1800s | 1940s | 1950s | 1970s | Dresses

Saint Ouen (Paris) flea market

By on July 27, 2012

Hello WeSewRetro!

It’s been a very long time since I last posted here. Some of you might remember Jen’s post about her trip to Paris and London in June, and how she would be happy to meet some fellow vintage lovers there. Several people here said she should go to the Saint Ouen flea market while in Paris. Since I’m not very far from Paris and never went to the flea market, I contacted her and suggested we went together. We met on June 30 and had a really lovely day! It was a real pleasure to meet her, and I have to admit I fell in love with the flea market. All those tiny shops, small alleys, looking through piles of old stuff in search of something special. It felt a little like a treasure hunt in a special universe where time didn’t flow at the same pace. ^^ So first I have to thank Jen for writing her post here, and then those people who talked about the flea market. I’ll definitely go back, even though I’m sure it won’t be as fun if I go alone.

Now I’ll stop rambling on about my life. I’m actually writing on WeSewRetro because I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures from the flea market and maybe reading the reports I wrote about it on my own blog. Here are some of my favourite pictures of the day:

There was a small wedding dresses exhibition in one of the markets. I think it’s still going on, even though the dresses might be different because they’re selling them, so they’re changing when a buyer takes a dress home.

For more pictures of the day and a detailed report on the different parts of the market we saw, please go there. The wedding gowns exhibition has it own post, you can find it here. I’ll also have a post about my findings in the coming days. And all pictures are available in bigger size on my Flickr.

I hope this is not off-topic and that you’ll enjoy those pictures as I much as I enjoyed the day!


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Regency-fying a Dress

By on July 20, 2012

I’m not sure if a regency dress counts as ‘Retro’ but wanted to get as many opinions as possible. I’m going ot Jane Austen Festival, Bath this year. And last week I thought I’d put off making the dress long enough. The date had been rushing towards me and I haven’t event thought about the dress.

I didn’t get far had my usual problems with regency fashion (its really not designed for me). I did have a little rant and got some suggestions about alterations. But after undoing and re-sewing seams by hand and having the stupid material fraying a lot. I decided to put it to one side till I calmed down.

Then last night I had a brainwave…Instead of shoehorning myself into a pattern that didn’t fit from the start, I thought start with a modern pattern that fits and try to make it regency-ish. Used a basic pattern I’d made from a non stretch top I found comfortable.





More Pictures can be found on my blog (photos taken with me wearing my corset underneath)

Now the question I have is to make my current ‘design’ more regency looking (I want an impression rather than absolute historical accuracy)
– how much higher should I make the back than the front?
– did all dresses have those circular seams? do they serve purpose or are just decorative?
– Is my neckline too high?

And last of all am I close to looking regency?

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1800s | Lingerie | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Slightly, But Not Entirely, A Corsetry Project

By on February 3, 2012

I might be doing some light corsetry? Maybe?



I’ve been wanting to make my own bras for a while, but none of my research was really inspiring me (underwires, yuck).  When I saw this post on Wearing History (through this blog I believe!), I thought: wait a second.  Why not take some cues from corsetry instead?  So I drafted this up.  It’s based on Regency short stays but in no way intended to be period accurate.  I’m not sure how wearable it will be, but I guess I’ll see when it’s finished!  I pinned the most useful visual resources I found on my Pinboard, and I will hopefully have a post up on Regency corsetry resources soon, since somebody else should benefit from my several evenings’ worth of research!


This project has also been sparking a lot of thought for me about self-sufficiency, invention, and self-made wardrobes.  If that’s your cup of tea, the full post is over here at my blog.  🙂

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1800s | 1910s

“Antique” Work-in-progress

By on December 6, 2011

My husbands grandmother passed away a couple of months ago.  Her house was a treasure trove of antiques.  My mother in law bundled up a bunch of beautiful old table runners, doilies, linens, hankies and fabric for me (I blogged about them here – I love vintage textiles), and this was in amongst all of them. It is the oldest unfinished “work-in-progress” I own! The lace down the right hand side is not attached and the neck is open (it is pinned in the picture). I am curious about the age of it.  I am not sure whether it is more Edwardian or Victorian in shape or sure whether this would have been left as a separate collar or sewn onto a garment.

The black silk is in excellent condition – in much better shape that an Edwardian blouse I have in my collection.  It is very stiffly faced and has the most delicate velvet ribbon around the neck. I would love to finish it, but I want to make sure I finish it how it would have been finished!

If anyone has any insight as to the period and how it would be worn or finished, I would love to hear it 🙂  There some photos of my other Edwardian Era finds on my blog, if you are interested.  Thanks a lot for your help!



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1800s | Coats | Mens

Ahoy! – Simplicity 7082

By on October 23, 2011

Ahoy indeed. I guess making an 18th century frock coat qualifies as an Uber We Sew Retro project.

As this coat is not for Halloween but for a real swashbuckling spectacle, I had to to a great deal of scheming to make it solid which I have talked about at length on my blog if you are interested in this sort of thing.

Note to the Editors : I love the new digs, keep up the good work! Thank you so much for taking over.


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