Super 70s Summer Dreaming

The White Jacket is almost finished. I went on a couple of sewing marathons last week to get caught up with the RTW Jacket Sew-along–having others interested in your progress really encourages things along, right? I just need to get the buttons in and fix a couple of wonky things. (As far as progress photos, my sewing room-studio is terribly lit and I have just about given up trying to photograph white details in badly lit situations, so pictures will have to wait until this thing sees the light of day.)

In the meantime, I’m trying to plot out my summer sewing ideas. I’d love to go for this Groovy Bellbottom challenge, but I think I need a wee breather from challenges & sew-alongs. It caught my eye because I’m kind of a sucker for 70s patterns and have a few I’m thinking of making this summer. I put these in my inspiration notebook a couple of months ago:

{from Salvatore Ferragamo and Marc Jacobs, Spring 2011}

I don’t normally go for peasant-y styles but there’s something about the “I’m traipsing around Assisi in my bare feet” look on the left that gives me hope for summer. I have a 70s pattern for the top and some lovely butterscotch-colored poplin that will be perfect. I’ll probably cut the sleeves down to a 3/4 length for summer:

Anyone have any pattern ideas for the skirt, vintage or new?

Last summer, I really wanted a couple of pairs of breezy linen trousers and they are still on my endless to-sew list. I lost confidence in sewing pants sometime around 1995 and need to find a way back in. I so love high-waisted trousers–I went for the crazy super-high-waisted jeans a couple years ago and I’m hooked.

This pattern floats everywhere on Etsy and eBay, taunting me, and at the moment seemingly only in 46-inch hip sizes.

{I here do solemnly swear that I will never wear a pair of patchwork-printed bellbottoms. They looked better on me when I was in kindergarten.}

Or perhaps I’ll try something more in a 40s direction. I really dug Steph’s Weimar-inspired Smooth Sailing pants and I’d love to try out the pattern with some pretty black linen I stashed last year.

And there has to be a maxi dress in my summer somewhere. Does anyone ever notice how maxis (both rtw and patterns) almost always have empire waists? There must be some kind of design-consensus about how to wear them, but I personally like when they hit my actual waist. These were among a few rare non-empired dresses that caught my eye:


Just looking at their colors cools me off. The left has a great 70s Jean Muir-ish vibe. The nude dress is “oooh, pretty”–so simple but fun with that sheer peekaboo panel. I’ve been hunting maxi dress patterns for a couple of years but haven’t found any I really love. I guess I could always Frankenpattern a dress.

This is a UFO maxi shirtdress I started last summer, but um, it was in white cotton and I think I need to chill on white, no? And I’m thinking the long sleeves might haunt me in our weather. But I’m a sucker for 70s fly collars.

But first, I really need to sew a couple of breezy tank tops. I am going to have to be very, very tactical this summer to keep cool. Texas is in the middle of a terrible drought, and my part of town has had no rain for almost four months. (Wildfires have ravaged over 2 million acres of Texas in the last month, including parts of Austin.) So–we completely bypassed spring and went straight to summer and are looking forward to 100-degree averages in May. Ugh.

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