Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ho Ho FO: Simplicity 5583, a 70's Comedy Special

You might remember that I had a hankering for a 1970's smock. 


I was planning to use this 1970's brushed cotton to make a smock-tastic mini dress with long sleeves.  However... when I was ironing the fabric I realised that it was faulty.  There was a panel right down one edge where the print was staggered, so the colouring-in went over the edges of the flowers.  It was also far narrower than I remembered, and I realised I could either have a sleeveless dress or a short-sleeved blouse, but I definitely couldn't have the long-sleeved dress I planned.

Back to the pattern stash.  In fact, back to the box marked "Future Etsy shop".  I bought Simplicity 5583 one crazy summer day, but gradually talked myself out of sewing it and was resigned to selling it on.

That collar.  Oh boy, that collar just screams 1973!  Jackie magazine, Chelsea Girl, David Bowie, TRex, my cousin and her velvet flares, my pal and her suede patchwork mini skirt...  I had a shocking pink nylon blouse with a collar like this.  It gave me electric shocks and made my hair stand on end.  Ahem.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was time to revive that spaniel-eared style.  The 70's are "boho chic" now aren't they?  Bowie is having a retrospective at the V&A.  I thought it would look great with my Betsey Johnson pattern trousers / jeans / shorts /  a mini skirt... and a big floppy hat?  And I just wanted to get that fabric out of the stash:  it's time had come!

But I didn't really take note of the shape of the sleeve...

Stats:
Pattern: Simplicity 5583 from 1973, size 14, found on etsy for about £5
Fabric:  1.7m of a pseudo-Liberty print on pseudo-Viyella fabric, found on ebay.  Probably brushed cotton, but who knows?  I think it cost me about £4.50
Buttons:  You think I'm going to waste my time making buttonholes and sewing buttons onto this thing?


Process:
I squeezed the pieces out of the available yardage, trying to avoid the mis-printed section.  But I misunderstood the collar instructions, and my plan to use the misprinted section as the under-collar resulted in me showcasing it on the top layer instead - duh!

The shoulder width seemed about right, so I decided to just go with it.  Reading the small print, this pattern is designed with "the new narrow shoulder".  Ah.  So I really ought to have reduced it by an inch or so to recreate the intended proportions.  Especially with those sleeves!


Verdict?
No.
I suppose I can keep it as a painter's smock...
Sigh.

21 comments:

Christine Laennec said...

At least it serves to demonstrate that from time to time you come down off the Sewing Goddess cloud to dwell amongst the rest of us ordinary mortals...

Caffy Bundy said...

Oh roo! Maybe tucked into a skirt with scarf?!

Oh well, gotta have some disasters to make the successes even better!

Sewing is not easy, so you can have win after win all the time! (Even if you generally are one of sewing's' winners!!)

Bundana x

Gail said...

Awww, so sad! Can you squeeze something else out of the fabric? The print is so cute!

sulkycat said...

I think FL should have it for Christmas ;-)

jessica said...

I like Sulkycat's suggestions! At first I was going to suggest taking off the sleeves ... but not sure that would do it ... I agree that the print is really cute, it'd be a shame to lose it entirely!

beate grigutsch said...

oh!
the hole thing is toooo big for you, 3 numbers i think
:-(
when i remember my 70´s - all the clothes were really tight. maybe you rip out the sleeves, make it slimmer at shoulders, bust, waist - refashion the sleeves to smaller ones........
i would do that, the fabric is lovely.

rosyragpatch said...

Maybe you could make some tucks in the shoulders? They would probably look like they were meant to be there. Shame to lose a blouse with that cute collar.

Mary in TN said...

I think it is still lovely. Could you possibly slim down the sleeve as the 2 previous commenters suggested? The fabric is just beautiful and it seems a shame not to get some wear out of it.

Lizzi said...

A painter's smock is definitely the thing....

Helen said...

Oh dear. The pattern looks so promising, too!

Perhaps in a lighter weight fabric, with narrower shoulders and a smaller collar?

Pretty fabric though!

Sarah in Brooklyn said...

SELL IT ON ETSY!!! What you have here is VINTAGE + HANDMADE, two adjectives grosly overused on etsy, except that in this case, it's true. Then you can use some of the money to get yourself some perfectly printed fabric to make that long-sleeved dress you wanted.
Cheers,
Sarah in Brooklyn

bloglessanna said...

The nicest painters smock you'll ever see. Thanks for sharing a miss, they are just as important as the hits! Onwards and upwards...

Linda C said...

Can you wear it belted (thin belt) over skinny pants? Not very seventies - but, such a nice fabric. Maybe wear a tank underneath with the shirt partially buttoned?

LindaC

Lynn said...

That is seriously huge! My mom made me that exact shirt back when I was in Junior High in the early 70's. She chose the fit by the upper bust and shoulder width and made it out of a much thinner and softer fabric so it would not have so much bulk. And, I swear on her memory that it actually was cute! I think it is about the wrong size coupled with too firm a fabric. Thanks for sharing this with us, it would have been so easy to just toss that into a deep dark corner and try to forget it ever happened!

Fiona said...

Am I cousin Fiona of the flares?

Roobeedoo said...

Fiona?! ARE you?! I'll put it this way... did you have an oil painting of Marc Bolan on your bedroom door? If so - crikey! Hello!

Fiona said...

Idid- I painted it! I recall it went very nicely with the purple and turquoise theme!!!Hello to you too!

Roobeedoo said...

Look everyone - that's my cousin Fiona! ;)

brooke said...

Well, my first thought was rip off the sleeves and Bob's your uncle but....Bob can be a fickle uncle. What about making a tank out of it? Either the Sorbetto or Wiksten? Such great fabric. Or! How about pj's. Shamefully, most of my pjs are either muslins or muck-ups.....

Scruffybadger said...

For once in my life I am speechless. ( such is the wonder of your creation!) I just don't know what to suggest, but there is a lot of sense in the comments... It does look rather large, but would be a shame to relegate it to painting....sorry late commenting by the way.

acharmofmagpies said...

Can't get them all! But I have quiet confidence that you will work out how to redeem that pretty blue and orange print you like so much!