Craftster Style: Vintage, Retro, and Historic Clothing

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Copper 50's Prom Dress From Renaissance Fair garb to funky 70’s styles, sewing Craftsters have made some amazing clothing and accessories inspired by history. Crafty people often have a unique style all their own, and one reason is that they can make one-of-a-kind wearables that express their personal style. For some, this can mean elaborate theatrical costumes, either true to historical styles or fantasy costuming inspired by one or more periods in history. For others, a more modern sensibility is expressed in retro, mid-twentieth-century designs that can be either costumes or everyday wear.

There are so many gorgeous historical, vintage-inspired and retro ensembles on Craftster that it’s hard to choose just a few to highlight here. Browse Craftster’s Clothing and Costume boards for many more! To get great tips of retro hair and makeup to complete the look, the Bath and Beauty D&Q board has a wonderful thread for vintage beauty advice. The Jewelry and Trinkets, Knitting, Crochet, and Purses, Bags and Wallets, boards can help you accessorize your complete vintage style. Lately we’ve noticed hats appearing everywhere, from feather fascinators to mini and full-sized top hats. Nothing sets off a great vintage outfit like the perfect hat – made by you!

Capelet red brooch mod hair
victory rolls Houndstooth hat red hat
top hat veil hat Victorian hat

Before modern easy to wear styles came into fashion elaborate outfits were a daily project. They were handmade works of craftsmanship and artistry designed to fit the wearer perfectly and make her look her best. Today such projects, whether historically accurate or historical fantasy, are a labor of love. Some of our members are professional costumers, students of design, or seamstresses, while others are talented non-professionals, Renaissance Faire/SCA/Cosplay enthusiasts or just plain lovers of historical fashion. All receive gasps of wonder when their amazing creations are posted here on Craftster, for the work, detail, and passion that goes into these gorgeous works. Here are just a few of our favorites.

1860's ball gown ivory and black bustle dress Black forties dress

Brown and cream bustle dress

Ivory regency gown and hat

50's prom dress

Unlike the more elaborate historical clothing, more recent vintage and retro style can be wearable for special occasions or every day. It can be fun and funky, hip, romantic, and even elegant. Some styles, like the shift dress, Chanel style suit, and A-line skirt, are timeless classics, and others like this adorable old time swimming costume are unexpected and fun. These are some of our favorite wearable vintage styles. Some are made with vintage materials or using vintage patterns, while others are inspired by vintage and retro looks but are entirely new. Either way, Craftster loves vintage style!

apron dress
60's dress

70's blouse

cape dress

pencil dress
swimming costume
hippy flowers dress sailor dress bowling shirt

Love these looks? Tell us about your favorite historical or vintage project!

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  1. loopy doopy floopy says:

    nice!!!!!! i love the sailor outfit above/\

  2. Joy says:

    That photo with the man and woman is so awesome…

  3. Meg W. says:

    I LOVE that black dress, I also love the style of dresses in that main teaser photo.

  4. elmpixie says:

    Wonderful teaser photo, it was such a great surprise to open cratster and see me up there and be so proud!

    I’m glad you liked my work in the teazer photo… that dress and that night were all pretty magical!

  5. batgirl says:

    elmpixie, I adore that photo and I wanted to share it with everyone! I debated between that one and a color pic, because the dress is so gorgeous in color, but I thought the B&W really fit the theme, and it’s just so pretty. Thanks for sharing your project and your special night with us!!

  6. elmpixie says:

    Thanks so much! I’m so honored.

  7. MissKerouac says:

    That’s my face! Haha Well I’m glad someone likes my hair!

  8. sairosaurus says:

    Hey! What a great article, and a wonderful suprise to find two of my period costumes shown! Thanks so much, what an honor!
    I never realised that there was a vintage beauty thread, and what a find it is! I’ll definately be refering to it when I need to do makeup or hair for my photo shoots!



  9. Batgirl says:

    Miss kerouac, I love your victory rolls! And Sairosaurus, your work os so inspriring. It’s really amazing. I have been wanting to write about it since I first saw the ivory & black Victorian bustle dress. It’s one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen!

  10. Under_the_Rose says:

    Wow! This is awesome! I was very surprised to find my ballgown here! Thank you!

  11. MizzKodak says:

    This are great, I mean amazing creations, Hooray for all the creativity and imagination. Thumbs Up.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I jumped when I saw myself!! Thankyou! 🙂

  13. carnabystreet says:

    woo its my blouse! the fishscale one! Thankyou! 🙂

  14. starrrdust143 says:

    Whoa, wait! That’s me! That’s my houndstooth dress! Woohoo! didn’t expect to see that here. Thanks a bunch. i’m totally flattered.

    And I’m just salivating over the other creations. You all are totally talented and creative.

  15. PatchIsHere says:

    LOVE the retro swimsuit, and the white dress with black accents is awesome, would love to see some steam punk stuff though 😛

  16. Thanks so much 🙂