I finished both of these a while ago, but it took me ages to take the photos!

I used Simplicity 4491. I can’t recommend this pattern enough! It’s such a nice basic style, goes together fairly quickly and is so flattering.

Close up of the cherry blossom pattern, and hand-made belt (with vintage bakelite buckle).

I just noticed how similar the colors in these fabrics are!

This one is Simplicity 3945, it’s a wrap dress:

Generally I like this pattern, and I tend not to be all that crazy about wrap dresses. My only complaint is that is uses a lot of fabric (especially if you have a pattern to match up)!



Does anyone own this pattern? I took mine out today to start a muslin, and I’m missing the back bodice piece! I tried to substitute from another pattern, but the collar attaches in a unique way and after an afternoon of fussing with it, I’ve gotten nowhere.
I’m hoping someone can maybe take a photo of the back piece, specifically the neckline, so I can see where I’m going wrong.
Many thanks!!


Retro Butterick 5032

by MoxieTonic on October 25, 2011 · 6 comments

in 1950s,Dresses

Finally got around to registering for the new site! My name is Barbara and I blog about sewing and other odds and ends over on MoxieTonic. I adore vintage clothes, but unfortunately just like modern ready to wear, I have a terrible time finding garments that fit my apparently strange shape. So I sew my own. Often from true vintage patterns or reproductions or by altering modern patterns to get the look I’m after.

Most recently I completed what started as a test garment, cut from a big black sheet, but ended up being completely wearable (I love it when that happens). I did have to alter the back of the bodice as it was HUGE. Not sure why the pattern drafter thought anyone needed that much room for their back, but I had to deepen the darts significantly and take in the side seams to get rid of all that excess fabric.

I also drafted a circle skirt instead of using the slim skirt in the pattern. I’m a sucker for full skirts, although eventually I’ll give the other a try. I’m so happy with the pattern, I’m sure I’ll be using it again and again.

Couldn’t resist adding some pockets!

And all accessorized up the first time I wore the dress out.


I hate to use Sew Retro as an advertising platform for my blog – many apologies, but I’m having a give away! Vintage sewing booklets no less, so it sort of applies.
Just swing by Moxie Tonic before next Friday (Sept. 10) and tell me who your fashion influences are.

Singer Student’s Manual of Machine Sewing from 1954, and Simplicity Sewing Book from 1953:

Singer Sewing Skills Reference Book from 1954, and Butterick New Sewing Book from 1952:

Two winners, two books each!

Also, if anyone out there is lucky enough to be sewing their retro clothes on a vintage Singer, I have a set of attachments and buttonholer listed on ebay. They are in beautiful condition, and I’ve started the auction price for both at what I paid for them. I can’t use them, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave them at the Goodwill either!