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Sew For Victory! A 40s Sewalong


(watch on Vimeo)

Sew For Victory! A 1940’s Themed Sewalong

Who can sew along? Anyone and everyone! The more the merrier!

When is it? February 4th – March 31st (plan to have your project completed before 3/29 so I can round up all the project photos for a big project parade here on Lucky Lucille!)

What pattern can I use? Any vintage 1940’s pattern, 40’s reproduction pattern, or modern pattern that helps you create your 1940’s inspired garment. (See my 1943 mail order inspired dress where I used two repro patterns and a modern pattern!)

Not familiar with the 40’s? No problem! I’ll be posting lots of resources on where to find patterns, fabrics, fashion inspiration, and anything else you might need to create your 1940’s inspired look.

Really familiar with the 40’s? AWESOME! Take this challenge one step further by researching what kinds of fabrics were rationed in your country during the war, finding 40’s style shoes and accessories to compliment your garment, and/or try a 1940’s hair and makeup look for the total authentic package!

Remember to Make Do And MendBe thrifty and resourceful. If you mess up, make it work! This was a staple mentality during the war which heavily influenced the fashions of the 40’s.

Most Importantly: Be kind and courteous to your fellow sewists. Not everyone has the same skill level or familiarity with the 40’s. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and offer help, but always be encouraging and positive when doing so. Sew-alongs are fun and a great way to make new friends!!

So, ARE YOU IN?! I hope so!
Here’s what to do next: Join the Sew For Victory flickr group, grab a button for your sidebar, and invite your friends to sew along!

Sew For Victory Button – 300 px wide

 Code for 300px button, copy and paste this in your sidebar.

<a target="_blank" href="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/2013/02/sew-for-victory-a-40s-sewalong/">
<img src="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SFVlogo300.png" border="0">


Sew For Victory Button – 250 px wide
 Code for 250px button, copy and paste this in your sidebar.

<a target="_blank" href="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/2013/02/sew-for-victory-a-40s-sewalong/">
<img src="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SFVlogo250.png" border="0">

Sew For Victory Button – 180 px wide

 Code for 180px button, copy and paste this in your sidebar.

<a target="_blank" href="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/2013/02/sew-for-victory-a-40s-sewalong/">
<img src="http://luckylucille.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SFVlogo180.png" border="0">

(More button sizes here!)
Remember to use the hash tag #sewforvictory on Twitter and Instagram so you can check in with your fellow sewists!

This sewing challenge is a work at your own pace type deal, but I’ll be checking in often to help you along! I’ll try to cover everything from finding your sewing pattern, tracing it out, finding your size, working with vintage patterns, finding 40’s appropriate fabrics, hair, makeup, fashion, some WWII history, and even some 1940’s playlists to sew along to! I encourage everyone to post photos of their patterns and inspirations on flickr as you work along! Don’t forget to introduce yourself in the flickr group forum, and never be afraid to ask questions.

Everyone who completes a project will be featured here on March 31st! I might just be giving away some prizes, too ;) ;)

Stay tuned and check back often!



  • Merridy W

    Thank you Rochelle for leading this fabulous idea! I am very excited to be participating in my first ever sew-along. All finished: http://mezmerina.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/sew-for-victory.html

    I’m really impressed with the effort you went into with the material, it’s gorgeous! Love the photo shoot. I feel transported back to the 1940s.

  • Tina Rathbone

    I signed up for this sew along right away, seemingly months ago, but got bogged down by this class project: http://tina-rathbone.blogspot.com/2013/03/tailored-jacket-to-be-or-not-to-be.html
    Can we have another sew along? Forties’ themed or not, as long as we get to see the adorable face of Lucille the Pooch …
    Tina in San Diego

  • misty cochran

    I finshed one but misplaced my camera charger and extra batteries,so pics far from great http://ladymideva.blogspot.com/2013/03/sew-for-victorycraptastic-pics.html

  • Milena

    Hello Rochelle! I am finishing the dress, hope to make it on time! I haven’t registered anywhere yet, have to figure it out (open a flickr account..for instance:) But anyway, just to let you know, I too am in! Here is a little post I wrote about my sew along inspiration- http://thehomeblues.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/sew-for-victory-inspiration-monica.html

    and the fabric I am using – http://instagram.com/p/XVWqH2AgT9/ Very exciting times, hehe.

    • Rochelle New

      I hope you can join us on Flickr because it’s a lot of fun to get to know other seamstresses :) Your dress inspiration is beautiful! It’s going to look great in that fabric.

      • Milena

        Hi Rochelle, thank you. I barely made it:) Flickr account opened – photos to group added -http://www.flickr.com/photos/90211350@N02/with/8609789280/#photo_8609789280 , blog posted – http://thehomeblues.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/sewing-for-victory-40-chalenge-dress.html. Phew… I really enjoyed it though! Thank you for the good spirit and the emphasis on make and mend. It made it even more special:)

        P.S- I love you birdy dress. The fact you recreated the fabric to match the pattern envelope is genius. It has this whole bird theme, with the sleeves too, and it’s extremely becoming of you.

  • Danielle

    Finished! Just uploaded photos to flickr (is that all we have to do or have I missed something??) Blogged about it here: http://onesmallstitchtoday.blogspot.com.au/ Thanks so much for this challenge – I LOVED IT! :)

    • Rochelle New

      That’s all! I’ll be rounding up all the submitted photos on Flickr and posting them on my blog as one big wrap up parade :) Your dress is SO beautiful!!

  • Shawn Mueller-Boddy

    I finished mine! http://thatssewshawn.blogspot.com/2013/03/advance-5555-finished.html I made it from a vintage pattern I found on Etsy. I hope to get more/better pictures this weekend at viva!

  • Elisabeth Rose

    I just finished my second contribution- a 1940s Advance boy;s shortall. Entered on flickr and blogged here: http://mommysapronstrings.blogspot.com/2013/03/andys-easter-outfit.html

  • Adrienne

    I just read about your sew along over at “http://www.bramblewoodfashion.com”, and I’m really excited about it- I hope that I will be done by the deadline! =) Thank you for hosting this! =)

  • Z.

    Somehow I managed to never properly sign up here. I’m in, too!

  • laurenmoyer

    I’d love to try, but may be too late in the game, at least I’ll get to watch!!

  • Amy Plaza

    I really wanted to join in on this but the Mad Men Challenge was taking up a lot of time. Now I’m mostly finished with that and want to try to bust butt and get in on this challenge too! I bought an old 40’s mail order pattern at the antique store a few months ago and this is a perfect excuse to try it out! I’m hoping I’ll get everything finished in time, and with your awesome “working with non printed vintage patterns” post – I should be headed in the right direction! Wish me luck! :)

  • Amanda

    I’m in…even though I think my project might be a fail.


  • Elisabeth Rose

    Hi, I just finished my smocked bonnet from a 1940s pattern.

    Blogged here:http://mommysapronstrings.blogspot.com/2013/03/put-on-your-easter-bonnet.html

    and entered in the flickr group. It was fun!!

  • Cherie Woodard

    I had thought I had posted that I’m joining in – but obviously I didn’t!! I’m mixing this in with my entry (hopefully) for the EvaDress sewing competition.. :)

  • sarah

    Oo i love the idea of this, I’m in too! Just hope I can complete my make in time :)

  • Rebecca Noble

    This is fantastic! I can’t wait to start!

  • Helen

    I just bought some Retro patterns do they count for this challenge?

    • Rochelle New

      You can use any pattern (original, reproduction, or modern) as long as you’re recreating a 1940s style. Check the other Sew For Victory posts for more help and inspiration :)

  • Lorelai

    Looks like I’m late to this party but I’m going to jump in anyways :)

    xoxo Lorelai
    Seams Unbiased

  • Caroline E

    This looks fun! This is the perfect excuse to finally get around to making this great 1940’s blouse pattern I have. Must go find it!


  • Nani B.

    Oh for some reason I am not getting the confirmation email for your newsletter. I have checked my spam folder as well. Would you be able to add me on your end?

    • Rochelle New

      Hmmm that’s strange! I can add you manually :) Would you like me to use the same email address you used to leave this comment?

  • Nani B.

    Sounds like fun! Do you have any sources for vintage rayon fabrics?

  • Tanya Hughes

    Hello! This is my first time at your blog and we seem like kindred spirits. :) I already have fabrics and patterns for some 40

  • Loran Watkins

    I am SO in for this!! Thank you for the fabulous ideas : ) You’ll notice my facebook pic is my Rosie outfit from last year. Maybe this year I’ll have my grandmother show me the “toilet seat” hairstyle my grandfather made fun of…

  • Wendy Ann Lindquist

    What a terrific idea! Recently I dedicated a little space to my sewing machine and have done a some homework on vintage styles. (Ordered some patterns on ebay and a couple of sewing books from that era). I have not sewn much more than folding chair cushions in years! So, as a novice seamstress I do not know if I will complete an entire dress but would have signed up for the group just the same. BTW, my first book came last week, “Simplified Sewing” by Helen Hall, published 1949…I have learned more from her first 30 pages on quality sewing than I have anywhere else! Look forward to sharing projects and tips in this sew-a-long!

    • Rochelle New

      Happy to have you, Wendy! If a whole dress intimidates you, why not try an apron or a blouse? I’m looking forward to seeing what project you come up with :) That book sounds awesome!

  • Veronica Lewis

    How exciting to find you all, looking forward to seeing all the great work, sharing tips and ideas….Happy Crafting!

  • LadyD

    hi i’m guessing you mean wartime 40’s? I have a 1947 pattern that I was planning to sew anyway. (I do have a few other options).

    • Rochelle New

      No it doesn’t have to be wartime 40’s. That’s just the look that I find most iconic of the era. The pattern I’m choosing for myself is actually from 1946 so yours is perfectly acceptable :) Looking forward to seeing your finished project!

  • Sky Turtle

    I would love to participate! Lately I’m having more work and have less time to sew for myself, but I would love to take part. Would making your own pattern fit in the challenge?

  • Sarah Edgecumbe

    This is perfect… I decided two weeks ago that modern clothes were out and this winter (im in Aussie) all was going to be 1940’s. I have two projects already on the go… so if i can… can i join the “sew for Victory” with them :-) Here they are. I started a blog yesterday for my “1940’s Project” http://1940s-vintage-wardrobe-challenge.blogspot.com.au/

    Happy Sewing all,


    • Rochelle New

      Hi Sarah! I’m super excited you’re joining in! I actually have both of those patterns myself but haven’t made them yet, so I’m really excited to see yours sewn up :)

      • Sarah Edgecumbe

        Thank you. I am enjoying it. However sewing machine is having a tune up so i am twiddling my thumbs with them cut and ready to sew. I hope i can manage the difficult pleats on the second one. Will post pictures when they are available. :-) Great little web group! Thanks again. Sarah

  • sewmuchchoice

    Very excited to join in. I’ve just purchased my pattern and waiting for it to arrive. Can’t wait to see what everyone else makes. I’ve not done 1940s before so will be good to try something new.

  • Melanie Montgomery

    This sounds awesome. I was thinking of making the shirtwaist dress from Gertie’s book for a wedding to attend in April. Is that too 50s?

  • Annette Pricsina

    I would love to join, I hope its not too late?
    The only problem is I dont know what to pick.
    I’m trying to build a 1940’s wardobe so this is just the sew along I need.

  • Wyntre Malfoy

    I would love to do this; I plan to have a dress ready by the next big local swing session (which is in a couple of weeks time) :)

  • Rachel Proffitt

    Sounds like a lot of fun :)
    But… I really wanted to say how cute Lucille is :) My DD and I were gushing over her cuteness in the video (she’s a show-stealer ;))

  • Stitchs

    How exciting! I am totally in!

  • Sewingadicta

    Sorry, I´m http://sewingadicta.blogspot.com.es/

    English isn´t my native language..

  • Rosy

    Oh, yes, please! I’m in!! I was a girl until recently 50s ago but 40s fashion has captivated my heart and my thoughts too, I hope you can accept me in this challenge. Love it!

  • Shannon Smith

    I had a hard time deciding what to sew so that I could be part of the sew along. Then I remembered I had a 1940s dress in my possession – my grandmother’s wedding dress from 1945. So I’m going to recreate that dress. Read about it here: http://finishedgarment.ca/sew-for-victory-my-grandmas-wedding-dress/

  • Guest

    I’m going to give this a go, although I may not get too far along. (though I’m not on flickr so won’t be signing in there)

    • Rochelle New

      That’s okay! If you do finish your project, you can email it to me and you’ll still be included in the wrap up parade if you’d like to be :)

  • Kristine Hudson

    woo-hoo!! I’ve stumbled-in while looking for the perfect 1940’s pattern to make-up. (my first) I’m so Glad I found you, it will make this adventure more fun. :) Kristine~

  • Becky Stets

    YAY! I just scored some awesome vinatge patterns so I hope to join you!!

    Check out a couple pictures of my pattern lot here. I’ll have to put more up soon!

  • Vera Venus

    I’m in! The perfect thing to push me to finally use a pattern I’ve been dithering over.

  • SabineC

    I am so tempted to take part! I have been looking through my pattern collection for something suitable, and I think I have two contestants worthy of my sewing attention. At the moment, tho’, I am so overpowered by carnival sewing, that I hardly dare to take on yet more sewing tasks…. but on the other hand… I made a resolution to take part in three sewalongs (I’ve never taken part in one before) and this feels like an excellent opportunity! I really like your blog, I love your style and your tone of voice and I still think that your New Engalnd Day dress is the most beautiful handmade dress of 2012 – at least that I came across of!
    So… count me in, albeit tentatively; at the very least I know that I will thoroughly enjoy all the forties inspired posts and information! Thank you for organizing this.

    • Rochelle New

      Hi Sabine! Thank you so much for your kind words about my dress! I really hope you can fit Sew For Victory into your busy schedule. I’d love to have you join in, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you make :)

  • Michelle

    There’s a first time for everything… maybe this is the motivation I need to sew a 40s pattern for the first time. I do have one that’s been whispering in my ear and beckoning me to give it my attention.

  • Alyssa Opishinski

    Ooh! I hope I can squeeze this in! I love my 40s patterns but so far have been too intimidated to make any of them, which is silly.

  • Shelly

    I absolutely love the 40s but haven’t been brave enough to make and wear
    any of my patterns. This is just what I need to get my act into gear
    and make it happen! This will be fun so I’m in!

  • beatricewinter

    Yes yes yes, I love this challenge. I hope I can make something in time. I love the 40s wartime fashions. All the great details like pleats, fancy seams and embellishments but at the same time using as little new material and re-using as much old stuff as possible.
    I bet there will be some amazing creations in the making soon.
    I think there is no way I am not taking part. Count me in.


  • Danielle

    Oh, how fun! I haven’t ever been part of a sewalong before, but I’d LOVE to be involved. I’ve always had a secret hankering for vintage, which I’ve only ever indulged by costuming for theatre groups…this is the perfect excuse! Thanks :)

  • bubiknits

    Rochelle!!! OMG Yes!! I’m in, or I think I must be in!! I love that period and I just receive the New England Dress from Decades of Style, I will try, having a 3 year old son and a full time job is not easy, but never say never :)

    • Rochelle New

      Yay!!!!!! I’m so excited to see your version of the New England dress! I’m hoping about 2 months will give everyone enough time to get their projects done but I understand a toddler must be tough to keep up with! Thanks for joining in :)

  • Tilly

    Ooh I can’t wait to see what everyone makes! xxx

  • HouseOFpinheiro

    I got my pattern ready… The video was so cute… As always lucille is a star x

  • Anthea

    I never participated in a sew a long, because I always feel like I have no time, I don’t want to use that specific pattern, ecc. But this sewalong is so amazing, I want to give it a try!

    I recently drafted a pattern myself based on a 40s Lutterloh pattern. I’m currently working on a muslin to perfect it. Would that be a problem if I use this pattern?

    • Rochelle New

      Well hopefully this will be the sewalong for you! This is a pick your own pattern and work at your own pace type deal, so yes you’re more than welcome to use your pattern! If it’s 40’s, it’s fair game :) Can’t wait to see your finished project!

  • Sean MacKenzie

    This is fabulous. I’m just starting my first sewing project ever!! And it’s a repro 1940s blouse from simplicity!! I’m so joining this

    The Fictionista

  • Brigid

    I am so excited! I have been wanting to join a sew along like this. However, I won’t be able to really join till the 18th. Hope that’s OK.


    • Rochelle New

      That’s 100% okay! This is a work at your own pace deal, so start when you’re ready. Welcome and thanks for joining!

  • Andrea Gideon

    I’m in! Everything I sew is from 40s patterns but since starting a new job at a fabric store, my productivity has gone way done. I have fabric and pattern waiting but no motivation to sew. This will help with that!

    • Rochelle New

      Oh man, I’ve been there done that! I love sewalongs for the exact same reason. Hopefully this will give you what you need :)

  • Brittany_Va-VoomVintage

    awesome idea!! I’m in too!

  • Wendy

    What a fabulous idea, please count me in too!!

  • Jenny

    Oooh! Does it count if my current WIP is a 1944 pattern? I’m working on Du Barry 5813 and am thinking I might have to make up a second one because it’s looking soooo cute :) This is going to be FUN!!
    Loved your video too by the way! You look so relaxed in front of the camera!

    • Jenny

      Oh, & I can’t wait to see your styling tips- not really sure what to do with this one at the moment…

      • Rochelle New

        Yep, your WIP certainly counts! Looking forward to see what you make :) And p.s, it’s funny you mention I look relaxed in front of the camera because honestly vlogging makes me so nervous! Haha! It’s weird to see yourself talk. I’m glad you liked it though :)

  • Jenny

    This is perfect! I need a new dress for an April wedding, and some 40s retro would be ideal :)

  • Rachel Marie

    Oh boy, I have some 40’s patterns but I’ve been really nervous to sew them… I guess I’ll just have to give it a go! (And Sew My Bit ;)

    • Rochelle New

      Wonderful! Are they vintage pattern? You’ll definitely want to trace them out, especially if you’re nervous to use them. I’ll be linking on how to do that :) I think you should definitely sew your bit ;) Really excited to see what you come up with!

      • Rachel Marie

        Oh, heavens yes I’ll trace it! P.S. It was fun to see a video of you and Lucille. Funny how familiar we get with each others faces without ever hearing each others voices, hehe!

        • Rochelle New

          Oh good. I should have known you would ;) And thanks! I thought a video would be a little more fun and personal. Plus, Lucille is just so darn cute!!

  • misskatiered

    I am in with bells on!

  • Kat Sultanie

    I love sewalongs! I love seeing how everyone takes a theme and can create so many different styles of garments. I am keeping my fingers crossed I can get my shit together and get something made for this sewalong. I know I have a pattern in my stash that I can use.

  • Kat

    1940’s? Heck yes, I’m in! I’ve got so many 1940’s patterns on my to-make list…!

  • Sanne - Roses on Toast

    I’d love to join if I can find the time. Sounds like a great challenge! I’m sure I have a few 1940’s shirtwaist dresses lying around that I can bump to the top of the sewing queue.

  • Debi_myhappysewingplace

    I’m DEFINITELY in!!! Can’t wait!!!

  • Miss Crayola Creepy

    Im in!

  • Harriet Wheelock

    I love the idea, I’m certaintly going to have a go :)

  • Tina

    Sounds great! I have never sew 40’s, but I’m in! Thank you!

  • Tasha @ By gum, by golly!

    Yahoo, yay for kick-off! I really have to sit down and think hard about what I want to do for this. :)

  • Emily Stringham

    Perfect timing! I’m already working on a 1940s project.


  • Maddie Flanigan

    Sounds like fun but I’m going to have to sit this one out (but it’s for a good cause – lingerie sewing). Love the video – you’re getting all talented on me!

  • Cherise

    Sounds like fun! I just finished one 40’s repro garment as a part of a stashbusting challenge, but I’m always up for more fun sewing time! :)

    • Rochelle New

      Yay! Be sure to introduce yourself, and your blog, in the flickr forum so we can all see the project you just finished! :)

  • the Garment Farmer

    I am so looking forward to this!! I got my first original 40’s pattern recently, and I was looking over the pattern pieces last night. I was frightened at the tissue paper with nothing but holes punched in it!! Eek! I too have some research to do ;)

    • Rochelle New

      Yay!!! Happy to have you! I really think researching is half the fun of vintage sewing! Can’t wait to see what you come up with :)

  • anne w

    Oh, yes please! This is going to be fun! :D

  • joelle.stlaurent

    so much fun!! i’ll have to do a bit of research….

  • Jessica Cangiano

    How wonderfully fun! I’m a sewing admirer more than a sewer myself, but I’ll be following along in spirit for sure (this is such a marvelous, exciting sew along project!).

    ♥ Jessica

  • ShanniLoves...

    omg Lucille is too funny. She looks like she can barely keep her eyes open then she looks up like she’s waiting to hear the magic word, which I’m guessing is treat (that’s Vito’s anyways). lol. I’m in!!

    • Rochelle New

      Yay, Shanni!! lol I know, she’s so ridiculous! I think that was more of a “Mom are we done yet?” kind of look lol. I mean, it’s totally not obvious at all that she’s bored… it’s not like she’s falling asleep on camera or anything haha!

  • nova

    I love how Lucille goes in for a kiss while you’re talking! SHE’S THE BEST

    • Rochelle New

      Haha I know she’s so darn cute! I feel bad I denied her. She got many kisses later to make up for it. Even though she almost fell asleep on camera lol!

  • Sarah

    YAY!!!! I’m in!

  • Erin Gerofsky

    Hooray!! This is just what I needed, a little group challenge to get myself back in my sewing room (for keeps!). I foresee much Project Runway being watched, and some silk shantung being bought. I’m so glad I found a couple patterns at a garage sale this summer that are perfect for this sew along. Looking forward to working “alongside” everyone!

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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