1930s | Buttons | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Late 1930s Button Detail Dress with Tulip Print

By on June 23, 2017

1930s tulip print dress

Sometimes you buy a sewing pattern just for the details and this was definitely the case here. The pattern I used for this late 1930s dress was an original 1940s one that I bought from Til the Sun Goes Down. It had the most beautiful shoulder yoke section, which you only ever seem to see on late 30s/early 40s patterns, and I knew I needed a dress with this as a feature. The skirt part of the pattern wasn’t really what I wanted, mainly because it looked very 1940s and I wanted a late 1930s style as this is the era I tend to wear the most.

The beautiful abstract tulip print fabric that I used was a vintage fabric, which feels like a soft cotton but behaves like a crepe or rayon. It was a dream to work with and, along with all the era-accurate techniques I used, helped to create a truly authentic look. In fact, someone I met whilst wearing this dress actually thought it was genuine vintage!

The 22 buttons that feature on the dress were all beautifully covered by the company I use a lot, London Button Company. I asked them to specifically use the coloured parts of the pattern, rather than the black background, to make them really pop out. The matching belt features an original 1930s Art Deco buckle in a bright yellow and I love how it really stands out against the dress.

1930s dress shoulder yoke detail

1930s dress button back closure

1930s dress waist detail

More photos and details about the techniques I used, and how I made the matching hat, can be found on my blog »

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1950s | 1960s | Buttons | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Vogue 9838 redux

By on October 7, 2015

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Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time poster here. So recently I decided that instead of simply swooning over the fabulous vintage patterns that fill the internet; why not buy some! And even better, make them!

Recently I found two fabulous vintage Vogue patterns from 1959 that were selling for only $4 uncut and in great condition! As the rest of you pattern lovers know, finding vintage patterns for $2 a piece is hard enough as it is, let alone two vintage Vogue’s!

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I decided to do a blend of views A and B. Adding the collar from view A to view B. And instead of adding the pencil skirt, I decided that it might be more fun to add a full skirt with gathers that start from the princess lines and radiate around, leaving the front smooth.

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As with many Vintage Vogue patterns, there is quite a bit of steps involved in putting together a piece. Luckily however it wasn’t too tough. I would say the hardest bit was adapting the collar from a detachable one, to a permanent one. The final collar however I am absolutely in love with! I love how glamorous it looks. And in the back it has a graceful curve that is swoonworthy (which is a word I just made up). It had quite a bit of hand stitching involved too. Including a technique that involved slashing the facing behind the bound buttonholes and hand stitching it back to allow the buttons to go in. In the photos I included a sash belt and a petticoat I made a while back. I think it almost took on a very early 1960’s look to it. The pattern was made in 1959, so I am totally okay with that.

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1950s | Blouses | Buttons

Cropped Hawthorn Blouse

By on November 10, 2014

PicMonkey Collage

An age and a half ago, I spontaneously bought some gorgeous vintage poly-cotton online without giving much thought to the fact that it was a very limited 1 yard long. Luckily, when One Week, One Pattern came along back in September, it inspired me to finally put my fabric to good use! Using this Coletterie tutorial, I just about managed to squeeze a cropped Hawthorn out of it.

Cropped Hawthorn Blouse

Sometimes it really pays off to be patient and hoard fabric for the ‘right’ make. In this case I think my fabric and pattern combination is a match made in heaven. I even found the perfect vintage buttons for it in my stash. Overall, I’m smitten with the 1950s vibe of this cropped blouse.

Cropped Hawthorn Blouse

Cropped Hawthorn Blouse

As always, more information and pictures available on my blog – A Stitching Odyssey.

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1960s | Buttons | Dresses

New Look 6000

By on May 5, 2014

Hello everyone, today I have to show you New Look 6000. I know this is a widely loved pattern by vintage enthusiasts because it has a great vintage flair, and I couldn’t agree with them more! I actually was surprised to see that the finished product fit me perfectly, knowing my previous experience with modern patterns. I used a bright purple gabardine. I would highly recommend this pattern to vintage and modern sewers. My only dilemma with the pattern was the collar. It is not supposed to, but it curls into itself. Also, my button pulls on the fabric beneath it. I’m not sure, but that might be a button placement problem.

My gorgeous art nouveau inspired button

 Thanks for looking!

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1940s | 1950s | 1960s | Accessories | Buttons

The Retro Cushion – A Tutorial

By on March 25, 2014
I’ve always loved the round retro cushion, but I just couldn’t justify the expense of buying one – cushions are serious investments these days! So, I decided to make one and show you guys just how easy it is to make your own as well!

You can find the full tutorial on my blog. The bulk of the cushion is hand-sewn, so it does take longer to make than your traditional square cushion cover, but the results are simply gorgeous (the centre grid on this cushion took me about 2-3 hours to hand sew one evening). It also gives you a chance to practice your hand sewing and it’s really quite forgiving if you’re a bit rusty.

While the cushion itself looks complicated, I’ve hopefully made the process much easier to understand and once you get the hang of it, it’s a little like knitting with it’s repetitive stitches which makes it great t.v sewing.

 

If you do give one of these a go, please let me know!! I’d love to see them.

xx

J

 

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Buttons

A Victorious Miette in Navy…

By on January 31, 2014

I know we’re  mostly supposed to just post about sewing here on We Sew Retro, but I have seen a few gorgeous knitting projects pop up from time to time and I’m so proud of the first knitted garment I’ve ever made, that I couldn’t help but post it here. While we’re only one month into 2014, I think it’s safe to say that my Navy Miette will probably be the garment I’ll be most proud of in 2014. It’s wearable, comfortable, warm, soft and, if you don’t mind me saying so, it’s DARN (yarn?) CUTE!

Navy Miette worn with my Christmas Anna Dress

My Miette is in no way perfect. There are places where I lost count, couldn’t remember what row I got up to or dropped stitches. There was even that time I knit my first sleeve on the wrong sized needle and I didn’t have the heart to frog it so knit my second sleeve on the wrong size as well so that they would at least match…um, yeah. I also probably should have knit up a size larger in the bust – it’s not a major issue fit wise, but the shaping around the bust stretches a little too much for my liking. I guess figuring out negative-ease comes with time.

The only major thing I changed was to add 30 extra rows to the sleeves to make them longer and therefore more winter appropriate. I found that if I stopped where the instructions told me too then the sleeves would have been a weird length on me – too short for bracelet length, but too long for short sleeves – and I probably wouldn’t have ended up wearing it.
I also opted to leave out the buttonholes in the pattern instructions. Instead, I hand-sewed on navy grosgrain ribbon to the back of each button band before doing them by machine. In hindsight, I’m not sure I’d do it this way again, but it works for this cardigan and I’m happy with how they turned out.
For more pictures and information about my Miette, you can pop over to my blog or Ravelry note page.
Do any of you knit as well?
xx
Jen

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