Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Bitchin' Stitching



I used to think dress-making was the most dull & old-fashioned pastime on the planet and of no interest to a liberated woman like me. What an idiot, I've since come to my senses and realised that there's nothing more empowering than creating your own perfectly fitting vintage-inspired clothes for next to nothing.


I've been hunting eBay for years for an original pair of 1970s bell bottom pants and I decided to try making my own with this 1973 pattern I bought from a car boot sale a couple of weeks ago.


This length of brushed cotton printed with birds and leaves was 10p from one of last week's jumble sales and luckily there was just the right amount.


The pattern was a basic "How To Sew" one and there were some scribbled notes inside from the 14 year-old girl who made it as a class project. If a school girl could manage it I reckoned that even a novice like I could.
 I'll probably add some vintage black rik-rak braid to the turn-ups for added retro appeal.


Excuse the mad expression, I think I'm just feeling smug about making my dream trousers in just over three hours for 35p.


Another of my latest jumble sale acquisitions.

1970s St Michael tee shirt (25p, car boot sale), denim waistcoat (had forever), Tooled leather belt (£1, car boot sale), Vintage leather bag (40p, jumble sale)
I'm no skilled seamstress, there's more about my adventures in dress making here.

A leather bag dyeing tutorial? Watch this space!


80 comments:

  1. Good work on the bell bottoms! And your bag? Eeek, I love it. I never find leather bags for cheap! x

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  2. You never cease to amaze. They are utterly fabulous. Under 3 hours to make? I know I've said it a gazillion times before but you are a GENIUS. xx

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  3. You have every right to feel smug ,your trousers are Fab -u lous,think I must pop over to your house and look through your patterns Ilove this and the shift dress you made too ...love Jan xx

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  4. Wowser, your pants are fab! As is your figure (she says, eyes glowing green lol!)

    K xx

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  5. Fab trousers. I've got a sewing machine but I just don't even dare to attempt to sew clothes. So far I've just managed to break the needle of it trying to sew curtains.

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  6. I really like your pants and bag .. the whole outfit is great, you're the queen!!!!

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  7. I love how you mixed those prints. fabulous!

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  8. Three hours - amazing! 35p? Anyone else, I'd reckon they were lying.
    Great choice of fabric, I'd never think 'trousers' if I saw it, but it works brilliantly.
    That t-shirt was in a charity shop recently in a size 14 - more like a 10 really though! I didn't buy it.
    I like the pattern and texture combo of the last 2 outfits.
    Look forward to the bag dyeing tutorial, we will all be at it.

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  9. Oh yes, I remember bell bottom trousers and of course, if you make your own you have the perfect fit. Another great outfit for next to nothing - just your time.
    Love from Mum
    xx
    PS Drop by the Tea Party if you've time.
    xx

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  10. Gosh yummy trousers, I'm actually makeing 1970s at the moment too, in fact I 've made 3 70s items this year not bad for a 70s refusenik!

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  11. Awesomeness at its finest and bell bottomest. I agree with you about the empowerment. That said I can not sew- my lack of spatial intelligence makes it painful for me. However I love crafted bespoked clothing- and wish I could make my own. Meanwhile I sew buttons on everything and admired other people's sewing projects. Nice work, Vix! xo.

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  12. Amazing, nice work!

    Elle x
    www.eleanorputyourboootson.blogspot.com

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  13. OOO, that brings back memories! I made a pair of pale pink brushed denim flares, but ones that were skinnny, skinny skintight round the middle region and thighs! Ah, yes, those were the days! When I was a rael skinny minny; 12 years old in 1972, they were the height of fabulous-ness!
    Great bag and wowsers, luv that belt buckle.
    Yay for the bag dying tutorial!

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  14. Impressive! You SHOULD feel smug. That bag is great, too!

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  15. Hi my dear-your trousers are amazing, you really are a lovely sew and sew!! xxx

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  16. 3 hours and 35p? You are unbelievable!!
    The bell bottoms are a triumph, adore the bag, another fantastic budget outfit, and you SHOULD look smug, you're a bloody genius!! xxxxxxx

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  17. They're great darling! Did you find the fitting easy? Trousers are my sewing nemesis!

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  18. Those are excellent, and so flattering. I've not attempted trousers yet and I know I should. Can't wait for the bag dyeing tutorial. Xx

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  19. Nice work Vix! Getting a new [a new vintage one] i've been tempted to try and give clothes making a go but i'm not sure how or where to start!

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  20. WOW they look and fit and hang amazing ;-)) You did so well and what a bargain to. Love the bag. I really should get back into dress making to its been ages. dee xxx

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  21. *SHIZZ* Those are some groovy pants you made! I love em! Those notes were from me... that must have been my pattern. My pants ended up looking like a throw blanket. (Naww I am just kidding) *eheh*

    Your sewing skills drive me batty. Everything you make turns out perfect.

    Looking foreward to bag dyeing.

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  22. THIS OUTFIT IS SUBLIME!!! I WANT those trousers, the waist, the flare, they're perfect!! Make some for meeeeeee Vix! xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  23. O,frigging well done,sweetheart! Those trousers are FAB! Love the fabric,the style!Just divine.And all for 35p?!Can't go wrong,clever sausage!!!
    LOVE YOU!
    Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  24. I know I say it every time, but you're flippin' amazing! The bag is gorgeous too x

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  25. Au contraire, I think you are a VERY skilled seamstress, those trousers are fabulous.

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  26. Well GOD damn 3 hours! you should be a seamtress. I couldnt do that in 3 days. I adorar the fabric design and color. you know how to rock the hell out of bell bottoms. ric rac would look good or fringe.you never cease to amaze me.
    besotes

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  27. Love them- well done, a great make!

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  28. Well I think you are a well skilled sewist. I just love 'em, they look wonderful. And 35p....don't that feel good?!xxxxx

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  29. Wow I think these are my perfect trousers, great job! Love how happy the ladies on the pattern seem to be about wearing the same outfit... ;)

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  30. Well done Vix! They look gorgeous :-)

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  31. Please do a basic sewing tutorial!! I'm a complete sewing novice but I woiuld love to learn and you make it sound like anybody could do it. It's so inspiring seeing how you transform other people's cast offs into brand new and unique pieces. SO yeh, a sewing tutorial would be great... ahem! :)

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  32. God that bag is gorgeous, very jealous!

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  33. Great work Vix! And you never cease to amaze me with how well your outfits fit you (i.e. perfectly!). Sadly I had 2 genuine pairs of 70's bell bottoms when I was 15- they were given to me by a friend of my Mum's and I wore them for a while but they were so tight fitting I eventually got rid of them- regret regret regret!

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  34. Those trousers are fantastic!!! I totally agree - my idea of empowerment is to be as self-sufficient as possible and not to have to depend too much on others for anything and that includes making clothes, cooking etc which is why my take on feminism might look a bit odd to some, in some respects! x

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  35. Oh man, those pants are SPECTACULAR! I love the perfect wide legs and the fabric - and that BAG is divine. You are, as always, a frickin sewing rock star! And I do love that smug expression - who could blame you!

    Love, Sarah xxx

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  36. Dressmaking is a past tie i will take up soon. Maybe i can buy some nice indian fabric and make some flares from that. xxxx gabi xxx

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  37. really such an absolutely awesome look! love, how the patterns are combined. the pants you made are lovely and that bag is perfection

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  38. Love the flares))) And the combination of patterns is so great! You look fabulous, as always))

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  39. Great job, lady! I wish I were more DIY-ish.

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  40. Bitchin' trousers for sure. Love them! Clever you. I plan to be able to follow a pattern one day - I'm learning!

    Nicki x

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  41. gorgeous pants! they are literally amazing, i'm so jealous of your talents with a sewing machine :(

    xoxo.

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  42. Yay for leather dying tute. And homemade bell bottoms get an A+!

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  43. vix you just kill me! i gave you a little shout out over at my place today. xo janet

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  44. It's a very satisfying feeling to finish your own garment isn't it? Great trousers! I love the print.
    Tell John I'm with him on munching his haribos in the dark rather than doling them out to trick o treaters!

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  45. You're so talented. I love the houndstooth top, and the bell bottoms are brilliant!

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  46. I'm so happy that you are going to do a leather bag dying tutorial!
    And the pants are fab; great job! I grew up sewing, taught by the seamstresses in my family. Sometime during college I decided I had outgrown it, and didn't pick up a needle and thread for years. Now I feel that I've come full circle; it has become my passion!
    xo

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  47. Ooooh I do like that bag and the trousers are lovely, well done! I'm still yet to produce something wearable from my sewing escapades but I like to think I'm getting there. Slowly.

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  48. Your pants look fabulous. I love the pattern envelope too. Sewing is empowering. I love being able to picture something in my mind and then make it exactly how I want.

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  49. Wow you're really progressing with your sewing! Love the crazy print. Looking forward to a meltonian (?) masterpiece.xx.

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  50. Holy cow girl you're ALL leg! I love that fabric it's very colorful :)
    Karlene

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  51. Terrific trousers. I need to learn how to do this.

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  52. Awesome - you did such a super job!! I need to get onto improving my sewing skills so I can create the clothes of my dreams:D

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  53. Your trousers are great love your bag too :)

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  54. wow you are inspiring they are fantastic I really need to start making my own clothes too ,are you going to have a go at the jacket as well??
    xx fee

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  55. Woozers you were inspired weren't you. They are fantastic and then when you mix them up with tooled leather and that bag.....drool, so love the look. X

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  56. You are ultra cool Vix! There's nothing better than sewing your own clothes! xxx

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  57. 35p trousers! Love it! You cant even buy a mars bar for that ;)

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  58. aaaah those bell-bottoms look AMAZING!!

    However, I didn't like the current offerings that Chelsea Girl had this past sale season.... *le sigh*.

    Ah well, it looks like it's going to have to be Bell Bottoms made from DENIM for me!!

    Jules

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  59. Vix! You clever thing! Gorgeous.
    That bag is out of this world amazing. Love it.
    xx

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  60. Ooooh you're SO good at making things! Great trousers! Of course for the authentic 1970s touch, you'd need to actually SEW in the front seam. I remember my aunt pressing my flared jeans and painstakingly sewing a smart straight stitch up the fronts of my legs.

    But then, this was darkest 70s Scotland. We gave you the Bay City Rollers.....

    AX

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  61. Amazing trousers, I can' believe you made them in under three hours!x

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  62. Oh Vix the pattern mixing is fantastic! i wish i could sew, do not have the patience! Izzy is an ace in sewing, of course after 3 years of designing school! Izzy can fix anything, i really admire that! Off to the clinic again today, but bonus, bonus, there is a salvation Army not too far, so i will have a peek today!


    Lots of friendship, love you - Ariane xxxxx

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  63. ooohhhh they look wonderful!! they turned out great ;) They look like they fit you quite nice! Ha and your to funny love your post titles they always crack me up lol!! When I get back to the US I think I am going to look for some vintage patterns they look so cute... ~Have a great week Love Heather

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  64. Love them !!!! You are so fantastic Vix. I love your gung-ho attitude to life, and your can-do spirit. You look amazing. If I had just made those trousers, I'd be yelling down the street, "I just made these suckers!!!" I had a pair of polka dot flares when I was a student way back in the 80's and wore them till they fell off me. I have Often wished I still had them, and amybe I need to start making my own clothes too. I've been looking for a dress-making mannequin for a while. I need to step up the search. Big hugs for a fab week, Em xxx

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  65. I really love making dresses. It is the best way of getting something that really fits. Unfortunately I don' seem to have the time to do it anymore. I love the pattern on this fabric.

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  66. I'm so glad Janet from The Gardeners Cottage introduced me to you blog! Can't wait to tune in daily!

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  67. Now them are some sexy ass slacks VIX!!!!! I also love mixing the crazy patterns, just beautifully done! You got skills!!! I have a big pile of mends and hems I need to do, I hope to get to it this week. I'm tempted to take it all to a tailor but I know I have to practice to learn and get better.

    That purse has a killer shape and reminds me of Metropolis, I don't know why. That belt buckle looks pretty PHAT too.

    Love you!!!!!

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  68. Wow!
    This is so beautifull!
    This vintage bag - don't know what to say -If ever cross your mind that you would sell her or any way "get rid of" her please please don't forget me :)
    those pants !!! -wow

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  69. 35p trousers, no wonder you look smug, good job!

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  70. The trousers look fantastic!
    The beauty of sewing your own clothes is knowing that you're not going to see anyone else wearing the same thing.

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  71. You look fab and I love the tan bag xx

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  72. oh wow this panst are superfabulous, u really did a great job, love the fabric you used and i go mad for your bag, such an amazing shape and colour!
    love and kiss,mary

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  73. If you ever were to become a full-fledged designer maker, then please put my name firmly on the waiting list.
    Such a fabulous pair of dream trousers, and yes I am totally smitten with the choice of fabric xxx

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  74. You always amaze me with your sewing skills! You are like a magical witch when you have a sewing machine and pattern!

    The material you used for the flares is so cute!

    I love that slightly psychotic look upon your face in the 5th picture down!! xxx

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Love from Vix
xxx