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 Fiona and her velvet flares, my pal Karen 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…

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?

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!

I suppose I can keep it as a painter’s smock…