress although cropped the sleeves a tiny bit as I didn’t have enough fabric – but otherwise the pattern pieces fit on beautifully, as if it were meant to be! I sewed a size 14, although I wish I had checked the fit before pinking the seams (the overlocker seemed a little harsh for this fabric) as I would have let it out at the sides a little – it’s a bit snug and may end up being chopped into a top down the line.

I really enjoyed this make and it was great to participate in the #GBSBSewalong. I am already looking forward to Tuesday and finding out what this week’s challenge is!

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