Knitting,  Sewing,  Style,  Vintage

2018 Retro Round Up

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As the end of December approaches, as do my university deadlines, I thought I would make a little round up of my sewing year. I usually take time out of the online world during the Christmas period to enjoy time with friends and family, but before I do enjoy this final post of 2018.

This year has been a very strange one for me. I feel as though I have achieved very little as I took so much time out for my health. That feeling can often leave me feeling angry at myself and deflated that I’m not constantly growing and reaching targets. So part of the reason I am writing this post is to remind myself of all the things I have achieved this year. 


I began Retro Claude without any general idea of what I wanted this blog to be. I enjoy writing and so in the early days I wrote lots of article style posts. Although I still enjoy writing, Retro Claude has developed to become much more of a sewing blog than a personal one. 

I really enjoy sharing my makes with the world, as well as helping people to improve their sewing. This seems to be the direction that Retro Claude will continue to take throughout 2019. But hey, it’s my blog, if I feel like writing a more wordy post I will. 


As Spring arrived, I became much more interested in sustainable fashion. Fashion Revolution week truly inspired me to get more involved and encourage more people to ditch fast fashion. I also did some experimenting with refashioning which I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to do much more of in the future. 

My refashioning needs more direction!

The only issue I have found is that I don’t often wear my refashions. At least not as much as my other me made items. I have been approaching them as an artistic experiment rather than as a means to make something that will fit into my wardrobe. So in 2019 I am going to try and start with a gap in my wardrobe and see if I can refashion something to fill in, rather than starting with a garment and going “what can I transform this into?”


Summer saw me discover the Love to Sew podcast and all of a sudden my love for sewing doubled. I was suddenly struck by the desire to start making my own clothes. Even though I have been sewing since the age of 14 I had never made myself anything to wear.

Listening to so many other amazing bloggers and entrepreneurs also inspired me to give my blogging some direction and focus. Sewing had done so much for all these wonderful women, maybe it could do the same for me?

And so I started to document the clothes I made as I embraced on making my own wardrobe. 

Some of my favourite pieces include the 1930s style dress I made with the flutter sleeves, my playsuit from reclaimed vintage fabric and the Joan Crawford jumper. I hope I can make even more things to add to my wardrobe in 2019.


Autumn saw me return to university and to work. As a result I had less time for sewing for myself, but I did have time for some knitting.

In fact I was able to do something which I have always wanted to do. I was a test knitter for a new pattern. It was such an incredible experience to help bring a new Poison Grrls pattern to life, and I love my finished Rizzo Blouse.

Pointy boobs courtesy of What Katie Did

Not only did I end up with some new knitting skills but I also learned more about how knitting patterns are developed.  I am hoping I might be able to put this experience to good use in the future if ever I write my own knitting patterns. 

Winter Again

As winter came around again, I started to make my much longed for vintage coat. This was such a fun project to work on. It was a challenge to get the correct fit, and I’m not sure I still have it completely nailed but I am so happy with the results. 

Side view of my 1940s winter coat

This project was an excellent reminder that I can make anything if I set my mind to it. If you can sew one seam, you can sew almost anything really. Don’t be daunted by big projects folks.

Hopefully, I will have some time for some more sewing of Christmas. I have an essay to write but I’m sure I can squeeze in some time off somewhere. 

I just want to say a big thank you to you all for taking the time to read my little blog. From the bottom of my heart, I truly appreciate it.

Season’s greetings you lovely lot, and I’ll see you in 2019.

Claude xx