1950s | 1970s | Culottes / Pantskirts | Dresses | Introduction | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Drafting | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

New to me patterns!

By on January 11, 2014

 

Hello All,

I’m new to WeSewRetro and relatively new to sewing. I thought I’d share some of the patterns I plan on making in the next few months.

There are 2 Butterick patterns and I know at least one of them is a familiar face to all of you. There are also 3 1970s Simplicity patterns. I was extremely excited to find them at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store, uncut and in pristine condition for a whopping $0.58 USD for all 3 together.

I know from reading about other’s experiences on the B4790 Walk-away dress that I’ll have to do some tailoring because it is the re-release pattern and not the original which apparently has caused some fit issues. I also know that I will probably need to grade the Simplicity 9147 from 1979 up a size, but the pattern may have enough ease where that won’t be necessary.

Have any of you sewn these patterns? Any tips for the beginner? Any suggestions for which comes first?
2 Butterick, 3 Simplicity

I apologize for the image quality, my camera has recently taken a nose-dive and I had to resort to sharing via the camera on my cellular.

 

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1960s | Dress Forms | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Mod Late 1960’s Dress For My Skinny Sister

By on December 23, 2013
Simplicity 7072 front

 

For my sister’s birthday, I decided to make her a dress. Since she’s tiny, I jumped at the chance to bust out some of my smaller sized patterns (I covet size 18’s for myself) with a mod 1960’s silhouette. We decided on Simplicity 7072, which is a simple A line shift with French darts and a round neckline. Interestingly, my sister has an amazing vintage shift from the late 1960’s in an almost identical style. The fabric is even similar, although I used a quilting cotton, and the original is in a weird heavy woven. It’s almost like a lightweight upholstery fabric, but with a soft handfeel. Also, once I got the original on the dress form, I noticed that the pattern design is not centered. It was obviously hand made by a pretty good seamstress. While the pattern fit pretty well as drafted, I still had to do some pattern adjustments. These included taking it in a half inch all the way around, lowering the neckline a bit, and moving the shoulder in a bit. I omitted the facings and made a coordinating bias tape in espresso bean brown to finish the edge, which I did with an invisible stitch. I think it turned out really well. I hope it fits her! I barely got it to fit on my dress form. You can see the shadow on the skirt where I had to stretch it over the form. What would the world be without adjustable dress forms! Enjoy!

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1940s | 1950s | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Sorry, But I Have a Question

By on October 15, 2013

I have just recently started sewing vintage again and unfortunately I am a bigger girl so all patterns are going to need to be graded up.  Now I know how to do the slash and spread method, however they only tell you how to spread it from left to right.  I don’t quite understand how to do the measurements to add length.  How many inches or quarter inches or whatever do you need to add per size.  I have looked at a dozen tutorials and no one gives you solid numbers.  Thanks for your attention.

Andrea S.

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

The dress that nearly wasn’t

By on July 27, 2013

spotty rose dressI’m on a roll with summer sewing, spurred on by the amazing heatwave we are experiencing in the UK. These style dresses are so easy to whip up, especially now that I’ve mastered the fitting on a princess seam bodice. This is the 4th dress I’ve made using this bodice pattern but the only one that I would say fits properly.

spotty rose dress

I’ve only just got used to wearing full skirts but I love the 1950s vibe this style has. And its great for accessorising with a pair of crazy, pink, furry, leopard-print shoes!

spotty rose dress on the step

It nearly wasn’t a real dress as I didn’t like the fabric. I only intended it to be a toile before I cut my special fabric. But when I saw how it looked I decided it was for keeps after all!

More details and photos over at ooobop!

 

 

 

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1950s | Children | Dresses | Pattern Sizing

Enlarging infant pattern Simplicity 1443

By on July 5, 2013

Simplicity 1443 UNCUT Vintage 50s Adorable Baby Infant Layette Sewing Pattern with Embroidery Transfer One Size

I’ve posted an infant dress from view 2 of this pattern.  I like it enough I decided to make it bigger.  My first try at making it a size two was so big that with the hem let down it fit a size 6.  I did a second one and got closer to size two.  The photo shows the dress before hemming.  I feel I am not done with these yet.  Sash maybe?   The smaller dress needs a brighter accent, but I am proud of the bias binding I zigzagged around the sleeve openings.  I make the neck opening with a casing and tie so the neckline is adjustable.  These dresses should grow at least 2 years.  Maybe more.

Any thoughts on the styling?  My idea is something between the simplicity of a pillowcase dress but more attractive than most peasant dresses.

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1940s | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Variations on a Theme: Simplicity 3688

By on June 17, 2013

Pants and I don’t get along particularly well.  If they fit over my hips and rear, they gape terribly at the waist, and pants that fit at the waist won’t go up over my thighs.  Evidently, the only solution is to sew my own!

I’ve seen lots of rave reviews of the wide-legged pants pattern in Simplicity 3688, and since I picked the pattern up for a song at one of those lovely pattern sales.  I made up the first iteration (my “Wearable Muslin!”) out of some sort of olive green mystery synthetic that  I picked up at Goodwill for about $5.  This pattern has a fair amount of ease, and I ended up mostly cutting out a size 14, but tapering in to a size 10 at the waist.  I feel like the back darts pull a little bit (maybe I need to make them shorter?) but otherwise the fit is perfection!

I made a second iteration in a black cotton twill, which had a lot more body than the first fabric I used.  I also ended up adding about three inches to the length, because although I don’t think of myself as a particularly tall person (I’m 5’6″!) I was only able to put a very narrow hem in my muslin without making them too short.  This time, I was actually able to put in the folded hem that the pattern calls for!  They look a bit rumpled in the photo because I had been sitting all day, but I think that I (mostly) like them.


The third iteration of the pattern is another wearable muslin–I wanted to see if I could transform the pattern into some sort of wearable summer shorts.  These are made of some sort of cotton canvas with a tiny floral print that I found at Goodwill.  Unfortunately, the high waist + white shorts + tiny print makes me feel like I’m wearing boxer shorts!


I also somehow manage to construct the shorts completely catty-wompus… The zipper somehow ended up on the RIGHT side, and the button is all backward.  Fortunately, these are just grubby work shorts and I’ll be making a few more pairs in nicer fabric for actual wear.

I’m currently working on one more pair of shorts in a stretch cotton sateen.  The first zipper I put in broke (!!!!) so I need to replace it and hem the shorts still…. But that’s part of a bigger project, so I’ll share that once a few more of the pieces are done!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Cloud Dress – Hand Dyed and Printed

By on June 2, 2013

 

Hi all!

I wanted to share another sewing project I made a while back. This one is more early 60’s style, though perhaps the print is slightly unusual. Yes,  I went nuts and made my own stamps to print fabric! The effect is more watercolor-esque, perhaps I should have screen printed instead. Either way, I think it came out fairly well. I call this one “The Cloud Dress“.

 

This is another entirely self-drafted pattern that I somehow whipped up in about 2 hours.  Although I had some minor difficulties with the zipper (yet again!), I’m still in love with it.

 

Testing stamps on scrap fabric.

Also:  I was wondering if anyone had advice on this front, since I trust everyone on here (even only after my 2nd post!) I want to start my selling designs either on Etsy or in a boutique, but I am lost in a few places. I’m mostly confused about production (for a small line only) and pattern sizing. I’m teaching myself to grade patterns and I also have a design internship, but I feel like the design internship is really eating up my time/affecting any momentum I’m gaining with my design work. I work full time so it’s hard to keep that going, plus the internship, occasional custom orders, plus maintaining my potential line. I’m also supposed to be learning pattern grading at my internship, but have yet to touch on it.  Do I just hire a seamstress to produce most of the line after I make patterns and cut the fabric? Make it myself? How do most people do it?

Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

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