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.


  1. Steph says:

    Thanks for the link! I love those pants soooo much, I’m thinking of making exactly the same ones (with better fit) in a neutral tropical wool. They’re that awesome to wear.

    Can’t wait to see your white jacket, and blogging with encouragement has helped me finish more projects than I can count. It really makes all the difference. So here, I’ll try to help you through the last bit:

    Your white jacket will be the most seriously awesome jacket to be seen this season in Austin, you’ll literally have people from every counter-culture following you around, begging to know where you bought it and when you tell them you made it yourself, they’ll ask if you have a label. It’s that great. 🙂

    By the way, did Maria’s Taco Express survive the recession? What about Threadgoode’s?

    • Amy says:

      Thanks Steph! That’s awesome encouragement. I am so close it’s crazy, I just have to find the time this weekend.

      I don’t know about Maria’s Taco Express, although there is a new taco stand on the east side that is to die for. I’ve also never heard of Threadgoode’s? Is that a fabric shop? We so need something here. Or do you mean Threadgills? They are still rolling. I don’t know when you lived here last but it has changed a lot in the last 5 years. The downtown is so different, two new high rises and a very trendy shopping district. The east side has so many cool things, a lot of fashion and sewing coops over there.

    • Amy says:

      SewOm, thanks for sharing the link! That is a very pretty pattern and I like the gathers in the front–it’d be nice to have a basic like that. I might have to investigate! I have a couple of Hotpatterns that I bought in a pattern-buying binge but haven’t yet sewed any of them.

  2. Alison Vaclav says:

    Amen on the breezy tank top! Why are they so hard to find? Every time I look all I seem to find are the snug-and-ribbed cotton tanks (of which I already own too many) or the barely-there-racerback (which just doesn’t fit my lifestyle). I am excited to see what you come up with!

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