Is it spring yet?

I’m sure many of you are like me and can’t wait for the warmer weather so you can don your cotton frocks. Unfortunately I live in Denver so legitimate warm weather is still a ways off  ( though the last few days have been a pleasant reprieve, it was even warm enough for me to take down the Christmas lights!). In any case I started my spring sewing early this year and the first dress was a winner.

 

I used simplicity 8051 and added a bit of hand embroidery to make it extra special. To learn more please visit my blog lizsews.com .

Tea Length Formal

Long time reader/ First time poster!

This dress was a long time in the making. I started it back in September with the petticoat.

I ran into a design block in October and it’s been sitting in my sewing room ever since.  A UFO contest on Pattern Review was the kick in the pants to get it finished and I am so glad I did!

The skirt is from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress book. It’s the box pleated circle skirt. The book’s bodices just don’t work for me but I have had great luck with just using the skirts. The bodice is self drafted and has little grey glass pearls and beads hand sewn to the neckline.

 

Don’t know yet were I will wear it…maybe I should just vacuum the house in true 50s fashion!

30s Style Vintage Scarf Top with Bias Cut and Vintage Button Trim

bias cut vintage scarf top

I was thrilled to be contacted by Dressmaker magazine as they wanted to include my scarf top in their January edition in an article about Second Hand Sews.  I was influenced by 1930s scarf clothing when I designed this top and worked out how to cut a scarf (see below) and then stitch it up into a bias top.

cutting diagram for bias top

I have now uploaded a pdf worksheet on my blog with instructions and photos showing how to make the top if you would like to download it.  The link to my own blog is here

Happy sewing everyone!

The Elvis Dress

This dress was made from a 1950’s original pattern.  I can’t locate the exact one but I believe it was a mail order pattern.

I call this the Elvis dress because even though it looks a little stripy it is actually small images of Elvis’ face.  Purple isn’t normally my colour but I could not resist this fabric, a quilting cotton.

I really like the fitting details of the bust darts and the box pleats as well as the fact that it fit right out of the pattern (bust 36) and continued to fit even after I put on a lot of weight.  I was still able to wear this part way through my pregnancy, seriously the pattern is like the magic fit all!!

For more details you can check out this post on my blog

Blue Jacquard 1950’s Dress

I imagine many people here on We Sew Retro are big fans of Gretchen Hirsche’s wonderful fabric designs for Fabric Traditions available at Joanns, and I have seen so many lovely things made from her fabrics around the community! I recently picked up a few yards of the blue jacquard from one of Gertie’s fall fabric collections in the red tag area of Joanns (always check out the red tag area, is it usually full of dated sad decorator fabrics? Well, yes. Are there occasional hidden gems? Also yes!). I decided the shining sapphire blue jacquard would make a perfect 1950’s style wiggle dress and got started right away!

It was really important for this dress to make sure the raw edges of each seam were finished in some way since I knew I didn’t want to bother with a lining. Also with most jacquards and brocades I like to finish the edges no matter what as they seem to looove to fray apart the moment they are cut! So the first thing I did after cutting out this dress was overlock all of the edges with my serger. The bodice is a simple “kimono” sleeve style which is super simple to make up (just 6 darts total and the side seams) as you don’t have to fiddle with setting in proper sleeves as they are cut into the design. I totally recommend this style of bodice for those who have trouble with sleeves! The neckline was finished with a self fabric facing that I tacked down with tiny thread tacks to help it stay smooth. With a center back zipper and hand sewn hem finished, it was ready to wear! Too bad I didn’t make this number in time for New Years Eve as it would make a perfect holiday party dress! Next year perhaps 🙂

For more photos visit the full outfit post over on The Closet Historian!