1970s jumpsuit

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I embarked on this project. My friend Thelma has long said that I should make myself a jumpsuit, and once the idea was sown, it was sewn – pun intended :).


The pattern is Simplicity 6959 from 1975. There were a number of things I quite liked about this pattern – the kimono style sleeves, the apparent simplicity, the pockets and the width of the legs. I did not like the big collar, however, so that had to go.

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I wasn’t too certain of the sizing so decided to make a muslin. This pattern is cut in one length and has four full length pieces each side, so it takes a fair bit of fabric. I decided to use a sheet that I had squirrelled into my stash when we replaced all our bedding. Once I had cut it out I could see that the crotch would be near my knees, so felt a certain smugness regarding the muslin. I dutifully sewed it together, and did I say that I liked the width of the legs? They are so wide that I actually look as though I am wearing a skirt.


Strangely, the body length is almost correct when I’m wearing it. It’s a tad long, but I think it needs to be so that one can sit down without getting a giant wedgie.

Being on the stumpy side, I didn’t shorten the jumpsuit legs as I had intended in an attempt to give myself an elongated appearance. Back in the ’70s we would have had those legs going right to the floor so that our shoes couldn’t be seen.

When Mark saw my outfit, he thought it might be a really nice thing to wear camping. Camping?? Camping??? I have to wear high heels because of the length of the legs and all that white in the bush? I did have a little chuckle to myself. He can be so sweet.

I do feel a bit as though I have been caught in a giant snowdrift. This is a lot of white. I know it’s a muslin, but I can’t bear to waste fabric and this was a 1200 thread Sheridan sheet, which we actually never used, so I am going to attempt to wear it. I considered dying it, but then it would look like a dyed sheet. I have some self striped shirting in my stash that looks like this, so I’m going to wear this jumpsuit somewhere and brazen it out.

photographic evidence of my lack of womanly curves!
photographic evidence of my lack of womanly curves!

I reduced the size of the collar, but went too far at the back, so it actually just stands up on its own. In the photos I tried to fold it down, but it sprang back up and I’ve decided that I quite like it. If I make this again, I will redraft the collar piece.

I took the sides in quite a bit to make it fit better in the hip region, but it still feels a tad baggy.


I was intending to make the actual jumpsuit from a lovely drapey viscose, but I am not sure. The wide legs seem to be in the shops at the moment, and I think a softer fabric would really improve the look. Something that doesn’t look like a sheet might also help! Maybe after Christmas I’ll have another go.

I left the pockets off this version as I was just practicing, but my hands look for them, so will definitely include some sort of pocket if I do it again. I’m glad I made the muslin as I followed the construction method recommended and was quite surprised how it is put together. One collar goes on the jumpsuit and the other collar goes on the facings and then they are all joined together. This gives a really neat finish.

I’ve tried to see what other people have done with this pattern, but, whilst there are quite a few patterns for sale, not many people have blogged their makes, so here is a quick review:

Simplicity 6959: a simple to sew wide length jumpsuit in two lengths. The jumpsuit has princess seaming, front zipper, V neck with collar and short kimono type sleeves. The long version has patch pockets and a self fabric belt. There is considerable top stitching, which I didn’t do.

The pattern is simple to make and I have already referred to the fact that the construction of the collar is slightly different from the way I would have done it. The legs are very wide but could probably be slimmed down.

The details: Pattern is Simplicity 6959 from 1975. Fabric is a sheet, belt is Leona Edmiston, shoes are Letizia from Letizia, Claremont.


21 thoughts on “1970s jumpsuit

  1. I remember this pattern, LOL, I made several out of double knit in the 70’s !!! Why not try tapering the legs a bit and it would give this timeless pattern a more modern look. I think with the right fabric this would be a wonderful look for you. Sure wish we lived closer and you could look through all my old classic patterns !!!

    1. I would so love to look through your pattern stash! I tried making the legs on this outfit narrower but it did look a bit weird – it may have been the fabric. I can’t give up on it though, so might try with a floaty fabric.

  2. I promise, it doesn’t look like a sheet when you’re wearing it, no-one will ever know but you (and your blog readers, but we promise not to tell). Not convinced it’s practical camping wear though. It looks like it would be good for sipping martini’s in at a bar with an ocean view though….

  3. I love this! I have a slight obsession with jumpsuits right now and I think yours is gorgeous! I say leave it white! I don’t think it looks like you are caught in a snow drift at all. Instead, I think it looks like you are on a fantastic vacation in the Mediterranean just being fabulous!

    1. What a gorgeous comment! Jumpsuits do seem to be everywhere don’t they? I wonder if one needs to be younger to wear them though (thinking about the bathroom situation here!)

  4. How stylish! I love the graphic quality of this outfit: black & white, linear and sleek. Of course, nothing to be worn in camping, but surely in a lounge bar. I would totally wear that! My only concern with jumpsuits is how to manage in the water closet!

  5. Hi Sue I haven’t looked at your blog for a while and just happen to see this one lucky me. You look fabulous the jumpsuit looks perfect no one would guess sheet. Jump suits are ageless. Have a Wonderful Christmas x

      1. I heard your going on leave well done, I’d love to catch up for coffee and chat x

  6. Your pantsuit/jumpsuit is groovy and stylish. You do need that extra body length as wiggle room – unless the fabric is a stretch woven.
    You do look sleek in this version.

  7. I really like this ,I think the fabric drape works well with the shirt maker top and the legs fall really well. I wouldn’t use a softer fabric . What about top stitching in black to match the belt ?


    1. Haha, yes, I’m a bit useless on Flickr, so I’m pleased you’ve found the blog and that you like the vintage stuff. I do love vintage. Trying to make a 1940s dress, but having to resize and it’s doing my head in.

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