1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

I can’t afford a real Shaheen… (Butterick B6019)

By on March 15, 2014

Hi guys and gals!

I’ve finally finished making Gertie’s Shaheen-inspired sarong dress (Butterick B6019) and I hope you like it!

The pattern:













My version:
















This pattern was HARD! If you want the full story, it’s on my blog here.

The fabric is an indigenous hand-printed cotton from the Babbarra Women’s Centre, available from Spotlight (Australia).
















The dress definitely needed a little bolero, and Butterick 6087 (from 1952) looked like a good match.































While the dress nearly drove me mad, the bolero was very easy – which I greatly appreciated by the time I came to sew it!

If you’ve been thinking of sewing this pattern, definitely give it a go but don’t get down-hearted if it’s a bit of a struggle. Unpick, resew, keep going – you’ll have a killer dress in the end.











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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Feather-Print Sheet Dress (Butterick 5708)

By on November 20, 2013

Hi fellow retro sewists! Melissa here. This is dress that I made over a year ago and photographed this past summer. I’m finally posting it even though it’s totally inappropriate for Fall/Winter (except maybe for you Aussies and Kiwis!). Here’s my version of Butterick B5708.

I decided to change the pattern a bit and use the circle skirt from Butterick 5748 instead of the original gathered skirt. The fabric I used is from a vintage sheet I found at a thrift store and since it’s white, I lined the dress, including the skirt. The top is meant to be convertible and the pattern envelope shows several ways to wear the ties. To me though, they’ve been difficult to tie and a little uncomfortable and I wish I had modified the top so that they sit higher on my shoulders!

Thanks for checking out my dress! Have any of you made Butterick B5708?

For more pictures and info, here’s my post on my blog, Mint Green Sewing Machine.


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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

The Curtain Dress (Butterick 5748)

By on April 6, 2013

Hi, I’m Melissa, a blogger and longtime sewing enthusiast from the central coast of California. This is my first post on WeSewRetro. I’m so excited to share one of my favorite sewing projects with fellow vintage lovers!

The idea for this project began when I found this amazing fabric at a thrift store in the form of some old curtains. I loved the print and the colors, and  I knew I could give those curtains new life as a dress. I decided to try it out on one of my new retro Butterick patterns, #5748. I modified the pattern slightly due to the directional design of my fabric, making a gored skirt instead of the circle skirt of the pattern. I made the bow removable so I can change the look a little bit.

You can check out my post for this dress here on my blog, Mint Green Sewing Machine -Melissa

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Vaguely Nautical

By on July 19, 2012

This is one of two vintage dresses I’ve made for myself this month (the second is awaiting a belt). I had a pair of vintage spectator pumps, and really needed something to wear with them.

This was my first time using a Retro Butterick reprint. You might not be able to tell from the finished dress, but I used #5603.

I’ve been stocking up on Retro Buttericks whenever Hancock’s or JoAnn’s has a 99 cent sale. True vintage Buttericks are some of my favorites to sew with, and I’ve noticed this one cropping up a lot on PatternReview and other sewing blogs. I did add sleeves and 1,000 miles of bias trim (which I made myself… why?) as well as a hidden pocket in the non-zipper side seam. The other thing about this dress is that it’s quite a bit longer than my other vintage dresses. Anything with a full skirt I usually hem so that it hits right below the knee. But I went with a mid-calf length on this one and was quite pleased. (Of course now I am on the hunt for a tea-length petticoat to wear with it!)

I really love how this turned out! I used a fabric called ‘pimalene’ that I found for $2/yard at my local fabric store… think Kaufman Pimatex with a slight stretch. It was a wonderful fabric to sew with.. and I used notions from my stash so the whole dress was less than $10!

One more shot of the dress in action…

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

the 50s meet Africa

By on May 30, 2012

I used a beautifull heavy cotton fabric brought from Africa last summer by a friend.
It was easy to sew and didn’t need any lining.
I used butterick b5032 retro pattern but chenged the skirt into a simple gathered one. I also lowered the neck line a bit.
have been wearing it almost every day since I made it last week.

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1950s | Dresses

Retro Butterick 5032

By on October 25, 2011

Finally got around to registering for the new site! My name is Barbara and I blog about sewing and other odds and ends over on MoxieTonic. I adore vintage clothes, but unfortunately just like modern ready to wear, I have a terrible time finding garments that fit my apparently strange shape. So I sew my own. Often from true vintage patterns or reproductions or by altering modern patterns to get the look I’m after.

Most recently I completed what started as a test garment, cut from a big black sheet, but ended up being completely wearable (I love it when that happens). I did have to alter the back of the bodice as it was HUGE. Not sure why the pattern drafter thought anyone needed that much room for their back, but I had to deepen the darts significantly and take in the side seams to get rid of all that excess fabric.

I also drafted a circle skirt instead of using the slim skirt in the pattern. I’m a sucker for full skirts, although eventually I’ll give the other a try. I’m so happy with the pattern, I’m sure I’ll be using it again and again.

Couldn’t resist adding some pockets!

And all accessorized up the first time I wore the dress out.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

My Blue Silk Dupioni 50s Dress

By on October 22, 2011

Hello Everyone!

I just finished sewing a dress from one of my favorite eras – the 50s!  In the last few months I have posted pictures of my summery vintage dresses, but with the weather turning colder I knew I couldn’t continue wearing them for much longer.  So when a friend of mine gave me her mother’s collection of fabrics, I spotted a gorgeous piece of silk dupioni that begged to be made into a party dress! 

For this dress I used Butterick 5556 (a retro reproduction), which is a terrific pattern to work with.  Unlike some updated retro patterns, this style fits very well, except that there was too much room in the bodice in the picture of their model garment.  So with this in mind I cut the bodice smaller than my usual size, and it turned out nicely. 

I added a button closure down the front in addition to the side zip closure, which allows for more ease when you’re getting in and out of it.  At the sleeve ends I added a frill of double-ruffled silk, and I omitted the pockets and the skinny little belt. 

And I am so happy with how it turned out!  I love wearing this dress with my crinoline petticoat, and you can be sure I’m planning to use this pattern again in the upcoming months!  To read all about it you can visit my blog.

Happy sewing,

Katrina – www.edelweisspatterns.com

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