It was 1970 Something: Kaftan Shirt

                                                Mumu Top


Being a child of the 60’s, it isn’t hard to remember fashion trends of the 70’s. I can remember when plaid jackets and vertical striped pants came out, as well as wild prints, smock tops and painter’s pants. 😉 Some of those don’t go well together, AT all.

One day, in the not too distant past, my mom gave me some craft supplies from one of her friends who lived until the mid 1980’s. (No, my mom is not a hoarder. It is merely a CRAFT STASH. BIG difference!) lol In the box, I found some fabric that I originally thought was a pretty wild pillow case. I could easily place the era at the 70’s.

Wild fabric print
Wild 70’s Fabric

Then I realized I had found quite the memory. I recalled trying to make something very similar to what I held. Does anyone else remember these tops?

Mumu shirt
Kaftan top

It was popular at that time, to make a kaftan top (mumu shirt?). Mumu’s were popular anyway, but the tops were being discussed as ‘SO easy to make!” But then you had to buy a zipper (at that point I don’t think we used the word intimidating quite so much, but it WAS!) . You laid out a square of fabric, one layer thick, put your scissors about in the middle of the wide side, and cut half way to the center. Then folded it the long way and cut out a neckline, via a small half circle.

retro Kaftan shirt
“So easy to sew!”

You intalled the zipper in a shortcut way and used bias tape to cover the edges. Then sewed a line up the sides, quite a ways away from the stitched edge, to form the bodice.

retro kaftan top
Eight inches from stitched side edges is the actual side seam, front sewn to back.

It was easy. I made one. I wore it for a while. I have no idea what happened to it. Here in this bag was a nearly finished one that someone else had made. It actually differed in that it appeared to have a pattern, with a neckline facing. I was pretty wowed going down memory lane. It wasn’t expertly done. It looks like a very easy pattern such as might be chosen by someone just learning. It only needed a few tweaks to tune up it’s appearance. It seemed as though no one had ever worn it, considering it was in a box with craft supplies….but I have no way to know.

Retro kaftan top
Billowy sides

Here you can see how the sides billow, because it is on the dressform that a friend gave me. We call her Bessy, after the 70’s doll named Dressy Bessy, on whom you practiced snaps, and tying, etc. The idea was you were helping her to dress. This Bessy is so named because not only do I help her to dress but she gets to change often. 😉

I thought I would share this long lost bit of nostalgia, and take you on a retro journey with me.

                                                           “Those were the days my friends.. we thought they’d never end…”

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