1930s | 1940s | Modern Patterns | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

Smooth Sailing Trousers – My First Pair of Pants!

By on May 31, 2015

After going through a phase of sewing nothing but knit dresses and T-shirts, I’m back with a very vintage-style garment! This is my first pair of pants, made from the Smooth Sailing Trousers pattern from Wearing History. Since I became interested in vintage styles, I’ve always loved 30’s/40’s style wide-leg trousers, and this pattern was exactly what I was looking for! It’s hard to see because the fabric is black, but there are pleats at the front, darts at the back, a side zipper, and optional cuffs, belt loop and belt. I made the version without cuffs, but with the belt loops. I skipped the belt, though, because I have a couple black belts already!

I cut a size 12 for the muslin and graded to a 14 at the hips, but ended up sizing up for a little more ease at the waist. I tweaked the fit a little though by keeping the darts, pleats and crotch curve from the size 12. I also shortened the pieces by 2″.

I used a bamboo rayon (not sure what to call it exactly) with nice drape, but it ended up being really shifty and stretchy on the bias after I washed it – it was originally very crisp and linen-like. It probably wasn’t ideal for these pants, because they’ve really stretched out and need re-hemming (possibly some other alterations too…).

The pattern is very simple to construct, perfect for someone new to making pants. The hardest part was working with the fabric! If they hadn’t stretched out so much, I would have been very happy with how they turned out. Right now, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them, but I’ve made anther pair and I can definitely say that I love the pattern and the style!

For more photos and construction details, check out my blog! I also wrote a detailed review of the pattern as a guest post on Sew Sweetness, if you want to know more about the pattern itself!

Oh, and I also made the blouse I’m wearing in these photos. It’s the Sewaholic Pendrell, made from a muumuu that I bought at a thrift store! Thanks for reading!

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1950s | Modern Patterns | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Western Jeans (Butterick 5895 meets Advance 8341, c. 1957)

By on March 28, 2015

I’m a little bit obsessed with Butterick 5895 (Gertie’s pants) now that I’ve gotten the fit perfected – so I thought I’d try making a pair of western jeans (ranch pants) from the same pattern.

The inspiration was this pattern – Advance 8341, View 1 – Frontier Pants.

pants

I guessed what the pockets should look like from a pair of Freddies Jeans, and added them to the Butterick version (and lengthened the legs).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pockets turned out better than I hoped for! I’m specially proud of the button holes – my machine is 1950’s and it’s pretty hard to do a nice button hole.

The fabric is stretch denim, but it’s not super stretchy as it holds it’s shape really well.

There’s nothing I would change about these jeans – not one thing!

If you’re interested, I did a quick tutorial on my blog showing how to adjust your pants pattern to allow for a bigger booty or belly (and what the Butterick pattern looks like unmodified for curves).

Share the curvy love!

XXX

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1950s | Modern Patterns | Pants / Trousers

Everyone loves a Bad Girl (Butterick 5895)

By on March 23, 2015

I feel really late to the party sewing up Gertie’s Butterick 5895 – better late than never though!

I’d wanted a pair of 1950s fitted pants for ages, but wasnt sure a bigger gal like me could pull them off – I was so wrong!

With a few mods (full list on my blog) to make adjustments for a big booty and large calves, they fit perfectly.

I used a stretch cotton chino (had it for 10 years in my stash) and would recommend using a heavier weight stretch cotton so it won’t hug your bumps and lumps.

Verdict – perfection! I need these in ankle length, in demin, and in novelty prints! I can also see these pants being the basis for little shorts, and maybe even a playsuit.

Bigger girls – definitely add these to your sewing list! xxx

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1940s | Blouses | Modern Patterns | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 1590

By on February 16, 2015

So Simplicity 1590 is finally finished! I chose View A and it’s been on my sewing table for the past two weeks completely finished but without buttons. I’m in love with this adorable top and it’s exactly what I need more of in my wardrobe. I was really unsure how I would feel about the peplum but I really like the way it looks now that everything is put together.

I was short on fabric so I had to do the front facing in solid white. *pouts* I hate doing that on a piece I plan to wear that isn’t a muslin. But in the end it turned out alright!

I got my overlocker/serger back up and running, after much fussing and fighting, and was able to finish the inside seams of this blouse as well! I’m so pleased with how much more professional and finished it looks. In fact I’m kicking myself in the pants for not getting it back up and running sooner. Oh, how many garments could have been saved and worn longer!

I actually got over my fear of the buttonhole with this project. The pattern only calls for five, but I decided I didn’t like the open flap at the bottom front of the peplum, so I added a sixth button. I honestly don’t’ know why they scare me so much, but I think I was just afraid to mess them up. My machine has an automatic buttonhole feature and I’m so in love with how easy it is to whip them up!

My new headless helper Millie gets her debut with this blouse also! So, everyone meet Millie, as in Thoroughly Modern! I love that song, it’s one of my favorite dance tunes, so I thought it would be the perfect name for her! I honestly don’t know how I’ve manged to sew anything worth a darn before having her assistance. It’s amazing!

I noticed that the front hem is longer on one side than the other. But it’s minor and totally fixable I believe. I also have a button that is slightly lower than it should be and it is puckering. Again, totally fixable.

Lastly, some up close and personal pictures.

I’m very pleased with how this blouse turned out and I’m really looking forward to wearing it once the subzero weather we are currently experiencing here in Central Ohio decides to go back to wherever it came from.

This completes the first of my Vintage Sewing Pledge 2015 makes! It’s also going toward my Wardrobe Architect Challenge for 2015 for making a capsule wardrobe (which, I’m admittedly quite behind on as things have been a bit hectic at home). I’ll have to remedy that quickly and get caught up. Perhaps this weekend.

Thanks for following along with that long post! Check me out at www.shessewbettie.blogspot.com and follow along on Instagram @misskacysews!

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1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Modern Dress for Valentines Day

By on February 10, 2015
Vintage organza print with silk/linen blend underlining.
Vintage organza print with silk/linen blend underlining.

I love to sew vintage and nothing inspires me more than a fantastic, bold and beautiful print.  When I was visiting my favorite vintage fabric source, Upcycle Exchange in St. Louis, I came across this print that just screamed BUY ME!  It was an amazing vintage organza.  It was perfect and I decided it would make for the most perfect valentines day dress.  I knew exactly which pattern to use – the zip front day dress form Gertie Sews Vintage.  It has been a favorite patter as of late.  It has just the right flare to feel vintage but not so much that I feel like I am in a costume.  The collar is just lovely and I like the ease in just zipping it up and out you go!

The amazing floral print organza needed something underneath, so I decided to underline the dress with this amazing silk/linen blend I had in my stash.  It has been so long since I worked with linen and it really threw me on the cutting.  After some very slow cutting, I decided to use fusible tricot cut on the bias to re-enforce all of the edges.  Assembly was a bit slow too as I had to hand-baste all of the layers together on the bodice.  After some time in assembly, I put it on the dress form to hang.  Wow did that bias really stretch on the silk/linen!  I am super happy with the final result!

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Dresses | Modern Patterns

Red Poppy Dress

By on January 29, 2015

This is a dress I made as part of my travel wardrobe last summer! I love the red poppy print.
RedPoppyDress12
The bodice was made from a modern pattern (Simplicity 1803, from their “Project Runway” line), but I think the dress still has a very vintage feel. I got the fabric on a trip to France a couple years ago, and used it to make a dress in time for our next trip to France!

RedPoppyDress07
RedPoppyDress02

More pics of the dress, inside and out, on my blog here. 🙂

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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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