SeamstressErin

Hello Retro Sewists! I’d like to invite you all to join me for a sewalong. I’m inviting everyone to sew a blouse or dress with a bow on it during the month of November. (I’m announcing it now so you have enough time to plan!). Bows have been found on blouse necks through the decades, and I’d love for you bring your love of retro sewing to the sewalong.

I’ve created a Flickr group where we can all share inspiration and progress. I’d love it if you would join the Flickr group now and upload photos of bow-neck blouses you’ve already sewn (and links to your blog post or pattern info) to serve as sources of inspiration. As you finish your sewalong blouses, you can add them there too! We can share progress on Twitter and Instagram once we start planning and sewing using #BNBsewalong.

Head over to SeamstressErin.com for more details and buttons you can add to your blog!

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Although this is a knitting project, not a sewn one, I thought that it would be of interest to WeSewRetro readers as I know a lot of sewists also knit. This sweater is from a modern book that published a collection of vintage patterns called Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters. This pattern is originally from 1939, but a woman that knit this sweater when the pattern was published in 1939 certainly would have continued to wear it through the 40′s making it WWII era.

The buttons on the sweater are also vintage, although I’m not sure from exactly when. They were among a collection of vintage buttons that I have inherited from a couple of different sources and have clearly come off of a used item or have been banging around in a jar for a very long time as they have dents and scratches. I purchased the modern shawl stick although I intend to do a bit of research and find a more period appropriate design. If anyone can point me to information on that end, it would be appreciated! I have more information on the sweater construction on my blog and on Ravelry for those that are interested.

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My Mad Men dress for the Mad Men Challenge. I had to copy Joan. Just about every episode I ogle something she has worn. I used the wiggle dress from Gertie’s Book and added arm flounces and drafted my own collar. I deviated from the original collar, making it a bit more mod, as I don’t have the strong bust to balance out the original collar (and, I will admit, couldn’t figure out how to get such ample ripples). I used Gertie’s suggested period construction by inserting a hand-picked zipper, sewing my hem by hand, and inserting the underarm gussets using a silk organza facing. The dolman sleeves, despite a couple rounds of fitting, still aren’t quite perfect over my strong shoulders. Check out my blog post for more details and photos.

Does anyone know how to get the ample ripples in the original dress?

Has anyone successfully fit tight dolman sleeves over strong square shoulders?

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I now present to you my 1940′s dress for Sew for Victory. It’s from Hollywood Patterns (No. 855), from May 1942, endorsed by Betty Grable of 20th Century Fox.  It was my first time using an original 1940′s pattern, which was a fun experience. I’m actually a bit disappointed by the dress, mostly because I was talked into fabric with which I’m just not in love. Oh well. Not every project can be a winner. And I’ve certainly been inspired by all the lovely creations others have made for this sewalong! See my full blog post for more details.

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