This 1970s Simplicity Jumpsuit Pattern Was So ‘Me’

Ah, 70s jumpsuits.

I was about nine, and I wanted a jumpsuit bad, so I begged my mom to buy me one. Buy me one she would not, but she said she would look for a pattern and sew me one. Sew?!

Whatcha talkin bout Willis?

Sewing me a jumpsuit would surely put me at the bottom of the social pack in school and therefore I wanted no part of it. Don’t even think about it. I won’t wear it, so don’t even bother.

A few days later my mom came home with a bag that had a Simplicity jumpsuit pattern, fabric, and other sewing odds and ends. The pattern showed two jumpsuits one green and one orange, and much to my horror, the fabric my mom bought was orange.

Simplicity Personal Fit Jumpsuits

“Oh, please tell me you can take all that back,” I said so nastily.

“Look,” my mom said, “it’s going to be so ‘you’ when I’m done with it”.

I scrunched up my face and folded my arms in total disgust. Then to beat it all, she asked me if I wanted to help make the jumpsuit. With the same scrunched face I had earlier, I shot her a look that said, “never gonna happen.”  

So, on Saturday morning my mom cleared the kitchen table, rustled some paper, draped some fabric, pinned, cut, and then disappeared into the back bedroom. I was so disinterested in the whole thing that I took my mom’s disappearance for a chance to leave the house to find something better to do.

I skipped out on lunch and didn’t return until later in the afternoon. And by then the kitchen table was back in order and neither one of us mentioned the jumpsuit.  I took this to mean that she had realized that I left and didn’t care anything about what she was doing and that she threw the stupid orange fabric away. Too bad.

As we sat and had dinner there was no mention of the jumpsuit, so I was feeling pretty confident that I had offended her enough that this whole thing was over and done with.  But after I cleaned up the dinner dishes, my penance for not coming home for lunch, my mom took her liberty to disappear on me. Usually, she stuck around to remind me, for the hundred millionth time, how to cleanup.

As I exited the kitchen I found my mom standing in the hallway with what I could only imagine was the jumpsuit draped over her arm. She wanted me to try it on so she could measure the arms and legs and finish the jumpsuit.  But there was no way I was going to put that thing on!

Well, I ended up in the bathroom putting on the jumpsuit. Don’t ask how this happened because I’m not even sure … I just know I ended up wearing it.

“There,” my mom said, “see, it is so cute!”  

“Really, mom?, I said, “What is so cute about it? I look dumb!”

“No you don’t. Look — I added zippers, to match the front zipper, to the arms and legs so you can take off the long sleeves and you can make the pants into shorts,” she said.

orange 1970s jumpsuit
Not me … I was much cooler than this.

What? I looked at the jumpsuit in the 70’s floor to ceiling tile mirrors. How could my mom be so right? I was a basketball-dribbling, softball-throwing tomboy, so I just loved loved loved all the zippers.  The jumpsuit was amazing!

“Hum, I guess it’s okay,” was all I could express to my mom. Between us though, we know I loved it, but I would never be able to tell her that.

That orange jumpsuit with the mom-inspired extra zippers was my companion for many years. Eventually, I could only wear it without the sleeves and pant legs because I got too tall.  Then I had to stop wearing it altogether when my torso was just too long. Actually, I should have stopped wearing a few months before I did, but I just couldn’t bring myself to retire it until it just was not proper to wear out anymore.

You know what mom?  You were right — it was “so, me!” I guess who knows you better than your mom?

Shhhh, don’t tell her I said that.

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