1960s

There’s no place like home

By on April 1, 2018

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

today I want to show you my newly made housecoat. It’s a type of garment that fell out of favour in modern world, which I think is a real pity. I feel that we should dress up especially at home, because it’s the place we share with the loved ones, which are far more important than random people on the street.

 

The fabric chosen for this project had to be both warm, comfortable and feminine; fortunately, I have found some soft, boiled grey wool fused with black lace. I thought it would be a good idea to highlight the cuffs and skirt opening by cutting them on the fabric border, as there isn’t any lace. All of the seam allowances were overcasted by hand and then stitched down to the main pieces; I also strengthened the armscye, the waist, the hem and the collar seam allowances with cotton bias binding. The housecoat was to close by a tie-belt, but to make it more secure and put together I added 3 black snaps.

 

For more photos and details, I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com 🙂

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1950s

Double trouble

By on October 12, 2017

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

meeting the Tailleur Bar in my ensamble

I had been searching for a vintage Simplicity 4538 pattern for some time, never having any luck with buying it. When I discovered that Simplicity has just reissued this design as a repro 8452, it landed straight into my shopping basket. The blouse is in fact a two-seam rectangle, but what a glorious rectangle it is. It is quick to make (it took me one afternoon form cutting to giving the final touches), drapes beautifully and has two glorious 1950s characteristics: it gives a wide yet soft-shouldered look and accentuates the waist like a solid cincher.

The black skirt is the bottom part of a vintage Butterick 6976 form 1954. Side note: it was one of the very first vintage patterns I have ever bought… The skirt has 6 panels and features 4 box-pleats, which amounts to a great fullness at the hem and creates very graceful movements.

To see and read more, I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com 🙂 Thank you for visiting!

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1950s

The Paris coat

By on September 30, 2017

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

as I was planning an autumn holiday trip to see Dior haute couture exhibition, I knew that I had to make a coat as it’s the most important piece of a travel wardrobe; not only due to the fact that it keeps you warm and cozy in a plane or during long walks, but also because a good coat is the simplest and quickest style statement you can make, covering all the in-between clothing beneath.


I have bought this beautiful wool because of its outstanding deep red shade. When I got my hands on Marfy 1961 I knew I had a match and a trip was a perfect excuse to sew it up. The coat was beautifully drafted, with a spectacular collar, interesting front shaping and – last but not least – the best-fitting sleeve that I have worked with. My modifications included lengthening the garment to make it more 1950s-appropriate (I was going for a mid-century swing coat silhouette), changing the collar gathers to small pleats, adding rows of topstitching, removing pockets and putting and emphasis on the sleeves by accentuating the cuffs.

Too see and read more, I invite you to visit my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you !

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1950s

The weather forecast

By on June 18, 2017

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

I’ve had the Vogue V1137 pattern for some time now. In fact, its dress was one of my first dresses ever sewn. Now I decided to try making the coat. It’s an exceptionally well-drafted pattern. I love the silhouette that the swing coats and jackets create; glamourous yet comfortable. I’ve had some wonderful, thick and warm wool tweed in my stash for many years; it was sitting there, waiting for a perfect project with a perfect yardage. I had only 140cm of this wool (about 1.5 yard), so I went for a jacket based on a coat pattern, ordering some fluffy yet smooth wool for contrasts and facings. I had to modify the pattern by shortening it to hit 7cm (2.75 inch) below the waist, adding facings and lining (it’s a pattern for a double-sided coat), skipping the pockets and making some room at the front to overlap left and right sides, make bound buttonholes and fit in the buttons.

If you’d like to read and see more, I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com . Thank your for visiting! 🙂

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1960s

Whiter shade of pale

By on March 24, 2017

Hello!  Some time ago I bought 2 remnant pieces of beautiful grosgrains: an apple green rayon and a creamy-white cotton one. I never worked with grosgrain except for the ribbons and I was surprised to find how delicate, soft and drapey it is. The rayon grosgrain has more body and is a bit firmer; the cotton is light and smooth; both have a wonderful, subtle sheen to them, which catches the light beautifully. The only problem is that they fray like crazy: be sure to leave a considerable seam allowances and to properly secure them if sewing with grosgrain fabrics (I used a dense zig-zag stitch).

 

I used the Simplicity 8049 1960s reproduction pattern. I was attracted to the three-armhole dress idea and I liked the purity of its lines. The construction was pretty straightforward; surprisingly enough, the front is cut on straight grain so the “cowl” is created by using pleats. I decided to line the whole dress; this cleaned up the mess inside and helped to give the dress a little bit more body and less transparency. The lining pieces were created using main pattern pieces, I hand-stitched them in place all around the facings, the side seam and the hem.

The cat always thinks he’s so creative with his hiding spots

I made some personal touches to the project like adding a lining cover to the snaps or making a separate belt, which fastens with 3 hooks-and eyes and a snap. For more details and photos, I invite you to visit my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend!

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1950s

A bouquet of grey roses

By on February 19, 2017

Hello, fellow Seamstresses and Tailors:)

Today I’d like to show you the dress I’ve just completed 😉 I’ve used a modern pattern with a modern design, which could be easily modified for a vintage 1950s look; it’s Butterick B5984. As I’ve suspected, quite a few changes were needed-the most important of which was to modify the princess seams of the front and side bodice panels to accommodate the bullet/cone shape bra. I didn’t have to make the ususal FBA as the pattern had the A-B-C-D cup options, which was a nice change. The pattern was drafted to accommodate a modern, sphere-like, heavy bust shape and I had to change the seam curve below the bust from convex to a clearly pronounced concave one.

I’ve lengthened the skirt, shaved off a little bit of the décolletage and altered the sleeves’ length as well. As for the above-mentioned décolletage, I think it’s the most beautiful element of the design. It’s quite big and geometrical, but it doesn’t expose the breasts atall and therefore does not look cheap, even with so much skin exposed. The extra emphasis on it  made with contrasting band is also wonderful, making a portrait-perfect frame for the face.

     The main fabric is a heavy, quilting weight cotton and it works wonderful with the circle cut of the skirt. The belt and the contrasting bands are made from some cotton twill. The bodice and sleeves are lined with ivory cotton batiste, having all of the seam allowances enclosed in a snow-white satin bias binding. The skirt has its own separate lining.

To read about the finishing techniques (lots of  hand-sewing involved) and to see more photos, I invite you over to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you for visiting! 🙂

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1960s

The jade

By on January 6, 2017

Hello!
The first post of 2017 is actually a past make. I had made this dress in October 2015 and it was my first “big” project: first time with silk, first time with evening clothes, first time with two fabrics treated as one, finally-first time with overcasting by hand all the seam allowances.

The pattern is Vogue 5456 from 1961 and the main fabric is a silk dupioni in a shade of jade green.
It is fully backed with a medium-weight cotton canvas in dark green, to give the dress more body, to reduce the crazy-wrinkling properties of dupioni (seriously, it crinkles from even looking at it) and to have something to hand sew to without marking the outside fabric. Dupioni is a wonderful silk to start sewing with-it’s stable, doesn’t shift and takes the corrections gracefully.

Too see the finishing details and read more, I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you for visiting! 🙂

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