Vintage Sewing

Simplicity Summer Dresses

By on May 24, 2012

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)!

MoxieTonic

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6081

By on January 3, 2012

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!!

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1950s | Dresses

Retro Butterick 5032

By on October 25, 2011

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.

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Vintage Sewing

I’m Giving Stuff Away!

By on September 2, 2010

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!

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Vintage Sewing

Allow Myself to Introduce… Myself

By on June 6, 2010

More a re-introduction actually, but it’s been so long since I posted on Sew Retro I may as well be a newbie!
My Mom taught me to sew when I was a kid, and I’ve been really seriously sewing for myself for about ten years now. Nevertheless, I still feel like a beginner most of the time! I’m fascinated by history: whether it’s film, art, interior design or fashion, and my favorite decades are the 40’s through the early 60’s. I built and decorated my house inspired by mid-century architecture and interior design, but it never occurred to me until I started coming across all of these wonderful sewing and retro blogs, that I could actually dress mid-century all of the time as well.
What an epiphany!
So that’s been my goal as of late: to remake my wardrobe, and dress vintage as much as possible. Considering that I’m probably the slowest seamstress ever, it could take awhile…
My most recent creation is a pair of vintage inspired dungarees. I used the Simplicity re-issue pattern 3688 as the base, and drafted my own pockets. As much as I like the pattern, by the time all was said and done, I had taken so much fullness out of the leg that I’m on the look out for one more suited to that heavy denim fabric.


Inspired by this photo.


I kind of moved into these this weekend! Check out the wrinkles and baggy knees I’ve got going on day 2-1/2, LOL!


The waistband has been giving me nothing but trouble, but the pockets turned out perfect!
I’ve got a lot of other projects piled up (sew many ideas – sew little time) but considering how comfortable and practical these are, I probably need to move another pair up in the sewing queue.
And if you’ve been coveting vintage style dungarees of your own, save the $$$ and sew your own!

Please swing by and say hi over at my blog, moxie tonic. I’m usually sewing or posting pics of my adorable dog, sometimes I’m traveling, and once in a while I’m just plain rambling 😉

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