Clothing Refashions: 18 Projects to Bring the 1970s Back

DIY Bell Bottoms

Y’all, I have attended TWO 1970s-themed parties this year. And I’m not even really a party person. Like, I’m the kind of guest who gets nervous at parties and my mouth just starts talking about serial killers and how most of them are still at large and hey who wants to take the Hare Psychopathy Test I already have it pulled up here on my phone!

All that to say, if I am a super weird introvert and have attended TWO 1970s parties by mid-year (also one 1920s party…), how many have YOU, you beautiful extroverts you, attended? How many 1970s costumes have you pieced together from your closet? How many trips to the thrift store looking for vintage T-shirts and crocheted pants have you taken? How many “disco outfits” have you broken down and bought from Amazon?

Whether you’re prepping for the next in a line of 1970s parties or just getting a head start on Halloween–or just love 1970s clothing!–check out my list of my favorite DIYs of 1970s fashions. And stay away from Amazon, because all of these tutorials can be created almost entirely from upcycled and stash materials!

DIY Dresses

DIY Off-the-Shoulder Dress from Me Sew Crazy
DIY Off-the-Shoulder Dress from Me Sew Crazy

off-the-shoulder dress. Off-the-shoulder dresses are VERY 1970s. Look for a frumpy dress with a big print or wild pattern, and follow this free tutorial to give it a vintage-style off-the-shoulder look.

Boho tunic from So Sew Easy
Boho tunic from So Sew Easy

Boho tunic. You can do SO MUCH with a vintage bedsheet… like sew this tunic that’s perfect for both a 70s party AND everyday living!

Scarf Maxi Dress from Sew Petite Gal
Scarf Maxi Dress from Sew Petite Gal

scarf maxi dress. Vintage-look scarves are relatively easy to thrift. Here’s how to turn three of them into a maxi dress that will look just right at at 70s party.

Summer Caftan from Riva la Diva
summer caftan from Riva la Diva

summer caftanHere’s another dress that’s easy to sew from a vintage bedsheet or tablecloth. And with just a few straight stitches required, it’s perfect for a beginner sewer!

Boho-style Kimono from Make It & Love It
Boho-style kimono from Make It & Love It

Boho-style kimonoBelt this kimono to wear as a dress, or wear it over a shirt and pants combo.

Pillowcase Sundress from Red-Handled Scissors
Pillowcase Sundress from Red-Handled Scissors

pillowcase sundressYou don’t often see a pillowcase upcycle sized for adults, so this tutorial is even more special!

DIY Tops and Bottoms

Button Up to Bell Sleeve Shirt from Cotton and Curls
Button Up to Bell Sleeve Shirt from Cotton and Curls

button up to bell sleeve shirtThis is an example of a 70s-look refashion that you could wear every day. It’s so cute and comfy-looking!

Crochet Crop Top from Pop Shop America
crochet crop top from Pop Top America

crochet crop top. This crop top doesn’t take a ton of yarn, so it’s possible to make it from the leftovers from your last big crochet project.

Crocheted Tablecloth to Top from DIY Clothes
Crocheted Tablecloth to Top from DIY Clothes

crocheted tablecloth to topEven if you don’t know how to crochet, you can still wear crocheted clothes–you just have to sew them from crocheted fabric!

Fringe T-shirt from Chick Advisor
fringe T-shirt from Chick Advisor

fringe T-shirtYou don’t need any sewing skills for this T-shirt upcycle! For extra fun, add wooden beads to the fringes.

flowered T-shirt from That's What Che Said
flowered T-shirt from That’s What Che Said

flowered T-shirt. Pair this no-sew T-shirt with flower embellishments with a maxi skirt or patchwork skirt.

Fringe Vest from See Kate Sew
fringed vest from See Kate Sew

fringed vestGet an authentic look to this vest by upcycling a wool blanket. Make a quick version by using stash felt.

Scarf Shirt from Potholes and Pantyhose
Scarf Shirt from Potholes and Pantyhose

scarf shirt. Scarves are perfect for upcycling into flowy, 1970s garments. Here, you’ll learn how to turn one large scarf into this cool and comfy shirt!

Scarf Halter Top from Etcetorize
Scarf Halter Top from Etcetorize

scarf halter topNeed to be even cooler and comfier? Take that single scarf and cut it down into a halter top!

Tie Dye Shirts from Keeping it Simple
Tie-Dye Shirts from Keeping it Simple

tie-dye shirts. Need a no-sew way to get a vintage look? You want to tie-dye! Any white or mostly white T-shirt will work, even ones that already have graphics on them.

Bell Bottoms
Refashion these bell bottoms from a pair of well-fitting pants and a couple of flowy shirts.

bell bottoms. Go big with this tutorial for wide, flowy bell bottoms, or a little more subtle with this tutorial for adding a panel to the side seam of your pants.

Crocheted Skirt or Poncho from Vintage Unscripted
Crocheted Skirt or Poncho from Vintage Unscripted

crocheted skirt or ponchoI know for a fact that this look is legit, because I still have the yellow, sherbet green, and baby blue poncho that my Mama crocheted for tiny little baby me way back when. Feel free to use up your weirdest stash yarns for this, because the wild, mismatched colors are at least half the point!

granny square shorts from 365 Crochet
granny square shorts from 365 Crochet

granny square shortsCrochet shorts always give me a 1970s vibe, but these granny square shorts are EPIC.

Got a favorite 70s DIY? Tell me about in in the Comments below!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.

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