1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

“Can’t Hardly Kate” Inspired Dress

By on November 20, 2012

Hi this is my first post on We Sew Retro and I am very excited to begin sharing my sewing creations. I am one of the Brentwood sisters and love making vintage inspired dresses. I found this dress on Mod Cloth, but really wanted it in red. So, I used two patterns (Butterick 5209 for the skirt and McCall’s 9279 View C for the bodice ) to create a similar look. To find out more about the dress and patterns here’s a link to the original post.

 Always,

Vivian

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1940s | Dresses | Introduction | Sewing Machines

DuBarry 2205B

By on September 30, 2012

Hello everyone! I’m new here. I’ve been a “stalker” for a few weeks now, truly enjoying all of your creations and somewhat envious of your talent! Here is my first project I plan on making. It’s a pattern I won on Ebay, with the backdrop of my Grandmother’s 1947 Domestic sewing machine. I plan on starting this soon, and because I won’t be quite thin enough yet to wear it when it’s finished, I’ll probably use my 18 year old daughter as a model (and hopefully inspire her to sew retro too!…that’s her crocheting in my profile picture). I’m so excited to get started!

 

WWII era dress pattern
Du Barry pattern #2205B

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1950s | Introduction | Skirts

A hello and four circle skirts

By on July 11, 2012

 

 

Hello!  I’ve been reading We Sew Retro on and off for a while and it only finally occurred to me today that this would be the perfect place to share all of the sewing that I’ve been doing, as my fiancee is getting a bit sick of hearing me carry on about it!

Some introduction… I first got into vintage clothing after buying my first petticoat last fall, and then my mother gave me my very own sewing machine for Christmas!  Which naturally led to all sorts of pattern hunting and vintage sewing pattern sewing, but to keep things in order, it started with circle skirts.

After doing a little math, I made my first circle skirt out of synthetic red felt.  This, in theory, was my wearable muslin, since it was the cheapest thing to make a skirt out of.  I cut it in two pieces and put the zipper and buttons at the side.  Since I wasn’t thinking enough about the buttons (and didn’t make an overlap for buttonholes) I ended up attaching elastic loops to the opposite edge to close.

 

 

 

Skirt the second was made out of a lovely black or very dark navy cotton with a blue-ish all-over flower pattern.  Since I was using smaller fabric, I cut this one in four pieces and moved the zip and buttons to the center back.  I was a little overzealous with the waist measurement… although it buttons, it does gape quite a bit at the back.  I think I’ve lost a little weight (or a few inches) since I made it, as it closes much more completely now.  I made a wide waistband for this skirt like I did for the red one, but forgot to account for it being cotton instead of felt, and did not interface it.  Oops.

For skirts three and four I cut the fabric in three pieces (1 half circle and 2 quarters) to eliminate the center front seam.  I also interfaced the waistband, which made a huge difference.  For the yellow one I extended the waistband and made buttonholes for the four buttons I used as a closure.  For the purple skirt, I forgot about buttons entirely and just sewed the zipper all the way through the waistband.  I may add buttons to be decorative later… I’m not sure.  The purple skirt is a bit odd, because it’s made of the same fabric (one would think) as the blue one, but after pre-washing the fabric came out quite sheer and has much less body than the blue.

I’ve since started stalking the local antiques mall for sewing patterns in my size and picked up several.  Further posts with more interesting garments to come once I extract myself from reading the back archives.

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1950s | Introduction

Simplicity 3875

By on July 4, 2012

Hi! I have finally gotten the courage to post here, let me know if I am doing anything wrong! I would like to share one of my latest experiments: Simplicity 3875. I made it from some fabric I found online, the print was probably originally intended to be used for aprons. The piece was 1.75 yards x 35 inches wide. The yardage requirement was around 3 yards so I had to make a few adjustments.

I gathered a rectangle for the skirt from what was left over from cutting out the bodice pieces. I made the straps narrower, shortened the bodice (I am very short AND very shortwaisted, and tube-like). Somewhere down the line I decided to make it a halter dress.

The belt is from my closet, I was considering cutting a bit of the green from the hem to make a belt. Or maybe finding some matching navy and making a belt, what do you think would look good?

 

More pictures here

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Introduction

Intro – Long time reader, new poster

By on April 4, 2012

I’ve been reading the sew retro blog for a little while now…and thought as I’m sewing my first ever vintage pattern I should take the plunge and sign up.

I love reading everyone’s posts and getting inspiration from the dresses etc. that are posted. I hope my future posts will be as interesting and useful.

I have a blog… well actually I have two but ones dance related…(if you are interested there’s a link to that one on my sewing and craft blog).

I’ve always been ‘retro’ without actually realizing it…its only recently I’ve made a concerted effort to sew my own garments after taking part in a sew along boosted my confidence that I might actually be able to do it. Since my first dress, I’ve sewn 1 blouse, one shirt, 1 skirt..I have quite a few projects vintage inspired of course that I hope to share in the future.

EDIT

As Jessamyn asked this is the vintage pattern I’m sewing.

Style 2516

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Dresses | Introduction

Pattern Suggestions

By on March 31, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I’m a long time reader and want to thank you all for posting your amazing creations. They have been a major inspiration in my sewing adventures.  I have been sewing for about a year and now think I’m finally get the hang of the basics.

I hate for my first post to be a question and will post about a few of the dresses I have made next, but I saw the most amazing dress from Dangerfield

 

Problem is that it doesn’t come in my size, so I’m hoping to make a copy for myself.

I found l butterick B5603

 

 

But this was a close as I came, and it’s mostly just the waist and lower bust that are the same. Does anyone know of a pattern or two I can use to recreate this lovely 40’s ish dress?

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1970s | Bags / Purses | Introduction

From jacket with a past to bag with a future

By on March 28, 2012

Hi, I have been lurking here a while and this is my first post. I have become interested in sewing from vintage patterns after a couple decades of not sewing very much. Inspired by all the talent I’ve seen on We Sew Retro, I recently took a short dressmaking class.

Since I haven’t made much progress on my class project (a dress from a 1970s pattern), I wanted to tackle something quick and easy to feel a sense of accomplishment. I made a bag using Simplicity pattern 9553 from 1971 and fabric from a well-worn jacket made in India in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Bag from Simplicity 9553

Sabina of India vintage jacket

Made of hand-block printed and hand-loomed cotton, the jacket was originally sold at the upscale department store Bergdorf Goodman in New York. I bought it at a local thrift shop.

Simplicity pattern 9553

I made a few changes to the pattern and now this is my dream bag — the perfect size, shape, and color.

Although I know this period is later than what I mostly see on this site and my project was very basic, I thought readers who appreciate vintage clothes might enjoy the story of how my bag led me to meet the grand-daughter of the jacket’s original owner. Read more on my blog, Joyatri.

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