1950s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Butterick 8038 (and also a mini-introduction!)

By on August 7, 2016

OK, so I’m always waaaay behind trends, and We Sew Retro is case in point!  How did I not know about this blog before last week?  I’ll never know…. but I’m so glad I finally did!

I’m Lily and I’ve been blogging over at Mode de Lis for almost 3 years now and I’m so excited to get in touch with some more vintage seamstresses! 🙂  Last week I shared one of my recent projects: a dress made from hand-printed Indian cotton using vintage Butterick 8083….

More details (including my love for indulging in obsessive pattern matching) over at my blog, Mode de Lis!

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1950s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Simplicity 8085

By on June 15, 2016

W00 hoo! Finally getting brave enough to post on the main We Sew Retro blog! Been a huge fan of everyone’s projects on this blog for a long time and wanted to share my most recent make.

I’ve been sewing for about 15 years and originally went to school for textile and fabric design. I am obsessed with using colorful prints!

I made this dress a week and a half ago and have all ready worn it a bunch of times- I’m all ready thinking I should make another version in a linen fabric.

 

Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085

Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085

I was really apprehensive about only having snap closures… so I added at least 3 more than the amount the pattern dictated!

Also, I put in my bias binding detailing a little bit differently than what the original pattern called for. I talk about that a little bit in the video I made for it.

 More details, additional pictures, and video can be found over on my blog.

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1950s | Dresses | Introduction | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

Roses Dress

By on December 27, 2014

Hi everyone! My name is Eleanor and this is my first post on WeSewRetro. I am Dutch but currently living in sunny South Africa. I have been sewing for a couple of years now and love wearing and sewing clothes with a vintage feel.

This dress is one of my favourite recent makes. The bodice is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, the Sultry Sheath Dress. I combined it with a half circle skirt.

2014-12-19 09.24.35

I made this for no particular reason but then an opportunity to wear it presented itself when I went with my husband for a work dinner. I say that like I was dressed appropriately, but I was terribly overdressed as everyone else was in jeans. Didn’t stop me though, I love wearing this dress!2014-12-19 09.25.12

For more pictures and a review check out my blog.

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1960s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Marian Martin 9388

By on May 17, 2014

Hello, I’m Mel from New Zealand!

It’s winter in my neck of the woods, so for my first post let me introduce Marian Martin 9388 – made in a gorgeous authentically vintage dusty pink wool crepe.



I purchased the fabric on TradeMe (the New Zealand equivalent of eBay). The woman selling it was cleaning out her stash, and this was from her Nana’s stash! (Queue school-girl scream). The only bad thing about the fabric is that it was quite moth-eaten in places. I managed to get the dress cut out, but I had to cut the pieces out in a single layer to avoid the damaged areas. It took for-ev-er. Totally worth it, though. I pre-treated the fabric using the Washing and Drying method, with no felting issues.
 
 
Vintage fabric of this quality deserved to be made into something equally delicious and vintage…. enter Marian Martin 9388. I purchased this pattern on eBay a few months ago. It was easy to put together, but I had to alter the fit quite a bit. The pattern is a size 14 1/2 and the measurements of this size match mine, almost perfectly. Once put together it was fine around the bust, but I had to take it in at the waist at least two sizes. I used an invisible zipper, as I prefer the finish of an invisible zipper.
 
I am in love with this dress. I’ll be wearing it to the office on Monday!

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1940s | Dresses | Introduction | Mail Order Patterns

Marian Martin 9154, WIP

By on April 19, 2014
pattern envelope picture
Mailing envelope says "Marian Martin"

Hi, everybody! I really enjoy reading this blog and figured I’d better start contributing.

So, here ya go!

I love this style of dress and wanted to make it up even though it is three sizes too small for me based on bust-as-high-bust measurement.
I used the Threads article on slash and spread pattern grading.
My first muslin (bodice only) was plagued with large ripples on the back.

front of dress
So the second muslin – the full version in yellow flowers shown here – I assembled out of order from the pattern instructions, leaving the shoulders last.
Yes, it was a pain, yes it was worth it.
I adjusted the dress to accommodate my lopsided shoulders, then stitched it together.

I took horrifying shortcuts on this, doing nearly everything on the machine.
The material, a thin, unlabeled synthetic from Walmart was not too bad to work with, but the double fold bias tape would have been better single fold.

Back of the dress, showing the V neck
No wonky ripples!

Because my waist is one size larger than my bust (I’m 1/3 of the way done with my weight loss), the dress does not overlap as much as it ought, so there’s a pin at the V keeping my bra band out of sight. I’ve also pinned the back as I don’t have two buttons on hand at the moment.
So I can’t say it is done, but I can say it has a lot of promise.

I like the set in belt, which defines my waist a bit. I like the scallop details – even the pockets, which I might modify to protrude a little less next time. I even like the yellow flowered print, something I was very unsure about to begin with.

standing with hands in pocketsThe pockets are very high up on the skirt. Awkward to get my hands in there. Are they supposed to be that high?
When I graded the skirt, I added length through the middle of the pocket as well as the skirt. I may move that grading line to above the pocket altogether for my next try at this pattern.

A lot more of my ramblings about this project, and pics of the wonky ripples, are available in a post on my blog, Waltzing Sieves. You can also read there about my plans for a vintage-flavored wardrobe as a treat for when I’m skinny again.

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1960s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

1960s Simplicity dress (and intro!)

By on April 18, 2014

Simplicity 5237

Hi everyone! My name is Dilly, and I blog over at Dibulous. I love vintage and retro style, my favourite era being late 1940s to early 1960s. Despite having a vast collection of vintage patterns, since moving from London to Switzerland a few years ago my style has become a bit more conservative and I actually sew mostly modern patterns. However, I’m trying to move back to the clothes that I love, so signed up to the Vintage Pattern Pledge, to encourage me to sew up some of my cherished patterns.

This is the first of the vintage patterns I’ve completed, an early 60s Simplicity dress. It’s actually a half-size (petite) pattern, but after “unpetiting” and my regular changes to the back it fitted perfectly! I need to look out more of these…

Simplicity 5237 pattern envelopeDetails about the pattern alterations and construction can be found on my blog, along with lots more photos.

Simplicity 5237 back

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1930s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Hello, and a 1930s Wedding Dress

By on

Hello all,

The usual – long time lurker etc. I’ve been sewing for at least two thirds of my life and am a part-time seamstress for hire. I also work in the theatre industry as a Stage Manager and Props builder. I’ve recently been making things from my vintage pattern stock, some of which are posted on my blog, and others which will be soon!

I thought for my first post, I’d share a project that I completed in the fall for a good friend’s wedding. Since I’ve been on contract for the past few months, I’ve just recently been able to add it to my site. I’ve been getting into 1930s styles, and the bride is a long time fan of the era, so it was a perfect fit that we design her dress accordingly. As a prelude, I don’t normally do wedding dresses. I feel that there is a large pool out there and I’m only interested if it’s a special, personalized gown. My previous versions have included a light green dress, and a Sleepy Hollow themed wedding party.

I did lots of research on 30s gowns, and working with fabric on the bias. Here’s the finished gown on the bride – in the end, I could not get it onto my dress form as there were no fastenings. The bodice is entirely cut on the bias and fits her like a glove (a glove that fits obviously…).

Late afternoon light on a lovely lady.
Action shot.
Princess seams, a beaming Groom and a fairy flower girl.

The pattern was self drafted. Pearl beads accent the front and back neckline.

Bodice beading and a custom veil too!

A train was attached with pearl beads also, which was removed for the reception (for dancing and sitting comfortably).

The back View without the train.

For more pics and nerdy sewing details, see the full post here.

More fun projects to come!

~ Heather

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