It really worked!

I made this little blouse using one of those “draft according to these instructions” patterns you find in vintage magazines. I never had a lot of confidence in those but this one was in my size and I had already decided to share it on my blog for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, so I kind of had to try…

voor2And it actually worked. I changed only one thing: The neckline, which was very tight and the style of the collar. And I explained how on my blog.

tekeningIf you are interested, the pattern is here, the alterations are in this post, and more about the blouse itself in this last one.

10,000 Fan Giveaway!

WeSewRetro just blasted past 10,000 likes on our public facebook page so let’s celebrate our growing community with a giveaway!

Before I run through the details of how to enter, let’s have a look at the ridiculous amount of prizes you can claim. Buckle up…


‘Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook’ from Laurence King Publishing

Pre-order on Amazon | Visit Laurence King Publishing

Due to be released to the public later this month, this enormous tome of beautiful vintage garment photographs will provide you with hours of inspiration and browsing pleasure. Available for preorder on Amazon here, Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook is sure to become an indispensable reference for your vintage sewing.

(If you’re thinking the name Laurence King Publishing rings a bell, it’s because they’re the same people who translated the massively well reviewed Pattern Magic from the original Japanese.)



Custom Made Beach Pajamas from Time Machine

Visit Time Machine Vintage Reproduction Clothing on Facebook

Time Machine makes highly authentic reproduction clothing from the first half of the 20th century. Owner Kim (otherwise known as “the beach pajama lady”) has been involved in making things for television, movies, stage and museums.

Prize: Time Machine will work with you to design and make a bespoke set of Beach Pajamas especially tailored to fit you and your style.


Your Choice of 10 Digital Patterns/eBooks from Mrs Depew Vintage

Visit Mrs Depew Vintage

Mrs. Depew Vintage strives to be the Internet’s best source of historical sewing patterns, informational e-books, and helpful tutorials. With a little bit of everything for everyone who is interested in recapturing the beautiful art of handmade, Mrs Depew Vintage offers patterns for Men, Women, and Children in a range of sizes and eras.  You must check out Mrs Depew’s speciality: patterns and tutorials for hard-to-find historical lingerie!

Prize: Pick any ten digital patterns or eBooks from Mrs Depew Vintage.



Selection of Patterns from Indygo Junction

Visit Indygo Junction | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Indygo Junction offers sewing & craft patterns & books in both print & digital formats for purses, aprons, clothing, tech accessories, quilts, recycled projects, home décor, toys, yo-yo patterns, stuffed animals, kids clothing, holiday decorations, embroidery and more.

Prize: Four multisize patterns by Indygo Junction, including the Day to Night Dress, Chic Cowl Neck Shift, Trench Topper and Classic Coverall.



Paris Print Blouse from Monica J Veronica Designs

Visit Monica J Veronica Designs on Facebook | Instagram | Etsy

Monica J Veronica Designs strives to create timeless looks for stylish girls who don’t necessarily want to dress period perfect, but love to incorporate a vintage aesthetic into their own unique vibe.

Prize: this Paris print blouse from an original 1940s vintage pattern, featuring contrasting dotted under collar and cuffs.



Two 1961 Australian Home Journal Magazines from AllThePreciousThings

Visit AllThePreciousThings | Etsy
All The Precious Things stocks hard-to-find patterns and pattern drafting books, such as Enid Gilchrist and Lutterloh. Based in Australia, international buyers can pick up a real bargain at their main site thanks to the weak Aussie dollar right now!
Prize: two Australian Home Journal magazines from 1961, both of which have three factory folded sewing patterns included.



Fabric and Buttons from Beautiful Textiles

Visit Beautiful Textiles | Facebook

Beautiful Textiles carries fabulous high-end textiles and trims you won’t find anywhere else, many imported from France and Italy, at affordable prices.

Prize: 1 yard of 60” nude 4-way stretch knit with a lacy black velvet flocked design (NOT AT ALL SHEER) from France, and 2 vintage-repro textured rose buttons from Italy. We thought it might look adorable as a skirt as shown (shown with 2.5” black silk bias ribbon – not included), but the possibilities are endless!  We’d love to see what you make with it!



‘Vintage Notions’ by Amy Barickman

The story behind the book | Order on Amazon | Order direct from Amy | Facebook

Fans of Mary Brooks Picken will love this collection of needlework, cooking, sewing, and fashion from the 1920s.

Prize: Hardback edition of Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun


$75 to Spend at Empire Room Bridal

Visit Empire Room Bridal

Empire Room Bridal takes you on a journey back in time when you had your own milliner & dressmaker. With a passion for creating objects of beauty, each piece is individually handmade in our studio in Melbourne’s outer East. Time is spent time sourcing the finest quality new & vintage materials to realize the perfect statement piece for your special day.

Prize: a $75 coupon which you can use either for an item in the shop or towards a custom order specially for you.



Vintage Goodies from Retro Rosie’s Vintage

Visit Retro Rosie’s on Facebook | Etsy

Retro Rosie’s Vintage is the premier vintage clothing and lifestyle boutique in the southwest Florida area.  They carry clothing, accessories, and housewares from the turn of the century through the 1970s, specializing in items from the 1950s and 60s. Retro Rosie’s Vintage offer parts and supplies for those who, like ourselves, are DIYers – vintage sewing patterns, buttons, buckles, and zippers for the vintage seamstress, as well as books to show you how it’s done! If you can’t make it to the 3,000 + sq ft location in Bradenton, Florida, check out their Etsy shop at RetroRosiesVintage.

Prize: 5 vintage belt buckles, 3 pairs of vintage earrings, 1 vintage gold clutch, 1 small embroidered hand towel or doily, 5 assorted vintage trims, 3 vintage sewing patterns (Simplicity 4218, Simplicity 4553, Simplicity 1644), and 1 copy of “How to Make Dresses The Modern Singer Way” published 1927



$35 to Spend at MiAb Dry Goods

Visit MiAb Dry Goods on Etsy

Michelle’s Etsy shop operates on the idea that clothes should be made with love, and made to last. Michelle lives in Ann Arbor Michigan with her son, husband, fat beagle and little kitty.

Prize: $35 to spend at MiAb Dry Goods



Vintage Goodies + One Year of Free Pattern Downloads from Vintage Couture

Visit Vintage Couture
Vintage Couture offers free and low cost downloads of vintage patterns dated from 1860 through 1950.  Tutorials, classes, project challenges and posts related to all aspects of historic sewing are featured.
Prize: a 1940s publication on How to Tailor a Women’s Suit, a 1940s hardback book on Glove Making, a Bill Blass pattern (size 8) from the 1970s, and one year of free downloads of any of their version 2 through version 4 digital patterns. Digital pattern details can be found here.




Fabric and Buttons from Cotton Kitsune

Visit Cotton Kitsune on Facebook | Linked In
Cotton Kitsune offers classes/services in Textile dyeing & Upholstery. Do you have an ugly chair?  Cotton Kitsune can make it beautiful again or, even better, teach you how to!  Learn to sew interior design fabrications, pillows, window treatments & slipcovers!
Prize:  two 41″long x 44″ wide pieces of vintage cotton fabric and 7 red vintage buttons – enough for an adorable blouse!




Your Choice of Oven Mitt from Nerdy Novelty Designs

Visit Nerdy Novelty Design on Etsy

Prize: Oven mitt of your choice from the selection at NerdyNoveltyDesign on Etsy



$25 to Spend at The Granny Squared

Visit TheGrannySquared

Prize: $25 to spend at TheGrannySquared on Etsy.



Dry Shampoo from Peechy Keen Sew

Visit PeachyKeenSew on Etsy | Facebook | Instagram

Sarah of PeachyKeenSew has been a long time historic reenactor and when she started to attend WWII events she saw a huge need for women’s items. Her shop offers WWII era period reproduction sewn and crocheted clothing and accessories from original patterns. PeachyKeenSew also has two revolutionary hair tools to assist in making Victory rolls and Gibson rolls.

Prize: a bottle of dry shampoo from a vintage recipe to freshen and absorb dirt and oils in the hair without leaving a chalky residue.



$15 to Spend at Serendipity Vintage

Visit Serendipity Vintage

Serendipity Vintage specializes in original out-of-print and discontinued vintage, retro, and costume sewing patterns from the 1930s to the present. We also carry vintage embroidery transfers, crochet and knitting books, sewing books, and more!

Prize: $15 to spend at Serendipity Vintage



$25 to Spend at Pattern Treasure Chest

Visit Pattern Treasure Chest

Prize: $25 to spend at Pattern Treasure Chest



$15 to Spend at Batiste and French Lace

Visit Batiste and French Lace on Etsy

Batiste and French Lace carries a collection of beautiful handmade and vintage items with boutique styling and Retro, Vintage, Heirloom or Historic allure.

Prize: $15 to spend at Batiste and French Lace on Etsy



$10 to Spend at Eleanor Meriweather

Visit Eleanor Meriweather on Etsy

Prize: $10 to spend at Eleanor Meriweather

How Do I Enter to Win?

Super easy – just leave us a comment here on this post making a note of your top three prize picks. We will have as many randomly drawn winners as there are prizes and will do our best to match you up with your top choice if it hasn’t already been taken.

Want extra entries? Like and share our facebook post about the giveaway and we’ll count each one as an additional entry.

As always on WeSewRetro, our giveaways are open to all no matter where you live. We’re a proudly international community and will find a way to get your prize to you no matter where you are.

The giveaway will close on Thursday, April 28th (Eastern time) when the winners will be drawn randomly.


• 1940s Tropical Print Rayon Dress •

Today I’m posting about a dress I made for a vacation to the Gulf Coast a couple of months ago. I had some very tropical, vacation-appropriate rayon fabric that I thought would make a perfect 1940s dress!

I used Simplicity 1692 for the basic bodice shape, but altered it by adding darts, and changing the neckline and sleeves. The skirt is from Butterick 6266.

Hop over to my blog to read all about it! Have a lovely day, ladies! :)

Early 1920s Cardigan

One garment from the 1910s and 1920s that often gets overlooked is the belted cardigan. However, it’s actually a classic piece of fashion history from this time period and often pops up in period dramas based in these eras. Women wore them about the house to keep warm before central heating became the norm, you could probably equate them to modern day hoodies!

1920s wool cardigan

I’ve always found them fascinating and have always loved to have one, but most were knitted and I, very annoyingly, cannot knit. So, when I saw this original 1920s wool jersey one on Pinterest I knew I needed to try and make my own version. It would be a perfect challenge for my next Vintage Pledge.

Early 1920s outfit

And here it is! I based the design on an original 1930s cardigan sewing pattern I had, although the 1920s detailing of the large patch pockets and double button belt were just guess work.

Top stitching detail on 1920s cardigan

Sportswear inspired clothing was just beginning to creep into fashion during the early part of the 1920s and one detail that was used in the majority of these garments was top-stitching. I added loads of it to this cardigan to really give it a sportswear feel which was a huge challenge, trying to keep it straight and neat everywhere!

If you would like to read more about how how I made this early 1920s cardigan and see more photos, feel free to pop over to my blog.

El Burro Skirt using Simplicity 3478


I have made this skirt before to go with the bra top I wrote about here ( and I love the ease of working with one direction fabric with it. The cut and pattern is very straight forward and the only real tricky part are all the pleats!

The Pleats:

I used the artist tape tick to complete pleats that are nice and straight and away I went. The pleats go all the way down the skirt so it is very important that you are meticulous in their construction. There were a whole-lotta notes on the tape on which way to fold the material. After a lot of pressing and basting I had the base of my skirt. Then it was just the zipper and the waistband.


The Details:

Fabric: Joann’s novelty print cotton
Lining- none.  Just a petticoat if I want extra fullness.
Pattern: Simplicity 3748
Year: circa mid 1950s (reprint of a pattern)
Notions: zipper (I am finally using some of my vintage metal zippers!) and interfacing.
Changes: Made the waist band wider.

The finished product:


I actually wore this out to a show/dancing the other night with a petticoat under it. I was pleased that the did not stick straight out when I was turned so I do not have to wear swing shorts or a slip while dancing.

This came from my pile of undocumented projects. Read more about them here:

Retro Butterick ’60 B6242

Hello All,
Finally got my sewing mojo back in order. Now that spring has sprung here in Vancouver, BC, it’s put a little extra pep in my sewing foot.
I love retro patterns. They’re just are so classic and elegant and when worked in a great fabric…BAM!
There was a pattern sale over at my local fabric store, like I need more patterns, picked this one up as it looked fairly easy to construct. I found a nice cotton fabric over at IKEA and knew the two were meant for each other.  The fabric has a bit of optical illusion to the pattern so I planned the pattern piece layout.


The cummerbund is interestingly crafted.  There is a waistband piece and the cummerbund part is cut on the bias, gathered up and then stitched onto the waistband.  The waistband sits flat on the inside of the dress.  Also, it creates more stability and structure because it’s a snug fit without a girdle!

The sleeves have darts.  Love the darts!


It was an easy sew up apart from the miles of gathering in the cummerbund and skirt waist.  Forgot that I don’t like the task of gathering that much.  However, I have found that I am much more patient and willing to hand stitch much more than I used to.  Zippers now are always hand picked in.

I’m really pleased with the outcome.



Best part is it fits perfectly and it got rave reviews at the office!


Highly recommend this pattern.  Looking forward to making it again in the slim skirt view.  I have some more fun IKEA fabric waiting!

Thanks for reading.  Looking forward to posting more of my retro adventures soon.