1940s | 1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Giveaway | Modern Patterns | Rompers / Playsuits | Swimwear / Sunwear

Butterick 6354 #RetroTikiCollab Project

By on August 11, 2016
Retro Tiki Collab Project

Wow, didn’t Abi from the Crafty Pinup do an amazing job on her Bustier to Skirt Pattern Hack Gertie’s 6354 Butterick pattern as part of the #RetroTikiCollab project.

I was also lucky enough to be apart of the #RetroTikiCollab project along with d Abi from The Crafty PinupChristina fromGussets and Godets  and Bianca from Vintage on Tap.

Retro Tiki Collab Project
I’m thrilled to be apart of this project with such talented seamstresses.

For my take on this pattern was to rock the original, by making the pattern as directed.

This was the first time I worked with boning so I was a little nervous but think it all turned out well.

Akram's Ideas : Retro Tiki Collab
I’m really surprised how good this came out.

For this project I used a cotton navy blue fabric with a golden tropical flower print on it. Not necessarily  very tiki, but I had just enough fabric and I need more blue in my wardrobe.

The entire pattern only took a day and a half to put together, so I was quite pleased with the simplicity of this project.

Akram's Ideas : Retro Tiki Collab
The shorts and bustier is great for hot days

I wasn’t sure how much wear I would get out of this pattern, but since I’ve made it I’ve worn it a couple of times. This outfit is great for hot days, especially ones we’ve had recently that have hit a 100+.

I’m really glad to be apart of this #RetroTikiCollab project and had a lot of fun making this project. Also, as part of this project I decided to host a fabric giveaway.

Akram's Ideas: Fabric Give Away
Deadline to enter is 11:59pm Thursday August 11, 2016

The deadline for the giveaway is tonight (Thursday August 11, 2016 at 11:59pm CST) , so there’s still time to enter.

To enter this giveaway and to read more about my process for making this dress check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/retro-tiki-collab-butterick-6354)



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Giveaway | Vintage Sewing

GIVEAWAY: Your Three Favorite Simplicity Vintage Patterns

By on June 20, 2016

First, congratulations to Kim who won our Mondrian giveaway last week. Be on the lookout for an email from me, Kim…

Everyone else, don’t fret if you didn’t win because your next chance to snag some gorgeous patterns starts right now….


This week we’re looking at the Simplicity Vintage range. I’ve picked out pictures of some of my personal favorites in these pictures but there are tons more on the Simplicity site….aprons, baby layettes, jackets, dresses, doll clothes and more.


It’s so awesome to see these often very hard to find (and single sized) vintage beauties reissued as multisize patterns that fit a wider range. Make sure you check out the full Vintage Simplicity range because this is a pick your prize giveaway – you decide what you get.


The winner will receive three patterns from Simplicity’s vintage range. As always on WeSewRetro, this giveaway is open worldwide – no matter where you live you are eligible to win.

To enter, simply pop over to the Vintage section of the Simplicity site and decide which 3 patterns you just have to have. Come back here and let me know in the comments and when you win, those three patterns will be your prize!

The lucky winner will be selected at random this weekend (June 26th) so don’t miss out – go make your picks! 🙂


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1960s | Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Limited Edition Mondrian Dress Pattern

By on June 14, 2016


After watching last night’s ‘Sewing the 1960s’ episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, we’re all about iconic Mondrian-inspired dresses. If you’re in the US, don’t fret – you can watch it on YouTube.

YSL dress

Back in 1966, Vogue Patterns released Vogue 1557 by Yves Saint Laurent (learn more about YSL’s Vogue Patterns over at the PatternVault blog) and as you can imagine it is insanely hard to find the original vintage pattern. Because of the licensing restrictions placed on patterns in the designer series, Vogue can’t just rerelease this classic design but what they can do is show you how to take one of their modern patterns and hack it into a Mondrian dress.

…which brings us to the new Vogue 1557 Limited Edition. It includes the pattern for a semi-fitted lined shift dress (Vogue 9048) with step-by-step instructions for how to use it to make a Mondrian dress – everything you need to make your own designer original.


The bad news is that the pattern is only being released in the United Kingdom…. (UK-based readers, you can purchase a copy here)

…But the good news is that our friends at McCall Pattern Co have snagged us a copy to giveaway and our giveaways are always open worldwide. US-based readers, this might be your only chance to grab a copy so make sure you enter!

To enter the giveaway, simply comment below – I’d like to know what colors you would use to make your Mondrian dress. That’s it – so simple!

The winner will be drawn at random this weekend (June 19th) and announced here on the blog.


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Giveaway | Vintage Sewing

10,000 Fan Giveaway!

By on April 21, 2016

WeSewRetro just blasted past 10,000 likes on our public facebook page so let’s celebrate our growing community with a giveaway!

Before I run through the details of how to enter, let’s have a look at the ridiculous amount of prizes you can claim. Buckle up…


‘Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook’ from Laurence King Publishing

Pre-order on Amazon | Visit Laurence King Publishing

Due to be released to the public later this month, this enormous tome of beautiful vintage garment photographs will provide you with hours of inspiration and browsing pleasure. Available for preorder on Amazon here, Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook is sure to become an indispensable reference for your vintage sewing.

(If you’re thinking the name Laurence King Publishing rings a bell, it’s because they’re the same people who translated the massively well reviewed Pattern Magic from the original Japanese.)



Custom Made Beach Pajamas from Time Machine

Visit Time Machine Vintage Reproduction Clothing on Facebook

Time Machine makes highly authentic reproduction clothing from the first half of the 20th century. Owner Kim (otherwise known as “the beach pajama lady”) has been involved in making things for television, movies, stage and museums.

Prize: Time Machine will work with you to design and make a bespoke set of Beach Pajamas especially tailored to fit you and your style.


Your Choice of 10 Digital Patterns/eBooks from Mrs Depew Vintage

Visit Mrs Depew Vintage

Mrs. Depew Vintage strives to be the Internet’s best source of historical sewing patterns, informational e-books, and helpful tutorials. With a little bit of everything for everyone who is interested in recapturing the beautiful art of handmade, Mrs Depew Vintage offers patterns for Men, Women, and Children in a range of sizes and eras.  You must check out Mrs Depew’s speciality: patterns and tutorials for hard-to-find historical lingerie!

Prize: Pick any ten digital patterns or eBooks from Mrs Depew Vintage.



Selection of Patterns from Indygo Junction

Visit Indygo Junction | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Indygo Junction offers sewing & craft patterns & books in both print & digital formats for purses, aprons, clothing, tech accessories, quilts, recycled projects, home décor, toys, yo-yo patterns, stuffed animals, kids clothing, holiday decorations, embroidery and more.

Prize: Four multisize patterns by Indygo Junction, including the Day to Night Dress, Chic Cowl Neck Shift, Trench Topper and Classic Coverall.



Paris Print Blouse from Monica J Veronica Designs

Visit Monica J Veronica Designs on Facebook | Instagram | Etsy

Monica J Veronica Designs strives to create timeless looks for stylish girls who don’t necessarily want to dress period perfect, but love to incorporate a vintage aesthetic into their own unique vibe.

Prize: this Paris print blouse from an original 1940s vintage pattern, featuring contrasting dotted under collar and cuffs.



Two 1961 Australian Home Journal Magazines from AllThePreciousThings

Visit AllThePreciousThings | Etsy
All The Precious Things stocks hard-to-find patterns and pattern drafting books, such as Enid Gilchrist and Lutterloh. Based in Australia, international buyers can pick up a real bargain at their main site thanks to the weak Aussie dollar right now!
Prize: two Australian Home Journal magazines from 1961, both of which have three factory folded sewing patterns included.



Fabric and Buttons from Beautiful Textiles

Visit Beautiful Textiles | Facebook

Beautiful Textiles carries fabulous high-end textiles and trims you won’t find anywhere else, many imported from France and Italy, at affordable prices.

Prize: 1 yard of 60” nude 4-way stretch knit with a lacy black velvet flocked design (NOT AT ALL SHEER) from France, and 2 vintage-repro textured rose buttons from Italy. We thought it might look adorable as a skirt as shown (shown with 2.5” black silk bias ribbon – not included), but the possibilities are endless!  We’d love to see what you make with it!



‘Vintage Notions’ by Amy Barickman

The story behind the book | Order on Amazon | Order direct from Amy | Facebook

Fans of Mary Brooks Picken will love this collection of needlework, cooking, sewing, and fashion from the 1920s.

Prize: Hardback edition of Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun


$75 to Spend at Empire Room Bridal

Visit Empire Room Bridal

Empire Room Bridal takes you on a journey back in time when you had your own milliner & dressmaker. With a passion for creating objects of beauty, each piece is individually handmade in our studio in Melbourne’s outer East. Time is spent time sourcing the finest quality new & vintage materials to realize the perfect statement piece for your special day.

Prize: a $75 coupon which you can use either for an item in the shop or towards a custom order specially for you.



Vintage Goodies from Retro Rosie’s Vintage

Visit Retro Rosie’s on Facebook | Etsy

Retro Rosie’s Vintage is the premier vintage clothing and lifestyle boutique in the southwest Florida area.  They carry clothing, accessories, and housewares from the turn of the century through the 1970s, specializing in items from the 1950s and 60s. Retro Rosie’s Vintage offer parts and supplies for those who, like ourselves, are DIYers – vintage sewing patterns, buttons, buckles, and zippers for the vintage seamstress, as well as books to show you how it’s done! If you can’t make it to the 3,000 + sq ft location in Bradenton, Florida, check out their Etsy shop at RetroRosiesVintage.

Prize: 5 vintage belt buckles, 3 pairs of vintage earrings, 1 vintage gold clutch, 1 small embroidered hand towel or doily, 5 assorted vintage trims, 3 vintage sewing patterns (Simplicity 4218, Simplicity 4553, Simplicity 1644), and 1 copy of “How to Make Dresses The Modern Singer Way” published 1927



$35 to Spend at MiAb Dry Goods

Visit MiAb Dry Goods on Etsy

Michelle’s Etsy shop operates on the idea that clothes should be made with love, and made to last. Michelle lives in Ann Arbor Michigan with her son, husband, fat beagle and little kitty.

Prize: $35 to spend at MiAb Dry Goods



Vintage Goodies + One Year of Free Pattern Downloads from Vintage Couture

Visit Vintage Couture
Vintage Couture offers free and low cost downloads of vintage patterns dated from 1860 through 1950.  Tutorials, classes, project challenges and posts related to all aspects of historic sewing are featured.
Prize: a 1940s publication on How to Tailor a Women’s Suit, a 1940s hardback book on Glove Making, a Bill Blass pattern (size 8) from the 1970s, and one year of free downloads of any of their version 2 through version 4 digital patterns. Digital pattern details can be found here.




Fabric and Buttons from Cotton Kitsune

Visit Cotton Kitsune on Facebook | Linked In
Cotton Kitsune offers classes/services in Textile dyeing & Upholstery. Do you have an ugly chair?  Cotton Kitsune can make it beautiful again or, even better, teach you how to!  Learn to sew interior design fabrications, pillows, window treatments & slipcovers!
Prize:  two 41″long x 44″ wide pieces of vintage cotton fabric and 7 red vintage buttons – enough for an adorable blouse!




Your Choice of Oven Mitt from Nerdy Novelty Designs

Visit Nerdy Novelty Design on Etsy

Prize: Oven mitt of your choice from the selection at NerdyNoveltyDesign on Etsy



$25 to Spend at The Granny Squared

Visit TheGrannySquared

Prize: $25 to spend at TheGrannySquared on Etsy.



Dry Shampoo from Peechy Keen Sew

Visit PeachyKeenSew on Etsy | Facebook | Instagram

Sarah of PeachyKeenSew has been a long time historic reenactor and when she started to attend WWII events she saw a huge need for women’s items. Her shop offers WWII era period reproduction sewn and crocheted clothing and accessories from original patterns. PeachyKeenSew also has two revolutionary hair tools to assist in making Victory rolls and Gibson rolls.

Prize: a bottle of dry shampoo from a vintage recipe to freshen and absorb dirt and oils in the hair without leaving a chalky residue.



$15 to Spend at Serendipity Vintage

Visit Serendipity Vintage

Serendipity Vintage specializes in original out-of-print and discontinued vintage, retro, and costume sewing patterns from the 1930s to the present. We also carry vintage embroidery transfers, crochet and knitting books, sewing books, and more!

Prize: $15 to spend at Serendipity Vintage



$25 to Spend at Pattern Treasure Chest

Visit Pattern Treasure Chest

Prize: $25 to spend at Pattern Treasure Chest



$15 to Spend at Batiste and French Lace

Visit Batiste and French Lace on Etsy

Batiste and French Lace carries a collection of beautiful handmade and vintage items with boutique styling and Retro, Vintage, Heirloom or Historic allure.

Prize: $15 to spend at Batiste and French Lace on Etsy



$10 to Spend at Eleanor Meriweather

Visit Eleanor Meriweather on Etsy

Prize: $10 to spend at Eleanor Meriweather

How Do I Enter to Win?

Super easy – just leave us a comment here on this post making a note of your top three prize picks. We will have as many randomly drawn winners as there are prizes and will do our best to match you up with your top choice if it hasn’t already been taken.

Want extra entries? Like and share our facebook post about the giveaway and we’ll count each one as an additional entry.

As always on WeSewRetro, our giveaways are open to all no matter where you live. We’re a proudly international community and will find a way to get your prize to you no matter where you are.

The giveaway will close on Thursday, April 28th (Eastern time) when the winners will be drawn randomly.


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1920s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Giveaway | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1920s Silk Blouse and Pleated Skirt

By on March 11, 2016
1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

After admiring everyone else’s achievements last year for A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Pledge I decided that this year I was going to join in. My own pledge was to challenge and push myself with my sewing. I’ve just finished my first outfit for the pledge, a 1920s silk blouse and pleated skirt. I created the pattern for the blouse by tracing around a simple silk top I already had and then making my own adjustments. The pattern for the skirt was McCall’s M7022 pleated skirt which I lengthened to a more suitable 1920s style.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

I used a beautiful Pre-Raphaelite inspired green and purple floral silk for the blouse which I bought from the fabulous ClothSpot and this was my first challenge. I’d never worked with silk before so was really, really nervous about starting it and I put it off for about four months. The Vintage Pledge was just what I needed to force myself to be brave and just get on with it. As it turned out there was nothing to worry about!

Pre-Raphaelite inspired silk fabric

I added vintage, probably early 20th Century, jet buttons to both the front of the blouse and at the side to close the band around the bottom.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

The skirt is in a black cotton twill that I dug out from my stash. I’m not overly happy with it, mainly because the fabric is all wrong for the style of skirt, it’s way too stiff. I’m not sure if I’ll try and adjust it or just make a different one.

If you would like to read more about how the whole outfit and see more photos feel free to pop over to my blog. And while you’re there why not check out my latest post where I’m running a giveaway of £40 to spend on fabrics at ClothSpot. (Giveaway ends midnight 20th March 2016)

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GIVEAWAY: Simplicity 1061 by Sew Chic for Simplicity

By on July 1, 2015


It’s been a good long while since we hosted a giveaway but when I heard about the new Simplicity pattern by Laura from Sew Chic Pattern Company I knew you guys would love it!

Laura is a hugely talented designer  of vintage inspired originals (see some of her amazing Sew Chic patterns right here in the WeSewRetro shop) and you are going to love her flirty new pattern, Simplicity 1061 which hits all the usual Simplicity-stocking retail outlets on June 12th.

But why wait? Throw your hat in the ring by leaving a comment on this post and you could win a copy of Simplicity 1061 for your very own. Just tell me what fabric would you pick for this dress/jacket combo? Polka dots? Gingham? Floral? Avengers? Something else? The winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, July 8th. As always on WeSewRetro, the giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where in the world you live. 

Would you like an additional chance to win? Heck yes you would. Laura is hosting a sewalong for the new pattern and will be picking an additional winner from amongst the sewalong signups. Head over here to sign up for the sewalong – I’m signing up myself as soon as I finish writing this post! Don’t miss out on her wealth of knowledge.

Here’s the nitty gritty from the back of the envelope, because I do love a line drawing when planning things out in my head. You can scope out the details on the Simplicity site too.


Good luck!

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Accessories | Giveaway | Vintage Sewing

A Tutorial ~ DIY Vintage Hair Tie

By on May 2, 2015

Remember the vintage styled hair tie I debuted in this outfit post?  Today I want to show you how to make your own version of this cute hair accessory! This tutorial is great if you have a hankering to try sewing, and would like a simple, easy project to begin with.

If you already have sewing skills, you can just download the free pattern for The Vintage Bow Hair Tie and jump right in!  {Note: You still might want to skip down to the end for the giveaway however!   ♡~ (^ ε ^) }


Materials you will need:

  • Fabric:  92cm (36.5”) x 12cm (4.75”)  or  46cm (18.5”) x 24cm (9.5”)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Needle for hand sewing
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Vintage Bow Hair Tie Pattern
  • Pins

Vintage Bow Hair Tie Pattern:  Download here


How to make your own Vintage Hair Tie:


Step One:  Print out Vintage Bow Hair Tie Pattern twice, and cut out pattern pieces. There should be four in all.


Step Two:  Join pattern pieces together as indicated.  The broken line tabs should go under the un-broken line tabs.  The last piece of the pattern, the rounded tip piece will have to be upside down to sit correctly.  The pattern should end up looking like a very long canoe!


Step Three:  Fold your fabric over and place pattern on top.


Step Four:  Slide any excess fabric back under so that the raw edge of the fabric is under the bottom edge of the pattern, and the fold of the fabric under the top edge of the pattern. This way, when you cut the fabric, there will be very little waste.


Step Five:  Cut fabric.

(Option): If you have the smaller width of fabric you can ‘piece’ this pattern together by cutting HALF of the pattern TWICE as shown above.


You should end up with a piece like the one on top if you cut the whole pattern, or two pieces like the ones on the bottom if you cut half of the pattern twice.


Step Six (Option for pieced pattern):  If you have pieced the pattern, put the right side {the bright side of the print} of the fabric together and pin.


Step Seven (Option for pieced pattern):  Sew along the straight edge to join the two pieces of fabric together.  Allow 1/4” to 1/2’’” for the seam allowance.


Step Eight:  Fold the fabric in half ~ right sides together.



Step Nine:  Starting at one end, allowing 1/2” for the seam allowance, sew along the outside edge of the fabric.  (Option):  You can sew this seam by machine, or by hand.


Step Ten:  Leave a 1 1/2” gap at the opposite end to pull the fabric through the right way.


Step Eleven:  Pull the fabric from the inside of the tube, turning it the right way out.


Step Twelve:  Press flat with an iron.


Step Thirteen:  Tuck the raw edge of the gap in and press.


Step Fourteen:  Thread needle, and sew up gap. Start off by passing the needle from inside the fabric tube to the outside, so that the knot end stays hidden inside. You can use the “Stitch in the Ditch” technique to hide your hand sewing, as explained below.


The idea behind the “Stitch in the Ditch” technique is to hide your stitches inside the seam, such that you cannot see the stitches once you have finished.  To stitch in the ditch, you pass the needle through the fabric that is tucked INSIDE the gap, and repeat a little further along on the opposite side.  Continue up the sides until the gap is ‘bridged’ by the rows of stitches.


The hand sewing sits below the crease made by pressing the raw edges in, and when you pull it tight, it closes the gap and hides the stitches.  Knot your work, and pass the needle down into the seam and out through the fabric. Pull the thread taunt when you snip, and the tail of the thread will pull back and disappear into the inside of your fabric tube.  Invisible stitches!


Step Fifteen:  Enjoy your new vintage-inspired hair tie!  A fabulous accessory for those ‘around the house’ days to keep your hair out of your face, or when you are fancied up for day out in your favourite dress.  Make a new one every time you sew up a project and you can have co-ordinated hair and wardrobe!

༺ ♡ ༻

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making your own vintage hair tie. If you have any questions about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll do my best to help out.

As always, I’d love to see your creations so please do let me know about them ~ you can share by leaving a comment or link to a blog post, tweet a picture @bjvear or share on Instagram by mentioning @missbjvear, or hashtag #DIYLavenderandTwill so I can take a peek!


༺ ♡ ༻

Now for the exciting part:


If you’d like the chance to win this sweet floral print hair tie, check out my blog Lavender & Twill for more details!




༺ ♡ ༻

Find me:

Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

All patterns and instructions copyright to BJVear Studio. Available for personal use only, no commercial rights allowed.

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