The DIY Pinup – Simple and Easy Sewing Patterns for a Vintage Wardrobe

When it comes to the perfect pinup wardrobe, sometimes a pinup just has to do it herself. For about a year, Ive been slowly teaching myself how to sew and found that the resources available online are a goldmine.

There are so many amazing pattern that can be sewn at home to help you create your ideal vintage wardrobe. Here are my favourite patterns:

Butterick B6453;

A collaboration between Butterick and Gertie; Misses’ Princess Seam Dresses with Straight or Gathered Skirt.

This Pattern has created itself somewhat of a cult following. There are heaps of sew-a-longs online as well as lots of variations. I have made several versions of these dresses and find them really quick and easy; they are a great way to use up about 2 metres of fabric. Find this pattern here.


McCall’s M7625

Fitted dresses have shaped front and back bodice with princess seams and sleeve variations. B: Contrast sleeve bands and collar.

This dress is definitely one of a kind. From the collars, to the  low waist, it gives comfort, style and class to the wearer. I love how the bodice can be brought up if the low waist isn’t flattering and how it’s a nod to a more casual pinup style. Find the pattern here. 


Butterick B6018 

Dress has raised neckline variations, fitted bodice, button trim, empire waistline, fitted and flared skirt with gores, side zipper and short sleeves. A: fold-back lapels and shaped cuffs. B: Rounded neckline with notch.

I love the waistline of this dress as it gives a gorgeous silhouette. The addition of the sleeves, cuffs and cute buttons make the dress really versatile. I personally found I had to shorten it a few inches as the long length looked a bit unflattering on me. I love this dress made up in a thicker fabric for winter. Find the pattern here.


Simplicity 1426

Women’s vintage bra tops are a flirty way to pull off a retro look. Make a faux wrap halter, ruched with cross back, balconette halter or strapless with button back or a bandeau. Wear alone or under tops when bra is meant to be seen.

I find this pattern really versatile. I have made several of the tops to be worn as part of a two piece set, or adjusted the top to become part of the bodice of a dress. I find the fit super flattering and easy to adjust. By creating a cute pair of shorts you can make yourself an adorable summer outfit!  Find the pattern here. 


 Butterick B6354

Self-lined bolero. Close-fitting, lined, boned bustier has front band and detachable (button) halter strap. Fitted, wrap skirt has pleated right-front, and tie ends. Purchased bias tape to finish waist. Shorts have waistband.C, D: Narrow hem.

Speaking of creating cute summer outfits, you cannot look past this pattern! This pattern is a collaboration between Gertie and Butterick which is well loved in the sewing community. I personally love the shorts and sarong from this pattern set as they go so well with different tops. I find the pattern really quick and easy to follow and it’s a good project for beginners who want to create and customise an outfit. Find the pattern here.


McCall’s M7433

Pullover dress has semi-fitted bodice, side zipper closing, skirt with front and back pleats, self-belt and contrast neckbands. A: Short sleeves with contrast band, skirt cut on crosswise grain. B: Long sleeves with cuff and placket.

This pattern is a classic 1940’s style dress and I particularly love the shirt dresses of this era. It gives a sense of sophistication and class to the wearer. It can be sewn up in lots of different fabrics and customised with fun buttons and piping. Find the pattern here. 


Butterick B5708

Dress has close-fitting, bias, self-lined bodice/midriff, gathered skirt, skirt front and back cut-in-one, invisible side zipper and baby narrow hem. Bodice extends into tie ends at shoulders (shown tied multiple ways). Purchased petticoat. B: Contrast bodice

This is a great pattern to use of you love creating dresses with contrasting or similar fabrics. The pattern allows you to use block coloured fabrics with patterned fabrics to create a timeless design. There are so many possibilities with this dress and I love the flare of the skirt. Find the pattern here.


Simplicity 1166

Head back to the 1950’s with this great Vintage Simplicity pattern. Pattern includes button up blouse, bra top with crossed back, and full skirt with buttons.

Nothing screams pinup in the countryside like this pattern. By finding a soft fabric with a delicate pattern you can create the perfect country girl outfit. A beautiful friend made me an outfit from this pattern using old Disney bedsheets and it’s such a fabulous outfit. Find the pattern here.


Butterick B5748

Lined, sleeveless dress has close-fitting bodice, flared skirt (Cut on crosswise grain of fabric), scoop neckline, side zipper and very narrow hem. A: Slit at neckline and attached bows. Purchased petticoat.

This pattern should definitely be put on your ‘must sew’ list. The flattering fit and flaw design makes it really versatile for different body types and the length of the skirt is perfectly designed with a petticoat in mind. I recommend a beautiful cotton sateen fabric for a flawless pinup look. Find the pattern here.


Charm Patterns – L’amour Dress

“The fully lined dress has underlining and boning in the bodice, princess seams, a center front bust pleat detail, convertible halter straps, and a three-quarter circle skirt with side seam pockets”.

This dress is beautifully structured and can be altered to fit a wide range of bust sizes. It can be customised to fit all wardrobe styles and it’s definitely a head turner. Find this pattern here.



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