Vintage Sewing

A Bit of a Tussle with Vintage Vogue 1136

By on August 6, 2013

This is Vintage Vogue 1136, a  simple pattern that gave me more trouble than it should have. I guess that’s why I needed a glass of wine to toast the completed project.

Pattern pose

I had some serious fitting issues with the back, which, to be fair, probably had more to do with me than the pattern. Usually I wear a size 14 top and bottom, but in this pattern, I’m apparently a size 12 or smaller on top and a size 14 on the bottom.

I’m happy to say that I eventually moved from this:

to this:

however, I had the lovely experience of putting in the zipper three times before I got the fit close to right.

I ended up liking the dress, but wish I would have spent more time fitting as I sewed. If I had, I might have caught the back issue early on, instead of having  to fix it once the dress was made and the zipper was in. If you’re interested in seeing how I fixed the back, please check out my blog.


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1940s | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 2787

By on July 29, 2013



This is a Vintage Vogue reprint of a 1948 pattern. I love asymmetry, so the S-curve down the front and the gathers made me very happy. The shoulder pads did not. If you’re interested, there is more on the shoulder pad adventure on my blog. I had a truly strange rolled spaceman sleeve going for a while.
This pattern is simple and easy to sew. I went the extra mile and made the button and loop back closure instead of using a 7 inch zipper. There is also a side zipper so that it is possible for person to actually get into the dress.

The gathers make this dress rather forgiving in the midsection—always a plus. One of the things I really love about this dress is that the style and the fabric justify the silver shoes I impulse bought last summer. Finally! If you’d like to read more, please check out my blog.

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Sew For Victory

By on April 2, 2013

Hello Everyone! Here is the Sew For Victory suit I made from Simplicity 1447. This project seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some techniques I’ve read about and never used, such as pattern grading, color blocking, underlining and bound button holes. I thought it’d be fun to jam them all into one project.

I used two colors of linen-silk blend for the suit and underlined it with silk organza. I’m now an underlining convert. I graded the pattern up one size using the cut and spread method and it worked perfectly. I did have to buy industrial strength shoulder pads from Britex, though, to make the jacket hang correctly.

I’m quite happy with the suit, but I did have my share of challenges.  If you’d like to read more about my…er…adventures?… with bound buttonholes and color blocking, please visit my blog.

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 1690

By on March 4, 2013

Hi–I’m Jeannie and this is my first post on We Sew Retro. I’ve always loved the lines of dresses from the mid-1930’s, so my first retro sewing project is Simplicity 1690. I haven’t been able to date the pattern, but there was a newspaper pattern inside the envelope dated 1936, so I assume the pattern is close to that age.

A capelet pattern drawn on newspaper dated 1936.







I made the dress from black and white rayon challis. It was quite an adventure cutting the pieces so that the pattern was identical from side to side and that the yoke matched the bodice. The challis was not cooperative the first time around and I found that I couldn’t simply fold the fabric. I had to cut half the bodices and skirts, then carefully fold and match each side of the pattern.

I made one change, choosing to line the yoke with lightweight lining fabric instead of narrowly hemming the neck, tie and sleeve edges as the pattern directions instructed. There are a lot more photos and blow by blow descriptions of my 1930s sewing adventure on my blog

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