Fashion through the decades: 60s & 70s

Swinging 60s

From the start to the end of the decade. Womens fashion in the 60s was extreme style and attitude. In the early years, the obvious fashion idol was Jackie Kennedy with her perfectly white pearls and tailored suit dresses. By the middle of the decade, iconic supermodel Twiggy had women freeing their minds and bodies into clothing that didn’t require any extra thought or effort. From modest to “there is no such thing as too short,”

We can also thank the 60s for colored/patterned tights - white, black, purple, fishnet, herringbone or lace. Tights covered up ugly knees and didn’t cause garter gaps like sheer stockings did. Once pantyhose were perfected they were the savior of women’s legs anywhere. They camouflaged hair, bumps, bruises, and wide kneecaps. Even skin tone tights were thick and dark. To go bare legged in the ’60s was still too immodest.

Many of today's contemporary “modern” clothing is still inspired by mid '60s fashions. A-line mini skirts, contrast collar shift dresses, textured tights, low heel flats and tall boots, swing coats and floppy hats… The list goes on and they all have roots in the sixties! The current trend for retro sunglasses is also heavily inspired by the 60s.

70s Fashion

There’s a reason the 1970s continues to be one of the most stylish decades of all time. From flares to bell sleeves, shearling coats, and mini skirts, the ‘70s birthed an eclectic mix of style influences that evolved quickly in a 10-year span. Skirts got shorter, boots got taller, and a range of style icons like Jane Birkin and Jean Shrimpton helped spearhead some of the era’s most memorable fashion moments that continue to inspire today. Here are just a few of the most iconic 70s items:

Caftan dresses: These were Grecian inspired and worn with high heels sandals and beads or pearl necklaces. The caftan became a frequent style of hostess dress. Long, tent shapes with an optional empire belt and huge kimono sleeves that came in bold colors and big exotic prints were also worn by many soul and jazz singers.

Prarie blouses or hippie blouses: A popular feminine trend in the early 70s. Some had big pilgrim collars or middy collars, ruffles, bow ties, pintucks, and lace insets. They were romantic in white or pastel solid colors and of course hippie-like in small floral prints.

Jumpsuits: These were viewed as a stretchy adaptation of overalls. During the day the jumpsuit was made of double knit polyester, cotton or denim with a zip or button up front, pant pockets and oversize collar. The denim jumpsuit with a zip up front revived the overall look. Evening jumpsuits slimmed down the look into a stretchy bodysuit with a sleeveless or halterneck top.

New Sew Confident Studio: Chorley, England - Meet Dawn

Hi everyone, I’m Dawn! Born in Fife, Scotland, I moved to England with my parents and sister when I was 15. After studying at college and Uni I settled down in the North West of England and live with my husband and two children.  

I’ve always been creative, my mum and granny taught me to knit, I’ve had a go at card making and even made my own wedding invitations and favours. I also love sewing and doing DIY. I think it all began at high school many years ago in my home economics class.

It started as a hobby and I’m self taught, I did a GCSE in textiles at high school and have attended night classes on how to make curtains, blinds and upholstery - I chose to up-cycle a chair. 

I love looking on Pinterest, surfing the internet and mooching in Shops, then try and re-create things. 

I find sewing and crafts so relaxing, therapeutic and rewarding.  There is no better feeling than when you’ve handmade something and people like and admire your work.

Life is too short and I have always wanted to get away from years spent working in office environments. 

I’ve always wanted to have a career doing something I love and that I’m passionate about. I cannot wait to open my studio in Chorley. I’m excited about this next big step, I’m looking forward to welcoming people into my gorgeous Sew Confident Studio. It’s going to be relaxing, friendly and a sociable space where people can come and learn a new skill from beginners sewing classes, to sewing pattern class and quilting plus so many other fantastic on trend classes. 

I can’t wait to join the Sew Confident team, hopefully I’ll meet some of you reading this very soon at one of the classes. 

Remember to sign up to our Chorley mailing list to be the first to hear all about our Opening Day Party ! : Click here to sign up

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Capsule Wardrobe: Bottoms up!

Straight leg, boot cut, cropped, ankle grazers…. the list goes on when it comes to various styles of trousers making it a more popular choice than ever when it comes to being a staple piece in the modern ladies wardrobe. Despite their increasing popularity over the years, trousers weren’t considered ‘acceptable’ women’s attire until the 1970s and even then, in some places it was illegal for women to wear trousers! These days, trousers are worn by women for all occasions without any masculine connotations . One of the woman we can also thank for this is, Coco Chanel - The first woman who dared to wear a pair of pants in her daily life.

Ash Jeans Pattern Set

Ash Jeans Pattern Set

JEANS

“History of Jeans and Denim. Jeans are pants made from denim or dungaree cloth. They were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and a worn still but in a different context. Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured.”

Now many sew-ers seem to have a fear when it comes to wanting to tackle making their own jeans but we think they are the most satisfying make! Here are some patterns, both from Megan Nielsen Patterns , which cover different styles in each pack! :

Dawn Jeans (4 in 1)

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Ash Jeans (4 in 1)

VINTAGE

Not only does this 1940s vintage pattern by Simplicity come with the patterns for amazing loose fitting pants & the great overalls…it also comes with a sweet blouse and blouse with hood pattern.

FITTED

I could go on for ages about various trouser patterns I love, I will quickly mention the Tyyni Cigarette trouser pattern by NAMED. I personally think these would be the perfect capsule wardrobe make. These trousers are so flattering that they would look great for both work or day-to-day !

GBSB: Where are they now? [Guest Blog]

The Great British Sewing Bee – Where are they now?

Hi everyone, Sew Confident Loyal Amanda here! So, it seems we are all loving the return of the Bee!! Personally I consider myself a bit of a GBSB super fan and I’m not ashamed to say I’m often found re-watching episodes from the last 4 seasons. I have followed a few of the former contestants on Instagram for a while now but with the show back on our screens I wondered how many of the former contestants have been able to give up the day job and make their living from sewing?


Tilly Walnes – Season 1

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Although the name Tilly Walnes may not be familiar to you, I’m sure the pattern company Tilly and the Buttons is!  Series one contestant Tilly had only been sewing for two years when she featured on the first ever series of Sewing Bee. Since leaving the sewing room she has set up one of the best loved independent pattern companies. She has published numerous well know patterns and two best selling books. Her aim is to “demystify sewing” with her clear, jargon free instructions. Tilly has also won Favourite Sewing Personality at the British Sewing Awards 3 years in a row.

www.tillyandthebuttons.com

@tillyandthebuttons  


Stuart Hillard – Season 1

Series 1 contestant Stuart has kept very busy since the GBSB. Now a regular of the Sewing Quarter Stuart has also written two best selling books and has a range of fabrics available at Hobycraft. Although a “quilting expert” Stuart has also featured as one of Sew Magazine’s “Dressmaker of the Year” judges.

@stuarthillardsews


Lauren Guthrie – Season 1

Scottish born Lauren now lives in Birmingham with her husband where she owns the well-known fabric shop Guthrie Ghani.  As well as the bricks and mortar shop Guthrie Ghani are also online selling fabric, haberdashery and patterns. Lauren also runs sewing classes from the shop in Birmingham and often blogs about her makes.

@guthrieghani

www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk

Matt Chapple – Season 3

The first ever male winner of the Great British Sewing Bee, Matt can now be found at www.sewwhatsnew.co.uk a “creative lifestyle blog and is also the author of “Make it Your Own.” Matt has collaborated with Singer Sewing Machines and if often featured in our favourite sewing and craft magazines.

www.sewwhatsnew.co.uk

@sewwhatsnewcouk


Charlotte  Newland– Season 4

Season 4 winner Charlotte has left her former life as the editor of a scientific journal well and truly behind her! Now an award winning quilter she is a regular on the Sewing Quarter.  She also offers online tutorials on her website and often features as a guest columnist in popular sewing magazines.

@charlottesews

www.charlottenewland.com

Jade Earley – season 4

Still the youngest ever GBSB contestant Jade went on to be a finalist. She currently has her own column in Love Sewing Magazine and is working to develop her own line of patterns. Jade is also regularly involved with the Knitting and Stitching Show and The Great British Sewing Bee Live.   

@thegirlwiththebrightredhair2

Angeline Murphy – season 4

Irish Angeline is the resident sewer on Ireland’s RTE TV channel.  As well as this she has her own sewing blog and You Tube Channel. She is currently going live on Instagram every Tuesday after the GBSB to chat about the latest episode, often with a fellow contestant, perhaps we should invite her into the Sew Confident FB chat group!

@angelinemurphydesign

www.angelinemurphy.com

So for any of us hating the day job and dreaming of a life behind the sewing machine, perhaps The Great British Sewing Bee 2020 is your big chance to change your life! Where do we sign up!?

Tracey The Terrific Tutor

HOW IS IT AUGUST ALREADY? 2018 is sure flying in, but another month almost over means its time to meet another lovely Sew Confident customer...or in this case, past customer and current Sew Confident TUTOR x

Everyone say a big hello to Tracey! Now some of you may recognise Tracey, as after starting out as a Sew Confident customer she is now actually one of our tutors!

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1.    So Tracey, How long have you been sewing?

Nearly 6 years

2.     Why did you start sewing?

My son has Down's Syndrome, and when he was born and diagnosed one of the first things I read was that his legs and arms would be shorter so I had a sudden need to sew, so that he would never have baggy trousers

3.   That is such a great reason,  What sewing project are you most proud of?

I made a coat for a little boy with additional needs that was adapted to incorporate the framing on his arm

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4.     That jacket is AMAZING, that was so nice of you! What do you friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

I'm not sure, they don't ask me to do much for them, they know me too well...

5.     I'm sure they are all very impressed with your skills! What sewing accessory could you not live without?

My quilting ruler, I use it for EVERYTHING!

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6.     If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Stop doubting yourself, stop being afraid to try something and fail, it's how you learn

7.     That is some great advice! Talking of failing...Have you had any sewing disasters?

I could write a book, many many sewing disasters. One made my son a pair of jeans and when it came to near the end I had to over lock the edge of the faux fly, I forgot to turn the blade off on my overlocker and cut the leg in half 🤣. I once sewed a circle skirt to the bodice of a dress, but to the neckline instead of the waist. It was stretch velvet so impossible to unpick

8.     Haha, You could have passed it off as some over exaggerated clown coller! How many classes have you attended at Sew Confident?  What was your favourite and why?

I'm not sure actually, quite a few. The intermediate class was really the point where I gained the confidence to sew without supervision. I love the sewcial too, it's great to sew with like minded people and make some new friends.

9.     What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

I really want to start tailoring and make a gown. I just want to keep improving and trying new things

10.  Well you defiantly have the skills to tackle a gown, that's for sure.What projects do you have on the go right now?

Im a master sewcrastinator. I have a few jersey dresses, a woven dress and a purse on the go and I'm. Putting together a pattern for a pair of jeans.

11.  'Sewcrastinator', love that haha! Finally Tracey, What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

Do it !! Don't be afraid to give it a go and don't be afraid of making mistakes, it's how you learn!

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If you think Tracey seems great fun (which she is!) be sure to join on our beginners or hoodie classes to say Hello!

RELAXATION

As every day now seems to be 'international something another', today is actually International Relaxation Day! Sadly due to this fast paced society we now live in it is easy to forget to take a few minutes to yourself and actually chill out. 

1. Being Active/YOGA

Now if you are anything like me you will be sick of hearing people saying to you, 'You should go to the GYM it will make you feel so much better!!'. YES I KNOW THIS BUT IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!! Seriously though, if you have the dedication to get into the gym it does actually help. If you struggle to find dedicated time or not got the funds to join your local gym, I have found watching Yoga/Pilate videos on youtube great. Even better you can find ones which are as short as 5 minutes...Perfect to do inbetween waiting on your microwave meal to cook! 

Or... You can be like Jenny & fit your yoga poses in while reaching for your fav bottle of wine!

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2. Having a hobby

Not that I am biased or anything...but what has helped me a lot over the years when it comes to trying to relax is anything creative such as SEWING! It is so easy to zone out & not worry about lifes stresses since you are too busy making sure you don't make a mistake & need to dig the seam ripper out!

Good ol' Science also has many studies which say activities such as sewing, knitting etc are very good for not only relaxing but also improving brain function - WIN WIN!

 

3. Nature

Ever experience those 'awe moments' were you just let out a happy wee sigh? I find I get that most often when out and taking a minute or two to just take in the nature around me. Might sound ridiculous but you should give it a try! Seeing a squirrel running about in the garden, a massive belter of a sunflower or, my favourite, amazing sun sets/sun rises will easily put a smile on your face & let you relax for a moment!

4. Good Company

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Sometimes it is hard to get out of a rut/relax on your own as you sometimes need a bit of motivation or someone to vent to. It is an obvious one but hanging out with family or your best friends doing something you all enjoy is one of the best ways to chill out! Your friends are often busy? Well linking back to number 2.' Having a hobby', you will find various classes or groups which will allow you to be in the company of like minded folk & even let you make some new friends! 

This was the idea behind our monthly 'Sewcials' as, from personal experience, I have never had any friends who enjoy sewing & I could get together with. Now I have tons who often come along to our monthly sewcials which I can not only talk all things sewing with but it motivates me to get creative!

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5. Cooking

I can't say I have any experience with this one as the best thing I can make is a cheese toasty, but I have been told from many that one of their favourite ways to relax is to get cooking! I suppose it is similar to sewing in the way you can get so in to what you are making you don't have time to worry about anything else & you have some yummy food to enjoy at the end!

PS. Thank you to Laura (@missyouonamonday) for sending us this AMAZING looking cake from her latest baking blog post!

March Sew-er of the Month - JANE

Say a Big Hello to Sew Confident Loyal - Jane!

1. So Jane, How long have you been sewing?

I’ve always wanted to learn to sew and I took a short beginners class about 2 years ago.  I loved it but wanted to do more and I wanted to make things that I’d actually wear/use. About a year ago I found Sew Confident and haven’t looked back since!!

2. Why did you start sewing?

I’ve always wanted to sew my own clothes.  You know when you see that ‘almost’ perfect outfit but wish the sleeves were a bit different, the length was longer/shorter  or it was in a different material. I just think it is amazing to be able to alter or make your own clothes to be exactly what you personally want.

3. Sounds like we could have a future fashion designer in our classes... What sewing project are you most proud of?

I love my wee 2 piece suit from Colette’s Co-ord class.  The material is so nice and it’s fleecy on the inside so keeps me nice and cosy!!  Colette taught me how to incorporate the fringing detail from the edge of the fabric and I think it looks really fab!  My own version of a Channel jacket!! I also like my coat I made at the pattern class – it was a bit adventurous and the 1st time I’ve done something that is lined, but I think it turned out ok.

4. Both your co-ord and jacket look AMAZING! You will be giving Channel a run for their money in no time. What do your friends and family think about your sewing skills, are they impressed or do they use you as a free alterations service?

I think they’re just astonished I can do it!!  Haha. I remember showing my Mum some fabric I got one day.  I was so excited about it that I went ahead and cut a wrap dress out that night and sewed it up.  She couldn’t believe it when she saw the finished dress the very next day!! No one has really asked me to hem anything yet – maybe they’re waiting for me to build my skills up!!

5. That is so nice, there really is no better feeling than saying you made something yourself! SO, What sewing accessory could you not live without?

Jenny and Colette on speed dial!! ☺ haha! Actually – this is a bit silly, but since Jenny taught me how to use the needle threader on my machine, I can’t live without it!!  I don’t think I can actually thread the machine needle by myself anymore!

 

6. You know you are more than welcome to drop us a message or e-mail whenever you need!! Next question, If you could go back to your beginner days and give yourself one sewing tip or piece of advice what would it be?

Probably a bit predictable but...Just keep sewing and don’t worry too much about mistakes.  No-one else notices them! I think I put myself under pressure to make everything absolutely perfect but you’ll never get any better unless you keep practising.

7. Since your beginner days, have you had any sewing disasters?

Yes! Loads!  I can be a bit slap dash so end up unpicking things all the time!!

8. Sadly I think the unpick is most sew-ers best friend!! How many classes have you attended?

I’m a bit addicted to attending classes!!  My first was the shirt dress class which was amazing.  Lovely people on it (looking at you Amanda and Amrit!) and it was the first time I’d been able to make something I actually wanted to wear!  I’ve done the overlocker for beginners, underwear class, Advent Calendar class, 5 week Pattern class (with another amazing bunch of people) , 121’s and Colette’s Co-ord class.  I’ve got the Initial hand embroidery class coming up which looks amazing. I adore the ‘Sewcial’s’ too and get to as many as possible. One of the best things about every class is the lovely people you meet – we’ve had some great chat and interesting stories.

9. That is a LOT of classes, You really are a Sew Confident Loyal!! What would you like to be able to sew in the future, what is the dream?

My dream is to be able to draft my own patterns – just think up a design and be able to draft a pattern and make it.  I’d also like to become more skilled in altering bought patterns to fit me the way I want. At my last 121 with Jenny we drafted a pattern for a jersey skirt (I have a new obsession with the pattern master – what a piece of kit!!) and it’s fab – I’d like to do more of that.

10. **Takes note of future pattern drafting class idea**...What projects do you have on the go right now?

I’m so naughty for starting loads of projects at one time!!  I tried to focus myself this year with the ‘make 9 in 2018’ challenge.  I’ve already finished some – next one to finish is the Sew Over It Eve dress – I’m taking that one to the next Sewcial for a bit of help!

11. We are excited to see you & your project along at the Sewcial! Last question, What would you say to someone who was thinking of taking up sewing?

DO IT!  It is so relaxing and de-stressing, it’s an amazing skill to have and you’ll meet some really lovely people.

The final week of the Sew Confident Sew-along! - Part 1: The Duffle bag

Sew Confidents Sew-along - FINAL UPDATE

Part one - The duffle bag

OK SO, I may have missed a week or two of updating the sew-along...I was away gallivanting in London & we have been super busy in the studio!

 

I also feel a lot of people won't have started this sew along..may that be due to total FEAR/feeling they aren't good enough to do it OR Christmas is approaching super fast so it is understandable that everyone is very busy!

WELL I AM HERE TO TELL YOU ALL THAT YOU 110% CAN DO THESE SUPER PROFESSIONAL LOOKING BAGS!

1.Finishing The duffle bag

So on the last blog post I had an almost finished duffle bag..we done the hard bit of putting in the zip, attaching the straps & panicing that our machine wasn't going to handle all the layers of the fabric (Which it handled perfectly fine!)

The last steps to complete the shell of the duffle bag is to attach the ends and the base. Problem numbero Uno - sewing curves is NOT fun. I am a total perfectionist so wanted to make sure the curves on both ends of my bag were the same, the easiest way I have now decided to sew the curves etc is to 1. Pin notches and important areas. 2. Have the curves pieces of fabric on the bottom so you can see/it is easier to fit the straight top fabric into the required area!

I know I am not the best person at explaining things but I feel the instructions are decent for this pattern & the main thing you need when doing it is CONFIDENCE!  So lets skip to my pictures...

Once the shell of the bag is completed, the lining is easy. Just remember to iron back the opening to leave room for the zip! I also ignored the instructions where it said to 'hand stitch' in the lining...I machined through the shell/zip & lining and unpicked the original row I done when first attaching the zip to the 2 sides!!

Once the shell of the bag is completed, the lining is easy. Just remember to iron back the opening to leave room for the zip! I also ignored the instructions where it said to 'hand stitch' in the lining...I machined through the shell/zip & lining and unpicked the original row I done when first attaching the zip to the 2 sides!!

TA-DA! One bad photo of the finished duffle bag...the detachable strap I found was VERY long, so to save webbing/money in future I won't make it as long as the instructions say! For my first attempt at bag making I was SO CHUFFED with myself, it honestly looks better/very professional in person...which is why I feel I rushed to finish this one and start my own personal weekend bag that I cut out in different fabric...

TA-DA! One bad photo of the finished duffle bag...the detachable strap I found was VERY long, so to save webbing/money in future I won't make it as long as the instructions say! For my first attempt at bag making I was SO CHUFFED with myself, it honestly looks better/very professional in person...which is why I feel I rushed to finish this one and start my own personal weekend bag that I cut out in different fabric...

Now if this isn't the COOLEST BAG EVER I don't know what is...joking! But I honestly am so so happy with how this turned out. I even used our new embroidery machine in the studio to personalise it to give it an extra professional finish. I also decided to only go for one pocket on this bag as I wanted as much of the colour to be showing as possible.

After making two duffle bags I have decided that next time (because i'm 100% making everyone I know one of these for Christmas/Birthdays) I would get thicker iron on interfacing as I feel that unless stuffed it is still a bit saggy & doesn't look its best!

The sew-along is all about bringing all us sewing lovers together and helping/showing off to each other our great talent!! I hope everyone, or at least one person hahaha, joins in & challenges themselves to make this great travel kit!! For those of you that are going to create your own bags, make sure you tag us in any photos/videos on any of your social media and use the hash tag #SCsewalong !

HAPPY SEWING! 

Love, Colette x