1950s

The weather forecast

By on June 18, 2017

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

I’ve had the Vogue V1137 pattern for some time now. In fact, its dress was one of my first dresses ever sewn. Now I decided to try making the coat. It’s an exceptionally well-drafted pattern. I love the silhouette that the swing coats and jackets create; glamourous yet comfortable. I’ve had some wonderful, thick and warm wool tweed in my stash for many years; it was sitting there, waiting for a perfect project with a perfect yardage. I had only 140cm of this wool (about 1.5 yard), so I went for a jacket based on a coat pattern, ordering some fluffy yet smooth wool for contrasts and facings. I had to modify the pattern by shortening it to hit 7cm (2.75 inch) below the waist, adding facings and lining (it’s a pattern for a double-sided coat), skipping the pockets and making some room at the front to overlap left and right sides, make bound buttonholes and fit in the buttons.

If you’d like to read and see more, I invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com . Thank your for visiting! 🙂

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

The essential black dress

By on May 30, 2017

Detail from the pattern envelope, McCall’s 3326. Doesn’t that neckline make you swoon?

I cut this dress out, all organised and good to go, last year, when I was binge planning and cutting…..little did I know I would be getting it finished in time to farewell my dear, and very talented nana. She was nearing 90, and had be one of those women who sewed from a very young age, and kept sewing, then knitting and many other handcrafts for most of her life. Nana Joy had been very supportive when I took up sewing my own clothes as an adult, and was naturally, ready for critical feedback whenever she saw me in a new make. She is dearly missed and I think she would have approved of this little number.

But, I digress, sewing rolemodels aside, on with the dress! I wanted to remake the McCall’s dress with a circle skirt, after making some slacks, I had just enough of this black cotton/linen blend to cut out this dress, using the skirt from McCall’s 3468, above. Very straight forward, the patterns are the same size, feature a side zipper closure, and I have used them both, so, easy!

I really am smitten with the results!

And, I need another!

On my blog, you can read how I made my bound buttonholes, added faux horsehair braid to the hem, for that perfect swirl, (see above). And of course, more photos.

Blog post here.

Are you on instagram? Lets hook up here.

Angela xo

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1950s | Dresses | Jackets

Vintage Simplicity 2512

By on May 25, 2017
Akram's Ideas: A Vintage 50’s Dress Made for My Sister Z

A few weekend’s ago my sister Miss Z (as we call her) came down to visit me.

During that weekend she asked if I couldn’t sew her up a vintage style dress, and I was like YES!

Simplicity 2512

Akram's Ideas: A Vintage 50’s Dress Made for My Sister Z
We used Vintage Simplicity 2512

We went through my pattern stash and found Simplicity 2512, which I’m pretty sure is from the 1950’s.

After going through my fabric stash Miss Z found some great coordinating floral fabric, which I’m thinking was meant to be a pillow case and bed sheet.

Akram's Ideas: A Vintage 50’s Dress Made for My Sister Z
I added a gusset to the side seam

The dress came together pretty easily, though the pattern was meant for teens and really didn’t consider much of a bust. So there were a bit of adjustment that I needed to make to get the bodice to fit, but overall it was an easy pattern.

McCalls 5006

Akram's Ideas: A Vintage 50’s Dress Made for My Sister Z
We decided to make a shrug to go with the dress

Since it can be a little chilly in during the spring we decided to make a matching shrug to go with the dress.

We used McCalls 5006 and used some black jersey fabric to knock out the shrug in no time.

The shrug really pulls together the dress and makes it wearable in the cooler temps.

Miss Z’s Dress

I’m happy to say Miss Z loved her dress and matching shrug. She even used some leftover fabric to make herself a matching hair scarf.

Akram's Ideas: A Vintage 50’s Dress Made for My Sister Z
Miss Z even with her matching hair scarf

While there were some fitting issues and I was a little short on the fabric for the skirt, overall this was an easy dress to put together.

We both loved the vintage look and best of all it counts towards my #VintagePledge, which is a big plus.

For full details about making this dress  be sure to see my full blog post at http://akramsideas.com/a-vintage-50s-dress-made-for-my-sister-z/

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6299 just in time for Autumn

By on March 18, 2017

It’s getting cooler here in Aotearoa New Zealand, while all you sewers in the north are getting set for summer, I’m glad things are cooling off now!

I have just finished this dress, it’s made with some lovely fabric my nana gave me, and I used a stunning Butterick pattern which was new to me this year, along with a couple of other lovely vintage patterns.

These ones!

The pattern is a size and a bit too small for me, so I graded it up, and voila! New dress! In my blog post about the making of this dress…

…I share how I graded it up, it’s pretty easy, you just need a basic pattern (or pattern block) that fits well.

The crossover bodice was a bit fiddly, and adding the bias trim gave me more bulk to deal with, but in the end, I am happy with it.

From the back…

And the bias trim….

The bias binding colour was perfect, but just enough to do the neckline and sleeve cuffs. So happy!

Happy Spring or Autumn Retro Sewists!

The blog link about this dress is here, and now I’m off to make another jumpsuit!

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1950s | Coats | Modern Patterns

Faux Fur Trimmed Coat – McCalls 6800

By on March 1, 2017

It’s been so cold here lately, I really wanted a warm, everyday coat with enough room to fit a circle skirt and petticoat underneath. McCalls 6800 was the perfect choice, with its princess seams, full skirt and a hood! The main thing I wanted to add to my version was the faux fur trim. It makes the coat so cosy.

I love full skirts and a coat is no exception. To make the skirt section on this even fuller, I added a couple of inches width to the bottom of each panel. Combined with the faux fur trim around the hem, the skirt section is very full and very swishy.


 The fabric I used was so thick I don’t think my machine could’ve managed a sewn buttonhole. Instead, I opted for 4 bound buttonholes. They’re a pain to make but always look so lovely.

The lining is a bright cerise crepe backed satin. I love how the pink pops against the pale faux fur and dark navy, plus it makes the coat so easy to slide on and off.

I have more details on the making of this on my blog.

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1950s

A bouquet of grey roses

By on February 19, 2017

Hello, fellow Seamstresses and Tailors:)

Today I’d like to show you the dress I’ve just completed 😉 I’ve used a modern pattern with a modern design, which could be easily modified for a vintage 1950s look; it’s Butterick B5984. As I’ve suspected, quite a few changes were needed-the most important of which was to modify the princess seams of the front and side bodice panels to accommodate the bullet/cone shape bra. I didn’t have to make the ususal FBA as the pattern had the A-B-C-D cup options, which was a nice change. The pattern was drafted to accommodate a modern, sphere-like, heavy bust shape and I had to change the seam curve below the bust from convex to a clearly pronounced concave one.

I’ve lengthened the skirt, shaved off a little bit of the décolletage and altered the sleeves’ length as well. As for the above-mentioned décolletage, I think it’s the most beautiful element of the design. It’s quite big and geometrical, but it doesn’t expose the breasts atall and therefore does not look cheap, even with so much skin exposed. The extra emphasis on it  made with contrasting band is also wonderful, making a portrait-perfect frame for the face.

     The main fabric is a heavy, quilting weight cotton and it works wonderful with the circle cut of the skirt. The belt and the contrasting bands are made from some cotton twill. The bodice and sleeves are lined with ivory cotton batiste, having all of the seam allowances enclosed in a snow-white satin bias binding. The skirt has its own separate lining.

To read about the finishing techniques (lots of  hand-sewing involved) and to see more photos, I invite you over to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you for visiting! 🙂

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blue Jacquard 1950’s Dress

By on February 6, 2017

I imagine many people here on We Sew Retro are big fans of Gretchen Hirsche’s wonderful fabric designs for Fabric Traditions available at Joanns, and I have seen so many lovely things made from her fabrics around the community! I recently picked up a few yards of the blue jacquard from one of Gertie’s fall fabric collections in the red tag area of Joanns (always check out the red tag area, is it usually full of dated sad decorator fabrics? Well, yes. Are there occasional hidden gems? Also yes!). I decided the shining sapphire blue jacquard would make a perfect 1950’s style wiggle dress and got started right away!

It was really important for this dress to make sure the raw edges of each seam were finished in some way since I knew I didn’t want to bother with a lining. Also with most jacquards and brocades I like to finish the edges no matter what as they seem to looove to fray apart the moment they are cut! So the first thing I did after cutting out this dress was overlock all of the edges with my serger. The bodice is a simple “kimono” sleeve style which is super simple to make up (just 6 darts total and the side seams) as you don’t have to fiddle with setting in proper sleeves as they are cut into the design. I totally recommend this style of bodice for those who have trouble with sleeves! The neckline was finished with a self fabric facing that I tacked down with tiny thread tacks to help it stay smooth. With a center back zipper and hand sewn hem finished, it was ready to wear! Too bad I didn’t make this number in time for New Years Eve as it would make a perfect holiday party dress! Next year perhaps 🙂

For more photos visit the full outfit post over on The Closet Historian!

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