In the early 70s, the fashion scene remained bold and colourful but with more solid colours and striped fabric. Polyester was the material of choice, making fast fashion more accessible and garments quick to sew at home. Trousers were back in a big way, with denim jeans and corduroy pants a wardrobe staple for men and women.

Bell bottoms, flares and press-stud fastenings provided lots of new options for separates, whether you were after a sportier streetwear style with a polo shirt or dressed up with a silky pussy-bow blouse. Jumpsuits and playsuits made a fun alternative to the summer shift dress. This was a decade of extremes and there were two stark silhouettes.

The figure hugging trousers and fitted knit tops contained exaggerated shapes in the form of flares and oversized collars. But it was the flowy bohemian look that really allowed 70s women to make a statement. The boho style used maxi skirts and dresses, with flowing sleeves and floral prints to stand out from the crowd. Similar to the more modern festival fashion, hems, yokes and accessories were adorned with beads, tassels, fringing and embroidery, mixing and matching textures and colours.

Poster girls Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin helped ensure this trend made its way from the runways to the high street, rocking wavy long hair, suede waistcoats, ruffles and voluminous layer of sheer fabric. Towards the end of the 70s, disco music and clubs brought about a more exaggerated style and the long awaited return of glitter!

Modern patterns can bring a 70 style to your sewing

The release of Saturday Night Fever encouraged more people to put on their glad rags, and it didn’t matter if you wanted to stick to flares or a maxi skirt – as long as it had some shine or sparkle to it, you looked the part! Spandex and stretch fabric enabled greater movement, with chunky platform heels and floor-length garments helping to exaggerate not only silhouettes, but those all-important dance moves.

Love exploring vintage styles? Don't miss Sew It Vintage, your free book with Issue 94 of Love Sewing magazine, which also includes two must-sew Vogue patterns.

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