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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1960s

60(s) squares

By on December 26, 2016

Some time ago I made the Simplicity 1609 repro pattern for a gift and I liked it enough to give it a try as a nice, breezy summer dress (yay for sewing warm weather garments in mid-December…). I had some vintage, but still fresh and luminous white cotton sateen in a period-perfect abstract/square print.

 

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I made only minor adjustments, including a suble lengthening of the dress and interfacing its hem to make the A-line shape more pronounced.

To keep things simple, I didn’t line it, as it’s supposed to be a way out of my constant summer dilemma, “how not to expose too much skin but be able to stay cool in a sizzling city”. I think this pattern was made for cheerful, light dresses; it’s so simple and unfussy.

 

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I hope you like this little project of mine. To read more, visit my blog, rvdzik.blospot.com. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

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1950s | 1960s | Jumpers / Pinafores

A jump(er) into a deep end

By on November 27, 2016

Hello!

Lately I’ve been convinced by the freezing November temperature that it’d be a good idea to sew something warm to wear around the house or/and in my informal time. I had some soft, fluffy wool that I’ve bought few years ago; I decided to give Burda Vintage 50s inspired Mary jumper a try.

4r

Because I only had a small piece of the fabric, I had to squeeze in the pattern pieces. So I shortened the sleeves, got creative about the facings (I’ve pieced them) and omitted the belt (I already had one in almost the same color as the one of my fabric). I like that the armhole is quite tight and high, which helps to look slimmer even though the jumper is trapeze-shaped. What makes Mary stand out is her collar-cut on the bias. It’s easy to mould; to retain the draping quality I decided to omit the interfacing. I stabilized the edge of the neckline with a strip of cotton selvage.

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Because I don’t like the fuss of having many buttons to fasten at the back, I’ve sewn the opening shut except for the last 5cm; that is closed by two hidden snaps. I decorated the back with 3 big buttons, which are purely ornamental. To make them unobtrusive, I had covered them in the main fabric.

In invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com, to see and read more. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

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Vintage Sewing

Une jupe plissée

By on October 28, 2016

Hello again 🙂 Some time ago I started sewing a skirt with an interesting pleat arrangement. The pattern is vintage Simplicity 2813 from 1958. I found it on Ebay and it came to me from the beautiful France.

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I love it so much I’m going to use it again and again; currently I’m thinking of navy silk shantung/dupioni or faille for the 2nd version. But back to my number 3, already sewn using black wool blend:

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As with most of the vintage skirt patterns, once I’ve chosen the size the fit was perfect – so I made none alterations at all. Even the lenght was spot on.The construction of the skirt is straightforward; it has side seams and center back seam as well as eight darts, which are the main reason for a good fit between waist and hips.

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The bottom part is separate, to be completed on its own and sewn to the main skirt pieces after they had been constructed as well.  On the top of the junction there is an ornamental strip of fabric, finished off with a bow.To get the bottom part to stand away from the skirt and accentuate the flare, I made the upper skirt-lower skirt junction as a kind of buttressed seam. That proved to be a quick solution which worked perfectly. The zipper is a lapped one, sewn by hand with prick stitches.

I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com, for more details. Thank you for reading!

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