Vintage Sewing

A Goodbye and A Hello

By on October 3, 2011

I was taken totally by surprise at the number of kind offers I had to take over the reins of Sew Retro. Thank you to all of you who emailed me!

The final decision turned out to be about two things for me: advertising and independence. I wanted the blog to remain ad free and for it to stand on it’s own rather than being just a part of something larger. Of course, as I’ll no longer be running things I can’t really control anything, but what I wanted was to find someone who felt that these same things were important.

So I am happy to hand over to Katherine who stands by those ideals and who has some wonderful new ideas for the site along with the talent and skills to make them happen!

Thank you again to you all for being here without you this is just a blank page in cyberspace, it’s been great, and here’s to many more years of Sew Retro.

As always, happy sewing!



Hello! And a huge thank you to Anna who has made Sew Retro into the community we all love. I know you all join me in wishing her the best in this exciting new chapter in her life. Don’t be a stranger, Anna!

It was touching to see how many posters came out to thank Anna when she announced she was leaving. Sometimes you really don’t understand what you’ve got until it seems like it might go away, so I encourage everyone who loves Sew Retro to dive in and participate! We want to see what you’re working on!

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at sewretro at

Now, back to business as usual : )

Much obliged,


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ooobop! sleeveless blouse

By on October 2, 2011

I feel like I’m slightly cheating by not having created this from a vintage pattern but I’m convinced the end result has a 40s twist to it. I have been drawling over vintage patterns and dreaming of my next dress but a reality check reminded me that I need some wardrobe basics to replace the tatty ones that come out year after year! This pattern was actually from a Burdastyle magazine, September issue. Very simple to put together, in only a few hours. The little flower buttons were a fabulous find from a local vintage fair a few weeks ago. They were begging to go on a blouse like this! The pleats on the neck/shoulder are very interesting and quite flattering for a minimal bust! The yoke extends from the back section and joins the pleated fronts. I used a bias trim to edge the armholes. More details on my blog

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"Dreams Lavender" Dress

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   Hello everybody!! I wanted to share with you my latest project, it´s a dress called “Lavender Dreams” , this dress is part of a triligy that shares the same design of lavender, the dress has a collar hand painted by me and then embroidered to highlight the picture.
  The other two pieces of this outfit are the tights also hand painted by me and the little hat that is also made by me. If you want to make any of those twon things, in my blog there are tutorials to make both. 
  Although the pattern of this dress isn´t vintage, (It´s a Burdastyle pattern) I think the look achieved her could pass for vintage , however.
   All details and tutorials, as well as close-up pictures on my blog,   Sewingadicta

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Vintage Sewing

I just bought these Civil War photos as a class handout

By on September 30, 2011

Hello Ladies I just purchased these as part of the class engagement process. They are more aligned to your subject Alicia, and if you read down below on the blog, it will tell you about CDV’s, which is what these are. I have asked the seller to send them straight away. Hopefully the class will enjoy them, and perhaps we can talk about CDV’s and how they were made with the woodbury process, and that they were traded amongst families. I am also bidding on some more, and in particular a Nadar one. If I am unsuccessful in my bidding, what I might do is try to reproduce the images by printing them onto card, to add to the originals I have just purchased. This may be all that I do for the class engagement exercise, because of time restrictions by the time we hand out a pinhole camera, albumen prints, a flip book, and these photos. I want us to get a good mark for all our effort!

the Seller has advised me “They are what we call Civil War Era 1861-1864 and the stamp on the back verifies it”.

Alicia, with your offer of your husband printing out colour photographs, if I format my photos to be the precise size of these cdv’s do you think he could print them out for me, then, I will mount them onto card stock like these ones

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Vintage Sewing

CSSA ~ Pixies and Zippers and Buttons; oh my!

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…And the best piece of advice given when he asked how to become a film maker? Make films. This is exactly what I tell people who ask how to become photographers: take pictures. Want to become a chef? Cook food. A doctor? Start operating on people…wait…scratch that…  ~  Elizabeth Halford

Oh, and if I want to learn how to be a seamstress?   I should start sewing.   And on Thursday that’s exactly what I did! 

Seriously, I am surprised at how well I got on.  I am way behind with the sew~along but on Thursday afternoon I was poking about aimlessly, ignoring the housework {I know, I know ~ bad Bonita!! > x < } and I thought that I would either study for my coaching course or tackle my very first zipper….

Anywho, the zipper won out and this is the result ~


I still find it hard to believe that that is actually my own sewing ninja skillz and not the magical pixie that lives under the tea kettle {because pixies, the sensible fairy creatures that they are, subsist on tea} that got that zip into place.  I know my fear of sewing zips is slightly irrational, but it’s there none the less. 

Of course, it isn’t a perfect job and if I could go back and make a few tweaks I probably would, but for my first go, as well as doing it all on my lonesome, I am really quite chuffed! 

I continued on the sewing spree and hemmed the cut I made in the underlining to allow the zip to open up fully.  I am planning to make my skirt fully reversible {yay! Two for the price of one!}, so I sewed on some buttons Friday night…. 

For more pictures and a tutorial you can visit my blog ~ Depict This! and see how the lining turned out: D  ~



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