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 | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Spider Web Taffeta Circle Skirt

By on October 31, 2016

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I really do try my best to buy natural fibers, I’m just not a fan of polyester or acetate, nor nylon or spandex. Then of course there comes along a fabric so fun or downright special that I have to break my own rules… like flocked velvet spider webs on black taffeta! It may not be silk, but this fabric was too great to pass up!

The pattern for a circle skirt is so simple to cut and sew together it’s no wonder the style remains popular among vintage reproduction sewers. The hardest part is the zipper, but then again perhaps zippers and I just don’t get along and other seamstresses don’t fear them the same way I do! The hems on these skirts sure do take ages to finish if you are doing them by hand though.I usually finish circle skirt hems with bias tape sewn on by machine then ironed under and stitched down by hand. It takes two and a half packages of pre-made bias tape to do such a hem, but it is so worth it in the end! No hassle, just time consuming!

 

 

 

 

 

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The skirt has a lot of natural body to it as the taffeta is quite stiff on its own, but of course I still wore it over a petticoat too for maximum flair. Another way to get this kind of body in a circle skirt with a less stiff fabric is to use horsehair braid in the hem, but I didn’t have to bother for this skirt. I have been putting twill tape in all of my waistbands though so they don’t stretch out on me after the first wearing. There is nothing more annoying than having a waistband suddenly grow a few inches out of nowhere as it isn’t a fun repair to make!

For more photos of this outfit visit me over on The Closet Historian. Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

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