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Today’s Oregon Rail Dress got me to thinking about retro-inspired fashions— think Dita Von Tesse when she is offstage in a tailored pastel colored suit (pictured bottom right), or 50s-inspired dresses with full skirts and ruffles. Do you like this look?

It is funny how timing works sometimes— I just received a book in the mail today, Sew Retro. This book features “25 vintage inspired projects for the modern girl.” Tutorials offer how to make a Victorian pincushion, an apron, an opera bag and even a mini-skirt pattern. Do you wear retro fashion? Are you a fan, like our Alden, of cinched in waists a la 1950s and big, voluminous skirts? Do you sew from vintage patterns? Share!

Top left is a striking mint green member creation, red Modcloth polkadot dress, Dita Von Tesse, Modcloth Black & Creme dress


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    Oct 31, 2010, 01.26 PMby amn-1

    Wooow That’s great…

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    Aug 24, 2010, 12.19 AMby youngsewer26

    Vintage = : ) It’s timeless. No matter where you are you can always throw together a vintage outfit and you know you’ll look good.

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    Aug 23, 2010, 07.23 PMby tinapickles

    Retro and vintage is “IN” and always will be—it inspires modern fashion. I think the key is to take retro or vintage styles and update them just a touch—whether it’s with accessories or fabric or whatever—in order to make it work. Then again, there are classic items that never go out of style so…

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    Aug 23, 2010, 04.58 AMby Ruffles Gazebo

    a vintage fair was in our town on the weekend….oh gosh, so much money could have been spent! i now want to do a milinary course more than anything!

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    Aug 21, 2010, 06.35 AMby varenoea

    Vintage is all very nice, but why does it always have to be the bloody 50s? It seems a lot of people equal “vintage” = 50s.

    What about the 70s? What about the 20s? I’d like to see something in that direction.

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      Aug 21, 2010, 08.57 PMby popbabe7

      Yes I can see your point, the 20s is only often summed up by the flapper dress.

      Maybe the 50s is the perfect timescale i.e. not too old but not too recent?

      There certainly seems to be a fascination for this era, maybe because it was just after the war and that it meant hope, new beginning etc??

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    Aug 21, 2010, 05.19 AMby chadrific


    I’ve started designing by using vintage patterns that I’ve found every where (altering them of course!) and I looooove it. Anything from the 20s-80s I love.

    Vintage <3 it makes my heart flutter with joy

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    Aug 20, 2010, 12.34 AMby passthepins

    I love the styling of the 40s and 50s, when women were so glamourous and gorgeous. I tend to veer towards the 1970s in my own style.. but it depends on the day and my mood. I think I am just too lazy to do the full hairdo / makeup to go with the glamour dresses ;)

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    Aug 19, 2010, 07.49 PMby brn2sew

    I’ve always loved retro. Sometimes I think that I was born twenty years too late (LOL). The hair, clothes, shoes are all sooo feminine! Just got several vintage patterns and sewing books! Yay!!!

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    Aug 19, 2010, 05.03 PMby shell-bell

    Honestly? I don’t care if they are in or out. I’ve always loved the looks of the 40’s and 50’s and dressed in them long before it was “cool” and will continue to long after! I have stacks of vintage patterns my grandmother has given me, and am grateful to take after her in terms of body size, so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy since she’s amassed them over the past 84 years!

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    Aug 19, 2010, 03.43 AMby dinosaurcollective

    IN! Just added the book to my list. Love love love vintage! Elegance and class are never out.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 11.14 PMby strawberrypancakesbykim

    In…Not just now but all the time! Classic is classic!

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    Aug 18, 2010, 09.25 PMby popbabe7

    I love retro fashion, whether it be 50s full on-skirts or 60s mod dresses. I don’t care if it’s in or out, I’ll wear it and I happily leave frumpy leggings and tunics to other girls!!

    Elegance is timeless!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 20, 2010, 12.34 AMby nessys

      I agree Honey – Elegance is Timeless

      I’ll have retro-inspired fashion over frumpy leggings and “everyone just bought this from that store” any day!

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    Aug 18, 2010, 02.59 PMby Arwen Allen

    Technically since they were on the runway for fall 2010 they’re in- but let’s face it… 1950-1969 is over. I’ll admit that these super girly looks are really starting to look pretty dusty now.

    Tailored pieces are always in fashion, although I cant help but feel the large full skirts with trim all over them are way past their stale date.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 21, 2010, 06.36 AMby varenoea

      Thanks. I totally agree. Vintage doesn’t have to be 50s fashion.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 02.52 PMby gretch

    My feeling is that classic lines, beautiful prints, and feminine design may not always be the hottest trend but it will never be an “out”.

    I love vintage, that is why I blog about sewing vintage patterns. I started collecting pieces when I was 12. So I don’t know if that makes it an “in”, since it was “in” for me over 15 years ago.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 02.00 PMby jefita

    I totally dig the retro look whether or not it’s in and I agree with many others that it never really goes out of style. I love the accentuation of the feminine shape with the narrow waists and poofy skirts. I used a 50’s cocktail dress pattern for my wedding dress last October and it was awesome.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 12.49 PMby alicolette

    I sew from the vintage Butterick and Simplicity patterns all the time. I love the way they fit and look! Anytime I wear them people always wonder where I got them. I hope by telling them I made them, that it will inspire people to start sewing!

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    Aug 18, 2010, 09.05 AMby little-meep

    Retro is definitely IN! My next project is a blue spotty dress much like the red one in this post.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 09.03 AMby Anna Aasbjerg

    I simply love art deco- inspired vintage patterns and the 60’s mod-fashion! If I can find the time, I’m thinking about making a vintage-inspired coat this winter.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 08.41 AMby loulourosa

    For me retro is no question of being “in” or “out”. I think I was born retro, I have piles of fashionmagazines, from the thirties till now, I live in a “retro” home with retro furniture and wallpaper,…and I buy retro fabrics. When I was a teenager, I made new clothes out of my mothers sixties clothes. My friends sometimes make fun of me being born in the wrong time. But alltough I love retro stuff, I would never completely dress like women did in the fifties or sixties. I like to give my look a contemporary twist, and corsets and suspenders are most definitly not my thing! I’m also missing the personal toch in the “retro” look I see younger girls wearing now, the polka dot dresses and the gardenia in their hair,…

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    Aug 18, 2010, 07.58 AMby tabyaby

    I just LOVE retro-fashion stuff… I altered some of my clothes and I bought some patterns years ago (I never made anything of it). I started asking around if someone still has clothes from these times and many people here laugh at me because of it… I also just don’t know if I could wear it but when I see it and when I see it worn in am modern way I get (what we say) shiny eyes because of it. Then I try to think only in modern clothes again and return to this retro-style as soon as I see an article like this one about it… :) Don’t know what to do with it…

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    Aug 18, 2010, 07.05 AMby flosiepoos

    There’s no question the retro/vintage look is ‘in’. I’ve worn my mother’s 1950s dresses since I was in my teens and now I either make them using original patterns and new or vintage fabric or scour my favourite shops for originals. I have the shape for that decade so my wardrobe contains quite a few lovely pieces from the era.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 04.57 AMby tahmineh

    I scored a ton of vintage patterns from my mother, and I’ve made a couple so far. some other pattern brands have brought back some om the styles and I’ve made a few of those too… I’ll try to get some photos posted

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