NYC Area? Visit this retro fashion exhibit

13413640_308759146122699_2510037396698053864_n  Capture

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC has an interesting exhibit Stiching History from the Holocaust. Among the exhibit’s features are vintage designs brought to life by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. The designs, having been tucked away in an attic for over eight decades, were originally sent from Czechoslovakia to America as part of an immigration application. The dress designs offered proof that dressmaker Hedy Strnad would be able to support herself when arriving in the US. Unfortunately, she was never given the opportunity and died in a Nazi deathcamp.

The exhibit’s two main goals are to increase understanding as to why Jews (or other persecuted peoples) did not just leave before Nazi occupation and secondly to mark the immeasurable loss of human creativity as a result of holocaust killings. I highly recommend the small – but very moving – exhibit if you are able to experience it.

I posted photographs on my fb page.

Wrestling With Rayon


Everyone loves a good LBD right? I recently began a quest to create one for each of the eras I wear the most often (20s-50’s) and found some amazing quality black rayon to use for a forties dress! The only problem was I had to fight the silky stuff to do my bidding! A lot of rayon seam binding was involved with the creation of this dress!

I took my usual bodice pattern and modified it so that the sweetheart neckline was higher so I could wear dress clips at the neckline. I also used a puffy sleeve pattern with 1/4 inch shoulder pads sicking out just over the shoulder line into the sleeve puff for a stronger structured 40’s shoulder. I think most late 30’s and 40’s dresses look just a little bit more vintage with shoulder pads inside, don’t fear the shoulder pad! The most time consuming part of making this dress was simply spent focusing on not screwing up at any point and binding all of the interior seams since rayon likes to fray. I am not the most patient so working on this dress over several weeks seemed like an eternity to me!


Now that my new 40’s LBD is finished, I am so happy with how everything came together and I can’t wait to wear it again and again with different hats and accessories. For more photos of this dress visit me at The Closet Historian!


Retro Butterick ’53 B5708 – Shoulder Tie Dress

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting on We Sew Retro and I hope your enjoy my vintage inspired makes!

As soon as I saw this vintage Butterick pattern I knew I needed it! I love the tie shoulders and the multiple styling options displayed on the front of the packet. It’s also something totally different to anything I already have in my wardrobe or in my pattern stash. I wanted to create a striking vintage style dress perfect for special occasions, sunny walks along the river and general Summer-time frolicking! I also thought this would be a fabulous edition for my Vintage Pledge 2016!

I love the Retro Butterick pattern range, in my dreams I own them all. I’ve previously reviewed the infamous Butterick 4790, otherwise know as the walkaway dress, and hoped the Butterick 5708 pattern would be equally as straight forward…






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

Thank you!

My 1968 Simplicity 7655 Day Dress

Hello All,

Now that the weather is warmer and it finally is starting to feel like summer I’ve been in a sewing frenzy here recently.

I need to take photos of all my latest makes before I can post about them but I thought I’d share one of my makes from April which I am in love with.

Akram's Ideas: Simplicity 7655 Day Dress

Akram’s Ideas: Simplicity 7655 Day Dress

My green day dress made with circa 1968 Simplicity 7655 pattern. This zipper front shift sort of dress is amazing.

The patch pockets are big and hold so much. I also adore the polyester green fabric I choose for the dress.

Akram's Ideas: Simplicity 7655 Day Dress

I love this dress

Feel free to read more about this dress over on my blog Akram’s Ideas (

New favourite summer dress


Haven’t been here in a while :D I hope you’re all doing great!

Here in Germany the weather is going coo-coo. First it’s super warm and sunny and in the next second it’s raining cats and dogs :(

Fortunately for sewing you don’t have to be an outdoors-y person, so I made a dress this saturday :D

The details:

– cotton

– lining in the top part is white cotton and the bottom is some silky satin-thingy

– zip in the back

– piping along the neckline

– the bows are real, not fake, you can actually tie them

Aaaand I guess that’s it :D

The pattern is made by me and I hope you like it!

DSC05148ch Continue Reading »

My 1943 dress

Item number five for this year’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. It took me a couple of years, but I’m on a roll now!


plaatjeI made this dress using a pattern from the sewing magazine Beyer’s Mode from the summer of 1943. This pattern was in my size theory and when I made a muslin, it turned out to be pretty close to a good fit. I just had to add some length to the front bodice, which is a very unusual alteration for a small busted girl like me. I also left off the pockets. I thought double welt pockets in a slim fitting linen skirt were just asking for trouble and their position seemed really awkward.

achter1All in all, I’m happy with this dress. It looks better on me than I had expected (I don’t usually sew or wear 1940’s styles) and it also looks surprisingly much like its illustration.

More about it on my blog!