Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy weekend...

Have a lovely weekend, my dear followers. I'm off to cook Mexican food:

mojitos, chips, and salsa from rachelchew on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Compendium of Lingerie Patterns... Let's talk about a sew-along!

On my last post quite a few said YES! to my thought that we should do a sew along on lingerie. I really want to show you all that lingerie is not hard, not scary, and a very rewarding sewing project. Like all things small, underwear or bras don't take forever to sew, and are practically instant gratification projects.

I would love to get your votes on what you would like to sew with me, and the pattern with the most votes will be what we tackle as a group. Do you want to sew a bra, panties, tap pants, slip, teddy or camisole? Should we use an inexpensive pdf pattern that will be super easy to find or do we want to use a paper pattern, offered in multiple sizes?

Here are nearly all of the great lingerie patterns that I know about. Most of them I'm very familiar with already. Some of them are pdfs from my shop, some aren't. Some are pricier than others. Please don't feel obligated to vote for one of my pdfs just because. Don't pick the pattern that looks the easiest. Pick the pattern that you think you will feel gorgeous in. Pick something that will make you feel special when you wear it. That's the one you want to vote for. I'll help you with the hard stuff!

Leave a comment to tell me which of these you'd like to sew in the sew-along. I know, there are a lot of them, so we'll narrow it down to 3 in this post, and in the next post you can vote again for your favorite.

Slips/ Camisoles:

Vintage Pauline Slip and Camisole Printable Sewing Pattern PDF Copy 34 bust.
One Size, $5.

Colette Patterns Cinnamon - No. 1012
Multi-size, $16.00

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some lovely pictures... and a bit about lingerie.

Today, my lovely readers, I have for you some pretty highlights from La Mode Pratique, August 1934. It was a very popular French ladies magazine that included fashion spreads, sewing patterns, knitting patterns, household tips and tricks, the occasional book review and what have you.
I bought this particular edition the moment I saw it because of the cover:

Some of you may already know, I kind of have a thing for guns. And old pictures of women with guns are WAY better. I'll be framing this one and hanging it in a place of honor somewhere where I can see it every day and wish I were her.

If you can read or speak French, you might enjoy the knitting patterns in these pictures. If you want to give them a try, I'd love to see what you make of them!

And by now you should know how I feel about lingerie. I love the picture up above, so lovely, so feminine, so slimming.  On the lingerie note, many of you have commented on the giveaway post that you would like to see me do more lingerie and I'm more than happy to oblige you. I went and spent about $150 JUST on lingerie at H&M yesterday, and funny enough, it just made me want to sew more and more of it, until I have an endless arsenal of sexy, well-made lingerie for every occasion.

I drew my sewing inspiration today from Ohhh Lulu's beautiful flannel and feminine lingerie post. If you haven't checked her out yet, you must, and if you love her creations as much as I do, you simply must check out her etsy shop as well.

Photo from Ohhh Lulu (
Her use of ultra soft flannel has made me think that using it myself would be a great way to show all of you that sewing lingerie isn't scary at all, but very rewarding and fun. And let's face it... if the end result is looking sexy, who wouldn't want to make it?

What do you think? If I did a lingerie sew-along and we started with flannel, would you be interested in giving it a try?

Friday, September 23, 2011

202 Followers! And a giveaway!

A Few Threads Loose has 202 Followers! When did that happen?! Was it while I was being bad and not blogging very often? You guys are just too great, really. So to celebrate fooling 202 people into thinking I can sew and stuff, how about a giveaway? And not a pdf either, some real, honest to goodness, "I would hang on to this stuff myself if I wasn't so flooded with sewing loot that I couldn't find my sewing machine" goodies.

So here's the prize:

 Two very cool sewing patterns, and, wait for it, A $35 GIFT CARD TO MY ETSY SHOP. Yup, are we celebrating yet? I would be toasting myself with a glass of fine cask-strength scotch right not if I didn't have to drive somewhere in an hour.

So yes, if you want to win Simplicity 4492, Simplicity 1378 and $35 worth of goodies from Mrs. Depew Vintage, you just need to do the following:

1. Become a follower of A Few Threads Loose... and leave a comment saying you did. If you already follow, you can leave a comment about that too. The more, the merrier!

2. For another entry, you can "like" A Few threads Loose on Facebook... and leave me a comment saying you did.

3. You can also mention A Few Threads Loose or this giveaway on your blog for another entry.

4. And lastly, for an extra entry, I would love to know what you think I should sew next, and blog about? Should I sew a dress, more lingerie, pillows, slippers, a skirt? What would you like to see next?

I'll announce the lucky winner next Saturday October 1st.
Good luck, and thanks for reading my blog! I love you guys!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Lovely 1950's Winter Knits

It's cold and rainy here in Norway and for the first time this fall, I wore gloves today. Ick. So to get me in the mood for cold Norwegian days and long Norwegian nights,  I have some lovely pictures from the gorgeous 1950's booklet Angora Hand Knit Fashions for your viewing pleasure:

The booklet, including patterns is available in my etsy shop:

Those gorgeous glam looks remind me of the fashions in the 1939 movie, The Women. I was quite peeved at how the movie ended, but thrilled every second to see the clothes, clothes and more clothes!
Here's the trailer:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On weight and body image.

In the last year I've had a really rotten run of bad luck. Last winter I broke my arm and was unable to work for a long time. Then I had the misfortune to go on a cruise (I know, poor me) and gained about 5 lbs in my vacation induced eating frenzy. Coming back from the cruise I picked up a really nasty virus and the end result was severely damaged lungs, an inability to get enough oxygen, and a 4 or 5 month recovery time. Then I went on another vacation to visit my family in the US and I ATE EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

The hamburgers were like a sweet, sweet dream from which I never wanted to wake. I exercised as much as my healing lungs would allow on the trip, fully planning on starting a great workout regimen when I got home, healed and whole (as in 10lbs more whole than usual).
Then I got home and broke a rib, and had another 6 week recovery time. My clothes are pretty snug, I have enough muffin top to make me cry, and the only thing I find comforting in my current bummed out in Norway, unable to get a job climate, is grilled cheese... which I have so far avoided with massive will power. Depressing.

I'm just enough overweight now that I don't want to sew anything for myself in a size bigger than I'm used to sewing. It's a matter of principle for me. So this week, my husband started me on the Navy Seal workout plan (cause he's crazy, and has already been doing it for a couple months now, the beast). He's a fantastic, sweet, and encouraging personal trainer who has managed to make running my first mile in a year an actual enjoyable activity.

The way I see it, its a count down. 10 lbs till I can sew myself a fantastic wiggle dress for the many more pointless job interviews. I recently didn't get a really great job because I was"absolutely perfect for the position, but being a military wife, they didn't want to take the risk of my husband getting orders and me having to move away."
So on this note, I read a great blog post today on New Vintage Lady. She's a strong, talented and intelligent woman with a great flair for all things vintage. Her post, "Just another fat girl" had me sad, frustrated, and ANGRY that body image (how we see ourselves, AND how others see us) has to be such a fight for so many of us. Why can't people just see us as the amazing creatures we are. Why can't we see it ourselves?

Here are some lovely vintage ads for the stout and mature from a gorgeous 1920's clothing catalog in my collection. These people are just beautiful!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

McCall Style News November 1941 Pattern Booklet

For today we have some lovely eye candy from McCall Style News November 1941. It was printed just weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor and shows some lovely, optimistic, pre-war fashion.

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Two patterns I would SPEND on...

I just thought you might like to see the two patterns that I would spend my entire month's food budget on.
Simplicity S602. $150 buys you this little gem here.

And McCall 8111. $175 will get this lovely girl here.

Who needs to eat anyways when you can walk around sexy and glam in these little getups?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fluffy pillows and sexy guns.

I just finished my most recent project last night. The plan is to make some super sexy silk dupioni pillows with gun appliques but first I needed to practice on less expensive, easier fabric.
My test run on the gun applique went so well that I had to actually make it into a pillow. For this one I used micro-suede from

I had toyed with the idea of making it into a purse instead, but after the mass shooting here in Norway, I don't think the locals would respond so positively to anything with a gun on it. Luckily I had the right stuff, a pillow form, and a great futon in the next room to keep it in. (These will be nicely tucked away in my house where my American friends can appreciate them.)

I also had this great old heavy duty zipper from a bunch of vintage notions my awesome mother sent home with me.

From there I experimented a bit, and this is what I ended up with.

Playing with French seams on the inside was a must. I'll need them to prevent fraying and loose threads when I start making these up in silk.

Vincent likes to pop into any and all shots he can, and add his two cents. Here he's screaming FREEZE!

So when my silk gets here I'll have quite the project on my hands. I think I'll be making maybe 4 or 5 of these babies. This was a really fun project, by the way. If any of you want a tutorial on applique, just leave me a comment and I'll pop one together!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bathing Beauties, and the winner is...

I have the internet working! We've been moving into our new house and they just connected the darn thing. But enough of my drama, you want to know who the winner is, don't you?

The winner as chosen by the random number generator is commenter #11,  is Holly!
Congratulations Holly and thanks for sharing what makes a swimsuit perfect for you!

"what i look for when i'm buying a bathing suit is basically the suit i had between the ages of 13 and 15. it was perfect. it was kind of 1940-50ish (i thought.) two-piece, white and navy blue polka dots and stripes. the bottoms were belly button high and included loose shorts that gave the impression of being a skirt without the fuss of floating up in the water. the top was a halter and gathered in the middle. i wish i could remember the brand because i would HUNT IT DOWN. i think i got it at dillards. i should figure out how to make that suit."

 I think we can all relate to having had that ONE swimsuit that made you look and feel amazing, and wishing you could go back in time and buy 5 of them at once. So Holly, you can email me at and I will send you your pattern!

For those of you who still want the pattern, it's a mere $5 in my etsy shop.

On another happy note, I'm decorating the new house like a mad woman, trailing fabric swatches around the house and giving my sewing machine quite the workout. We have wonderful new black leather couches and I'm getting ready to sew some pillows to make the room POP. My fabric is silk dupioni in iridescent jewel colors. I'm going to alternate between these two colors:

What do you think? 
There will be a twist, of course... here's a hint: 

This is my practice run in micro-suede. I see a lot of applique in my future.