1940s | Dresses

A 40s wool dress with sunray-darts

By on February 24, 2017

While spring is already knocking at the door, I had the idea to sew a wintery wool dress. This pattern is included in a booklet with fabric-saving-pattens from 1944. It features a very slim skirt, slightly puffed sleeves and sunray darts around the neck.

I used a pure wool fabric in dark green for the dress and a black wool fabric for the contrasting belt and  bow. Unfortunately I was a bit over-ambitious and sized the pattern down too much, now it fits a little tight and has sleeves that are a little on the short side. But I do love it and am very happy with the result.

Here is a the original pattern drawing:

More photos and details I included on my blog parvasedapta.ch

Greetings from Switzerland,

ette

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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 1459 – Vintage 1950s Shirt Dress

By on February 18, 2017

Hi pinups! This dress is the perfect vintage Valentine’s Day dress, which I’ll certainly be rocking well into the Summer. I’ve been keeping an eye on this vintage 1950s Simplicity 1459 pattern for a while as I’m a sucker for a shirt dress, especially a vintage one! So in collaboration with online haberdashery Weaver Dee it felt like the perfect time to try it, paired with a classic floral cotton for a true retro vibe.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 1459 – Weaver Dee

Fabric: Poly Cotton Fabric – Navy / Pink Rose Garden – £3.00 per m – Weaver Dee

Notions: Medium Weight Iron on  Interfacing & 22″ & Concealed Nylon Zip [817 Cerise Pink] – Weaver Dee

Sewing time: I spent two afternoons on this.

Modifications: Added 3 buttons instead of 2, and I used a concealed zip instead of a lapped zipper

Fit: Perfect! I know, I’m surprised too.

Difficulty: Straightforward. I was pleasantly surprised at how simply this came together (ignoring my stupid mistake!). I’d also recommend this for adventurous beginners.

Watch out for: Don’t forget to sew the collar points properly like me!

Make again?: Yes!

 

 

For my full review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1950’s Cocktail Dress Revival

By on February 15, 2017

I hit a sewing bump 2 months ago. I lost all motivation to keep sewing. I stopped even trying to find a project to inspire me and then last week as I was cleaning out my closet I stumbled upon this 1950’s cocktail dress that I bought to fix up over a year ago. My fears of fixing it had sent it to the back of my closet where it had been forgotten.

It was riddled with holes. I started picking it apart piece by piece. This also allowed me to create a pattern out of the dress for future creations!

I created a lace overlay for all of the pieces, basted it on and then re-assembled the whole dress.

Once it was re-assembled I found I had created my dream cocktail dress out of what was once something I had at the bottom of the repair pile.

You can read more about this save over on my blog. In the meantime, I will be busy tackling that repair pile in hopes of finding another gem!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blue Jacquard 1950’s Dress

By on February 6, 2017

I imagine many people here on We Sew Retro are big fans of Gretchen Hirsche’s wonderful fabric designs for Fabric Traditions available at Joanns, and I have seen so many lovely things made from her fabrics around the community! I recently picked up a few yards of the blue jacquard from one of Gertie’s fall fabric collections in the red tag area of Joanns (always check out the red tag area, is it usually full of dated sad decorator fabrics? Well, yes. Are there occasional hidden gems? Also yes!). I decided the shining sapphire blue jacquard would make a perfect 1950’s style wiggle dress and got started right away!

It was really important for this dress to make sure the raw edges of each seam were finished in some way since I knew I didn’t want to bother with a lining. Also with most jacquards and brocades I like to finish the edges no matter what as they seem to looove to fray apart the moment they are cut! So the first thing I did after cutting out this dress was overlock all of the edges with my serger. The bodice is a simple “kimono” sleeve style which is super simple to make up (just 6 darts total and the side seams) as you don’t have to fiddle with setting in proper sleeves as they are cut into the design. I totally recommend this style of bodice for those who have trouble with sleeves! The neckline was finished with a self fabric facing that I tacked down with tiny thread tacks to help it stay smooth. With a center back zipper and hand sewn hem finished, it was ready to wear! Too bad I didn’t make this number in time for New Years Eve as it would make a perfect holiday party dress! Next year perhaps 🙂

For more photos visit the full outfit post over on The Closet Historian!

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1960s | Coats | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Les Fleurs Swing Dress (Simplicity 6820, 1966)

By on January 31, 2017

I posted my leopard print version of this pattern last week and today I’m back with a dark floral variation–specifically the gorgeous Les Fleurs in navy from Cotton and Steel’s collab with Rifle Paper Company. I lovvvve this fabric, and I wanted to use it with few seam lines, so Simplicity 6820 seemed perfect. I’m wearing it with my pink bow coat made last year from Simplicity reprint 1197–a perfect match!

See more on my blog here!

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