So Nice and Cool

By on July 3, 2012

I made this dress back in March of 2010 and only realized this weekend when I decided to wear it that it has been unblogged and largely unloved. Well no more!

Complete with Midriff Baring Action!

It’s made from a gorgeous vintage rayon material. The hand of the fabric is oh so fabulous and it’s so cool to wear on these crazy hot summer days we’ve been having. We’ve had temps over 100F when the average for this time of year is mid-eighties! Yowza! I love the bold floral print as it’s very eye catching and goes great with red accessories.

Anyway, I sewed it up using this McCall’s pattern from the mid-Forties. Isn’t it darling?

I omitted the bow tie back bit as I thought it would make the whole look a bit fussy but other than that, there were no major modifications made. It is only recently that I’ve discovered that I’m short waisted, so the top bags a bit around the midriff so one day I may pick that apart and shorten it so it will be nice and smooth.

I recently wore this dress for a jaunt to Indianapolis and though the temps were soaring, I was nice and cool. And I thought I looked it too 🙂

And here is a shot of the back for anyone who would like to know what that looks like.

Thanks for letting me share! Stay cool everyone!


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In the Garden in my Garden Party Dress

By on June 21, 2012

Hi folks! I wanted to post and show off my latest vintage creation. I used the Butterick Repro 5748 for the bodice

and I used vintage Simplicity 4252 for the skirt. I wanted a more fitted skirt because my fabric, which I bought thinking was a regular cotton (that’ll teach me to read the full description before I hit “buy it now!”), is more of a heavy jacquard. This type of fabric makes for great structured pencil skirts.

Simplicity 4252

And here’s my finished dress!

As you can see, I opted to eschew the bow on the front of the dress. I like it this way as I thought it was a little too sweet having it in the front. I like to think of this dress like a mullet haircut; business in the front and party in the back!

Here’s a better shot of the back of the dress and the gorgeous print of the fabric.

This fabric was not your standard border print as I’d thought. It’s hard to describe but half the fabric was patterned one way, with more of the white and the roses, and then the other half was printed with more roses and less white. I had to have a plan in place before I did any cutting at all. I really wanted to play with the directional nature of this print, so I have the roses on the bodice climbing up from the waist, and the roses on the skirt “growing” down from the waist. I like this treatment as is draws the eye to areas of my body that I like and camouflages those I’m not as fond of 🙂

Finally, for all you vintage loving peeps out there, the final touch on this dress was my self fabric belt. I had this old kit from the sixties in my stash and was waiting for just the right dress to use it with. I think I did right by using it on this one!

I must say I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ll bet you that this is one I’ll wear into the office and people will not know that I made it. I’m on the lookout for the perfect little blue or pale green cardigan to pair with it to make it office appropriate! Thanks for letting me share!



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Hi All at Sew Retro!

By on May 9, 2012

My name is Eileen and this is my first post here, though I’ve been a reader for at least a year now. I love this site and I really enjoy seeing all the things folks make. I’ve been wearing vintage since the mid 1990s and sewing since way before that but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really realized, duh, if I buy vintage patterns, I can make vintage garments that actually fit! What a concept right?

My most recent vintage project was a 1940s Pinafore dress for myself. I really questioned if a thirty year old should wear a pinafore but after about two minutes deliberation I decided that I liked it and didn’t care what anyone else thought!

Breezy and Beautiful

I used this pattern from my collection to make the pinafore. This was one of those rare patterns where you don’t have to make any adjustments at all for it to fit like a dream! I love when that happens!

The fabric is a green and white striped cotton seersucker that I had in my fabric stash. I trimmed the dress liberally in rick-rack because really, who doesn’t need a little rick-rack in their life?

One of the best parts of this dress, in my opinion, is the back. I know many of you who enjoy sewing retro love a good back button blouse so why not a back button dress?

Please ignore the bustle effect there; that’s my skirt hem marker on my dress form sticking out! Anyway, as you can see, this is a frilly, fun, and frivolous sort of dress. I see wearing it on picnics or going to the fair!

Well I hope ya’ll enjoyed my little debut. I get so much inspiration from you all and I’m glad to be part of We Sew Retro.


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