1940s | Mens | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Men’s Western Shirt 1949 (simplicity 3054)

By on May 2, 2012

I just finished sewing up this fun western shirt for my honey (the handsome model in the photo below) from Simplicity pattern 3054 from 1949.

I used dark brown & tan lightweight wool and a plethora of cream colored piping for this project. I also added pearl snaps instead of the buttons which were suggested for a more traditional western look.

the finished product!

I’m really satisfied with the result aside from a few tiny details that no one will ever notice except me.

back view

While sewing this up, I learned how to do these nifty arrowhead tacks on the pockets…aren’t they fun? Of course they are and guess what? They’re easy too! I referred to an awesome tutorial that I found on the Coletterie website ( http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/arrowhead-tack-tutorial ), which i love!

hand sewn arrowhead tacks & tricky welt pockets!

My honey loves the shirt & even wore it for a recent show with his band! ūüôā

Continue Reading


Attention Sewing Men. Women, Stop Reading.

By on April 29, 2012

Whenever I’ve gotten hold of a men’s pattern, I’ve just put it in a pile and ignored it (much like I treat other people’s children).

Generally there is not much of a market for men’s vintage patterns and any plans of sewing for my husband have melted into the ether when he has failed to show the appropriate amount of enthusiasm for the idea. (By “appropriate amount of enthusiasm” I mean “an almost incontinent level of excitement accompanied by a parade of elephants”)

Today, during a fruitful bout of studying-avoidance, I glanced over at that pile and said “No more. Something must be done.”

We’re lucky to have some seamsters (like¬†Kyle¬†and¬†Mainelydad) here at WeSewRetro but there’s always room for more, and in the spirit of encouraging more vintage sewing blokes, any manperson who wants these patterns can have one, some or all of them for zero dollars. Gratis. Free of charge.

Ladies, not you. Girl parts act as a disqualifier for this. But you can do your part to beef up vintage sewing’s collection of Y chromosomes by sharing this post with any male sewing types you know.

Click the thumbnail to zoom in for a better look.

The guy in the bottom left of Simplicity 6284 is just stone cold, isn’t he.

Note that there are two duplicates – Kwik Sew 1140 and the supremely Star Trek-y Simplicity 7889 – so if you want either of those you’ve got to tell me a size.

Let me know which ones you want by either emailing me or leaving a comment below. If the ones you want are still available, I’ll email you to get a mailing address and, bish bash bosh, they’ll be on their way.

Of course, nothing in life is¬†truly¬†free so while there are no strings attached, you can expect to feel an itchy, debilitating guilt*/lice infestation* (*delete as applicable depending on whether you have a conscience or not) if you don’t post one of the things you make from your pattern windfall.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated in this. All the patterns disappeared quickly and there are now no more left. It was such a success that I’m sure I’ll be doing it again soon, so subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out ūüôā

Continue Reading

1960s | Mens | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

The “Cocoa Beach Shirt” — my first post here

By on March 1, 2012


¬†Thanks to Katherine for inviting me to post here. ¬†I’m truly flattered, not to mention amazed that anyone pays attention to what happens on my silly little blog. ¬†I’m one of those guys who sews. ¬†The challenge and the sense of accomplishment that I get propels me from project to project. ¬†Plus I get the bonus of clothes that I really love to wear! ¬†

I totally fell in love with this pattern when I stumbled upon it. ¬†I believe it’s from Sassy Cotton on Etsy. ¬†It dates from 1964 and has some great details. ¬†The back pleats extend from the yoke to the hem where there’s a great button detail. ¬†There are also little button tabs on the short sleeves. ¬†Someone mentioned that this is a shirt that Ken would wear. ¬†That totally nails it!¬†


 The fabric is a cotton voile from Denver Fabrics.  It has a crisp, almost linen like feel to it.  I love the color way.  Olive green, orange, dijon yellow, slate blue, pale sage.  The blocky pattern really accentuates the boxiness of the design.  Now if it would only stop snowing and be summer!  

My blog can be found at Mainelydadswintercoat.blogspot.com  


Continue Reading

1950s | Coats | Introduction | Jackets | Mens | Modern Patterns | Pants / Trousers

Late 80’s/Early 90’s suit recraft

By on January 24, 2012

Hey everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself and share this suit recraft-project. I’ve only recently gotten into sewing/alterations and decided to dive in head first. This was my first real sewing project, but I think it came out great.

I inherited the suit from my great-uncle and decided that it would make an awesome Christmas present for my twin brother. The only problem was that the suit was cut for a much larger waist (I think it would have fit a 36-38″ waist rather comfortably) and the lapel styling was very late-80’s. I decided that a late 50’s mod fit was much more appealing and would lend a more modern look to the jacket.

In the end I completely reshaped the lapels, raised the notches, recut the collar (a little), shortened the sleeves, removed about 4″ from the jacket waist and 6″ from the trouser waist, repositioned the buttons/holes on the suit front, and slimed down the legs on the trousers. I also hemmed them a bit short (to a half-break) to cover a hole in the bottom of one leg.

I have a full write up on my blog including a step by step of what I did. Not bad for $3 worth of thread and a $25 thrift store sewing machine, is it?

Continue Reading

1800s | Coats | Mens

Ahoy! – Simplicity 7082

By on October 23, 2011

Ahoy indeed. I guess making an 18th century frock coat qualifies as an Uber We Sew Retro project.

As this coat is not for Halloween but for a real swashbuckling spectacle, I had to to a great deal of scheming to make it solid which I have talked about at length on my blog if you are interested in this sort of thing.

Note to the Editors : I love the new digs, keep up the good work! Thank you so much for taking over.


Continue Reading

1950s | Accessories | Mens

Sew 50s – My Tri-fold Bow Tie Is Finished

By on October 16, 2011

If you are like me, then you cannot ever throw a piece of textile away until you are totally, utterly, absolutely¬†sure you will never, ever, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die¬†find a use for it at some unknown future time and date.¬† I love re-using bits and bobs of discarded textiles¬†to make cushions, patchworks, toys, bags or gifts.¬† So when I found an interesting vintage 50s bow tie with an unusual tri-fold design giving an aysmmetric bow, it didn’t take me long to decide to unpick it, see how it was made & replicate it using a redundant silk neck tie.

The project is now finished & there are instructions and a diagram on my blog if you would like to have a go at making your own bow ties for the upcoming winter party season.  I am going to be making more of these & trying out different shapes for the bows, plus I have tracked down a haberdasher in London who stocks special bow tie hooks & eyes so will be ordering some of those as well.  Cheers all.

Continue Reading

1930s | Mens | Pants / Trousers

Flapper Fest – 1930s Repro clothing

By on November 17, 2010

My boyfriend and I had a prohibition era (1920-1933) themed party this past weekend and I wanted to share some pictures from the event and our outfits with you.

I made my skirt and blouse from an original early 1930s dress pattern that I adapted for separates, and I made Brian’s pants and vest. The pants are from the Evadress 1934 Men’s trousers pattern and the vest is from an original 1950s pattern that I have (I think it’s a 1952). Brian made his shirt from the 1920s Men’s shirt pattern. I also made my necklaces and had a perfect opportunity to sport my new Remix 1930s pumps.

There are lots more pictures of the hair, makeup, and the party itself on my blog.

Hope you’re all having a good week!


Continue Reading