Friday, June 08, 2007

Flashback Friday - 1980

"The Return of the Romper"

Sounds like the title of a bad 50s sci-fi flick doesn't it?

Recently, I was reading reviews on Patternreview and read a review for the HotPatterns t-shirt dresses. (Super cute by the way...if you missed the review, click here.) At the end of the review she wrote " ... the onesie is back!! (like it or not) ... "

Oh dear. Not again.

I wore public....and I have proof!

See that teeny tiny speck wearing purple? That's me - on vacation in Mazatlan in Feb. of 1980.

I was so excited to go on that trip! Why you ask? was free, it was the first time I'd ever been on an airplane, it was free, it was the middle of winter where I lived, and did I mention that it was free?

Yep, my friend won the all expenses paid trip for two in a sales contest and invited me along on the trip. I found out on a Sunday evening that we would leave Thursday morning, only four days later. The only problem was getting time off from work on such short notice. (This was back when you could travel to Mexico with a copy of your birth certificate and one other picture form of identification.) My supervisor approved my time off because "you'd go on that trip whether or not I approve the time off!" A free trip in the middle of a cold and snowy winter. One whole week basking in the sun and the only thing I had to pay for was souvenirs.

The little purple romper - or onesie - was sewn with this pattern - McCall's 6597, c. 1979. (And why in the world did I save this pattern all these years, yet I tossed out all of my Vogue Designer patterns from the same era?!?)

It was not a bathing suit coverup either. It was intended to be worn as summer wear. The back of the envelope describes it as a "pull-on playsuit ". I sewed two of them, one purple and one peach, both out of stretch terry cloth. I still can't believe I practically lived in them for a summer or two.

Actually, this style was quite popular in the late 70s and early 80s. Not only as a playsuit, but as a jumpsuit or dress.

I never made a long jumpsuit, but I did sew a tube dress....out of a tropical print stretch terry cloth. I wasn't sure if it GiGi was going to be able to model it for you or not, but after I adjusted her dials to the smallest number she was able to be dressed in this retro 1979 summer attire.

Seems silly looking back, but I must admit that I really liked this dress. (Obviously or why else would I have packed it up and moved it the zillion of times I've moved.) This dress saw its fair share of disco dance floors as well a sunny skies.

This may or may not have been the pattern I used. I don't remember for sure and I didn't save the pattern. This particular Butterick pattern arrived in a pattern lot purchased on eBay some time ago.

I found a similar style in the May 2007 issue of InStyle.

Just goes to show that everything old is new again, just with a new twist. Pin It


  1. Thanks for bringing back buried memories! I made the dress several times, and the jumpsuit in white cotton.(What was I thinking?)

  2. I made and wore both dress and romper (!!!) but I was already age 35 with a 11 and 8 year old. What was I thinking? Actually I think I looked pretty good.

  3. Well at least I now know I was in good company - and at the time we were stylin!

    Antonia - I too had a dress, not this one but close, in white cotton.

    Ann - I bet you looked incredible and much, much younger than your 35 years wearing these. Did anyone ask if you were your children's older sister?

  4. I also have that romper pattern in my stash, made a few back in the day! They use to be one of my favorite things to put on after a shower so I could do my BIG hair and lots of makeup, lol. Talk about memories.

  5. Oh Sharon - almost had a Mountain Dew moment - soda all over the keyboard as I LOL at the saving the pattern comment! Anyway, you should remake that tube dress again in a great silk patterned knit. Add a solid colored 50's style jacket to it and you would be the height of fashion!



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