A Gaggle of Gingham


Goodness it has been a while since I last posted some of my retro sewing over here! The summer offers so many distractions, and my sewing has been thoroughly distracted by my love for gingham textiles this year! I recently put the rest of my stash busting projects on hold to turn out not one but two new gingham frocks, of which this full skirted 50’s number is the first!

Having discovered the wonder of Malco Modes petticoats I knew I wanted another full circle skirted dress to wear with either my ivory or black petticoats. The dress pattern was self drafted, with the bodice in a kimono sleeve style with a v-neckline and the skirt as a full 27″ long circle skirt. The full circle skirts on 45″ wide fabric do eat up a bunch of yardage, but with lots of Joanns coupons they are still doable. I always hem mine with coordinating cotton bias tape, usually just the packaged kind you can get at Joanns, and it takes at least two packages (at 3 yards a package!) to go around the skirt hem! I actually hemmed two circle skirts in one day a while back for a total of over 12 feet of hem hand stitched that day!

I tend to make simpler designs since I draft most everything myself and haven’t branched out into more intricate styles just yet. Still, I wanted to fancy this dress up a little bit so I added crisp white cotton sleeve cuffs and trim at the neckline. To do so I simply cut strips of fabric on the bias and ironed it into self-made bias tape to edge the sleeves and neckline, easy but effective! :)

For more photos of this outfit, visit me over on my blog The Closet Historian!


Vintage Butterick 8038 (and also a mini-introduction!)

OK, so I’m always waaaay behind trends, and We Sew Retro is case in point!  How did I not know about this blog before last week?  I’ll never know…. but I’m so glad I finally did!

I’m Lily and I’ve been blogging over at Mode de Lis for almost 3 years now and I’m so excited to get in touch with some more vintage seamstresses! :-)  Last week I shared one of my recent projects: a dress made from hand-printed Indian cotton using vintage Butterick 8083….

More details (including my love for indulging in obsessive pattern matching) over at my blog, Mode de Lis!

Butterick Patterns by Gerite B6354 – Wanda Woodward Wearable Toile

Hi everyone!

This post is a little different from my usual for quite a few reasons! To start, it’s my first ‘pattern hack’ post, my first fitted make and my first wearable toile! Also this post will lead on to another post with the final make and full instructions on my pattern hack. That’s why this one will be a little shorter than normal as it’s more of an introduction to the main dress – if that makes any sense…

Check out my wearable toile:




For my full pattern review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!

Purple Tiki Ensemble

Hello Everyone! It has been quite a while since I last posted on this site. I really enjoyed how my birthday outfit this year turned out. I have always wanted to make a 1950’s tiki ensemble and I finally accomplished it!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI used Gertie’s new tiki inspired pattern 6354 from Butterick for the skirt and the bolero. I knew I didn’t have enough fabric to make the bustier from this pattern, so I turned to Simplicity 1426 to make the top. This outfit was a breeze to make and looks fantastic.

Lemon Shelf Bust Dress

I wish I'd noticed that giant string!

I wish I’d noticed that giant string!

I love shelf bust dresses, but they’ve been an irritation for me. Every pattern I’ve found cuts across the bust, not under, and the RTW dresses are way out of my budget. Enter lekala 4519. This pattern actually sits underneath bust, gives you more fullness and umph. Perfect, right?!?

Bust boost!

Bust boost!

I’d never worked with a Lekala pattern before, and I have to say, it was a very interesting experience. You enter your measurements, and their software creates a custom pattern for you, to your measurements. Or so it says. I didn’t find it to be quite so easy, as you can see by the short skirt length! Full review and pattern problems can be found on my blog, Sewn by Ashley

1960s Blouse

I’ve been eyeing this site for a while, but never thought I had anything worthy of posting here.  I have been collecting vintage patterns for a while – I have accumulated quite a collection, so I have plenty of sewing to do.  But, I also had been away from garment sewing for a long, long time. Last year I decided to get back to it.  I am not normally a huge fan of 60s styles, but I have really loved this blouse for a while.  A contest at PatternReview got me to finally make the blouse.

Here is my blouse:

Blouse frontBlouse backSide view

This is the pattern I used:

Vogue 5883


I used a cotton lawn I had in my stash.  Though I had (and still have) some issues with the front french dart and the collar, I am happy with the blouse.  It is very comfortable and a perfect summer blouse!

More on my blog: 1960s blouse