1940s | 1950s

BOMBSHELL SWIMSUIT PATTERN

By on June 8, 2013

Hey everyone! Hope y’all are enjoying the summer (or the coming fall for our Aussie buds).

Pretty exciting news…. I recently released the pattern for the vintage style swimsuit I last posted here. I’ve been working on it all spring and I’m soooooo excited about it.

The Bombshell is modeled on a classic 1950’s silhouette, a style that harkens back to the golden era of flattering, sexy and (dare I say) modest swimsuits. The pattern includes 3 variations in 8 sizes: a gathered bust maillot, a halter neck, and a high waist bottom which you can mix and match with your favourite bikini top. Ruched on all sides and along the back center seam, the Bombshell hugs your curves while providing full (but sexy) coverage. Its booty encasing seat and skirt-like front ensure your butt is covered (literally), avoiding the dreaded 4-cheek butt-bulge of higher cut suits. Fully lined, it will keep you decent in or out of the water.

And guess what? It’s now for sale right here on We Sew Retro! It’s a downloadable PDF and it comes with a detailed set of illustrated instructions (including step by step photos), and two formats for the pattern, one on letter/A4, and the other in copy shop size. I am hosting a sewalong on my blog starting next week if anyone is nervous about sewing swimwear (it’s actually totally doable with a little guidance).

This is seriously the most flattering suit in the world and there is nothing else on the market like it…. I can’t wait to see your version!

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1950s

High Waisted Bikini

By on August 29, 2012

I posted this one piece swimsuit a little over a month ago. I had worked out a pattern for the 50’s style pinup suit with ruching along the sides and back hems. For my second shot at swimwear, I wanted to make a high-waisted bikini.

I used a super luxurious Italian matte tricot designed for swimsuits. The bottom came together pretty easily (the trick is to reinforce your seams with clear elastic) and I whipped up the bikini top using a vintage pattern (Style 1558). It fits perfectly and is soooo comfortable. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to wear a regular, modern swimsuit again.

You can see more info & images on my blog here.

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1950s

50’s style ruched swimsuit

By on July 23, 2012

Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying your summers. I have long subscribed to the idea that a 50’s style swimsuit (one piece, low cut bottom) is the most flattering swimsuit ever created. I set out to recreate a$500 retro Norma Kamali suit using a vintage 80’s pattern and  A LOT of pattern modification.

I used the wrong or matte side of a shimmery emerald tricot, lined the entire thing and encased all the edges in elastic. This was my first foray into swimwear and posed a heap of technical problems but I learned a lot! Not a perfect suit by any means but a great workable muslin to refine my techniques and pattern for the next version. Anyone interested in my process or wanting to see more photos can visit my blog here.

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1950s

50’s Striped Chevron Dress

By on July 7, 2012

This dress was made from a re-released vintage Butterick pattern (#5605). I used a white and kelly green stripe cotton and wanted to play with the placement of the stripes. I made a chevron at the bust, placed stripes horizontally on the side gussets and tried to run the stripes vertically on the circle skirt, which resulted in some more chevrons.

I love vintage patterns but sometimes it’s fun to make them a little more modern by modifiying them. I shortened the sleeves and skirt and adding a matching exposed zipper. It doesn’t read as a 50’s design to me anymore but I like the result. I don’t think I love anything I’ve ever made as much as I love this dress. It’s so perfect for the summer and I feel like magic happens whenever I wear it.

This dress was a challenge to assemble – I have more info, photos and links of the resources I used to make it at my blog here.

 

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1950s

A 50’s party dress with African wax print

By on June 29, 2012

This dress has been percolating for a while, ever since I admired this project on Burdastyle. I love 50’s dresses but making one with such an unexpected print felt much more modern and wearable for me.I used a mix of two rather psychedelic African wax prints. Both have a fuchsia batik background but with large silkscreened acorns and eyes superimposed on top. Trippy AND awesome.

I used Butterick 5748, a reproduction pattern from the 50’s. It was super easy to make. I lined it with cotton voile and poly organza to make a nice full skirt that wouldn’t need a crinolone (as per Gertie’s suggestion). You can find more photos and info at my blog here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1970s

A 70’s summer dress

By on May 31, 2012

I am not shy about declaring my love for 70’s patterns. It can be a little hit and miss but for every leisure suit there is a dress like this. I snapped this pattern (Simplicity 6979) and fabric up from a big Craigslist score a few months back.

 

While visiting NYC I found a fortuitously matching graffiti wall and snapped away. You can find more info and photos on my blog.

 

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1960s

1960’s Tent Dress

By on March 24, 2012

Hey everyone! Hope you are enjoying your weekends. This is my last completed project: a 60’s tent dress made from Simplicity 7203. My friend gave me a stack of vintage patterns she didn’t know what to do with and this was one of them. I had also just brought home an amazing fabric score from a Kijiji find and thought this cornflower blue crepe would be a good match. The pattern did not call for one but I added a lilac lining because wool needs it I think.

It was a really simple dress to make, and I love the silhouette and cut. You can read more about it at my blog.

I also recently wrote a post on the magic of a flattering vintage swimsuit, with some great inspiration photos and how I’m going to try and recreate the classic Norma Kamali suit  here.

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