1970s fashion, sewing, sewing patterns, vintage clothing, vintage fashion

I Need This in My Life

Vogue 8551, circa 1973.

I listed this pattern in the shop the other day. I’ve had it before, and it always screams out to me that I need it. Badly. That one on the left is gorgeous. That ribbon trim just slays.

It’s an interesting pattern that isn’t difficult to make. The sides have shirring to help create a waistline, and the shoulders don’t have a seam — they are just part of the fabric that is draped to create a sleeve. Very clever. It’s not even described as a caftan. It’s described as a robe. It reminds me in some ways of one of my favorite movie costumes: Katherine’ Hepburn’s robe in Philadelphia Story. It was designed by Adrian, and I love it, primarily because of the sleeves and the draping. Look at the clever way the waist and the back are done.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-Ot948zIr0s" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

::sigh:: Glorious. I, like Balenciaga, have a real thing about interesting sleeves. But can you just imagine gliding into the kitchen in the morning, wearing either of these robes? Yes, of course they would fall into my oatmeal or I’d spill my beverage down the front of me, but I’d look wonderful before all that happened.

1970s fashion, sewing patterns

Mrs Roper Was a Prophet

I wasn’t allowed to watch Three’s Company when I was a kid. My mother said I was “too young.” Basically, she was appalled by all that jiggling, but then again, she said I was “too young” to watch Gone With the Wind until I was in high school too, so I’m not sure where the bar was for her. I’ve seen a few shows of Three’s Company over the years, and was always amused by the always-clad-in-a-caftan Mrs Roper. Looking back, I think she most likely was an ancestor of the beloved Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek, but it would take a month of blog posts to discuss Moira’s fashion (which is AMAZING!).

Mrs Roper probably wore the most comfortable wardrobe in television history. Can you imagine how comfortable it was to never have a waistline, never have to worry about weight, and to have fabric fluttering around you under the lights? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to be comfortable, especially over the past few months. But you know, I got thinking about it and realized that Mrs Roper was really preparing us for a prophet.

Think about it — caftans are perfect for Netflix and chill evenings (or days). They’re perfect for quarantine when, if you are like me, some extra pounds accumulate from baking banana bread and eating a lot of carbs. They hide all the figure flaws. You can even hide the fact that you’ve not been to the gym. Alternately, many of them can be belted, to change the look up. So when I came across this pattern in my stash, I squealed. It’s not only a long caftan, but you can make it in a pullover caftan top AND elastic waistband palazzo pants! I think this is the perfect 2020 outfit. Click here to purchase in my shop.