Trick-y pleats

rok1With this skirt, I returned to my usual draft-my-own ways. It’s a simple thing: a half circle skirt with pockets and pleats added to the front piece. Those pleats hide a little trick though: they actually form the closure of the skirt.

sluiting1I’ve explained how to make this on my blog.

rok4I really enjoy this skirt. It’s nice and wide and the stiff fabric (like denim but a plain weave instead of a twill weave) really helps show that off.

Help! Chevron Dress

Last Christmas, my sister-in-law got me this lovely green and white chevron fabric.  It’s some sort of cotton blend, with a bit of stretch to it.  I loved it instantly, and set it aside for something special.  Well, it’s been sitting in my stash since then, irritating me because I can’t figure out what to do with it!  So tonight, I finally decided to cut out pieces for my favorite 60s dress.  It’s Simplicity 1609 which I have made twice before and simply adore.

However, I’m not sure if I like the dress without embellishments.  The chevrons are a little overwhelming by themselves.  So!  I need your help!  Which of the versions below do you like best?  The dark fabric is a navy linen I have…if I use a contrasting fabric, though, I will probably go out and buy cotton.  I’ll take alternate color ideas, too.

Here is the dress without alterations.  If the bust darts look wonky, it’s because they are just pinned in place.


Version 1 has epaulets on the shoulders and a stripe down the front center.


Version 2 has navy around the neckline and the hemline.


Version 3 would have a bow like the teal dress below, but in the contrasting fabric.

Ideas?  Thoughts?  I would love input!  Thanks, and happy sewing!

50′s Floral


I attend the 50′s Fair in Sydney last wekeend and I chose to sew up Simplicity 1459. I was in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and couldn’t wait to swoop it up. I love the button front, the exaggerated collar and full skirt – just all of it really! I had the perfect rose print cotton in my stash wating for such a pattern for over a year. I picked up the fabric on the clearance tables at Spotlight for about $4 a metre, and bought about 4 metres as this kind of vintage dress just eats into your fabric.

Whilst the dress does look a little scary, it wasn’t too challenging to sew up – so don’t be put off! I cut out the dress in a size 12 and it was pretty true to size, and with not a lot of ease as some Simplicity patterns tend to have. I have made up a similar vintage style dress before with short sleeves so I thought I would give the 3/4 sleeve option a go. I was also aware it is Winter, so it was a more practical option too! The only adjustments I made during cutting it out was adding 1.5 inches to the hem because I felt on the pattern envelope image it only ended just after the knees and I was going to be wearing a crinoline underneath it, so I wanted it to be slightly longer. I aldo cut out the sleeves in a size 14 as I find sleeves in lots of patterns too tight for my arms.


I did a small amount fitting during the construction but nothing major to be aware of – just a nip and tuck on the side seams and shoulder. To finish off the dress I put in a invisible zip down the side. I was going to make it more authentic and do a lapped zipper but given its on the side of the dress and with the busy-ness of the fabric, I think the invislble zipper is a better option. The pattern calls for two buttons down the front bodice which really aren’t enough. I ended up sewing on three buttons and tried it on with a sash I had made previously but it still felt like it gaped so I ended up adding another button and foregoing the sash when I wore it. I recommend sewing four buttons down the front when making it.


The only other thing I would mention is the sleeves. If you tend to have to take out your sleeves thanks to bigger arms, I suggest sizing up. I cut out my sleeves in a bigger size and I still had to take them out so much I almost ran out of fabric. Right from the top to the bottom of the sleeve had to be taken out a lot. So be warned!

More piccies of the fair and my dress on my blog:


Hello and a herbal dress


Hello there! This is my first post on We Sew Retro and I’m happy to share with you one of the dresses I have sewn this summer. This is actually the second dress that I have ever sewn and I must say I’m really happy with the result (although I promised myself never to show the inside of the dress to anyone because it’s just sooo messed up in there!). I was really excited to make it from an original pattern from a German magazine called Praktische Mode, issue 5/1961. If you want to read more about how the sewing went, feel free to visit my blog post about it here. Also take a look at the illustration below — the original drawing from the magazine. My dress is the one marked Abb. 1 and changed it just a little bit to better fit my silhouette.

IMG_0508I’m a huge fan of wearing vintage-inspired clothes so naturally I’ve already worn this dress a ton. If you want to see more photos of the dress itself and how I like to wear it on a daily basis, head over to this post.DSC_0118 DSC_0221 wa Thanks for reading! I hope to post some more as I sew more. I’m really loving this place, full of talented seamstresses!

First post and Practice “Tubs!”

I love it when my practice sewing endeavors turn out all right! I’ve had this pattern for ages and am just now getting around to making it. Terrible, yes. Now I know I want to make more in many other fabrics beside this lovely coral linen.

This pattern is called, “Tubs” the Tie-on washable hat. I believe it’s 1933 but I can’t be certain, for my pattern is a little bit tattered. It only took me a few hours in total and mainly because of the very careful stitch detail (yes, sometimes I am a perfectionist even with prototypes).


The stitch detailing is in a darker more orange coral and I wish it could be seen a bit better.

Tubs4The Brim is interlined with same fabric and interfaced with a light weight crinoline.

Tubs3 I think because it was so easy to make I’ll make a few more and put them on my Etsy shop for sale!   Tubs3

Tubs2    It was a gas to make. Small things always are because you can have a new addition to your wardrobe in only a few hours! Cut it outta scraps, sew it up pressing along the way, put it on and bobs your uncle!