1920s | Accessories | Bags / Purses | Blouses | Embroidery | Hats | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A 1920 Ensemble

By on March 15, 2017

This outfit is my foray into the world of the late teens and early 20’s.  I used two patterns from Past Patterns, dated to circa 1920, for both my blouse and skirt, while my purse was made from a tapestry remnant and Vogue #7252, from the year 2000.  My hat is a thrift store find which I decorated to make-do and my shoes are close reproductions from Jeffrey Campbell.  I used primarily cotton for all pieces – even thread!  There are so many fine details to this set – the blouse has my hand-stitched floral designs on the neck, shoulders, and sleeves while I used old original glass teens/20’s era buttons for the front closure of the blouse.  There are real brass buttons along the pocket panel of the skirt…and check out those awesomely enormous pockets as big as mini suitcases!  My background was one of the very first “arcade” indoor shopping malls in our country, a lovely Gothic place built in 1919.  To see and read more, please visit my blog post here.

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1940s | Blouses | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

40s separates

By on March 12, 2017

I normally sew big skirted dresses but I got a bee in my bonnet to make some pants for practicality in the cooler months. I have seen many lovely renditions of Simplicity 3688. Since I already had the pattern in my stash it was a natural choice.  I made these pants up in a linen/rayon blend from Jo-anns. For the top I pattern hacked Simplicity 1590 by removing the peplum and and changing up the darts. I sewed this up in a premium broadcloth from Fabric.com

 

I added a little embroidery to the collar points of the blouse for something a little extra special.

 

To learn more please visit my blog

 

 

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1960s | Blouses | Skirts

Two-piece dress based on Simplicity 4906

By on December 27, 2016

Hello everyone,

This will be my debut on this page. I have been sewing vintage-inspired clothes for some time and recently started using authentic patterns from my favorurite era, 1950s-1960s. My newest project is a two-piece dress, based on Simplicity 4906 pattern.

What I like most about this pattern is how it fits on the shoulders. Made from non-elastic fabric it does not constrain movement. And the wide collar has enough room for a woolen scarf in a matching colour.

The original pattern

I altered the top a bit, as the original had short or 3/4 length sleeves and I wanted long, plus I eliminated a side zipper – who needs a zipper in a loose-fitting boxy-shaped top? Also, I decided not to use the original skirt pattern as my fabric was too thick for a skirt with a long back pleat. I went for a Burda skirt pattern from 2/2013 issue, but to my disappointment, the pattern did not work with my fabric either – elastic band are not friends with thick fabrics… Anyways, I ended up making a simple skirt with darts and a waistband. But the overall result is I think satisfactory. I also used the original belt pattern, which was meant for the dress, but can work with the top as well.

Top with black pants

The greatest thing about two-piece dresses is that you can wear them as separates.

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1930s Bishop Sleeve Blouse & Pocket Detail Skirt

By on December 8, 2016

1930s blouse and skirt

Do you ever have an idea in your mind that never really pans out when it comes to your sewing? Yep, that’s exactly what happened here. Both the blouse and skirt were going to be very different to how they actually turned out, mainly due to not having quite enough fabric for either of them!

The white silk with navy polka dots is actually a vintage fabric I picked up at a flea market. It was very narrow and as a result, the originally planned pattern of McCalls – 7053, from their Archive Collection, just didn’t fit. So after abandoning this idea, I decided to use the top half of this beautiful original 1930s dress pattern instead. It’s been sat in my collection for a while totally unused, but boy am I glad I used it this time.

Vintage 1930s Buttons

It worked out beautifully in this fabric, despite having to redo the front yoke many, many times. The issue was that it needed to be lined to give it some stability and the join at the bottom, where the button placket areas overlap, was incredibly fiddly. After many attempts, both on the machine and by hand, I finally got it to sit right. However, after all that stress I gave up on trying to do buttonholes, so just sewed the buttons in place.

1930s sleeve detail

Instead of finishing the sleeves with a mid-forearm cuff as shown in the pattern, I decided to add a long cuff right down to the wrist. I absolutely love this style of bishop sleeve, it’s so classically 1930s, and of course keeps your forearms warm! I finished it off with four buttons and rouleau loops to allow enough room to get my hand in and out.

The fabric itself, unfortunately, has weakened during the pre-wash and making up stages. As a result, I’ve decided to only wear it on special occasions and to try and find another white and navy polka dot fabric for a more wearable version. I think it would work well in a crepe or a soft cotton lawn.

1930s blouse yoke detail

The skirt was drafted from another original 1930s pattern, which I’ve used multiple times as it’s such a simple design so can be changed to just about any style. The fabric is a deep mustard linen, which I bought from My Fabrics and a dream to work with. It’s quite a heavy weight linen so can be used for both summer and winter.

The design itself was taken from an original 1930s skirt I own but haven’t yet worn. I love the little pockets on it, so decided to replicate them here with a slightly different style button tab. They worked out quite well I think and give such a lovely interest to the front of the skirt, along with the deep single kick pleat on the centre front.

If you want to read more about it, and see the gorgeous original 1930s navy suede shoes I wore with it, just pop on over to my blog.

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1950s | Blouses | Shirts

Autumn Leaf Gable Top

By on November 12, 2016
Akram's Ideas: Autumn Leaf Gable Top

A while back I made the Gable top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade and fell in love. Immediately after making the top I knew I wanted to make a second one, but had to find the right fabric.

Akram's Ideas: Jennifer Lauren Handmade Gable Top
My first Gable Top

Luckily for me, I came across a great autumn leaf print stretch fabric I had in my stash. Not only was it theme appropriate for the season, the colors were all jeweled tones.

Akram's Ideas: Autumn Leaf Gable Top
I love the print on my latest Gable Top

 

While it may be a modern pattern, it has a great 1950’s feel to it with the slash neckline.

As with the first top, I’m in love with this one as well. I love the colors and how soft the fabric is.

This is definitely not the last Gabel top I plan to make, it’s just such an easy and lovely pattern to make.

Akram's Ideas: Autumn Leaf Gable Top
This top looks great with a skirt or over jeans.

 

To read more about my process for making my latest Gable top check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/latest-gable-top-in-autumn-leaf-turquoise-print/)

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1970s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

My first blouse

By on October 16, 2016

70s Blouse

I’m a newbie, newish to sewing and brand new to WeSewRetro. Vintage sewing and I have had a bit of a rocky road on the way to where we are now. I’ll admit at first, I didn’t see the appeal.

Then my great aunt heard that I wanted to sew and sent me a box of patterns she had used when she was a school sewing teacher. The patterns ranged from mid 60s – mid 70s, and slowly as I looked through them all I kinda fell in love with the style.

Style 4721I used Style 4721 from 1974 and made View 2, but shortened the sleeves. I also used snaps instead of buttons. The fabric is vintage cotton that I inherited from my grandmother, so I’m not sure how old it is.

 

Close up

This is the first blouse I have ever sewn, and while it’s not perfect I’m actually pretty stoked with it. I’m really digging the neck tie. I think this is definitely a pattern I will make again.

 

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

My Exploring New Colours 1930s Outfit

By on September 23, 2016

1930s coral skirt and blouse

Does anyone else find themselves sticking to the same colours with their sewing? I was very much guilty of this until I made a New Year’s resolution to explore new colours, even ones I’d never worn before. One colour that surprised me on this journey was coral. It all began when I spotted a gorgeous coral linen/cotton mix fabric on the website of my favourite fabric shop, ClothSpot. I fell in love and set out to find a patterned fabric that went with it. I found a beautiful one on Fabric Godmother, which had a mixture of coral, turquoise, mustard yellow and fawn in it. I knew it was the one!

1930s bow blouse

I, of course, stuck to my favourite era, the 1930s. I used the coral linen mix for a complicated pleated skirt and the patterned cotton lawn for a short sleeve blouse. The blouse was made using an original 1930s pattern I bought at a vintage fair (you can see it here). However, I decided not to do it with a Peter Pan collar and instead I created a V neckline and added a large pussy bow.

The sleeves are my favourite part as they remind of the puffball skirts of the 1980s. The cuffs are secured with elastic and you push them up inside the sleeve when you wear it to create the puff shape.

Mrs Depew 1930s skirt pleat

The skirt was the hardest part, not only because the fabric was such a pain and kept moving, but also because of the pattern I chose. It was an original 1930s draft at home pattern which I bought from Mrs Depew on Etsy. The illustration of the skirt and the illustration of the pattern pieces just didn’t seem to add up. You can see how confusing it was here.

I’m still not convinced I did it exactly right but at least the complicated double pleat looks like the skirt illustration. Also, I’m really, really chuffed with how the two pieces go together and make a really lovely 1930s day outfit. I just wish, despite my love of pushing myself with my sewing, that it had been a bit easier!

If you want to read more about it, and see other detail pictures, just pop on over to my blog.

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