1940s | 1950s | 1960s | Accessories | Buttons

The Retro Cushion – A Tutorial

By on March 25, 2014
I’ve always loved the round retro cushion, but I just couldn’t justify the expense of buying one – cushions are serious investments these days! So, I decided to make one and show you guys just how easy it is to make your own as well!

You can find the full tutorial on my blog. The bulk of the cushion is hand-sewn, so it does take longer to make than your traditional square cushion cover, but the results are simply gorgeous (the centre grid on this cushion took me about 2-3 hours to hand sew one evening). It also gives you a chance to practice your hand sewing and it’s really quite forgiving if you’re a bit rusty.

While the cushion itself looks complicated, I’ve hopefully made the process much easier to understand and once you get the hang of it, it’s a little like knitting with it’s repetitive stitches which makes it great t.v sewing.

 

If you do give one of these a go, please let me know!! I’d love to see them.

xx

J

 

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Dresses | Giveaway | Modern Patterns

An Emery

By on February 17, 2014

I’m pretty sure most of the internet knows about the Emery Dress by now, right? It’s Christine Hayne’s latest pattern release and it’s such a lovely design that really lets you get creative with finishing touches and construction techniques.

Oh, and you know it has pockets right? I think pockets will forever be the thing that seals the deal with seamstresses all over the world.

I constructed my bodice a bit differently than Christine instructs as I was using a standard vintage zip and not an invisible one. I also made my bow belt instead of using the attached bow pattern because I thought the dress would be a little more versatile sans bow.

As always, you can find more photos and construction details on my blog as well!
xx
Jen

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Buttons

A Victorious Miette in Navy…

By on January 31, 2014

I know we’re  mostly supposed to just post about sewing here on We Sew Retro, but I have seen a few gorgeous knitting projects pop up from time to time and I’m so proud of the first knitted garment I’ve ever made, that I couldn’t help but post it here. While we’re only one month into 2014, I think it’s safe to say that my Navy Miette will probably be the garment I’ll be most proud of in 2014. It’s wearable, comfortable, warm, soft and, if you don’t mind me saying so, it’s DARN (yarn?) CUTE!

Navy Miette worn with my Christmas Anna Dress

My Miette is in no way perfect. There are places where I lost count, couldn’t remember what row I got up to or dropped stitches. There was even that time I knit my first sleeve on the wrong sized needle and I didn’t have the heart to frog it so knit my second sleeve on the wrong size as well so that they would at least match…um, yeah. I also probably should have knit up a size larger in the bust – it’s not a major issue fit wise, but the shaping around the bust stretches a little too much for my liking. I guess figuring out negative-ease comes with time.

The only major thing I changed was to add 30 extra rows to the sleeves to make them longer and therefore more winter appropriate. I found that if I stopped where the instructions told me too then the sleeves would have been a weird length on me – too short for bracelet length, but too long for short sleeves – and I probably wouldn’t have ended up wearing it.
I also opted to leave out the buttonholes in the pattern instructions. Instead, I hand-sewed on navy grosgrain ribbon to the back of each button band before doing them by machine. In hindsight, I’m not sure I’d do it this way again, but it works for this cardigan and I’m happy with how they turned out.
For more pictures and information about my Miette, you can pop over to my blog or Ravelry note page.
Do any of you knit as well?
xx
Jen

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Another 1940s Vogue…

By on January 7, 2014
This is my third version of Vogue 8728. It is not however, my first make of 2014. In fact, I made it last year around September just before we left Sydney, and never got around to photographing it.
I won’t go into any construction details because I did all that when I blogged about my first version here – and just in case you were wondering, yes, I do address the gathering at the bust! And then, if you felt like seeing my second version, it’s blogged right here.
This green version is made out of a beautiful, soft, wool blend knit that came in the form of a 3metre remnant on sale (does anyone else think ‘3metre remnant’ is a bit of an oxymoron?). I still have some left and am scheming up a plan to turn it into a 40’s-ish long sleeved top for winter – we’ll see how that goes.
For more info and pictures, head on over to my blog Jennifer Lauren.
xx
Jen

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Embroidery | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

A Merry Stepford Christmas…

By on December 23, 2013
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

This is my newest make, the Stepford Wife does Christmas Dress. This dress is actually the result of one of those rare ‘happy’ sewing mistakes that apparently do pop up on occasion (who knew!).

 

This dress started out originally as a plain red Anna dress, number one on my Summer Sewing List. The bodice came out beautifully, with absolutely no adjustments needed. In fact, I may have squealed when I tried it on because this bodice is so darn flattering!!

The skirt on me unfortunately, was another matter entirely…

 

For more details, head on over to my blog!

And I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas 🙂 I hope you all get to spend some quality time with your loved ones (and your sewing machines, which probably count as loved ones right?).

xx
Jen

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1940s | Dresses

40s Travel Vogue – Part Deux

By on September 30, 2013

Way back in May I made Vogue 8728, a 40’s reproduction knit dress, and it was pretty safe to say that I luuurved this dress. Comfy, cute and easy to wash and wear. So, I made 2 more (this version and a beautiful green wool knit version, post to come) and bought fabric for a fourth. While I still love this dress, I’m starting to wonder if I should branch out of my 40’s knit dresses and possibly try something else? Well, maybe, we’ll see… Any suggestions?

I won’t go into the construction details because I did all that in my original postThe knit I used is a lovely medium weight 98% cotton with a tiny bit of spandex for stretch and up close, is actually a navy and maroon marle. I still have quite a bit of this fabric left and am hopeful I might be able to squeeze a Lady Skater dress out of it.

More pictures on my blog here 🙂

 

xx
Jen

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Dresses | Modern Patterns

Lightning Stripes Belladone

By on September 16, 2013
Belladone-8
Belladone-10

I managed to make a few things to show off before my sewing machine hopped aboard a ship and this Belladone is one of them. I made this almost straight after I had finished my Airelle Blouse because I was on a Deer&Doe kick, and because you know, new patterns are exciting! Especially when they are of the birthday present variety.

I used some amazing blue and black diagonal striped cotton, that actually has some one-way stretch in it that I hadn’t realised until I went to wash it. I was kind of annoyed, but got my Tim Gunn on and made it work!! Also, I really like the diagonal stripe. I think it’s quite unusual for fabrics these days who seem to prefer a vertical or horizontal stripe. Those fabrics are so missing out!

Belladone-9

 

Belladone-7

 

Belladone-5

I made the dress almost straight out of the packet, except for a few minor things. I narrowed the shoulders, made the join at the top of the back bigger (I was worried about it possibly stretching out a little due to the stretch in the fabric), made the skirt longer and omitted the skirt hem facing, instead doing a simple rolled hem. I’ve never actually come across a skirt hem facing before, have you? Due to my time restrictions I opted to leave it off, but I think I’ll give it a go with my next Belladone (as there will be a next!).

I thought it would be fun to cut the waistband with the stripe going the other way, making a small lightning strike across the dress (well, I think it looks like a lightning strike…). Also, to break up all that diagonal stripey goodness, I think it needed it, otherwise there would be the possibility of too much stripe (can there be too much stripe?).

For more construction details and photos, head on over to my blog Jennifer Lauren.

xx

Jen

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