1950s | Dresses

Vintage 1955 McCall’s 7625

By on July 25, 2017
Sewing Vintage 1950s McCall's 7625 | Vintage on Tap

Hello, everyone!

Wanted to share one of my most recent makes, McCall’s 7625 which came out for Early Fall 2017 ☺️ It was originally released back around 1955!

Sewing Vintage 1950s McCall's 7625 | Vintage on Tap


I was actually suuuuper hesitant about the drop waist on this piece, but to be honest, it worked out. I suspect that its because of the fisheye darts at the natural waist line, which helped nip in the design.


Sewing Vintage 1950s McCall's 7625 | Vintage on Tap


Anyway, I’m really happy with how it turned out overall and am looking forward to making the short sleeve version for an upcoming trip.


Sewing Vintage 1950s McCall's 7625 | Vintage on Tap


Definitely check out the video series I did for this pattern, though, especially since I ended up tackling a full bust adjustment on this piece (princess seams AND fisheye darts?! Yes.)– my video series also went into the how-to-sew for this pattern, in case you’re thinking of making it.


Sewing Vintage 1950s McCall's 7625 | Vintage on Tap


More photos of this project over on my blog

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

By on September 3, 2016
Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing pattern

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’ve been wanting to tackle this dress for a long time. Don’t know what I was afraid of! It came together quite simply. But it helps that I’ve sewn vintage dresses before. The instructions on the back of the packet are minimal to say the least and include things like:

“Make darts in the back bodice where shown by dotted lines in diagram”. Quite literally the diagram which is the tiny pattern layout illustration on the back of the packet. So it’s anyone’s guess, really!

“Gather upper edge of side fronts to fit hip yoke of front as in sketch and stitch together matching VV to VV.” Again, helped by the fact that I’ve managed inset seams before when quilting so I know a thing or two about clipping and pivoting. It could have caused a tantrum or two otherwise!

Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing patternI made it in a hurry, like the day before the wedding so there’s room for improvement. I graded it up a size but could do with adding an inch of ease at least at the waist I was hesitant to do this for fear of losing the lovely silhouette but I think I can still retain the line by cutting and slashing from under arm to waist.

blackmore 8194 green vintage dress

As for the era… Blackmore Patterns finished trading in the 1940s by all accounts so I would naturally date the pattern from late 40s but Wikia Patterns says 1950s. So it’s anyone’s guess really!

My favourite details are the keyhole neckline and the skirt gathers on the hip yoke.

blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’m definitely going to have to make this again. Has anyone else tried this pattern before?

More info on the making of this dress and others over at ooobop.


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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

Butterick B5930 – The Ultimate 50s Party Dress!

By on July 28, 2016

Hi everyone!

Betty Draper eat your heart out. Now If this isn’t the most 1950s garden party dress you’ve ever seen, then I don’t know what is! And it isn’t even marked as a vintage pattern! But I think my choice of fabric and styling certainly gives this little number some serious retro credentials.





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

Thank you!

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simply Red Sheath Dress (Butterick 6308, c. 1952)

By on July 12, 2016

I love being able to wear vintage (or reproductions) to work and this dress definitely fits the bill.


The pattern is Butterick 6308, a reproduction of one of their designs fom 1952.


I made my version out of stretch bengaline, which makes it super comfortable for work (and weight fluctuations).


I also added faux chest pockets, and vintage buttons sewn around the edge of the pockets – similar to a vintage dress I had seen online.


As for mods, I only made a few:


  • Cut a size smaller all over to allow for the stretch fabric
  • Lengthened the hem by an inch
  • Shortened the bodice by half an inch (short waist)
  • Lowered the under bust darts so they wern’t so pointy.


I definitely love this dress, and would consider making another but probably without the kick pleats as I found them a bit painful to press.

Thanks for reading, and as always more photos and information on my blog Subversive Femme 



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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Retro Butterick ’53 B5708 – Shoulder Tie Dress

By on June 9, 2016

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!

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1950s | 1960s | Blouses | Dresses | Pants / Trousers | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

2 New Vintage Pattern Makes: Simplicity 3257 and Advance 8288

By on April 4, 2016

Hi y’all!

I’ve recently sewn/photographed/blogged about two new vintage makes. Simplicity 3257 is a c. late 1950s combo skirt/trouser pattern and went together really beautifully. I highly recommend it for the skirt, though I haven’t yet tried to sew up the trousers. The skirt only used three pieces and was very true to size. I enjoyed the instructions for certain vintage craftsmanship that we don’t often use today, like the lapped zipper. I’ve been doing it the “hard” way all this time!





Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 3.10.24 PM

My other creation was inspired by c. 1957 Advance 8288. It’s a “sub-teen” pattern for coordinating separates. I LOVE having options and variety, and even though it looks like a dress I can wear each piece on its own! So wonderful. I didn’t actually sew with the pattern, but rather I used the art as inspiration and Frankenstein-ed two patterns from my collection to make the blouse. The skirt is a simple dirndl style with two side pockets. Both are made with vintage metal zippers from my stash, though the rayon fabric is new (from Gertie’s collection at Joann). My friend, who sewed up this project with me, did have the pattern and noted that it was simple to make but included a lot of wearing ease.




Links to the blog posts for more pics + sewing/pattern details:

Simplicity 3257

Advance 8288


Thanks for looking!

xx Lauren

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Burning the Roses Red ~ A Saga of Butterick B5708

By on December 3, 2015

Butterick B5708 | Lavender & Twill

Butterick B5708 | Lavender & Twill
Butterick B5708 | Lavender & Twill
Butterick B5708 | Lavender & Twill
Butterick B5708 | Lavender & Twill

I just have to say… I wanted to burn this dress sooo badly….The only reason I kept pushing on with it is that I didn’t have anything to wear to the Aussie Vintage Girls Meetup, and you know ~ that would have been a disaster….

A disaster I tell you! Oh wait… First world vintage girl problems again.

Okay, okay, not so much a big deal, except when it was.

I started with this lovely pattern, Butterick B5708 and rated at “Easy” I felt sure I couldn’t go wrong! It was my fourth make for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge for the year {one, two, three}, and I was thinking it should be fairly simple.

Alas, if only I’d read the multiple reviews of this pattern online ~ I think this one explains it best ~ I probably would have changed my mind!! (ಠ_ಠ)

So I cut the pattern, did my do, and seriously, everything was going pretty well. I had a few of my usual frustrations in sewing the bodice to the skirt ~ why do I always get the bodice caught up in the waist seam? Why??  (╯°□°)╯彡 ┻━┻

But I was about 95% done on the dress when I decided I’d better try it on. *cue ominous spooky music*

So I slipped it on, and the world ended. *ahem

My world ended.  (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻━┻

The bodice was ALL kinds of wrong, with wrinkles going every which way, and compressing my bust so much that it looked like I had squished marshmallows instead, of ~ well, you know!

I literally freaked out, cried, ranted, raved, and promptly ate half a block of chocolate. Yes. Chocolate.  .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

Then I left it for the day. I was DONE. I was *THIS* close to burning the darn thing and turning up naked. Hahaha…

No, really….

The next morning I took a deep breath. I thought I knew what went wrong. I’d forgotten to do an FBA. Silly me just assumed that because I was doing a larger size to fit my bust that it would fit. Totally stu-pid!

I’d forgotten that although this was previously a vintage pattern where technically cutting the larger size for the bust would probably have worked, this was a re-release of a vintage pattern, which means it has also been fiddled with to meet ‘today’s industry standards’ ~ i.e. a C cup bust. Nowhere near close to my size.  Phooey.  {Today’s industry standards are totally wack btw! I have less problems with vintage patterns than I do modern ones.}

So I went back, unpicked the lining {yes, the darn thing is lined and that was already in!}, unpicked the bodice, and half unpicked the zipper.  Then I cut the lining and bodice up ~ added bust darts from the side seams to the point of bust, added extra fabric under the bust in the gather point {which in hindsight I may not have needed. Oh well.}, cut another toile from the hack pattern, made that up, thought it might work, cut my fashion fabric again, cut my lining again, sewed up the fashion fabric, sewed it back onto the dress… Then it was bed time.

The next day was Thursday and I had one day to get it done.  (″・ิ_・ิ)っ

I sewed the lining back together, then sewed it onto the fabric again, tried the dress on again, realised that the bottom half of the lining was messing up the bottom half of the the bodice by creating needless wrinkles underneath the fabric that showed through, hacked off the bottom half of the lining, overlocked the bottom of the lining to the midriff seam of the bodice, sewed the lining down to the fashion fabric on the bodice with some top stitching, struggled to make the armpits look nice where the lining and fashion fabric where sewn together, failed, hacked at the inside of the dress, sewed some more seams, finished the zipper, decide to sew the hem by machine instead of hand picking because of time, then sewed the hem seam three times around for a deliberate “decorative” look, ruched the front of the bodice to make a sweetheart neckline and pull in the neckline from standing out, then sewed on the pockets, each of them twice because of having to move them around when they didn’t go on correctly the first time. Gave up when one of them was still crooked because running out of the mint green thread I was using.

Deeeeep breath. By this time it was around about seven o’clock in the evening. Then I tried the dress on again. Yay! More room at bust!  BOO!! TOO MUCH FABRIC BETWEEN BUST AND WAIST!!  (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻  *rage attack* ~ which quickly turned to:

PANIC!   ∑(゜Д゜;)

I quickly skyped my sister to ask for a second opinion and while we were tossing around a. wearing a belt {couldn’t find one that looked good}, or b. sewing up a cummerbund ~ I thought of option c. which was: sew the midriff seam again, pulling in the extra fold of fabric that was wrinkling under the bust. As you might be able to tell ~ this is what I ended up doing.

This had a three-fold effect of curving the midriff seam rather than it being a triangle point as in the illustration of the pattern, gathering in some of the excess fabric causing wrinkles, and lifting the waist to my natural waist because the dress waist was sitting about a centimetre below my real waist which didn’t look the best.

10:00pm that night, and I was finally finished.  (✖ 。 ✖)° ° °

If you are wondering why top half of the bodice is still insanely wrinkled after all that extra work on it ~ well, I was too until I look more closely at the illustration. There are actually wrinkles in the top half of the bodices pictured there too. I think it’s suppose to mimic a sarong look.

I just hate it. I think it looks unsightly, ill-fitting and like a big hot mess. However I can’t fix a design styling, unless I redraft the bodice part entirely. And you know what?  I’m soooo over it….

I don’t think I want to touch this dress again, even to wear it, until some of the trauma of this make has faded from my memory!

Surprisingly enough, even though I did say to The Mister that I didn’t want to touch my sewing machines again for months, I’ve change my mind and I’m already planning to sew parts of my Christmas outfit.   ┬──┬ …ノ( ゜-゜ノ)

I have decided it’s just that particular pattern I can’t stand. Not the sewing.

Though I tell you what, I’ve also decided that sewing is not a relaxing hobby for me. Too stressful for that!

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: A retro re-release of a 1950’s sarong dress pattern
  • Pattern: Butterick B5708
  • Fabric: 4 meters of mint green fabric and 1.5 meters of white fabric with pink roses, 1.5 meters of white linen. From the stash: $13.00 for the fabric
  • Notions: An invisible zip ~ repurposed.
  • Time to complete: One week.
  • Make again? Nope. No, no, no, nope, no, nope. That’s all there is to that.
  • Wear again? Yes. I suppose so. I suppose the dress escapes it’s fiery end….
  • Total Cost:  $13.00 and a block of chocolate. Oh yes, and my sanity. Mustn’t forget that!

If you got through all of that saga ~ well done to you! I hope you never have had to struggle like this with any of your dresses, but if you have ~ you can always share your stories! Any creative “Make Do and Mends” out there? The Mister quoted that to me, and needless to say, I wasn’t particularly impressed at the time… Lol!



༺ ♡ ༻

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