Simplicity 6161: A Swinging Seventies Polka Dot Blouse

S6161 envelope

Simplicity 6161 circa 1970

I love the 1970s.  I was a teenager then, and a pretty happy one, so these styles make me grin.  This pattern reminds me of junior high.

I bought this polka dot fabric to match my eyes and hair, besides, polka dots are cheerful, just right for a wide-collared shirt with turn-back cuffs.

Yup, should’ve made a swayback correction.

This pattern is a size 16; I normally start with 14.  I compared the pattern with a RTW shirt that fits and is comfy.  This size 16 pattern wouldn’t need added width in the torso, it was right on!

That doesn’t mean zero changes.  I shortened 1″ at the waist, did a 3/8″ high back adjustment.  Why didn’t I do my usual swayback correction?  Uh, dunno.  Should have.

Didn’t think  about the shoulder seams, which are about one inch off my shoulder.  The stand-up gathered sleeves balance everything out.

I'm in my happy shirt.

I’m in my happy shirt.

The buttonholes are too far from the edge.  I’m learning to pay attention to that dimension.  The pattern calls for 1″ buttons and the buttonhole markings on the blouse front are 1″ from the fold.  Is that a rule?  Place your buttonholes the same distance from the edge as the diameter of your buttons?  I’ll make a note to practice it on my next projects.  But today I used three 5/8″ buttons from my stash, and they would look better closer to the blouse edge.

Doesn’t any of it matter, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt!  It makes me happy.

Pattern: Simplicity 6161 circa 1973, eBay
Cloth:  Michael Miller Ta Dot, from M&L Fabrics
Buttons: Stash

1940’s Ensemble

Just wanted to share my completed 1940’s outfit!  I am very excited with the overall look and at how amazing comfortable it is to wear.  More info on the suit creation process can be found here, along with the tutorial for the hat.

1940's suit collage

Have a wonderful day everyone!


Giveaway: Cheap Chic 40th Anniversary Edition

Let’s celebrate the long weekend with a chance to win a fashion classic that will help you cultivate your own signature style!

Cheap Chic
Cheap Chic is a great vintage fashion title coming back into print for the 40th anniversary. With a brand new introduction by Tim Gunn, Cheap Chic is the ultimate fashion bible, full of hundreds of timeless tips and tricks for developing your own unique look. Originally published in 1975, this little book has been inspiring designers, attracting fashion lovers, and gaining a reputation as a cult classic for decades now.

Whether you’re a lover of designer labels or a master thrifter, Cheap Chic is about cultivating your personal style on any budget. There’s advice for stocking up on must-have items, interviews with icons like Yves St. Laurent, and fabulous photos of stylish celebrities from Greta Garbo to James Dean to Cher. Packed with style ideas and shopping tips,Cheap Chic is a go-to for fashion inspiration – both a fascinating artifact and a timeless style guide.

To win your very own copy, just leave a comment below telling us what you’ll be doing this weekend. Could not be easier to get your hands on this fashion classic! The winner will be drawn Sunday the 13th of September. As always on WeSewRetro, this giveaway is open worldwide. 

Turning a vintage curtain into a frock, Simplicity 6220

Simplicity 6220 dress2

I have been working my way through some unfinished projects over winter, and this is one project I have finished, and am very happy with. I picked up this lovely vintage curtain, in excellent condition early on in my vintage style sewing days.


I love the body in the fabric and decided that it would be challenge to sew up a dress from it. I used the original lining from the drop to line the bodice, but needed more to line the skirt, so used some polyester from my stash.


Simplicity 6220, pattern.

I’m so glad I completed it! Do you have projects that sit for a while? Sometimes I have some challenges that I cannot overcome, or I just get a bit bored, or, ahem, distracted by some new exciting idea.


I have more photos on my blog, I accessorize with some vintage gloves, my nana’s hat, vintage faux pearls.


1930s Cotton Butterfly Day Dress – Butterick 5764

I was able to snag this pattern, and loved the variation of the dresses.

butterick 5764

I wanted to make this a true 1930s day dress for view C, so I constructed the dress of a quilter’s cotton. I wanted to keep the natural drape of the collar, so I made that piece of a poly peachskin.

butterick 5764 fullI made a few changes, and there were a few challenges with this pattern. One change I made was that I added a slight elastic waistband instead of making the belt. Some of the challenges included having to make a back yoke as the collar did not come close to reaching the back bodice. Also, the french cuffs were designed to be very small, the construction was odd and the end result was not practical. I ended up just scrapping them, and making a keyhole construction while keeping the gathers at the button cuffs. You can read more of my trail of tears here.

butterick 5764 close up

I fully lined the dress, and am most pleased with the finished product.

butterick 5764 side

Teal Polka Dot Dress for a Tea Party

I was invited to a tea party with instructions to wear a colorful dress, which meant, of course, I had to make a new one for the occasion. ;-)

Butterick 5603

I chose Butterick 5603, and found just enough of the polka dot fabric to make the bodice, and paired it with a matching teal.

Butterick 5603

The bodice was a bit of a brain teaser, just because each piece looked so similar, it was a bit tricky to keep straight what was the front, back, left, or right! But I managed eventually. :-)

Butterick 5603

Apologies for the wrinkles, pics were taken after the party!

Apologies for the wrinkles, pics were taken after the party!

All my raw seams were encased in rayon binding, which took a bit of time with all those skirt panels! But it’s worth it.


I certainly recommend the pattern, I really love the shape of the skirt! More pics and details on my blog here.

Butterick 5603