Hi all!  I have been working on the perfect 1940s-inspired casual blouse pattern for quite a while, and I think I’ve cracked it.



Strong shoulders, convertible collar, and short wide sleeves that you can roll up easily–perfect.  I even found a way to get the yoke to act as a sort of dummy collar stand in front, eliminating the need for a facing.  This shirt makes me feel like I’m working in a munitions factory, or at least the Women’s Land Army.



More pics & construction details over at my blog, Some Things I Have Made!




It was tough, but I did it!  I’d been talking about making jeans for ages, and I finally got around to it last weekend.  The actual construction process went really fast, so if you’re intimidated by the idea of branching out into jeans, don’t sweat it!  All you need is a good trouser pattern–the back yoke and pockets are easy to draft–and everything else that makes these recognizable as jeans is just detail work and choice of materials.



These are pretty much the ultimate in practical sewing.  I could wear these anywhere–gardening, hiking, on a boat, on the floor putting puzzles together with a five-year-old–and if they get ripped or worn out, they’ll look great with patches.  I love them cuffed, as above, but they also look good left loose to hang over my boots.  In the summer, I’ll probably wear them with a light blouse or t-shirt tucked in, but lately I’ve been throwing a sweater or heavy plaid flannel button-up on top and that looks great too.  They’re a wardrobe godsend.


More pictures and construction details over at my blog!



Hi Sew Retro–

I’ve long been interested in the historical context of the clothes I sew, and I’m an academic by nature, so of course I’ve done loads of reading.  I’ve been running a reading list series on my blog to try to share some of these resources with the rest of y’all, particularly the ones that are available free or online, and the latest installment is up!

Reading List Part Four: So You Want to Learn Some Primary Source History

Parts one through three:

Reading List Part Three: So You Want to Learn to Sew Historically

Reading List Part Two: So You Want to Learn Some History

Reading List Part One: So You Want to Learn to Sew


I’m updating these as I come across new sources, so I’d welcome suggestions–and if anyone else is interested in doing something similar, get in touch with me–maybe we could work up a resource page on domestic history!


I do, now!


What with the Seamless pledge and all, I’ve been trying to make everything in my wardrobe, from the inside out, so I figured it was time to tackle underpants.  I drafted them up from Natalie Bray’s More Dress Pattern Designing, which calls them “pilch knickers”–I’m not sure why.   These days, most (if not all) of the clothes I wear on any given day are me-made, and I draft everything to fit at my high waist, so it’s actually a relief getting that one last layer in line with the rest.


More details over here at my blog.  :)


Do any of you make all your own clothes?  Bras still elude me, unfortunately, though I’ve got several experimental projects in the pipeline that I’m hoping will fix that.  I’d love to be All Me Made All the Time someday.  Anybody else on that road with me?