1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Rosemary Dress — a free pattern

By on December 30, 2014


I decided to make a present for myself after Christmas has already passed and here it is, a dress I called Rosemary, based on a pattern from Der Neue Schnitt 5/1952 –number RK 35113.

This particular magazine came to me without the key and with just one pattern sheet. So if I wanted to sew this gorgeous thing, I had to trace all the lines on the sheet with my finger to find the right pattern pieces. Let me tell you that took long. But it was worth it. When I finally did find it, I decided to scan it and trace it digitally and I made it into a downloadable pattern. Head over to my blog to get it. Merry Christmas.

The sewing process was easy peasy, even with no instructions I just followed my gut feeling and it went smoothly. The pattern is also well fitted which actually means that it is a bit too loose for me, as it is intended for bust measurement of 92 cm/36in (and I’m more of an 88/34in). But I actually like that because it makes me feel I can easily move around in it, which I intend to do a lot of during the New Year’s Eve.

For more photos and a full story of this dress, head over to my blog.



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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A polka dot, a plaid, a classic!

By on November 5, 2014

Hi there again!

I’ve recently sewn two skirts that are, in my mind, hinting to the classic vintage styles we all love here. One is a half circle in zesty red plaid and the other — full circle in gorgeous polka dot pattern. The last one I actually hemmed with a bias tape by hand! With the skirt being 5 meters in circumference, it took me about 3 to 4 hours I guess. I like to live dangerously ;).


Making the plaid skirt made me realise how important it is to think your garments through before you start making them. So, imagine I made a skirt out of the same fabric bit chose to makie it short and pleated. Nineties much? Pop-punk naughty teens in heavy shoes and ripped tights, drinking beer in a local park and swearing while you pass them by? That was my reality about 15 years ago! Well, all of it but the pleated skirt. A thought of wearing a skirt would’ve made me laugh my head off back then. I wouldn’t have been able to even imagine myself wearing a short skirt. I can now and that’s why I immediately decided against it and made this one hit me at mid-calf ;).


With the polka dot skirt I was hesitant about the length and in the end am not all that pleased about it. It was great before hemming (as seen in the photos above) but afterwards it is just that particular tad shorter that I’m not very fond of, landing at the slightly bigger part of my muscular calf (which is totally awesome but requires careful styling not to look too thick). Also the added bulk from the bias tape made the hem hang differently from what you can see in the photos above, it actually looks like this now. Not that I care much, I still like it a lot, it just goes to prove that you have to do a lot of detailed planning beforehand if you want your piece to be just the way you like it! A lesson learned.

I made both of these using this handy circle skirt app. It’s very useful for making all the calculations and there’s no way you can make a mistake which was reasurring to me because I’m a complete math idiot.

You can read more about making these skirts and see more photos on my blog.

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1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

First Fall Frock

By on October 6, 2014

Hi everybody! I’m back with another dress. While I’m usually the flared skirt type of girl, I wanted to try sewing something else this time, taking into consideration that Autumn is coming. Actually, the day I made this dress, the Autumn came in her full gloomy glory. So that was a very timely sew!

Sewing this one was surprisingly easy and quick. It only took one day or 12 hours from copying the pattern to making the last stitch on the hem. I had the pattern from a vintage German magazine called Neuer Schnitt, issue 8/1963. Here’s the photo of the original deisgn.

When I was first looking through the bunch of these magazines that I had, I dismissed any type of garment that wasn’t what I’m usually into but then, after more careful reading, I’ve found a multitude of different patterns that I loved and wanted to give them a try. I really liked the kimono sleeves and loved the inverted collar detail in this one. I’d had a fabric perfect for this type of dress: a nice, warm and soft cotton in a sort of greyish or beige-ish colour. The sewing started right away.

Easy! And lovely. And highly practical, I believe, what with the colour and the warm fabric. My only concern is that I’m not sure if the skirt isn’t a bit too wide. It IS the shape that was given by the pattern but I’m not sure it’s flattering. It’s something between A-line and pencil. What do you think? Should I make it more pencil-like?

If you’d like to see a few more photos of the dress, details included, head over to the adequate post on my blog.

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Made from Curtains | Modern Patterns

Last dress of Summer

By on September 25, 2014



Well, maybe “first dress of Fall” would have been a more suiting title but it doesn’t make as nice a reference to a song, right? Right.

Just wanted to share this quick dress (only took me a day from start to finish) made from the fabulous free pattern available at Sew Mag. It was my third attempt. First two were pretty much ok, but this one came together especially nicely. I like the way my zipper insertion seems to be gradually improving and I’m learning to take more care about details like gathering the skirt evenly and making the seams in clean lines. It’s my sixth dress ever and I believe I’m still under ten self-made garments. Getting better and loving the process!

Feel free to take a look at my blog for more photos of the dress if you like it.

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Modern Patterns

Little dress blue

By on September 21, 2014

A year ago I sewed my first dress ever. It was a retro style, simple, free pattern from Sew Mag and I just gave it a go. I liked it enough to make another garment based on it and here it is!

But before it came to be, I made a whole lotta mess that I never would have expected! I laid out the fabric, the pattern pieces, pinned them down, cut, sewed and everything was going smoothly and lovely until I first put the finished bodice on. Because, well, it was big. Like, a few sizes too big. I sighed while the cause of the problem unveiled in my mind: I’d forgotten this pattern had already had the seam allowances added to it and I added my own. And so, long hours of ripping the seams and fitting and sewing again (and trying not to swear) proceeded. The final product of said long hours is fully lined, fits really nicely and the only real problem is the separating zipper that I partially fived by adding a button and loop at the back. I’m currently too lazy to insert a new zipper, especially after taking so much time to sew such seemingly simple dress.

I’m really happy with the result. It’s a beautiful, simple dress and I’ve already worn it three days straight, and am currently sitting in it as I type. Gonna squeeze every last drop of summer out of it while the late summer still lasts here in Poland. If you like it, take a jump to my blog for more photos.

I’m now scheming another dress from this pattern, with bodice altered to sport a smaller neckline peter pan collar. Stay tuned!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Cherries and trouble

By on September 2, 2014


Hello again! I’m here to show you another dress that I’ve recently finished. It’s actually my fourth dress ever and I love it to bits. It’s my best sew up until now. It’s lined, the seams are straight, the side zipper is hand picked beautifully, the hem is even and the shape of the skirt is lovely –and I’m really proud of that last effort because it was of my own design.


Buuut, of course there were trouble along the way and even though I sized down the pattern to better fit my bust, it is still too big. I have no idea how that happened because I’ve been fitting it and checking if everything works well on my manneqin all the time and I was pleased with the result but when everything was finished, well… the bodice is too large on me in the bust area! In the second photo you can see the ugly tucks that I made to help it just a little.

Does anyone here have experience with old German patterns? Is there a lot of ease given in them? I keep having the same problem time and time again with these patterns and they are what I mainly use so… well, I’d really appreciate any suggestions.

You can see more photos of this dress on my blog, come take a look!

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Hello and a herbal dress

By on August 28, 2014


Hello there! This is my first post on We Sew Retro and I’m happy to share with you one of the dresses I have sewn this summer. This is actually the second dress that I have ever sewn and I must say I’m really happy with the result (although I promised myself never to show the inside of the dress to anyone because it’s just sooo messed up in there!). I was really excited to make it from an original pattern from a German magazine called Praktische Mode, issue 5/1961. If you want to read more about how the sewing went, feel free to visit my blog post about it here. Also take a look at the illustration below — the original drawing from the magazine. My dress is the one marked Abb. 1 and changed it just a little bit to better fit my silhouette.

IMG_0508I’m a huge fan of wearing vintage-inspired clothes so naturally I’ve already worn this dress a ton. If you want to see more photos of the dress itself and how I like to wear it on a daily basis, head over to this post.DSC_0118 DSC_0221 wa Thanks for reading! I hope to post some more as I sew more. I’m really loving this place, full of talented seamstresses!

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