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Mar 23, 2013

Saturday Sewing: Groovy Pants from 70's Sheet!



Readers, I have had this vintage Seventies Springmaid "Wondercale" double flat sheet, a Salvation Army find, in my fabric stash for nearly three years.

You may remember that I used a bit of it two summers ago to make shirt cuffs for this shirt:





That shirt turned out nicely, but if truth be told, I never was over the moon about those cotton-poly cuffs.  Anyway, I've been wanting to muslin my self-drafted pants pattern from a few years back, to see if I should use it for the cotton-mohair pants I'll be making as part of my suit.

When I first started sewing I used old thrift store sheets on a regular basis, but the novelty has worn off a bit.  I still have some fun ones in my stash, however, so I've been using them for muslins: hence these pants.

It took me most of today and the results are certainly eye-catching.  Of course, sheet pants are a little flimsy; you really do want something a little heftier for pants, like cotton twill, but they are wearable, though I'm not quite sure where. 







This is what I call my Tony Curtis fit.  Apparently Tony liked his pants tight, tight, tight.







If I use this pattern for my suit pants, I'll add another 1/2" to the side seam allowances I think, just to be safe.  Of course, nothing has less give than a vintage cotton-poly sheet -- no stretch at all.





I used the slant pocket pieces from an old McCall's pants pattern, along with the back double welt pocket pieces.  The back pocket came out just OK and took longer than it should have.  The McCall's instructions were practically indecipherable so I really have to make a few more of these before cutting into my cotton-mohair.



For the pocket lining I used another vintage sheet from my stash.  This is all invisible from the outside, obviously, but it's fun to do.





And that -- as they say -- is that.

Friends, I hope you're having a very relaxing and productive weekend.  Any vintage sheet fans out there?  What have you made with them?

Have a great day, everybody!



45 comments:

  1. They're fabulous! I have a set of sheets very similar (i'm in Australia). They're in great condition but don't fit my boys' beds; single beds in the 70s were narrow, way less generous than today. My groovy sheets are tagged now for a big adventure! ;-)

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  2. Love the pants!

    I backed a quilt with my groovy '70s floral sheet. Here's a link:
    http://wesewretro.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/012.jpg

    There are SO MANY of those sheets in my stash....

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  3. I wonder how my pink sheets got to New York? Do you have my Holly Hobbie ones too?

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    Replies
    1. Probably Greyhound. No, no Holly Hobbie. :(

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  4. OMG, that pink print sheet! Either my parents or I had a set of those. Small world.

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  5. Pants muslins must be in the air, Peter! Your fit is fab. The slim silhouette is very flattering on you. How's the length with your shoes? For mine (first muslin of the first pattern I've ever drafted), I didn't use vintage sheets but instead some absolutely atrocious (but free!) lightweight printed poly jacquard home dec fabric - - think budget motel draperies. I certainly won't be wearing those babies anywhere ;)

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  6. Vintage sheets cotton/poly combo make great little girls sleeveless dresses and tunics. Easy, cute and easily wash and go - no ironing required! Great use for old pillowcases too :-)

    (PS: Those are some groovy pants!)

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  7. If only those were women's pants, I could steal them from you and wear them! I love the 70s print sheets you find, they never have them anywhere I've thrifted. So if you ever get tired of any of these muslins, I'd be more than happy to take them off your hands and dress my boyfriend in them since he's the same size and all. Although, he has almost this exact pair of pants that are actual Lilly Pulitzer! Same color scheme, nearly the same print.

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  8. Those, I think, are the ultimate brunch pants. You'd be a huge hit in in the right circles in the Sandlands - but then again, I'm sure you would be anyway, with or without pants. As it were.

    Perhaps you should go the full Bird Cage and wear them with a tight, ribbed white singlet under a big, floaty white linen shirt, with white sandals and some kicky beads. You'd be what in the old days we referred to as "Triple A fa-a-a-bulous"!

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  9. LOVE the flowered pants!!!
    ...but do you really want your suit trousers that slim?

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  10. God, I don't have any of those sheets in my stash, but I know where I can get some. They are still on the beds at my mom's. hehe

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  11. I love them! And what a cute tushie you have.

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  12. I don't know how, but I stumbled across your picasa album just now with Cathy's maternity photo shoot. Can I tell you the happiness it brought me? Not only are you spot on with styling, but the joy and spunk you capture - oh such a delight! I especially chuckled with Cathy smoking a ciggie while knitting at the bus stop. So so good. You must have had a blast that day in that photoshoot and I'm so glad I got to see it tonight. Thanks!

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  13. Getting into bed was so much more adventurous in the 60's and 70's than it is now - all pure white 400 count egyptian nonsense these days.
    Love the trousers, and I love the fit!!! Tony Curtis, eat your heart out!

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  14. I can't wait till it's That laundry day chez-vous, and those floral wonders beckon as the only remaining clean option in sight. You will surely bring as much joy to your neighborhood as you've brought to my morning in France.

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  15. I recently had to make 15 vests with double-welt pockets & found that using the technique Gertie describes for bound buttonholes did the trick beautifully & helped me retain a little (very little) sanity. No battling to keep welts even or avoiding that nasty little gap in the middle.

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  16. Ive just made a dress with a cotton duvet. Th fabric worked well and it only cost 50p, but sadly the pattern didnt work for me. I also made a wrap from a vintage polycotton duvet,which I love.

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  17. Hello Peter

    I think I was right about the slim silhouette being right for you. Have you looked at http://www.cutterandtailor.com/forum/ for information on welted pockets and trouser making?

    Hugs
    G

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  18. OMG! I want a pair just like yours!!! Love the fit on you, they are very European looking.
    When I was 10, I used to steal my mom's sheets and make dresses for myself...imagine the look on my mother's face! :)

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  19. What a stylish muslin!!! WANT.

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  20. I love the trousers, though for some reason it gets to be a bit too much when you add the cuffs. Maybe if you used that fabric to make the inside of a collar stand and the underside of the button placket it might be more subtle as a pairing. Each individually is fabulous!

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  21. Very good fit. I bet if you cleaned up your apartment and hung some art on the walls you would love the result.

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  22. soooo glad I fount your site through "Always Pretty!" You are really talented and it is so inspirational that you only began sewing a few years ago!! I'm ready to try my hand again after a long (25 yr??) hiatus---you may just be the one to convince me to jump in again. your site is really fun!

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  23. Get thee to the tropics immediately! Love them.

    What methods do you use when working with pattern fitting issues. Do you measure the pattern and compare with garments you know fit you well and then do some pattern slashing and sliding? Do you just crank out the muslin with larger seam allowances and make adjustments directly on the muslin?

    Your results always fit well. There are so many ways of getting to the perfect fit that it can boggle the mind - at least my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I drafted this one myself, so in this case I just leave larger seam allowances on the sides since I want a little more ease in the pants.

      I always have to shorten the rise and length of commercial pants patterns, so I usually do that automatically.

      Sometimes I deepen the depth of the back darts too -- it depends on how the it fits as it's coming together.

      Delete
  24. Great fit! They look good a little slim on you. I hope your suit fabric has a little stretch though!

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  25. Groovy! A romp in the garden would be good for those pants... Mind the bees though...^^

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  26. When I went to my local thrift store which use to have loads of vintage sheets they said a guy came in and bought out all the vintage sheets and pillow cases. You don't have a twin somewhere.

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  27. i have yet to venture into sewing with sheets... seems to be all the rage ;-) do a little research on the double welt pocket, you definitely shouldn't need topstitching on the welt itself. i'm kind of a welt pocket junkie... i love making them! i think the fashion incubator has some good info if you dig around her site a little.

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  28. Those pants scream Provincetown!

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  29. Oh MY GOD! I had those pink sheets! They were my absolute favorite (besides my Holly Hobby sheets). Seeing them brought back fond memories. If I had them I would do as you did and make pants. Groovy!

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  30. I got the vintage sheets with the thought of using for muslins before I found they make indestructible pjs and loungewear. Now I keep the best ones for those purposes and use other inferior fabrics or really ugly worn ones for test sews. Cutting a pretty vintage print one up would make me think I was committing sheeticide.Lol! I thought the pants with the hat photo was sort of neat looking-makes me want to add a hat to a cool summer dress to lounge in.

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  31. Mmmm....we all like Tony Curtis' pants tight.

    I used to have a pair of pants like your sheet pants in 1967. I got them for Christmas. The big difference was the bell bottoms. I like your better, mostly because of the lovely fit on you, especially from the back.

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  32. Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. And Tony Curtis looks good too.

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  33. Maybe I'm crazy but I actually like the pants! From the photos you can't tell that they're crappy sheets :)

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  34. Please please please use the welt pocket tutorial from the Fashion Incubator site. http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/welt_pocket_construction/ You'll never get that little prob with the overlapping welts. I promise. Interface the welts too. You'll never go back.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Natasha. But I notice this doesn't address the pocket bag and when/how to attach it. I guess it depends on where the welt is (back of pants vs. middle of jacket).

      Delete
    2. Actually she just posted that the other day. 5 years later she realized she had forgotten. The pocket bag should go on pretty much the same no matter the location. Just the size would vary.

      http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/tutorial-finishing-the-welt-pocket/

      Delete
  35. OMG, I still have those sheets from when I was growing up! I let my kids use them to build tents when they were younger! Thanks for the memories.

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  36. Wow, they actually look pretty freakin' fabulous! Never would've guessed at the fabric's previous life haha.

    I love that you actually went through all the trouble of making the pockets out of more vintage sheets, just for a muslin! I think you should definitely wear these out and about.

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  37. Banana Republic has a "Mad Men" collection that is a contemporary/retro take on the 60s. The pants are pretty slim cut by modern standards. I could see you making something like these.
    http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2013/03/the-2013-banana-republic-mad-men-collection.html

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  38. Wow, these are my fave trousers ever. I too have a pile of vintage sheets in my stash waiting to become something but probably nothing as lovely as these. Superb fit.

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  39. really cool. Love the pants - and the jacket to match will be amazing

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  40. Holy shit those pants are freaking fabulous!!!!

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