Sew Simply Retro

Hello and welcome to my Sew Simply Retro blog. I'm Helen and I've been an avid collector of all things retro and kitsch for many years. I love everything about the 1950's; the music, the clothes, the films, the lifestyle and especially the homestyle. The 50's was a time of celebration in post war Britain and the housewife ruled the home. It was out with the old dull drab home furnishings of wartime Britain and in with the new exciting styles of the fifties; geometric shapes and abstract designs printed on crisp fabrics in rich bright colours. Don't you just love the fifties? If you're looking for inspiration, reference, sewing or knitting projects then follow this blog. If you're looking to turn your house into a retro home then check out my Folksy shop.

Monday, 4 October 2010

New kntting project: 1950's bolero

I bought the pattern from a seller on Etsy a few weeks ago and finally got round to buying some wool last week. There are so many colours of wool available these days and it takes me ages to choose. I used to buy a lot of wool from BSK in Bedford as they offer a great range of 4, 3 and even 2 ply wools (mainly for machine knitters though)! Ebay is a great place to find wools for knitting vintage patterns up.

I finally decided to knit the bolero in dark navy, as I already have a navy and white dress crying out for a cute bolero like this, and I bought the wool from a seller on Ebay; 10oz of Robin 4ply.. So I started knitting at the weekend and, despite a bit of initial confusion over the "Quaker stitch", it's going really well so far. The Quaker stitch seems to be an 8 row pattern; p, k, p, p, k, p, k, p. Looks really good once a few repeats have been completed. And no ribbing!!!!

Can't wait to finish it and show it off!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Shop up and running at Folksy

It's been an exciting couple of days at Sew Simply Retro. My shop is now up and running, with 4 items up for sale.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A knitting pattern for you to try.


Materials - 8 (9,10,10, 11,11) ozs 4ply wool, 1 pair no.10 needles

Measurements - bust, 34ins, (36,38,40,42,44ins) width at narrowest part, 13ins, width at centre wide part, 26ins

Abbreviations St. – stitch,  beg - Beginning                 

Tension 7sts. to 1 inch.

Casting on

Unless using the thumb method in casting on, work into the back of all cast on sts. to produce firm edges.

(Note - to measure length place knitting flat and allow “ribs” to close).

Cast on 92 sts.

1st row: knit  2nd row purl, 3rd row knit, 4th row knit, 5th row purl, 6th row knit

These six rows form the pattern and are repeated throughout.

Work 24, (26,28,30,32,34) complete patterns

This should measure 12 ins, (13, 14,15, 16, 17ins)

Work the first three rows of pattern.

Cast on 92 sts. at beg. of next row and work across all the 184 sts in pattern

Work the 5th and 6th pattern rows

Work 28, (30,32,34,36,38) complete patterns, casting off 92 sts. at the beginning of the last row, i.e., same side as the 92 sts. previously cast on.

Work a further 24, (26,28,30,32,34) complete patterns.

Work the first, second and third pattern rows. Then cast off.

To Make Up

Lay flat. Fold over centre piece made by the 92 sts., cast on and off. Fold over each end as illustrated and seam stitch end of work invisibly to each side of centre piece thus forming arm holes. Do not press. 

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Looking for inspiration?

These dresses are lovely. I found them on a pattern selling site but sadly the patterns were sold. Thought I'd have a go at adapting an existing pattern. Just need a free weekend and plenty of tissue paper!!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Sew Simply Retro on Facebook, Etsy and Folksy...well almost!!

What an exciting weekend ... Sew Simply Retro is officially open for business, at least it will be just as soon as I can work out how to set up on Etsy and Folksy!! IT is not my strong point, however making things is. So ... "WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?" I hear all my SSR followers cry (if I had any followers that is!!). Well I'll tell you anyway. Sew Simply Retro is all about sewing, it's about the fifties and it's simply retro. If you're looking for inspiration, reference, sewing or knitting projects, or just being nosey, check my facebook page or follow this blog. If you want to turn your house into a retro home check out my Folksy shop (just give me a few weeks to set it up!!).