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July 9, 2013

This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! 70s Sundress Edition

by Betty Crafter


Anyone remember how last week I was musing on summer sundresses I wanted to sew? Well I buckled down and started putting together this 1970s sundress in this ikat fabric:

ikat fabric

It’s always a bit frightening ordering fabric on the internet, but I am quite pleased with this! It’s got a lovely drape that I think will be perfect for this dress. As soon as it came in the mail I got right down to business cutting out all the pieces.


One thing I was not quite as pleased with, however, was the discovery of 2 missing pieces in my pattern! The pockets and front underarm facing are missing. Bummer! I was not about to skip the pockets because who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?? I decided to live on the wild side and try to wing it. I drafted my own pockets based on the picture on the instructions and some loose measurements. I basically freehanded them. Badly.


One thing I didn’t take into account in my very precise drafting methods (ha!) was the way they would lay. I failed to remember that pockets should go a bit down so my pockets are going to go straight out which might end up being a bit awkward.


Oh well – onward with confidence! Next I attacked a process that I mightily dread – buttonholes. Maybe it’s my 60 year old clunky attachment, maybe it’s my execution, but my buttonholes always end up puckered and sad. This time I practiced on scrap fabric and things didn’t turn out too terribly bad:


So far so good! I also winged the front underarm facing. It looked to me like the back underarm facing would work pretty well in that spot so I just cut more of that piece. It looks decent. Now I’m well into putting together the yoke and so far no more big catastrophes! Here’s hoping no more pieces turn up missing and that the thing ends up flattering. So far it’s looking like a bit of a mumu. I’m counting on that drawstring belt to work for me!


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4 Responses to This IS Your Granny’s Crafting! 70s Sundress Edition

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    July 9, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Ha! I am sure it will look good, even if it is a little baggy. Also, baggy will be cooler! 🙂

    • Betty Crafter Reply

      July 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Definitely, Ruth, the breeziness of this dress is one of the things that attracted me to it!

  2. Andrea Reply

    July 9, 2013 at 11:10 am

    It’s meant to be baggy – look at the pattern envelope 🙂 I am sure it will look good on you. It’s funny you don’t like the buttonholes your machine kicks out. I specifically use my old Singer with the big buttonholer, as I find it makes the best buttonholes, much nicer than my modern machine. Your improvisational skills on this one are awesome!

    • Betty Crafter Reply

      July 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Thanks Andrea! I think what’s also throwing me off is that I haven’t yet done the gathers in the top so it’s looking extra big!

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