Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer of '75

I just finished saying that I didn't own anything in that shade of bright royal blue like my Parfait...  
I opened my dresser drawers and found not one, but two bright blue tops.  The other one I wore with one of my twirly skirts.  Huh.  I think I unconsciously gravitate towards certain colors from time to time.  Right now it seems to be this bright blue.

But enough about blue, let's talk about the skirt.
I know I should crop this photo, but I like the perspective of seeing through the glass table.

My first vintage pattern!  Simplicity 7112 from 1975.   I decided to sew it up because I love the double zippers and exaggerated a-line.   Normally I like to give names to the owners of things I find at the thrift store, like Milton and Geraldine's couch (update on the non-progress later).  But someone conveniently wrote their name here- this is Karen Wilson's pattern!   Karen is a much smaller lady than I, and she cut out and made up the size eight however many years ago.  I used my handy dandy skirt block to help me "grade" the pattern up a few sizes.  I ended up omitting the center front and back seam since my skirt block is cut on the fold.  In hindsight I should have adjusted where the zippers sat, moving them inward a bit, but I'm okay with where they are.  Live and learn.  I'm actually thinking about making this pattern again in denim.  I'll do a better job at "grading" it up if I do.

Linen, again.  I love to wear linen but I'm also the type of person that isn't too bothered by wrinkles.  I decided to use a brown linen I had in my stash to make it wearable with lots of different tops.  I'm already thinking about back to school clothes-- back to work three weeks from today.  I cannot believe how fast it has flown by.

I used jeans topstitching thread and battled with my sewing machine over it.   Seriously battled.  I emerged-- somewhat victorious, I think.  Don't look too closely.   Once I got the machine going, the stitches came out nice and even, but everywhere I had to start, stop and turn it looks a little messy.   I unpicked one row to fix it, but I've decided I'm not unpicking anything else.  So it stays. 

My favorite part is the covered elastic button loops I added.  I'm quite proud of them.  The pattern called for seven inch zippers which ended up being an inch too short.  I measured the pattern pieces to make sure I didn't make a mistake.  The pattern needs at least an eight inch zipper, if there is such a thing.  I thought about trimming down the waist band to make it fit, but I really didn't want to make the waist band narrow.  Then, I decided two button loops would do the trick.  I made two loops and threaded some round elastic through to add some tension.  The skirt ended up being a tiny bit too big so the elastic button loops help hold it up.  I like the way the metal buttons look, too.

I thought I'd be true to the era and add some lace hem tape again.  The length I'm not so sure about.  It's longer than on the envelope cover, no doubt because I sized the skirt to sit lower on my waist.  I was going to shorten it but I decided to leave it.  It hits just below the knee.  I don't have any skirts that length so I figured this would give me some variety.  And definitely work appropriate.

Ready or not...

Practicing my teacher scowl...


  1. I love this skirt pattern and how it turned out. The zippers are so interesting.

  2. very nice, the zipper detail is eyecatching (in a good way).

  3. I have that same problem with jeans top stitching thread, glad it's not just me!

  4. I love what you did to fix the zipper being to short! It adds even more to the skirt. Great job!

  5. Very cute! This wil look nice in the Fall with boots too. :)

  6. I really like the zipper detail. It's a real interest point. Your button loop is very impressive too. I was born in the Summer of '75 - so this is what everyone was wearing! I can understand your uncertainty with the length. It's a tricky one isn't it? I always struggle with the 'in-between' lengths.It may just take some practise wearing that length and getting used to it. This is not something I've mastered. With me it's either to the floor or above the knee.

  7. This is so cute! The blue top complements it wonderfully! :]

  8. Oooh, I like this! Great pattern, sort of basic with a touch of unique. I'm just discovering linen, including linen jersey, what a dream :)

  9. Yay 75! I love those zipper details, and your buttons and loops are an awesome, awesome save. Also you are totally brave with the grading thing. So far I've completely restricted myself to vintage patterns "my size". I have some 14s kicking around, though, which are tempting me...

  10. Soo cute. It really looks authentic *from someone who was there*

  11. Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you like the zippers. They kind of remind me of the button closure on sailor pants.

    Bernice- I'm still unsure about the length, even after looking at pictures. I'll have to wear it a few more times.

    Ashley- That's one of the reason I left it longer-- can't wait to wear it with my boots.

    Valerie- That makes me happy that it looks authentic :)