The great white dress

Hi all you wonderful crafting & sewing fellows!

It’s crazy, I haven’t posted anything in here for years, but the great big white deserves a mention, methinks ;)


My inspirations for this dress was all over the place. I was looking at Edwardian wedding gowns, 1930’s drapes and flowy sleeves, 1950’s circle skirts and 1970’s hippie layers and lace stuff… You can imagine the confusion and headaches I had over design choices!

In the end I went for a completely self drafted design, with added details from all the periods I was inspired by, and I think it worked pretty well! I used my standard bodice pattern for starters, cut it up to find the “perfect seam lines” (and of course that meant having a seven-piece bodice. Smart), and then made a few muslins to try to perfect it.


The skirt is four layers – four different fabrics – full circle.

IMG_1284cFor a bunch more pictures, come over here:

And here’s the post with some of my inspiration:


• 1950s Peppermint Dot Christmas Dress •


There’s something so fun about making dresses for particular holidays, especially Christmas!! :) I made this dress last week using some Michael Miller fabric, and I’m definitely in love with it.


The bodice is based off of Simplicity 1459, with a Simplicity 2154 neckline and collar. The skirt is from Simplicity 1250.


All in all, it’s SUCH a fun dress, and I am loving wearing it every single day! :)

For more pictures and the full story, hop over to my blog.

Merry Christmas!

An Easy 1960s Nightgown (+ tutorial!)

1969 nightgown | allie J. |

Hello! Today I have a project from a few months ago that I never shared. It’s a bit unseasonal for us northern-hemisphere ladies but hopefully our AUS friends will feel right at home :)

I used McCall’s 2137 as the base for this nightgown. However, that pattern has some construction quirks, so I decided to modify the pattern to suit my own needs. Overall though, I think this is a very sweet little nightgown, breezy enough for even the hottest nights of summer.

You can see more about this project on my blog, allie J.

And bonus!! I wrote a tutorial simplifying this already-easy pattern so you can make one yourself with no pattern required! You can find that here. Hope you like it! :)

Get this on your gift list: the Retro Butterick 1950s Calendar

If you’re a member of the WeSewRetro Sew & Tell facebook group (if not, why not? It’s the best part of facebook, hands down!), you already had a sneak peak at these when they arrived. We sold out super quick and just got some more in so you still have time to add one of these fab 1950s retro calendars to your Christmas list…


Grab one from the WeSewRetro shop here. We do ship worldwide but Europeans should find it cheaper to purchase one direct from the UK here. Your sewing room can thank me later ;) December 15th is the shipping deadline for Christmas delivery within the US, so get your order in quick!


I’m secretly hoping Butterick will release a 1940s one next year if this one does well. What decade would you love to see?



Simplicity 7737 (1968), v. 2

Hello! I have a bit of a project backlog to share, so expect to see a few post from me in the coming weeks :) First up is version two of Simplicity 7737. Compared to version 1, which I made years ago at the very beginning of my sewing career, this one is a bit more subdued.

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

I used a black rayon twill and white cotton for the self-drafted collar. Drafting a collar yourself is very simple, making it easy to add a sweet touch to basically any dress pattern you own!

wednesday addams dress | allie J. |

I really love this pattern–It has become my go-to for an a-line shift dress. Yay for tried and true patterns!

See the full post on my blog, allie J.

My wedding dress

My wedding dress journey officially began on March 20th 2014 when my gorgeous man popped the question – however I had already spent almost 6 months researching couture gown construction methods – you know, just I case I ever needed to produce such a garment…. (wink wink).

( I posted the result of this research, the ‘index of DIY Bridal Gowns‘ to my blog as a resource for other DIY brides, if you know of a blogged dress I have missed please let me know and I will add it ! )

I have watched enough “say yes to the dress” to know that around 5 out of 10 women want to look like either Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly on their wedding day, but I really meant it: “Timeless, simple lines with a tidy updo, thanks!”  I already had simplicity 2442 in my stash and was pretty sure I would use it  (minus the gloves and boob-collar), I love the proportions and the use of print on the pattern envelope. This rare pattern is circa 1948, I purchased it on etsy.


My sewing experience at that point consisted of a pencil skirt that didn’t fit and a vintage dress with floppy facings, however one thing going for me is that I am one of those annoying people who can cut a vintage pattern straight out of the envelope with no problems whatsoever. Just to be on the safe side I visited local couture wizard Sally Mussared who produced a moulage for me using Parisian drafting techniques, this is a fantastic asset and I have used it for every sewing project since – I highly recommend doing this if you are sewing an important garment, fitting becomes a synch!

How did this strapless dress stay up? I spent 6 months sewing the corselet alone. If you want more detail on that there are several posts on my blog regarding this mysterious process (here, here and here)

With that done I had about 10 weeks to produce the rest of the dress! I chose a beautiful silk organza jacquard which was a dream to work with, and underlined it with a blueish grey silk to tone down some of the yellowness


I completely altered the skirt of the pattern after I saw this Rochas dress on pinterest:


I loved the huge centre box pleat – I just draped it on my dress form and basted the pleats into place, ensuring the centre pleat was  as wide as the darts in the bodice piece are apart so that everything matched up.



I also modified the bodice by adding a highly unorthodox seam right across the bust apex. This allowed me to achieve a very close fit in the centre of the bust and added a bit of interest, I thought.

For my veil I took inspiration from one of my favourite ballet moments, the Willis from Giselle. The Willis are deceased jilted brides who have been left at the alter! They’re certainly miserable and sombre beauties, but super chic in my opinion.


Ok enough chat – here is the finished gown, with stacks more photos here for the wedding enthusiasts among you !




I enjoyed every minute in this dress and was quite sad to take it off at the end of the day! It was light, snug, and didn’t budge an inch which I am very proud of. I am a very different sewer on this other side of this project and look forward to applying these new skills in some garments that will get a bit more wear. I’d like to publicly acknowledge the effort Mel from and Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace have gone to to document their couture level techniques on their blogs, without these resources I would not have had a chance of success – have a look if you don’t already follow!

There is more construction information than you could ever want and two construction disasters  on my blog , which you will enjoy if you’re the schadenfreude type.  Thanks for reading !