1950s | Vintage Sewing

Norman Hartnell Telephone Blouse

By on November 5, 2012
Norman Hartnell blouse

Norman Hartnell blouse

I made this blouse using a 1950s vintage pattern, that came free with a copy of Woman’s Day magazine, one of a fabulous collection of 40s/50s patterns I won on Ebay.

Norman Hartnell blouse pattern

The designer was Norman Hartnell, Dress designer to the Queen and many other famous and stylish ladies. It is fundamentally a very simple pattern but I had to employ some grading ‘skills’ to increase the size.

Norman Hartnell blouse

There is no collar stand so the winged collar effect is created by the folded back facings. I used fusible interfacing to keep the front folds sharp and little red telephone buttons for a pop of colour!

Norman Hartnell blouse

The previous owner of this pattern had drafted a back neck facing which came in very handy and was a much better idea than the bias strip suggested.


More info over at ooobop!

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Vintage Sewing

Ending the Summer with a Serious Flamingo Dress!

By on September 13, 2012

v2961 flamingo dress 1950 fashion 50s design vogue vintage pattern 2961

Oh how I adored this fabric when I first set my eyes on it! I couldn’t decide for months on which pattern would be better to use with my beloved flamingos.

I finally decided to use another awesome vintage pattern reprint from Vogue – a v2961.

The real awesomeness of this dress is that it was quite easy to sew and looks perfect when finished. Although it was a moderately easy pattern, the dress looks really elegant when finished. I mean, as elegant as any dress covered up with flamingos would look 😛

The pattern I used for this dress is one of Vogue Vintage collections. The v2961 was originally published in 1953 and it’s a classic 50s fashion with tight bodice and a poodle skirt.

vogue vintage elbise kalıpları


I must say, for the novice sewing enthusiasts the only challenging detail will be the bound buttonholes at the front. Evet I first thought of placing an invisible zipper on the side and sewing the buttons just as accessories. But then I decided to stick with the original pattern and see how it’ll turn out. I did not make bound buttonholes though – as suggested – and just made regular buttonholes.

vogue 2961 1950s dress patterns

The fitted top was so easy to make, despite the boning detail. I fitted the bodice like a glove very easily. To be honest, the bodice pattern has only 2 darts at the front and 2 at the back and was much easier to make and fitted much better, compared to other more complicated patterns with similar look.

Sewing the buttons on the bodice was the easy part. I did spend some time in trying to figure out how to do the same thing on the skirt. The instructions were quite complicated for me, as I was doing this for the first time.

I cut the upper front of the skirt pieces same as trousers pattern. I then stitched a paper-like interlining on the extra bits and then fold it into two in order to open buttonholes neatly.

I can go on living my happy ending with my flamingos…

I hope that you will also have your happy (sewing project ) ending soon… well, until the next one at least 🙂




Read more: http://sewingyourstyle.tumblr.com/post/28327592035/flamingo-dress#ixzz26KVKG6Dm

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1910s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

My Edwardian Movie Costume

By on February 19, 2012

Hello Ladies!

If any of you have ever watched the “Anne of Green Gables” series, you probably fell in love with the costumes immediately!  I know that was certainly the case in my own life, when watching the breathtaking film launched me into historical costuming many years ago.

So as a tribute to the movie that got me started in sewing costumes in the first place, I recently reproduced the pink traveling gown that Diana Barry wore as her “going away” dress after her wedding (in Anne of Avonlea).  I tried to do everything as authentically as possible, and I used a variety of patterns to create this design.  The fabric was a peachy-pink bengaline moire’.  (“Moire” just means any fabric with an intentional watermark on it.)

The bodice reminds me of a butterfly!

Over the last month or so I wrote about how I constructed the bodice,  designed the sleeves, whipped up the skirt, and finally wore this costume for an all-out Edwardian photo shoot!

Any accomplished lady in 1902 would have enjoyed playing the piano!

I absolutely loved sewing this gown, and incorporated lots of hand sewing with all the antique lace and button-up cuffs.  I wore an embroidered petticoat for fullness in the skirt, and finished off the outfit with a pair of lace-up Victorian boots. I even found a gold and pearl necklace which is remarkably like the original necklace shown in the film.

Trained skirts are so very elegant to wear!

I hope you enjoy the photos, and you can see more pictures of the finished gown here.

I wish I could dress like this every day...

Happy sewing!



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1940s | 1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dating Patterns | Pattern Catalogs | Vintage Sewing

Modes Et Travaux

By on January 19, 2012

Today I was looking on ebay for random vintage loveliness and I came across a couple of Modes et Travaux magazines from the 1950’s. I already have several but I have a problem and just can’t seem to stop… which led to me seriously diminishing my paypal account, and writing a blog post to make myself feel less guilty. I mean, I’m doing it for the blog, right? It’s practically a public service… or so I’ll tell my husband if he asks.

I started the post over on A Few Threads Loose with just a few gems from my collection like these:

And then I just kept going. There’s a lot of frilly, fancy eye candy and you can see more here.

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Vintage Sewing

Last chance for Folkwear Entries, Google, and Buttons

By on December 14, 2011

Folkwear Giveaway

Just a quick reminder that the Folkwear pattern giveaway (where you can win whichever pattern you covet most from the Folkwear collection) closes tomorrow: December 15th.

If you’ve just joined us or haven’t entered yet, head over to this post to throw your hat in the ring.

Some of Folkwear's pattern collection


Our facebook fans can zone out now because they already know about the next two things…


Pretty please…

If you’ve got a Sew Retro or We Sew Retro link up on your blog, I love you. Madly. I love you so much I am knitting christmas sweaters for you in my mind.

But please take a minute to update any sidebar links to the new site because it has some important consequences for our traffic (and our traffic has consequences for your traffic…it’s a big circle of life thing…with less baboons and lions).

Anywhere you see http://sewretro.blogspot.com in your sidebar widgets, change it to http://wesewretro.com (or just replace what you have with the code from our sidebar) –>

Doing little link updating things like this is no fun – I know this because I asked previously and only 3 people actually did it ;). So this time I’m offering an incentive for anyone who needs a little push: 50% off any patterns here. Email me a link to your site and I’ll email you back the coupon code. The coupon code will expire 48 hours from the publish time of this post so I don’t go bankrupt (1AM CST on the 16th).


You, made of cheese. Imagine the glory…

We’ve had a bunch of different blog buttons over time, and you’re more than welcome to use any one you want (even the lime green one from waaaay back in the day). If you want to design your own, go for it! And if you design your own and share it on your blog for others to use, I will carve your likeness into a block of cheese and display it forevermore on my mantelpiece.


Follow us with Google Friend Connect

I’ve added a google friend connect widget for people who like to keep track of their blogs that way. Look over yonder —>


Ok, that’s it. See you tomorrow for the giveaway winner and keep your eyes peeled for a new featured member soon!

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