Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

The Allie Dress – Notebook Inspired

By on August 23, 2014

Who doesn’t love the film ‘The Notebook’?

Well I do.

I don’t care how soppy and girly that makes me.


I like it so much that it inspired a sewing project. As a result of a sewalong based on the film I chose one iconic outfit to recreate for myself.

Now because I don’t do things the simple way,  I chose the iconic bikini as my source of creativity. The only issue being,  there was no way I was being pictured in a bikini for my blog.

I had the idea to make a few tweaks and turn it into a dress – perfect for the summer which, ironically, is now coming to an end. In my defense, when I originally made this, summer was only just beginning.

2014-05-05 19.22.08

The dress consists of a full, gathered circle skirt (with a big net underskirt underneath of course!) A shirred back, halterneck and sweetheart bust with gathers.

I knew I would have to make the dress from scratch, pattern and all, and what use is making a pattern and not being able to share it with people? Hence resulting in a busy month or so of drafting and redrafting, digitizing and photographing.

Now who doesn’t love a vintage inspired free sewing pattern!?

Notebook Dress

Click HERE to go through to my original blog post where you will find lots more pictures and the dress pattern to download for free, as well as  some pdf instructions to help you construct the blighter 😀

I hope you have fun sewing up my latest pattern and I would love to hear what you think so please do leave me a comment, and of course I am dying to see your own versions of the Allie Dress, so feel free to send me pictures or links 😀

Happy Sewing


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1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns

Glorious in Green

By on August 8, 2014

Favourite dress alert!!!

2014-08-02 18.01.54

I often find myself torn between making something practical that I know I will get a lot of wear out of, and making something pretty, that I might only get to wear on odd occasions but boy do I love it!

Normally the pretty wins.

2014-08-02 18.00.52

However, other than being a little hooty in the breast-icle region, I don’t see why this dress can’t be reasonably everyday wearable.  It does work well without the underskirt, making it more practical, but that is no fun!

2014-08-02 18.01.56

A few pattern details:

I used the bodice from New Look 6002 (my ultimate go to pattern for bodices) View C

I used the waistband from the same pattern but widened it a little so it covers my belly a bit more.

I drafted my own gathered circle skirt (had just enough fabric once I had squeezed it all on!)

The bodice is fully lined with white cotton from a bed sheet – cheap and cheerful 😀

I used some navy blue ribbon as piping around the top and bottom of the waistband to break up the pattern of the fabric.

 New 6002 pattern

Now yes, I know this isn’t a vintage pattern, and looking at the cover it doesn’t particularly scream vintage either. However, I use this sooo often for my vintage inspired creations. It is my ultimate go-to pattern that I find myself returning to over and over again. I have only ever used the skirt part of this pattern once or twice I think but I have attempted every bodice variation. I find that when I team these bodices with a gathered or full circle skirt it gives the whole creation a completely different feel, just enough of a vintage vibe for people to notice, but not so much I feel I am in fancy dress. Perfect for work for example or a more relaxed weekend.

I already have another version of the exact same dress on my mannequin as we speak. I really need to broaden my horizons and try my hand at some different patterns.

I just find sometimes that I worry a new pattern won’t work out as I want it to and I would feel like I had wasted all that time, so I might as well stick to what I know works.

This is a stupid way to think.

Tell me I’m stupid!

I need pattern recommendations people – tried and tested and oh so vintage-esque. 

Help me please! 

And for more pictures please pop over to the blog HERE. 

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1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns

I’m A Pin-Up Kinda Girl!

By on April 25, 2014

Ok, ok, so I don’t think I could really pull off being a pin up girl

…but I do have a dress COVERED in them, which just HAS to be the next best thing!

pin up girl vintage dress at made with hugs and kisses

I created this 50’s inspired dress as part of the Sew Dolly Clackett Sewlong that has gotten the sewing community in a frenzy – everyone seems to be involved, which is fantastic!

Now I have been known to dabble with bedding as a source of material, and I couldn’t let this duvet set go. The back was a simple polka dot and the front was layered with these pin up beauties:

pin up dress fabric

I used the bodice from New Look pattern 6776, view D, and added a simple gathered rectangle skirt. This wasn’t on the list of Rosin approved patterns, but I think it should be. Anyway, I felt myself drawn to this one and at the end of the day, the fabric is the one in charge and I find that it tells me what to do.

My pin-up girls chose this pattern and I had to oblige!

 simplicity 6776simplicity 6776 drawing

I think that the line drawing highlights the potential of this pattern much more than the pattern cover.

I would have loved to add a circle skirt but this would have had a negative impact on the pattern of the fabric, and I wanted to pattern match the ladies so they were continuous.  The rectangle skirt still works well with my big net underskirt – and that is what matters.

I really like the contrasting tie (also from bedding and a perfect colour match – I was very lucky with this creation!) but I can’t decide whether to tie it at the front or the back?!

pin up girl dress by made with hugs and kisses

Here is me trying to do the statement pin-up leg flick, but failing horribly and almost falling over!

For more about this dress, including lots of pictures click HERE

Happy Vintage Sewing

Hannah from Made With Hugs and Kisses

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1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Never Too Much Tartan Dress!

By on December 29, 2013

Let’s start by saying that I hope everyone has had a very merry Christmas and that Santa brought some lovely sewing goodies to my fellow crafty bloggers.

The time off from work has allowed me to get some long overdue sewing started and I didn’t want to waist another moment without sharing it ….

tartan dress at christmas

For this dress I used a vintage pattern from, I think, 1972. Simplicity 5347.


I have had it in my pattern stash for a while but never got around to testing it until now. I didn’t even realise until I opened up the instructions to take a look that it is all written in a foreign language, so I had to go off the pictures alone and hope for the best. It was simple enough, although I chose to leave out the facings and just bind the edges of the bodice instead (lazy).

Shall I let you in on a little secret, I actually took these photographs yesterday, just before I took DOWN my Christmas decorations!


This is the first thing I have sewn in almost… 2 months I believe. Life and work have just been so crazy that I haven’t had chance to get near my sewing machine, so the minute school broke up for the Christmas holidays I started on this dress with the intention of wearing it on Christmas day. The only problem was I had just a couple of days until Christmas with a lot of family to visit, presents to buy and lots of cakes to make so, I didn’t actually get chance to finish this until Boxing Day!

Never mind, I think it is still a wearable dress even outside of the Christmas period. What do you think?

tartan dress christmas tree

In this picture you can just about see that the red stripes around the waist turn into straps that tie in a bow at the back. Just enough of a block colour to break up the tartan. I showed my mum this dress mid-construction. It was on my mannequin and the first thing she said was, ‘oh my that is a lot of tartan!’

I was worried it was going to be a bit in your face, too much tartan perhaps… but now that it is complete and I can try it on I am pleased with how it has turned out. Yes it is a tad on the loud side, but in this dreary, dismal weather a bit of colour is very welcome!

And how funny that I chose to call my post ‘never too much tartan’ when the majority of posts that have come before this one on We Sew Retro have all featured tartan. It just proves more than ever that you can NEVER have too much tartan!

I enjoyed sewing with this particular tartan so much that if you check out my blog you will see that I have featured it before.

Infact the combination of tartan and block red is identical to that of…..

christmas apron by made with hugs and kisses

My Traditional Christmas Apron!

I bought the fabric with the apron in mind but purchased waaaay too much of it. The only option was, of course, to make a dress. Don’t worry, I wont wear the dress and the apron at the same time… now that would look like I had an obsession with tartan!

I had a lot of fun working with these fabrics for my apron, which I think shows in the pictures. I wanted fabric that shouted CHRISTMAS, but at the same time had a classy, vintage feel to it. Tartan ticks all of those boxes I think. You can get the FREE PDF pattern for my apron via my blog.

Well that is all for me for now, in fact, looking at the date it is likely to be all from me until the new year!

Happy sewing everyone

H&K Signature

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1920s | 1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

How do you top off a vintage look?… With a hat of course!

By on October 21, 2013

I have always been open and honest about my obsession with sewing. You only have to take one glance at my life to see it is completely consumed by the hobby. As well as my blog, I have numerous sewing machines stashed away throughout my house  (and in my garage) and the largest bedroom in my house has been turned into a sewing room. Now this interest developed over a period of time. The more I attempted to sew garments, the better I became and the more obsessed I grew. A natural progression some might say.

What has taken me by surprise, however, was how quickly this developed into a secondary interest…. an interest in vintage sewing. I found it really enjoyable to search for, collect and try out vintage patterns, hunt down vintage machines, source vintage fabric and of course take inspiration from vintage fashions. Why we follow current fashions I will never know, because in my opinion people were so much more stylish 50+ years ago!

cloche hat and vintage dress by made with hugs and kisses

Lately I have been really trying to incorporate my love of vintage fashions into my every day wardrobe. I am so proud of myself as I am finding I have developed such an extensive handmade wardrobe that I am able to wear handmade for at least half the week, if not more (depending on how up to date with the washing I am!) And by attending vintage fairs and stores I have begun to pick up a few accessories that finish off the look perfectly. My latest favourite being hats! I never realised until recently, but I think In really suit them 😀

cloche hat floral dress by made with hugs and kisses

So, what does all of this rambling have to do with my latest project? Well, this dress is based on a vintage pattern from the 1970’s that I borrowed from a friend. Luckily we are exactly the same size which made everything nice and easy.

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I already loved that it was vintage, but what was even better was that by using this particular material I think it looks even more retro… I can’t quite pinpoint which era it reminds me of… I want to say 20’s perhaps.

Anyway, this then gave me the idea of teaming it with one of my vintage cloche hats to see if it would finish of the look…. and it did!

When we took these pictures I felt like I had stepped right out of an old movie 😀

hat with floral vintage dress by made with hugs and kisses


I do plan on making this dress again,but next time I might add an extra inch around the waist , and even though that pattern calls for bodice facings to be used, I felt that these proved to be more of a hindrance than a help, so I would instead go for a full bodice lining  instead. Overall though a successful creation and one I am sure I will get plenty of wear out of, especially if I team it with tights for the winter.

floral vintage with hat by made with hugs and kisses

Well, it certainly is nice to be able to share another project, I know it has been a little while since my last one. Turns out work is hard and tiring!

With it being half term this week I am hoping to get a lot of sewing and blogging done, and perhaps some refashions and pattern making too… it is going to be a busy, but very enjoyable week. I have lots in store so please feel free to pop on over to my blog 😀

Happy sewing everyone


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Modern Patterns | Skirts

Pink Piping Pin-Up Pencil Skirt!

By on August 21, 2013

p-p-p-p-p… I’m all a stutter now!


I wasn’t originally going to post this creation on We Sew Retro… I wasn’t sure if it was retro enough, however after posting it on my blog and recieving so many wonderful comments stating how vintage-esque and pin-up the skirt looks I thought, why not! So here you have it, my pink piping pin-up pencil skirt 😀

So this skirt is made using the Lucinda Skirt pattern from indie pattern designer Parnuuna from Be My Goth.

What is great about this particular pattern is that, although Parnnuna’s style is very alternative, hence the title of her blog,  which isn’t my particular style, there are so many opportunities and ways to adapt this particular pattern to make it your own. Simply through a change of fabric this skirt quickly goes from alternative to vintage – almost pin-up some would say!

Using this pattern introduced me to the use of piping. I had dabbled with it before but this was the first time when I made it from scratch myself , and now I am addicted to the stuff. And it is so easy to do, I am looking to get a tutorial together soon 😀

There are two key features to this skirt. The first is the corset-style waist band. It is made up of several pieces and can be pieced together either using piping or without. The piping helps to emphasise the effect of the paneling.

The second feature this the adorable pleated pockets. Again I think the use of piping really adds to the cuteness of these pockets. The skirt works equally well both with and without the pockets, They are completely optional.

I chose to make my version in a grey suiting material with contrasting coral pink piping. Rather than line the skirt I used bias tape to seal the seams on the inside of the skirt and it looks really nifty (I forgot to take a photo, sorry)

I think that the Lucinda skirt made in a suiting material makes it perfect for work, don’t you think?!

It is such a versatile pattern that I know I am going to get a LOT of use out of.  I might even try a version without the pockets.

Check out my blog post for more information on this pattern HERE

I would love to get a second opinion on what types of fabric I could use to make this truly vintage looking?

What do you think? Any suggestions are welcomed.

Happy Sewing


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Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

More Vintage Polka Dots

By on August 7, 2013

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

After making my Red Polka Dot Dress  a short while back I knew that it would not be the last time I would make something using polka dot fabric.

You should have heard the squeal I made when I saw this fabric. I got it when I went to Birmingham for a sewing meet up. It was on the outdoor market for just £2 per meter, words cannot describe my excitement.  It is unbelievably soft and drapes wonderfully.

Is it really sad that I get ridiculously excited over sewing related things more than almost anything else?!

I used McCall’s 6503 and was originally going to add sleeves. As it turned out I had quite a few problems with this pattern, in fact after reading up on it since then, I have noticed a few people say they had trouble with this pattern, I should have done my research in advance.

It seemed really baggy around the side bust and back so I added a line of elastic along the back waist to gather it in, As a last minute solution it actually works quite well, but at least I know to expect this issue next time I use the pattern.

I ended up omitting the sleeves, mainly because at that point I was too flustered to be bothered with them, and I turned down the stand up collar and bodice facings to make a little folded down collar, but you cant see it very well on these photos.

If I were to do it again I would perhaps do the bodice facings and waist band in a different colour to break up the pattern.

I will probably try this pattern again another time but I will make a muslin before using up my fabric, it was just a good job that this polka dot fabric was cheap and that I was able to salvage it!

There is undeniably something very vintage about this dress, but just to make sure I used the last slithers of material to make a vintage inspired tie headband to match.

Too much polka dot??

I think not!!!

My cat, Sidney decided to join in with the photographs too 😀

Thanks for reading, if you want to check out the original blog post click HERE

 Here’s to many more polka dot creations


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