Vintage 1970’s Floral Dress with Bell-sleeves

VINTAGE OF THE MONTH

Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!

So it seems to me that I had completely forgotten about my VOTM post for December 2017. My apologies for that, and let’s pretend that I was on a holiday somewhere…

Welcome back to my “Vintage of the Month” series! This month, I am sharing another piece from the groovy 1970’s, and discussing some very lovable details in this well-made vintage garment.

Wearing: Vintage 1970’s dress, vintage mid-century leather purse, very old RTW heels

I got this beautiful 1970’s Japanese vintage dress when I was on a holiday in Hong Kong a few years back. It’s just about 1/2 to 1 size too large for me, but I couldn’t let it go because of its beautiful shade of meadow green and those graceful, subtle bell-sleeves.

The bell-shape design wasn’t only restricted to pants in the 1970s. They also made their way up and crept into the design of sleeves! Bell-sleeves started becoming popular in the late 1960’s when the free-love hippie movement came about and fashion took on a boho-chic angle. It continued to stay in fashion in the 1970’s, especially in the years when the Gunne Sax and the Little House on the Prairie look became in vogue. Many knee-length and floor-length dresses in those years feature a sleeve design with a wide opening, and a length that goes up to the elbow or beyond. Just like the bell-bottom pants, these sleeves are called “bell-sleeves” mainly because of how they resemble the shape of a bell. The more exaggerated versions with even wider sleeve openings are sometimes described as “angel sleeves” too, because they look like wings when you spread your arms out with these unique sleeves.

(via)

I wore this dress for the first time to a friend’s wedding in 2016 and these photos were taken on the day itself. Notice that I have shoulder-length hair in these photos. 😉

As with many pre-1980’s vintage garments, there are many hand-stitching details in this dress. Let’s zoom in and have a look:

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Hand-stitching on the facing

Hand-stitching on the facing

Thread belt loop

Thread belt loop

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

These are all beautiful hand-stitching details that I would like to learn to incorporate into my own sewing. I have only used regular straight stitches when sewing a hook and eye, but I really like the way the blanket stitches look. Yes, I definitely should make it a point to start using blanket stitches when sewing hooks and eyes!

What is your favourite detail of this dress? And to all my sewing friends out there, what kind of vintage sewing technique do you incorporate in your everyday sewing?

 

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