I’ve had this super red and grey wool plaid fabric for several years, and I’ve had plans to make a jacket. But then a red plaid Pendleton 49er came into my life, and I realized I just didn’t need another red plaid jacket. So I put the fabric on the back burner. When I found this pattern from the 70s, I knew exactly what the new plan was.
Except for sweaters and jackets, I really don’t wear vintage clothing. But all my sewing is done with vintage patterns. I’ve noticed that I’m attracted to two different eras: the very early 1960s and the mid to late 1970s. I’ve never been a ruffles and frills type of girl, and so I’m attracted to clean lines and interesting – but minimal – detailing. This top is exactly the kind of thing I wore in college in the 70s. I’m not saying my style hasn’t changed in 35 years, but I have come to appreciate what was good about the mid 70s.
I made a lot of my clothes back in the 70s, but I never used Vogue patterns, not when they cost $2.50 each and Simplicity ones were only $1. It’s just as well, because even today I find that the instructions are often difficult to follow. The method they used for putting in the front placket and collar were like nothing I’d ever encountered. I had to finally say, “Forget that,” and used my own method. It reminded me of my grandmother, who taught me how to sew. One day we were working on a project when she told me to do a certain thing that was not what the instruction sheet said to do. When I told her she wasn’t following the instructions, she replied, “The instructions are for people who don’t know what they are doing.”
I don’t go in for frills, but I do adore interesting buttons. I’m not sure if I’ll leave these fishing buttons on. They were my second choice after the original ones turned out to be too big for my buttonholes. How could I make a mistake like that?
And a fuzzy photo of me trying to get some work accomplished. Note the staircase to my left. The stairs split and go left and right to the bedrooms.