50s Summer Dresses: What to choose?


I need your help! I'm planning on making a 50s summer dress but I can't decide which one to make. Hopefully you can help me out by telling me which one your favourite is?

Here they are:

1. Alice In Wonderland

2. Butterfly Dress

3. Button Down Dress With Stripes

4. Ultimate 50s Summer Dress (I have the pattern below but want to make a neckline as you can see at the pattern above.

5. Circle Skirt with Bustiere (I'm opting for View A)

What are your summer sewing plans?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks in advance!!


Me Made May Round Up Week 1 and 2


We already passed two weeks of Me Made May, so it's time for a little round up. I pledged to wear me made garments at least three times a week. We had chilly weather and summery weather so it was nice to switch between my beloved cardigans and summer dresses.

At the first day I wore two recent makes: a 40s dress and my Rowan Cardigan. I love both items and wear them a lot. 

The second day I wore a floral dress I made a few years ago. It was lovely weather so this dress was a perfect choice.

I love to combine vintage and modern. Here I wore a me made 40s inspired blouse and skirt. I had to run some errands and I can't walk very long on high heels so I opted for sneakers. The jacket and sneakers gives the otherwise cute outfit some edge.

In the second week of may we still had some great weather. So I picked another floral dress. This time a dress made with a 50s sewing pattern. Actually this is one of the first vintage sewing patterns I ever purchased.

And the good weather continues, so I wore another dress suitable for warmer temperatures. This dress is made from one of my Lutterloh books. I love stripes and I love puffed sleeves and I love shirtwaist dresses. So a total win for me!

Alas, temperature dropped down. So no, pretty summer dresses this time. This time I'm wearing a me made blouse, dress and the cardigan you have already seen above.

I hope you like it! :)


Finished: Hollywood 1875 / Peasant blouse

Hello! How are you doing?

I have a kind of a routine when it comes about blogging about my finished sewing projects. First I iron the garment(s), then preparing to make pictures and then actually take pictures. After taking pictures I edit them (nothing too special, just resizing/cropping and sometims make them a bit brighter) and finally I'll write a blogpost. So this morning I started with my routine but when I was ready to take pictures I discovered I had to recharge the battery. To make the best of the time, I decided to write the blogpost first and take pictures after. Hoping the battery will be recharged by then. It felt a bit strange, writing without pictures, but not something undoable. 

I made view 3

Anyways, today I want to show you my latest make. It's a late 40's peasant blouse. I wanted to make a peasant blouse for years now, but somehow I never got to it. Last summer I planned on sewing one, but eventually didn't get to it, because it was already september when I finally had time for this project. So this year I wanted it to be my first spring/summer make, because I didn't want to postpone it another time.

I had this pattern in my stash for some years and it's Hollywood 1875 dating from the late 40s. The blouse is made in a white cotton and I added a nice lace trim to the sleeves. 

1. Inside of sleeve; 2. outside of sleeve; 3. completed top

Although this wasn't a very complicated project it sill had some challenges. First, the fabric isn't that great. It's a very stiff cotton (even washing it several times it still remained very stiff). It leaves small holes when you put a needle or pin through it. Luckily the holes disappears after washing the fabric. And the fabric is a bit sheer. So you see every seam, facing or dart. Which, of course, I don't like and wanted to solve. Lining the blouse was not an option, because it would be too warm in summer. I opted for French seams and organza facings which you (almost) won't see from the outside.

The other challenge was the closure. The sewing descriptions didn't provide any information about the closure at all. They mentioned to close the side seams with no further instructions about inserting a zipper or adding snaps or whatsoever. Also other places where you would expect a zipper/snaps weren't mentioned. With no extra opening the blouse wouldn't fit me at all. In first instance I opted for a zipper in the sideseam, but eventually decided against it because you would see too much of the zipper and seams on the outside. Instead, I made button loops on the one side (front) of the side seam and sewed buttons on the other side (back).

1.French seams and organza facing; 2. button loops in the front side seam; 3. bias cut facings for the lower part of the arm scye; 4. buttons, buttons, buttons
Next time I definitely go for another fabric. I prefer a more soft cotton fabric instead of this stiff fabric. Sometimes choices are so limited over here, with only one fabric store. 

Silly pic of me. What was I thinking when  I was doing this pose :P
But in the end, I'm very happy with this blouse. Because I can wear it with so many skirts I already have. And that made me realise I need more of them. But since I don't like sewing the same pattern again I want to do something different. Something with embroidery or smocking. And I already have the perfect patterns in my stash: 

Simplicity 1137  (left) and Simplicity 1660 (right)

Now I only need to find more time to make all those pretty peasant blouses!


Me Made May and just a little update


A couple of years ago I participated in Me Made May and I really enjoyed it. This year I want to join again, because the prevous time I experienced I really like to think about how to style my me made pieces to make a nice outfit. I also like the community feel of this challenge because of the Flickr Group. So here we go:

'I,  Anthea (http://anthea-retrovintage.blogspot.nl @AntheaRV, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I endeavour to wear at least one me made garment 3 days a week for the duration of May 2016. Repeats are allowed, but the look has to be styled differently.'

So now my coat is finished I started some new sewing projects. First is a peasant blouse which was on my wishlist for quite some time. I have like four skirts in my wardrobe which I don't wear a lot because I don't have a nice top to wear with them. Well this is going to change, because this peasant top (Hollywood 1875) is the answer!I'm making view 3.

Hollywood 1875 Peasant top

Another project I started is making my own vintage lingerie. Well, I'm still in the preparations fase, but it won't  take long before I'm really sewing a pretty bra and some nice panties. I went through my pattern stash to see what I already have and decided it's time to use some patterns from my Lutterloh books. I also went through my fabric stash to see if I have suitable fabrics. Luckily I do have! Ov er the years I thrifted lots and lots of vintage lace so it's finally time to use some of them. 
Because Lutterloh has almost no sewing instructions with their patterns I bought Mrs Depew's E-book about sewing lingerie. I hope this will be a great reference book to make my own vintage lingerie.

Lingerie patterns from Lutterloh (late 40s/ early 50s)
I like to make the panties on the left and the bra on the right picture
I've been knitting and crocheting as well. The 30s Fair Isle Pullover is progressing gradually. I finished the front and back but after a quick fit it appeared the shoulders were too narrow. So I had to frog part of it and now I'm almost done knitting these pieces in the right size. 

1930s Fair Isle Pullover
Before frogging the neck part
When I feel tired I like to change to an easier project. At the moment I'm working on a 40s scarf. It's very easy and think it will be great with my new coat. So far this doesn't look very impressive, but after blocking, this will turn in a thrue beauty.


Lastly, I went to a fleamarket with my boyfriend and found two sewing pattern magazines (pattern sheets included!) from the early 50s for a real bargain. But more about that in another blogpost :)

Record/ Die Elegante Linie Sewing Pattern Magazines

What are your current projects/purchases? And are you participating in Me Made May as well?



Finished: Simplicity 2865 / Late 1930s Coat


It took me over 5 months, but today I can tell you that I FINALLY finished my 30s coat! And I don't even count in planning this sewing project, because I already did that back in 2013, as you can read here and here

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

It's been on and off in my mind for years! And now it's done. It feels so strange. Of course, I feel proud and I think I really achieved something. On the other hand I also feel a bit sad that this project is done. 

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea
Simplicity 2865
This was my first big tailoring project and I never learned so much from one single project like padstitching, making bound buttonholes and welt pockets.

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

There was so much handstitching involved. For example: all the padstitching is done by hand. I only sewed the vertical seams of my lining with my sewing machine. All the other seams of the lining are done by hand, sleeves included. The lining is fully slipstitched into the coat. I did some featherstitching in the lining to create some pleats.

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

It wasn't always fun sewing this coat. I had problems with the fabric which shrunk so much when I pretreated it. I had to improvise a lot to make it work. The pattern was two sizes too big, so I needed to grade down big way and that was especially difficult with the sleeves. Luckily, after many muslins and trial and errors it came out fitting me better.

1930s Tailored Coat And Scarf Made By Anthea

The  crocheted scarf I'm wearing in the picture above is also made by me some years ago. Actually it's a huge triangle, but I like to wrap it around my neck. 

1930s Tailored Coat And Scarf Made By Anthea

I've been dreaming of my own tailored coat for so many years. It was in 2008 when I was in Dublin and came across a shop with beautiful tailored coats. Of course, I couldn't afford one, so it was then when I started dreaming about making my own tailored coat in a pretty color. 

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

Well, I don't think I can leave it just with this coat. I love to make more coats in the future. But now, I will be glad to make some garments which take less time to finish. And finally time, to focus on the Vintage Pledge!

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

I was a bit scared the coat would be too warm to wear now. But weather has been bad lately. So lucky for me I guess. Although I do like some sunshine and warmer temperatures as well. 

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

You can find a bunch of pictures which I made during the progress on my Instagram. If you like to see them, you can find me here: click. And I aslo wrote some blogs about the progress which you can find here and here.

1930s Tailored Coat Made By Anthea

Enjoy your weekend! I will definitely do!


Finished: 40s Slacks and blouse


I have some finished garments to show you!
Both pieces were finished last summer, but I never took the time to make photos. This morning I finally did. 

I don't wear trousers that often, although I have always liked wide legged trousers like you see during the 30s and especially during the 40. 

A couple of years ago I made the famous Simplicity 3688 trousers. If you're reading vintage sewing blogs for a while you migh have seen these trousers elsewhere, because they are very popular in the vintage sewing community. TashaDebi and Renée made some lovely slacks using the Simplicity 3688 pattern.
I'm not the person that uses a single pattern over and over again, so this time I choose Hollywood 800. 

These trousers are quite special to me, because it was my first project after my huge sewing slump. A friend of mine helped getting back on track with sewing. Every thursday evening we met and worked on our sewing projects. I'm so grateful that she helped me out with feeling better again. 

What I love  about them is that they have pleats at the front and another feature I like are the cuffs.
I used a black denimlike fabric which I had in my stash and was once gifted to me.

After finishing the slacks I wanted to make a matching blouse. I had this lovely white dotted fabric in my stash which I wanted to turn in a blouse. The pattern I used is McCall 6817 (1947).  

I like the button closure on the back and the puff sleeves. I didn't like the outside darts, so I decided to sew them on the inside. Really, I don't understand why designers think darts should be on the outside. I don't like them that way at all!

This pattern has been choosen because I wanted to practice bound buttonholes. At that time I was planning on making a coat which would have bound buttonholes. I wanted to practice a bit more before starting with the coat. So this pattern was just perfect to improve my skills.

Sewing both pieces was quite easy. It really helped me getting back into sewing again :)


Finished: Simplicity 2072

So, I needed a break from my coat and decided to make something quick and easy instead. I wanted to make a dress, because my last me-made dress dated from July 2014!!! At that time I wasn't feeling very good, had a rough time and I didn't had the energy to make anything. I'm so glad that lies behind me, because I'm feeling much better now!

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea
When I went through my stash of patterns I came across such beauties, but I really needed to limit myself. It had to be quick and easy. Thus, no fancy dress with a lot of details this time. When you look at the pattern envelope of Simplicity 2072 (late 1940s) it might not the most interesting dress. But for now it was just what I needed. Something not too complicated.

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

This pattern has a very small size and I had to add about 3 inch / 7,5 cm to the waist and hips to make it fit me. The bust width was good. In hindsight I could have added some length (1/2 inch / 1,25 cm) to the bodice as well.

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

I wanted to work exclusively from my stash and I succeeded at that very well. I had some rayon-like navy colored fabric with a great drape which is perfect for this dress. Alas, I didn't have suitable zippers, instead I used snaps which I do have plenty in my stash. Also other notions like yarn, seam binding, Petersham ribbon, hooks and eyes, ecc. were all present. I really like it when I don't have to buy anything for a project because I have everything at hand.  

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

The plan was to use my serger to finish the raw edges. My serger is a very old lady. When I threaded her with the yarn the lever which lifts the serger foot broke off :O. I use my serger rarely, because I don't think it's the neatest finish for a garment. I prefer lining or seam binding so much more, but it's always good to have a serger when you feel like speeding up the progress a little. 

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

The only seam binding I have is off-white colored, and I didn't want to change the yarn of my machine every time and decided to use a decorative stitch to attach the seambinding to the raw edges rather then using the regular straight stitch. This way I could sew everything with the same yarn.

Details of dress: Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea
clockwise: closed back (inside out); one of the belt loops; seambinding with bowstitching; open back (inside out)

Because the fabric is quite heavy I was affraid the waist seam would stretch. Therefore I made a waist stay. This was a first for me. Because the dress is so simple it's a nice opportunity to introduce yourself to something new. 

I made some belt loops as well. Because I think a belt will be a really great addition this dress. 

Inside out; Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea
The dress inside out

The hand stitching was very quite time consuming. The snaps (12 pairs!), belt loops, hook and eye at waist level and waist stay, the hem and the bias-cut facings at the armholes and neckline are all stitched by hand. But I really enjoy some hand stitching. For me it's really relaxing and a mindful activity. 

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

I like the finished dress and I think I will wear it a lot because it fits perfectly in my wardrobe. I can style it in so many ways so don't think I will get bored of it anytime soon.

Simplicity 2072 (40s) made by Anthea

P.s. To take any pictures I have to make some room in my living room. This is how it normally looks like (what do you think of my new old rug?):

retro living room with modern, vintage and antique furniture

Now it's time to get back to my coat!