Battle of the Stitches (Round 3): A Stitch Back in Time

rubiks cube

Do you remember 1975?

Think Rubiks’s cubes, mood rings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It was the year Margaret Thatcher was elected to lead Britain’s Conservative Party. We didn’t wear seat belts in the car, microwave ovens were all the rage, Dymo label makers were popular and we were excited to know which shape window we were going to look through in Play School.

Today we are going ‘a stitch back in time’, to when tops were tight, collars were big, trousers were high and bottoms were flared. Come along and groovy on down.


It’s Battle of the Stitches: Round 3 and we are going vintage. Needle and Ted vs Made by Toya vs Fliegfederfrei vs Made by Sara. It’s a battle like no other, as in there is no fighting because we all actually really like each other, and anyway I’d win because I have a black belt in Sudoku.

This battle is just for fun because it turns out we all love vintage sewing patterns, we all love sewing, we all love Raymond and we all kind of like blogging, so why not all do it simultaneously.

There was no blood shed at Battle of the Stitches Round 1 or Round 2 either, just good, clean, creative, sewing fun. That’s what Battle of the Stitches is all about.

vintage sewing pattern _ boilersuit

My vintage sewing pattern is from the 1975, yes the seventies is sadly now considered vintage.

playsuit 3

I think I subconsciously wanted to recreate this look that I had saved on my Pinterest board yonks ago, but with a 70’s vibe.

playsuit 5

In the 70’s jumpsuits were hugely popular and denim was very fashionable.

playsuit 6So lets put our denim jumpsuit on and boogie on down to the roller disco.Vintage playsuit by Needle and Tedplaysuit 7Vintage playsuit made by Needle and Tedplaysuit 8

I have mentioned before how much satisfaction I get from sewing denim. The Jagger jeans in the first Battle of the Stitches and my Small Fry Dungarees began my love affair with this hard wearing cotton twill fabric.

It took quite a while to make the jumpsuit, there were no complicated parts, but the topstitching and extra details took time. I made a few adjustments to get it just how I wanted it and so that it didn’t look totally out of place in 21st century.

Modifications to the pattern

denim playsuit cuff detailThe pattern had an ordinary hemmed sleeve, but I thought it would look better with a cuff, an opening and a cute red button hole. The other sleeve has a yellow buttonhole, that’s how I roll.

playsuit close up / Needle and TedThere were gathers at the front and back below the yoke, but the denim was too thick for gathers so I did pleats instead.

playsuit_back / made by Needle and Ted

I sized up because I wanted Scout to get maximum wear out of it. Darcy’s Jagger Jeans are already too short and I regret not making them even longer. I’ve learnt from that now.

I narrowed down the flare from the hip to the ankle, the wide legs were far too wide for my 21st century taste.


At the turn up I used a satin stitch on my Bernina to neaten and add a pop of colour to the visible edges. I couldn’t get it to work on my overlocker, but I think that would have been the better way to do it.

rainbow pocket by Needle and Ted

But my favourite modification to the pattern was the addition of two back pockets. The rainbow embroidery being a nod to the 70’s.

The top stitching and the extra little details take time, but it’s well worth it to ensure that no one asks “Did you make that?”.vintage playsuit by Needle and TedI hope you enjoyed coming back to the seventies with me. But your time travelling isn’t complete until you visit Toya and Nina in the 60’s, then come spinning back to meet Sara in the 70’s. And don’t leave until you go throoooooough the round window.


24 thoughts on “Battle of the Stitches (Round 3): A Stitch Back in Time

  1. OMG! That has just triggered a long-forgotten memory of a jumpsuits my mum made me and my twin sister, in about 1979, one pink one yellow….I may even have a picture somewhere. (Now I’m revealing my age….ooops). Yours is waaaaay more stylish. And I think my Missy would love this, apart from the ‘gymnastics’ I seem to remember that they required in the bathroom!


    • Oooooh! Would love to see your pink and yellow ones. Did you notice that I did not make any reference to remembering the 70’s myself 😉 My daughter hasn’t worn the jumpsuit out and about yet. I shall look forward to the bathroom gymnastics.


  2. How to forget 1975, best year!. I love this jumpsuit…the arco iris in the back pocket is an amazing detail! and I’m crazy about details. Love, love your pictures and your daughter in the skaters!


  3. That jumpsuit is da bomb! Strangely I don’t remember ever wearing one of those, despite being a child of the 70s, lol. Though I do remember wearing (in the 80s!!) a very tacky white jumpsuit-style dress that I think Elvis (or was it Liberace??) would have approved of. You have crazy mad skills, Olu. Love it.


    • Awww! Thanks Emi. Do you mean those jumpsuits that you wore a belt with then bagged them out above the belt? I had a peach one in sweatshirt fabric that I wore with a red belt, red shoes and red earrings. Looking back, it looked ridiculous, but at the time I thought I was cool.


  4. You are the master of denim!! 🙂 I’m a child of the 70’s and I think I didn’t had any jumpsuits! I’ll have to question my mom on this… I would have loved this one though! That rainbow on the pocket is the cherry on top.
    Thank you so much for letting me join this battle, it was so much fun!


  5. Love, love, love as usual I could totally see myself in one of those. Even the skates. The detail on the pocks and the turn up as GREAT love the extra touches. Sizing up is also the way to go. That would certainly look good in the summer. How about taking her down to Hyde Park Serpentine to skate rocking her 70s look.

    P.S. Loving the new logo


  6. Pingback: Battle of the Stitches (Round 4): the Cocoon Coat | Needle and Ted

  7. Pingback: The Sapporo Coat and the battle of the stitches

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