Boy, has it been a while since I’ve shared a finished project here!?! I have a growing stash of vintage patterns, yet my elaborate plans get put on the backburner each time I get swept up in the frenzy surrounding the release of a new indie pattern. To start redressing this balance I’m making a very simple Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge – to sew up at least five of my vintage patterns during 2014.

There are already 40+ plus people joining me and although I may be barking up the wrong street here, as you’re all such avid vintage pattern stitchers, will you sign up too? There are no strict rules and you don’t even have to set yourself a numerical target. You can join in if you feel you’re not doing justice to your vintage or reproduction sewing patterns, if you want to achieve a personal best, or even if you want to try your hand at a vintage pattern for the very first time!

If you’re game, share your plans in a comment on my blog (or below) and/or make a pledge on your own blog. Don’t forget to share your finished makes with me throughout the year, either in the comments, by using #vintagepledge on Twitter or via emailI’ll tweet about them and pin them to this board to keep us all motivated and to inspire others. If enough people join in and share finished makes, I’ll also compile a few round-ups on my blog throughout the year.

To find out more, join in and grab a blog button, check out my original post on A Stitching Odyssey.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some of the stunning patterns I’m toying with…



Yet again I’ve made up a modern pattern – Elisalex from By Hand London – using some vintage fabric from my stash. Initially, I was concerned about how the Elisalex skirt shape would suit my curves, but I’m over the moon with the end result – the silhouette feels theatrical and high fashion at the same time. And I think you’ll agree that the pattern itself has a very retro feel to it.

This sweet little pattern comes with great instructions (helpful for other projects too) and sews up surprisingly easily and quickly. Sure, the princess seams are tricky little buggers – but more fiddly than difficult really. Before cutting out a size 8 (US) / 12 (UK), I shortened the bodice pieces by an inch and took a whopping 10.5 inches off the skirt. I then dared not to make a muslin, as princess seams are easy enough to adjust. It was a gamble, but it paid off. The shoulders and back fitted perfectly and I got rid of some side boob gaping by just taking in my princess seams by an extra 1cm from the armhole to my bust apex.

I literally pulled out all the stops to make this dress as beautiful as I could – I top stitched the neckline and armholes, hand stitched the hem, hand picked the zip, matched up my princess seams and box pleats and fully lined the entire thing.

If you’re interested in more information or a gazillion more photos, pop on over to my blog – A Stitching Odyssey.

Hope you’ve all had an excellent weekend!



When I’ve posted on We Sew Retro before, it’s been about things I’ve made using a vintage pattern. Today though, it’s all about a 60s or 70s flower power sheet I came across a while back. It’s been sitting patiently in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to come along and sweep it off its proverbial feet. Thank goodness  Tilly’s Miette Skirt came along, because these two were made for each other!

Despite being modern, Tilly’s pattern definitely has a retro vibe to it, especially if you choose your fabric wisely. Best of all, this pattern is an absolute breeze to make…not a zip or button in sight, just easy wraparound ties!

I particularly love how happy this skirt makes me feel and the bright yellow flowers are far enough away from my face not to wash me out.

I’ll leave you with a couple more photos, but there’s more information (as well as an important sewing lesson) over at my blog – A Stitching Odyssey.


So, it’s Rochelle’s Sew for Victory deadline today and I’m over the moon to have finished my dress in time, despite sewing machine woes and other commitments conspiring against me.

I wasn’t originally sure when I’ll actually wear this dress – not because I don’t like it, just because it’s a little over the top – but it’s growing on me as each day goes by. Anyway, this challenge was the perfect excuse to use a beautiful pattern from 1941 – McCall 4193 – which I made up with some cherry polka dot polyester and quilting cotton. The pattern is really gorgeous with some very interesting details – front tucks, pleated pockets, lovely yoke, back bodice vent and back pleats.

Needless to say, the pattern instructions are very basic and assume you have a lot of sewing knowledge already. I also had to grade this pattern up a bit, but I’ve kind of lost count of what I did – there were so many changes and I even ended up reversing some of them! But I think I added a couple of inches to the width of the bodice and skirt pieces, shortened the bodice by a couple of inches, moved the back bodice pleats in by an inch, lowered the neckline by a couple of inches, shortened the shoulders by a smidge, shortened the skirt length by a lot…you get the idea!

Believe it or not, there are many more photos and lots of additional information on my blog!

Did you take part in Sew for Victory?