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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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.

 

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

Thank you!
xo

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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…

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

Thank you!
xo

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Rosemary Dress — a free pattern

By on December 30, 2014

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I decided to make a present for myself after Christmas has already passed and here it is, a dress I called Rosemary, based on a pattern from Der Neue Schnitt 5/1952 –number RK 35113.

This particular magazine came to me without the key and with just one pattern sheet. So if I wanted to sew this gorgeous thing, I had to trace all the lines on the sheet with my finger to find the right pattern pieces. Let me tell you that took long. But it was worth it. When I finally did find it, I decided to scan it and trace it digitally and I made it into a downloadable pattern. Head over to my blog to get it. Merry Christmas.

The sewing process was easy peasy, even with no instructions I just followed my gut feeling and it went smoothly. The pattern is also well fitted which actually means that it is a bit too loose for me, as it is intended for bust measurement of 92 cm/36in (and I’m more of an 88/34in). But I actually like that because it makes me feel I can easily move around in it, which I intend to do a lot of during the New Year’s Eve.

For more photos and a full story of this dress, head over to my blog.

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1950s | 1960s

Simplicity 2602: The Christmas Edition

By on December 23, 2014

Christmas eve is almost upon us and here I have a festive feast for your eyes.

The Simplicity 2602 all made up and worn for my work Christmas party (and soon to be seen on Christmas Day!).

Christmas dress and fabric 2015

I have to confess that I made the choice based on something quick to whip up (relatively speaking) and the lack of messing about with sleeves when I knew how busy I’d be in the weeks running up to the date I needed to finish by.

I picked a medium weight cotton from Benartex (Let It Snow) available from Plush Addict. I went for a good 4 metres and I was very happy in the end that I did.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned out the pattern and up came a quandary, mainly that the pattern doesn’t repeat itself often enough.

It meant a lot of pinning and re-pinning before cutting and I had to deal with the sides seams not matching (I decided the back was much more important due to the side closure and the split).

So after holding my breath and cutting while crossing my fingers and every available part of me (I don’t often sewing with patterned fabric!) it was done.

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

I pinned the darts and pinned to my dressform and was already very happy before I even started to sew it up. Sewing was relatively easy apart from the back, which I had managed to get a tiny bit out of sync.

Yet again my seam ripper became my best friend and I opted to sewing on the fold down the back rather than try (for the umpteenth time) to match the seam.

I don’t think you could obviously see it due to the pattern but decided even if you could I’d give myself a break and not give too much of a monkeys.

So on I went, and the rest was relatively easy, the split was a breeze and the side zip went in with ease. It seems that a break away for a while has done me some good. Eight and a half hours later and I was done, pressed and ready to go.

I wore at the office party, looking way more dressed up than everyone there BUT it’s Christmas and if you can’t wear a lovely sparkly dress for a party what can you wear it for? Here it is in all it’as glory!

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Simplicity 2602 Christmas Edition

Better photos to follow after Christmas day and on my blog – wait until you see my hand embroidered napkins and table cloth!

Wishing you all a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Christmas Day and much love and happiness with your friends and family. I’m off to ice my ridiculously boozy cake!

Merry Christmas!

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

mono dress & faux film noir

By on May 28, 2014

self drafted dress film noir

This dress is my second attempt at pattern drafting. I re-drafted my bodice block and made further alterations but still I need to take some volume from the back.

This was apparent when I came to draft the skirt. There was precious little difference between the back hip and waist measurements!

But I went with it after checking the measurements of the bodice.

It all works reasonably well but the side seams sit a little bit too forward for my liking and I’m sure by taking out the excess at the back it will make them sit properly. And will also give the back skirt a better shape at the waist!

self drafted wiggle dress

Hoping to prove myself right with the next version.

The design is based on a general 50s shape but I really like the angular necklines of the 40s. I’m not sure of the fabric content. It could be upholstery material! About 6 meters was given to me so I figured I could use it for this test dress and have plenty left over if I messed up!

As for the crazy  photos, Mr Ooobop was determined to practice with his new camera flash and who am I to argue?! A little wave of the Photoshop wand and abracadabra, all sorts of crazy faux film noir was achieved!

self drafted wiggle dress

More over on the blog

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1960s | Dresses | Hats | Mad Men Inspired

Mad Men Dress Challenge 3 – Bobbie Barrett

By on April 14, 2014

The fabulous Bobbie Barret was the inspiration for my entry into Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge 3. I chose Butterick 9497, with this lovely purple fabric from an op shop. I decided to make a hat to accessorise, as ‘business’ Bobbie is rarely seen without a perfectly styled hat, fortunately I had the body of a hat I had played around with just waiting to be embellished.

I have had some fun in this dress already, my daughter and I dressed up to watch Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face at a lovely old cinema on the weekend. By special request I had to whip up a dress for her in matching fabric, she also embellished her own hat, the base of which I had at hand. Here we are, it was VERY exciting.

This is the original pattern – I have many more photos over on my blog – this dress really was ‘quick and easy’ and I love it more than I thought, I do plan to make the full skirted version, perhaps for spring.

It has been ages since I have posted here, but I have been doing a lot of vintage sewing! Many separates, that get worn daily – including finishing off other people’s sewing projects, like this lovely gabardine skirt, which came to me through a friend, in a suitcase with fabrics and patterns, mostly 1970s.

I also have accepted a really exciting project, through some very talented women who have set themselves up to run workshops in millinery, corset making and vintage sewing (cool!). I was invited to document and blog a vintage sewing project with their vintage specialist – who in completing her MA designed and made a range of luxurious woollen coats using vintage techniques and based on coat designs from the 40s to the 60s. A couple of her coats are inspired by none other than Balenciaga, I had the pleasure of trying them on when we met on the weekend.

The collaboration was an opportunity for me to find a project that I would find challenging, one using techniques or skills that are new to me. So I brought a selection of patterns and fabrics, we talked and dreamed up several exciting projects, we had to chose one, and this is what we will create. The fabric and pattern are both 1950s, the pattern is unused and the fabric was a gift from a dear friend. I have many more photos on my blog including the projects that didn’t make it – this time. I was excited as I have a few (ahem, well perhaps more than a ‘few’) vintage fabrics that I hesitate to cut into, so it is good to go into a project with someone who has more experience – we both want to do justice to the lovely fabric and the gorgeous pattern. So, watch this space!

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