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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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

By Hand London – Kim Dress – The Pinup-Perfect Party Dress!

By on December 22, 2016

Hi pinups! To round up this year’s sewing pattern reviews, I thought I’d end on a festive note with my By Hand London ‘Kim’ Dress! The perfect dress for pinup-perfect party style this Christmas.

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Sewing Summary:

Pattern: By Hand London Kim Dress

Fabric: Plain Cotton Poplin Fabric – Scarlet Red

Notions: 22″ concealed zip

Sewing time: Half a day.

Modifications: None.

Fit: I know I’m going to love the fit of this dress even more with a full bust adjustment.

Difficulty: Medium.

Watch out for: Getting even gathers and under-stitching the lining of the bodice.

Make Again?: Yes! I see this pattern being my go to Summer dress pattern once I made the bust adjustments. Simple, pretty quick and a gorgeous result!

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

Thank you!
xo

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1940s | 1950s

1940s honky tonk shirt

By on November 29, 2016

Hello fellow seamstresses !!
I post here to show you my first 40s-50s western project : a honky tonk shirt !
I don’t know if some of you like this style, but personaly I am completely crazy about it !

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Trying to get some class like those country singers had

(such as the great Charline Arthur in the picture below)

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I used a recent pattern, not vintage, but inspired by this era. (The magazine is the french BURDA , july 2010).

I changed it a bit : I drafted “pistol” western cuff instead of the straight ones proposed, and removed a part of the front, to keep just one piece of yoke. And I hand embroided it, yes ma’am I took patiently the time to do it ! haha

I used burgundy gabardine, and beige plain cotton (I won’t again, I don’t know why I did it, I forgot my previous mistakes : wrinkles, everywhere, only on he beige parts, always …)

And yes, I am planning on making the pants matching the shirt, of course 🙂

 

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Here is a front view of the shirt.

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It is not perfect but I am really happy with it and wear it a lot ! I can’t wait to make me others !

Oh ! By the way, I need your precious help : if some of you know a website where I could buy  good quality light rayon gabardine (any colour, plain would be better) it would be so great ! (And I know many of you here are some serious fabric experts 😉 )

Thanks for reading !

Here’s he link to th post on my blog : https://wildchildsophie.wordpress.com/

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1950s | 1960s | Jumpers / Pinafores

A jump(er) into a deep end

By on November 27, 2016

Hello!

Lately I’ve been convinced by the freezing November temperature that it’d be a good idea to sew something warm to wear around the house or/and in my informal time. I had some soft, fluffy wool that I’ve bought few years ago; I decided to give Burda Vintage 50s inspired Mary jumper a try.

4r

Because I only had a small piece of the fabric, I had to squeeze in the pattern pieces. So I shortened the sleeves, got creative about the facings (I’ve pieced them) and omitted the belt (I already had one in almost the same color as the one of my fabric). I like that the armhole is quite tight and high, which helps to look slimmer even though the jumper is trapeze-shaped. What makes Mary stand out is her collar-cut on the bias. It’s easy to mould; to retain the draping quality I decided to omit the interfacing. I stabilized the edge of the neckline with a strip of cotton selvage.

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Because I don’t like the fuss of having many buttons to fasten at the back, I’ve sewn the opening shut except for the last 5cm; that is closed by two hidden snaps. I decorated the back with 3 big buttons, which are purely ornamental. To make them unobtrusive, I had covered them in the main fabric.

In invite you to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com, to see and read more. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

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