Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sew Retro: 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl & A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution Hardcover – July 10, 2010
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Sew Retro is the perfect combination of everything we love about sewing and vintage style! We get the best of both worlds as we travel through the ages making charming projects inspired by our sewing history that are fun, fresh, and stylish!”
—Amy Butler, author of Amy Butler’s In Stitches
“Judi’s retrospective of sewing illustrates one of my favorite quotes, ‘Fashion is evolutionary, not revolutionary.’ Her nostalgic stroll through generations of stitching is both fascinating and inspiring!”
—Betz White, author of Sewing Green
“Sew Retro beautifully combines vintage aesthetics with simple sewing projects, perfect for the crafter, collector, and everyone in between.”
—Amy Karol, author of Bend-the-Rules Sewing
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It is OK... really only OK.
A majority of this book is a history of sewing; I think that part of it is pretty interesting. I enjoy reading about how the times are reflected in art (I consider fabric, and the uses of, to be artistic expression).
I was not impressed with the patterns. There is a victorian pincushion (cute), and elegant shawl (I feel like a pattern for this is silly, as it is a triangular shaw), sewing basket, needle case (blah), opera bag, flapper apron (this was nice but didnt knock my socks off), smart felt hat (could not imagine wearing this ever), patchwork potholders (a bit boring), change purse, cafe curtains, tea party tablecloth, ribbon embellished napkins, hostess apron (this was my favorite, cute little half apron), mod gathered pillow (a pillow with gathers in the front, perhaps just show the technique), pretty little purse (I liked this one too), table runner (with an abstract bird applique), handkerchief bag (nice idea, i will probably use this since i have my grandmothers vintage hankerchiefs), not so mini skirt, coasters, easy elastic headband, patchwork throw (good first quilt), saturday afternoon skirt (cute basic a-line skirt). farmers market bag (basically the handkerchief bag minus the kerchief with the addition of a front pocket), catch all caddy, and a scarf.
There wasnt anything in here that inspired me. I never looked at my sewing machine eagerly. If I had looked at it I wouldn't have purchased it.
I like Amanda Blake Soule's two books, and Martha Stewart's sewing book. They both inspired me; I have made several things from Soule's books, and am gathering materials to start one from Martha.
The book is arranged in order of historical events both in the sewing industry and history in general. The latter effected the former immensely, especially in the lives of American women and Judi Ketteler explains this in the text in an easy-to read, but not boring manner.
Scattered throughout are vintage-type patterns (the author does include some pieces in an envelope)for twenty-five items. What a fantastic idea that was! Will be making the sewing basket as soon as possible. Ms. Ketteler also gives tips on sewing fabrics, purchasing vintage fabrics and re-purposing how-tos.
The time line was interesting, although I beg to differ with the author's assertion that Michelle Obama is a "fashion icon." There was somewhat more politics than history as the book entered into the '60s through the 2000s, but that's okay...
Only complaint: the first few page of my book were not caught up in the ring binder at the top. They will most likely rip easily, but not a problem that would make sending the book back worthwhile.
Like the other reviewers, I was disappointed in the patterns. Because the cover showed a drawing of a woman wearing a retro-dress, I assumed that the sewing projects would be clothing, dresses and so forth. Or perhaps, how to adjust or read retro patterns.
These patterns are for someone who has never sewn at all. They are mostly variations of sewing a square: square pot holders, and so forth. Pillow case type patterns--that level of difficulty.Patterns you could draw yourself with a ruler or print out for free. It was quite a disappointment, as the rest of the book is so nicely presented.
But it gets better.
You know those silhouettes that we adore? The ones we are trying to recreate? That va-va-voom look that makes men's jaws drop? Don't look for it here. However, if you want to make a cheap pin-cushion, tacky curtains, a headband or "Groovy quilt", have at it. Yeah, some of the stuff is nice to make with scraps, but most of you looking at this book are not looking for scrap projects. They have a triangular shawl if that counts...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a very fun book, also informative. Includes full size patterns for projects.Published 14 months ago by huntsman
While the history was a fun read, it was basic. The patterns were pretty much uninspiring. I can find similar patterns online for free. And the cover was misleading. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. Warren
Body of text is incremental in size and extremely light, causing tremendous eye strain. Text accompanying all pattern illustrations throughout the book is even worse. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Joyä
I was hoping for sewing patterns that you couldn't just find on pinterest. This has some very interesting historic information about life in the 40s-60s. Read morePublished on April 25, 2014 by Chris & Lindsey
I enjoyed looking at this book. I have not sewn anything from it, but I love looking at the vintage pictures, and especially of the old sewing machines, as I like to collect those... Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Michelle
The historical references were very interesting, though probably no better than I have read in other sewing and fashion histories. Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Charmianne
This is a neat book with interesting tidbits of history and lots of historic images. I sat and read through the whole thing quite quickly. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Brittany Wilson