Vintage Sewing

vintage brooch board.

By on April 11, 2011
Inspired by the brooch board by Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage (instructions are blogged about here), last night I tried my hand at making my own.
I had a vintage frame, quilting wadding, and some red felt, and within minutes I had my very own board. While my vintage brooch collection is still very small, I am excited to have such a nice display for my dressing table.

~ Small beginnings ~

~ Brooch purchased from LoveMissP ~

~ 80’s rainbow brooch purchased from WildTeaParty ~

~ Vintage brooch – thrifted ~

Sam xox

Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

My little bloomers.

By on April 8, 2011
I finally whipped up my first pair of Colette Patterns bloomers this weekend. These are the Madeline mini bloomers and the pattern is available for free on the Colette Patterns website.
I used a soft pink quilting cotton and some burgundy ribbon. I followed the pattern pretty loyally until I came to the leg elastic bit. Instead of the pattern, I sewed a simple tube hem and gathered very thin elastic in each leg. I then added my own vintage touch by sewing some lace over the top of the hem stitching line, and finished it off with some ribbon bows.

This is a very easy pattern to follow and the result is a very comfortable fit. The bloomers do not cover a lot of leg (hence I did not model these) but the pattern could be easily adapted by lengthening the legs to make a cute pair of shorts, or even three-quarter pajama pants.

Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

A thrifty refashion.

By on April 7, 2011

I purchased this pillow case from a local charity shop a few months ago. I fell in love with the beautiful print and for 50c I thought it was a steal. I purchased it without knowing what I would actually use the fabric for.
Today inspiration struct, and within an hour I had made myself the perfect autumn skirt.
You can see more on my blog,
Sam xox

Continue Reading


1960’s pattern giveaway.

By on March 20, 2011
To celebrate reaching 100 followers I want to do a little give away. I have not yet gotten around to sewing this pattern yet, and with the current to-do list I have set for myself, it seems this beautiful pattern won’t be sewn anytime soon! Such a shame for it to be sitting on my shelf unloved… I want to give it a new home!

Entry is open to anyone, you don’t have to be a follower of my blog (but if you are you get two entries).

Check it out at my blog,

Sam xox

Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

Simplicity dress 4310 complete.

By on March 7, 2011

I purchased this pattern on Etsy about two months ago. It says it is for ladies 5’1″ and under. Being 5’5″ I was a tad concerned but I loved the dress/jacket combo so much I took a risk and bought it. The patterned turned out to be fine for my height.
As I worked a 6 day week this week, the only time I had to buy the dress fabric was Thursday evening. I made a quick dash to Lincraft (a standard large scale ‘craft’ store) and navigated my way through piles of hideous (and highly flammable) fabrics to find something that somewhat resembled a vintage print. I was lucky and found two fabrics.
The first was a fabric with a pink rose pattern printed on black, and I used it to make this dress. I decided not to make the jacket to match as I was worried that it might just be a bit too much on the… um… floral side 🙂
This dress took me a day and a morning to make. I could probably do it in a day next time, but as it was my first time I had to make a few modifications to the pattern. As most women out there, I am not a standard body shape. My hips are two sizes larger than my bust, and my waist one size smaller than my hips. This pattern was my bust size, so I had to add 2″ extra to the skirt pattern, and added an extra pleat too.
The dress fits like a glove thanks to having an adjustable dress form.

Ok, I have to be honest here. That is the first time I have ever inserted a back zipper the ‘old fashioned way’ with the bit that folds over. I was very impressed with how neat I had sewn it… the only hiccup coming when I realised it was sewn in about 2″ to the right of the centre back. Woops.

I borrowed Casey’s method of covering up serged hems with pretty lace. Love.
I am super happy with how this dress turned out. I would highly recommend this pattern!

Continue Reading

Vintage Sewing

The value of vintage patterns.

By on March 6, 2011

I have been doing a lot of ‘searching’ on Etsy lately. An act not motivated by shopping, but by the desire to learn more about vintage styles throughout the decades. And I think sewing patterns really are a good place to start this sort of ‘through the decades’ research.

When vintage sewing patterns were first printed, they were current for the era. The older pattern envelopes feature illustrations by artists – impressions of the finished garments. The artists interpreted not only the silhouette of the pattern, but also what the fabric colour or print might be if made at that time. The artists also included the hairstyle fashions current to the era on their garment models. Vintage patterns therefore provide great insight for the would-be vintage sewer who not only wants to sew with a vintage pattern, but emulate an outfit that would have passed as fashionable for the time.

Through my ‘research’ however, I have been struck by the significant differences in the pricing of vintage patterns. I can understand a bit of a difference in price due to the condition of the pattern pieces/envelope, but it appeared to stretch further than this. I began to ask myself “how is the value of a vintage pattern calculated by sellers?”

It seems to me that a lot of factors come into play when deciding on the value of a vintage pattern. From my searching I can conclude there are many factors that are considered before a vintage pattern is priced, which I have written about on my blog. Do you think I have missed any factors out?

Where do you shop for vintage patterns?

Sam xox

Psst. On a side note – all the patterns pictured in this post are available from Etsy seller Savage Spider. Please be clear that I am in no way affiliated with Savage Spider, I only came across their pattern collection during my ‘research’ and was impressed with their variety of patterns and their reasonable prices.

Continue Reading


Hi :-)

By on March 5, 2011

Hi Everyone! My name is Sam and I write a sewing/quilting/vintage blog called All Things Quilty… and Sewy!

I am thrilled to be part of the Sew Retro blog and am looking forward to sharing my sewing projects and vintage finds with you all.

Let me tell you a bit about me 🙂

I am an Aussie girl currently living in Sydney. I live with my high school sweetheart of 12 years. We have been married for the last two. We share our home with a silver tabby cat called Prada (I take complete responsibility for the name). I am lucky enough to occupy the spare room in our apartment, and make use of it as a sewing room.

I first began sewing during high school. I hated it. During sewing class a friend and I would hide in the trimmings room adjacent to our classroom. It would always be a good half an hour before our teacher would notice us missing, and this realisation was quickly followed by her bursting through the trimming room door and yelling at us as we ran back to our sewing machines. During the times we would actually stay in the classroom, I would often make stupid sewing mistakes. I remember once painstakingly hand stitching something together, only to get up when the bell rang to find the item sewn to my school skirt…

Time has since past and I am now a fully fledged quilter and recreational seamstress.

I look forward to getting to know you all, and I hope you enjoy my posts.

Sam xox

Continue Reading