70’s Muted Funfetti Knit Wrap Blouse and Skirt


Once I got the idea into my head to sew this fabric into a 70’s wrap dress (when I was talking about it in my Sunday Stash post) I had to drop everything and make it happen. I rushed to get it done in time for Thanksgiving and used all my free time the week before (including a bit of my work time. Shhh. Don’t tell.) and I’m glad I did. It was comfy and cute and felt nice to wear something festive that actually fit and was nursing friendly.


The fabric is from Girl Charlee and is a hacci knit (so very lightweight, drapey, and stretchy). I don’t know quite what I pictured when I ordered it (because it was the middle of the night and I was making an I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself purchase), but this wasn’t quite it. I guess I pictured it being brighter – more like funfetti cake. It’s a lovely fabric but the tones ended are quite muted.


The problem is that I really want to love this outfit and I just don’t. I can’t figure out why I don’t. Perhaps it’s that the colors are really muted and I’m just plain happier in darks and brights? Maybe it’s because it adds thickness onto my middle so it camouflages the waist I’ve been working hard at getting back? The two factors combined? It’s seems to be meeting with mixed reactions – Adam doesn’t like it at all (though he was graceful about telling me) and Evelyn’s nanny raved about when she saw me wearing it. What do y’all think?


I dug through my stash of vintage patterns thinking that I would make a classic DVF style wrap dress out of it. Which would have been great out of Simplicity 7705 from 1976. Though I also stumbled across Simplicity 6659 from 1974 and got hung up on the idea of separates so that I could have more utility out of the outfit since my wardrobe is slim at the moment. Both of the patterns are designed for wovens and neither are in my size, so I just took the idea and drafted my own from the knit bodice block I’ve been using recently.


For the sleeves, I belled them out at the bottom and gathered them into a wide elastic cuff. So easy and so fun. Of course they’re not quite long enough (don’t know how I managed that one as I’m obsessed with making my sleeves too long simply because I can) and I would be happier if they were even more dramatic. But I do think this sleeve treatment is worth repeating and since it’s a knit they were so so so easy. The top is a basic wrap shape with the side gathered into long ties that tie in a bow in the back. I added a hem band to the bottom to give the shirt the ability to gather a bunch into the sides but also have length to cover my belly.


I fully lined the bodice of the shirt. I used a swimsuit lining since it’s all I had in my stash that worked as a lining (though I wish I would have had something less slippery). It makes for pretty insides and the lining was very necessary to keep the shirt from being totally sheer (I still have to wear a white bra). I think part of the problem is that lining held its shape well while the outer fabric drooped quite dramatically so they work against each other, making the outfit neither drapey nor fitted. Oh well. Live and learn.


The skirt is a simple A-line 4 panel skirt with a half lining gathered into an elastic waistband. I would have liked to make the skirt a maxi (since I adore maxi skirts and they look pretty glamorous in the pattern illustrations) but I didn’t have enough fabric since I bought it with something else entirely in mind. Oh well.


The one thing that does actively drive me crazy about the top is the neckline. I understitched it but the lining still peaks out along the neckline. This is another issue with the lining and fashion fabric not playing nicely together. On the plus side, it does nicely show off a pretty little 1970’s enamel necklace that Adam bought for me.


I tried wearing the top with skinny jeans to see if it was just an imbalance of proportions that I wasn’t liking or if the dark bottom would anchor the outfit. Still not enamored. It was a great thing to wear to a holiday party and, again, I wanted to love it. But, again, I just didn’t. Oh well.


Comments 7

  1. I actually like it and think it looks really nice on you, and I’m a bright color freak. Maybe you can jazz it up with a scarf or jewelry. I finally made a wrap dress and then shirt and I’m still adjusting to that style/shape on my bod. Not convinced it’s a good idea, although I like them on other people. For me it’s a body acceptance thing.

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      Thanks! I had a hard time figuring out how to jazz it up since I couldn’t do bangles with the long full sleeves and there was too much fabric up top already to do a scarf.
      It may be a body acceptance thing for me, as I’m still reeling a bit in my unfamiliar post-baby body, but I’m thinking more and more that it’s the muted tones that are turning me off so much. Maybe I’ll give the blouse another try in a bright!

  2. I think this two-piece looks great on you!
    If anything I’d say the outfit you have here might be better with lower contrast leggings? For me the isolated section of bright leg, between muted ‘dress’ & shoes that match the dress, just breaks up the overall lines. I’d either add lots of other bright accessories as well as the tights (say, scarf plus big bangles) or else switch them out for much paler tights and shoes to match the tights rather than dress.
    Or maybe, if it’s probably mostly the colour, could you not dye the dress? I’ve just had great success with dylon washing machine dyes so I’m all for that possibility. And then all your hard work would not be for nought. If the lining doesn’t take the dye we’ll and thus becomes more obvious at the neckline, could you add some trim that goes well with the new colour, to cover it up?
    Ok, I think this essay contains all of my ideas, but must reiterate the first point: you do look fab to the unbiased eye!

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      Thanks! I tried it initially with a nude leg and went with something bright this time around hoping to brighten up the outfit. Clearly it didn’t work.
      I might give dying the outfit a go, though I just gave it to my mom who looks stunning in pale colors so hopefully it fits her :)

  3. It’s a nice outfit, but I think it’s just a bit too old for you right now. It screams out for tasteful tan accessories and a delicate necklace…

    Wear the top with leather trousers – much more you :D

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  4. I like it as separates, try to top with elegant palazzo pants, and the skirt can work with a kimono style top, or empire waist top. I like that you lined it:)

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