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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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    Aug 18, 2010, 03.40 AMby sewlyn

    For more formal dresses, I love retro looks from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. I’ve made a number of dresses from Decades of Style, Eva Dress and Vintage Vogue. It’s the simple, fitted lines and styles that show off a great piece of silk that I enjoy, along with some of the couture details that make sewing the garment fun. And it’s a great contrast from the casual styles that I wear daily.

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    Aug 18, 2010, 03.31 AMby Sanne K. Astrid

    Definitely IN! Elegance is timeless. :)

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    Aug 18, 2010, 12.59 AMby retrofitcostumers

    Retro doesn’t have a time or place bind on it – the essence is the classical enhancement of style and how an ordinary garment or person becomes extraordinary with just a line or detail’s touch. In a ready-made, off the rack culture, those little elements convey a personal, intimate connection between the wearer and the garment. Or perhaps I am just romantic…

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    Aug 17, 2010, 11.48 PMby stolensea

    I am huge into retro/vintage looks! My favorite time periods are Victorian and the 1940’s through the 1960’s. Not only are retro/vintage looks usually more flattering to the female body, they are flattering without being too revealing (in my opinion anyway).

    I like to approach it from several different perspectives: firstly if I am not sewing and just shopping I tend to gravitate towards things that remind me of my favorite time periods. Then, when sewing without a pattern, I try to keep the aesthetic of the various time periods in mind. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE sewing from vintage patterns that I buy at second hand or thrift shops! Sizing tends to be a bit of an issue, but as long as I buy a pattern that seems close to my size, it isn’t too much of an issue.

    Shoes tend to be the most difficult thing to find when completing a retro outfit, but I’ve been lucky enough to find retro-esque shoes at good prices. Again, secondhand, vintage and thrift shops are best for this. Recently while in a small British Columbia, Canada town I found the most amazing black lace-up boots, which are PERFECT for a Victorian outfit.

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    Aug 17, 2010, 10.42 PMby momsgotanewhobby

    IN!!! Vintage designs just honor the female body in wonderful ways. When I was a teenager in the 80’s a lot of modern clothes were just awful and I did a lot of vintage then mostly 40’s and 50’s and it was a lot like playing dress-up. I wore all of my mother’s beaded sweaters (sometimes backwards!), wore her hats and jewelry, my dads button down shirts and pencil thin ties, old bowling shirts and I’d cut up old Levi’s and do patches on them. We’d wear penny loafers, pedal pushers, keds with old argyle socks. When I got my first job I picked up a pair of Hush Puppies that I wore for years after. I remember finding an old wool sailors coat at a store on Melrose and I added some new buttons and wore that thing till it disintegrated. I used to love wearing vintage or vintage styled dresses with patent leather pumps and kitten heels that we used to call roach killers they were soo pointy.

    I keep a black crepe dress that my Mom wore when she was a young woman, this garment is a work of art and one day when I learn how I’ll draft a pattern and re-make it for myself or my daughter. Every year, at least once we take it out to admire the craftsmanship.

    I just love these wonderful old styles, such beautiful things and it is a joy to see the vintage inspired projects that Burda members share here.

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    Aug 17, 2010, 08.06 PMby msvaughn

    I absolutely love, love, love the retro look and the feminine quality and style to the clothes from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. They had style and grace and sophistication all wrapped up in one. I am definitely going to make some clothes that are inspired from the 60s.

    Susan Vaughnhttp://www.raisin-toast.com

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    Aug 17, 2010, 07.56 PMby aggieb

    The thing I love about today’s fashion is that you can take elements of different vintage styles, as well as modern styles and either dress them up or dress them down depending on your mood. I love 50s style and often dress solely 50s but also draw styles from the 40’s, 60s, even Victorian dress, don’t limit yourself, the style possibilities are endless!!!

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    Aug 17, 2010, 07.21 PMby muslinmay

    I love, love, love, vintage style; so much so that I sell vintage patterns on ebay, I do not always sew with them as I am a busy mum and find modern patterns quicker and less fragile. My fav are modern versions of vintage patterns but I love to be inspired and have quite a library of scans now which I intend to use as inspiration for my own design work. Vintage rocks!

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    Aug 17, 2010, 04.07 PMby rshelly13

    It would be wonderful to have some vintage patterns on Burdastyle. Vintage patterns take some time to figure out since their sizes are somewhat smaller. If they were updated on here to fit the modern woman, that would be even better.

    2 Replies
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      Aug 18, 2010, 05.33 AMby Rita Miller

      I completely agree! My oldest daughter would be thrilled if I could make her a retro style dress or outfit!

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      Aug 18, 2010, 10.00 AMby apfelbluete

      There are even vintage patterns at Burda Style.
      look at pattern members free. They are called Nadja, Elsa, Katjusha…

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    Aug 17, 2010, 03.36 PMby amandahaas

    I only use mostly vintage patterns. Dita von Teese is my muse, I have designed so many outfits around her. GO RETRO!

    2 Replies
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      Aug 17, 2010, 08.16 PMby alisondahl

      Love it. Your avatar is so cute too, a la Dita a little bit..you seem to have the same coloring.

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      Aug 18, 2010, 12.34 AMby amandahaas

      I try my hardest to be like Dita in every way. She is so glamourous. I will eventually have a huge clothing line and she will be my model muse. so fabulous!

      I wish sometimes that today was like back in the day when women would dress to the nines everyday to everyplace they went. They would dress in evening gowns to go to dinner and perfectly tailored party dresses for hosting parties.
      those were the days….

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    Aug 17, 2010, 02.34 PMby absentbree

    classics remain so for a reason: perfect cuts&lines, great fabrics and they make you feel perfect. I do love classic/retro and I own a lot of pieces that could fall into that category, but I think there is a need for fashion to push forward. I love when people take a classic look and vamp it up to be more current.

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    Aug 17, 2010, 02.31 PMby Syrena B

    Definately “IN”… classics always remain, fads fade….

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    Aug 17, 2010, 02.10 PMby ielle palmer

    I think they’re “IN” but honestly i think classic styles always work. The thing you have to do is beware of the crazy over the top stuff in every fashion season. That’s the stuff that 10 years later you’re going to look back at and go, good god what was I thinking. meanwhile going moderately vintage will just make you look classy.

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    Aug 17, 2010, 02.01 PMby sewcreates

    I love the classic styles, they are modest, feminine and sexy without being uber revealing. They are definitely in!

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    Aug 17, 2010, 01.47 PMby nehmah

    The vintage styles I prefer are what is/was called classic style. These are clothes that were worn by many women over the years. This was due to the simplicity that allowed one to see the fine work that was used to create them. Nehmah

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    Aug 17, 2010, 11.34 AMby amyalberici

    Oh definately retro is very “in” right now. I attended a vintage party two weeks ago where everyone was dressed in vintage apparel. I am also seeing it globally. Come to think of it, was it ever out? I can remember Nicole Kidman and Sharon Stone wearing vintage to all the red carpet premiere’s.

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    Aug 17, 2010, 11.28 AMby elegantmusings

    I pretty much dress in a vintage/retro manner daily! I’ve loved vintage fashion since I was a little girl, and I doubt I’ll be retiring my winged eye liner and wiggle skirts even if they go “out of style”! lol. Although I do sew with modern patterns occasionally, the majority of my sewing starts with vintage patterns at this point. I just prefer the fit and details of vintage. There is something so timeless about stylish gals like Dita von Teese (one of the few modern ladies who I can say is one of my style icons—most of my favorites are classic movie actresses/designers from the 40s and 50s!)—and feminine—that appeals to me. I just love making and dressing up in dresses that scream vintage!

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    Aug 17, 2010, 08.17 AMby sing0202

    Retro looks are IN! I don’t think there’s anything more elegant or feminine than retro and vintage clothes.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Aug 17, 2010, 08.14 PMby alisondahl

      Look at your picture! That skirt looks awesome, and retro. <3

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    Aug 17, 2010, 12.34 AMby ashchaser

    Except for the Burdastyle patterns which I have downloaded, pretty much all the other patterns I use are vintage freebies! I also love vintage looks, and how could I not? Being an apparel design major, there is no way I can deny the periods which all of our styles revisit- so of course I love retro! With a modern twist!

    3 Replies
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      Aug 18, 2010, 03.27 PMby kt4309

      Wow! That’s incredible. Where are you finding free vintage patterns?

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      Aug 21, 2010, 11.42 PMby ejane-1

      Where do you get free vintage patterns?

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      Aug 24, 2010, 12.24 AMby ashchaser

      I usually find them at my university in a big box full of random notions no one wants (but me), and also at yard sales I can sometimes convince people to just take a dollar for a handful or something.
      They are usually pretty dated and need much work to make modern looks, but it has really helped my skills

    • This is a question
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