It would be wonderfully circular if someone committed to making every pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing in the same manner that Gertie herself tackled Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing. I don’t think I’m the person to do that, but I did make up her Sweetheart Sundress pattern which turned out delightfully, if surprisingly saucily.

Lots more pictures on my blog, Make it til you Fake it.


I’m back! I haven’t posted since we were on blogger. Katherine’s done some brilliant work migrating us all over here, hasn’t she? Bravo. Finally, now, you can aggregate posts by author. I just looked through all my posts (63! Yowsers!) and the comments and got all overcome with the loveliness of the (We) Sew Retro community. You folks are ace.

Time to be giving back. I made a fishtail dress for New Year’s Eve and was shocked and delighted at how easy it was to frankenstein a fishtail onto an otherwise yawnfest straight skirt:

So I made a scrappy how-to that I hope will spread the good news. Hope you find it useful! I’m not any kind of drafting professional so I may have violated several tenets of drafting law… forgive me my sins and just gawp at the flounce! And please share your results if you test it out. We wanna see.

Fishtail skirt tutorial




Sew-along idea?

by livebird on August 29, 2011 · 15 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I bought a new toy, a Singer 201K made in 1945, on a whim recently. It’s a beaut little machine and and I’m enjoying playing with it and learning its quirks.

I had an idea as I was sewing on it – what if I made it my mission to find a pattern from 1945 to sew with it? Maybe this Simplicity 1305 or McCall 6273. The Vintage Sewing Pattern wiki makes it easy.

And then I had another idea… what if we made it a sew-along, matching the age of our machines with the age of the pattern we make? Whether your sewing machine was made in 1932 or 2002, it could be a lark.

Anyone want to play? How old is your machine?


Simplicity 4232

by livebird on April 25, 2011 · 5 comments

in 1950s,1970s

The 1950s were all class. The 1970s were all clash. Let’s throw ‘em together and see what happens:

The pattern is Simplicity 4232 and the fabric is a startlingly loud printed corduroy. I love it to bits. And the two-era mashup will offend vintage pedants no end. Maybe their heads will explode. Tee hee.

More on my blog here and here.