How to Make 70's Clothes

by Denise Schoonhoven

1970s Style

Louise Docker, Dora Pete, Patryk AKA Costa, Zsuzsanna Kilián, Audrey Johnson

1970's fashion was an eclectic celebration of the hippie era and a launching pad for power dressing in the 1980's. Miniskirts from the 1960's remained popular but in a slightly longer version. Long hippie skirts evolved into the prairie style Gunne Sax dress. Monochromatic tunic-top pantsuits and skirt-vest combos were in for the work place. But when it came to party time, clothing was all about disco. Hardcore punk style rose to glory at the end of the decade. These steps will show you how make '70's clothes with a few easy alterations to everyday garments.

Items you will need

  • Fabric glue
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Eyelet lace
  • Cord
  • Oversize safety pins
  • Scissors
Step 1

Match a knee-length single-color, flared skirt to a long-sleeve silk blouse that is the same color. Top it with an argyle print knit sleeveless sweater vest that includes the same color as the skirt and blouse. Add a thin black or brown vinyl belt around the waist to create a 1970's business attire look.

Step 2

Use a white scoop neck long-sleeve dance leotard for the foundation of your disco outfit. Affix sparkle rhinestones around the neckline with fabric glue. Add a tight single-color, mid-thigh length skirt to the ensemble. Wrap a large metallic belt with big buckle around your waist. Wear with metallic shoes that have a block heel and rounded toe.

Step 3

Start your faux Gunne Sax dress with a cabbage rose print cotton full skirt. Sew 2-inch wide, cream-colored eyelet lace around the skirt 2 inches from the bottom. Stitch 4-inch gathered cream eyelet lace around the hem. Cut the buttons off the front of a vest that is one size too small. Lace up the front of the vest with cream-colored cord and tie it at the top. Layer the vest over a cream tone blouse with wide long sleeves and a ruffled collar. Wear with platform sandals.

Step 4

Go punk with a pair of very tight straight-leg black jeans. Layer a short tartan kilt on top of that. Hold it closed with three large safety pins. Include a plain white T-shirt topped with a black leather vest. Attach a length of chain to a belt loop at the back of the waist and loop it up to a side belt loop. Finish the punk look with a pair of steel-toed boots

Step 5

Cut a plain or print fabric skirt so that its length is half way between the knee and crotch. Hem the skirt up one more inch. Top the outfit with a stretchable knit shirt. Accessorize with a puka shell necklace and flat shoes.

Photo Credits

  • Louise Docker, Dora Pete, Patryk AKA Costa, Zsuzsanna Kilián, Audrey Johnson

About the Author

Denise Schoonhoven has worked in the fields of acoustics, biomedical products, electric cable heating and marketing communications. She studied at Newbold College and Middlesex Polytechnic in the UK, and Walla Walla University. A writer since 2008, Schoonhoven is a seasoned business traveler, solo tourist, gardener and home renovator.