My Sew Retro Introduction

Hello, My Name is Jenny (around the web I usually go by Jenny J Kerr) and I am a vintage lover and avid sewer. I’ve been a reader of Sew Retro for years and never had the courage to apply to join, but I decided to go for it and now here I am. I sew all sorts of things, from ren faire costumes to speaker covers, lol, but my favorite thing to make is what I call “Vintage Stitchery” Clothes made from vintage patterns with vintage materials. I collect old patterns, fabric and sewing odds and ends as many of you do I am sure. I used to make clothes for myself, but I got a little too round to pull off most vintage styles, so now I play around at children’s clothes or clothes for people other than myself.


(my pattern case that I bought at an antiques auction)

My favorite periods are the late 1930’s through the early 1960’s. I also love Elizabethan, Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian. I like to live my life with a vintage twist. Almost everything hubby and I own was bought from Estate sales, thrift stores or antique auctions. We watch a lot of the living history shows on BBC and we love places like colonial Williamsburg for inspiration on how to do things in an authentically historic manner. I have a blog (KERRFECT!) where I try to share our life and some of the more interesting things I come across on the web, not all of it vintage, but much of it has a hint of the past about it. I post regularly so there is always something new to see! We try traditional recipes, decor, I share my thrift shopping finds and right now I have a series of posts that are scans from a WWII Victory Garden booklet. I post about my crafting and sewing and I also post “Inspirational” screen captures from films, I call them my “Frocks on Film” posts. The latest was Far From Heaven which is set in the 50’s and had tons of great clothes, including a hat that was almost identical to one that I myself own!

As I said above, I like to sew with vintage materials, which often times means I need to reuse objects that already exist. Some of my favorite things to reuse are sheets! I know I always kick the top sheet off the bed as soon as I’m in it, lol so I always try to look for those. I must not be the only one because whenever I find a set, the flat sheet has almost no wear to it! LOL. I used sheets for the top two dresses and thrifted items for the bottom dress and the hat. I recently won 3rd place in the NBC/Etsy Art of ReUse contest and my upcycling efforts were featured in Altered Couture magazine last year. I don’t consider myself to be a great seamstress or designer, I just really, really enjoy it.


If you’d like to read more about anything mentioned above or about myself, you can visit my blog.

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8 comments… add one

  • Welcome! What lovely dresses you made from sheets! I love vintage sheet fabric too. The cotton often feels so nice.

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  • I love your pattern case!!

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  • I literally made a "SQUEE!" noise when I saw your pattern case : D

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  • Welcome to Sew retro; I'll visit your blog and I have tyo be honest I am envy of yours vintage patterns! you have a lot!!!

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  • I love your pattern case! And your dresses are gorgeous!

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  • Thanks everyone!

    The case was something I saw on the auction website and we actually went there for it. Another guy was bidding against me at first but said he could tell I really wanted it so he stopped bidding. He said he was just going to fill it with old tools! can you imagine? It ended up costing me $80 which I don't think is bad, it's hand made with real glass fronts (came with spares) and brass label holder pulls.

    http://www.kerrfect.com/2010/10/thrifty-finds-antiques-auctions-in-autumn/

    that's the post about it

    @Lizzy – You just really have to train your eye to spot them, even in strange places. LOl We move around a good bit with the Navy and so I've been able to shop for patterns all over the place! Mississippi and WI have been great to me so far. Florida and virginia offered almost nothing. I did VERY well in New York state. I never pay more than $3 for a pattern and that is very rare. I usually pay under $1. I've got a decent amount, but I've seen some people with piles more than me. The drawers there are 21 inches long and most are about 1/2 way full. They range from late 30s to current day. Most of them are the 50's-70's. I have grand plans of scanning the envelopes one day and making a page on my blog for them, just for my own quick reference if nothing else, but I have other projects first.

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  • I also squeeeeeed at your pattern case – amazing!

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  • I am joining the 'pattern case' envy club! LOL -What a deal too!! I live near in an urban area – if that came up for auction her I dont think I could afford to even look at it!

    Off to read your blog :)!

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