Monday, July 23, 2012

The Picture Perfect Apron

 Have you ever seen a pattern for sale and known instantly that no matter what it took, no matter what the price, you were going to sew the hell out of it?

That's how I felt about Pictorial 8514 when I found it on Etsy.

 And boy, did I. I got the fabric during my Ikea fabric shopping adventure.

I LOVE this pattern. It came together so easily and looks fantastic. I would have completed it much more quickly but I kept running out of bias binding. This apron took over 6 yards of bias binding (that's two trips to the store for not reading the pattern envelope very carefully!).

The ruffles are insane, and frilly, and girly and there almost aren't enough of them.

 While I was monogramming the matching towels, I made sure that I embroidered my pocket fabric at the same time. I'm not a fan of changing out my embroidery foot mechanism more than I absolutely have to.

 I think that this sailor collar is the very best part. How amazing would this apron look in navy blue with a cute little anchor embroidered on the pocket?!

And naturally, Vincent is always there to help with the photo-shoots...

It's so hard to find apron patterns from the 1930's, and even harder to find ones that are cute enough to sew. What do you think, should I make a digital reproduction of the pattern so others can have as much fun with it as I did?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fabric shopping at Ikea

A few little while back I was fabric shopping at Ikea. I happened to have my camera handy and I thought that I would share with you just how one buys fabric there...

(Funny side note. Here is how Ikea is pronounced by Norwegians: Eekay-uuh.)

 Here is the small fabric section at my local Ikea. I was there hunting for something to sew an apron from (more on that next time) and was happy to discover the perfect black and white checked plaid.

Now, you're responsible for cutting you own fabric here (a no no at most fabric stores I know of) and then printing the right label for it. One of the beauties about living in Norway is that people are incredibly trust-worthy, and trusting, so this system works pretty well here.

Simply put your fabric choice on the scale and then scan the appropriate bar code in the book on the right, and voila! It prints out a sticker with a price that you can take straight to the self checkout. That's not all, either. The sticker tells you the fabric content (in my case, 100% cotton) and gives you washing instructions!

My loot, on my way to check out.

Also, and this just tickles me pink, Ikea has their own sewing machine.

That's not a $498 price tag you see, the price is in Kroner so it comes out to just under $90. It's such a great price that it makes you wonder...  how well does it sew.. and also, is there assembly required?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Some pretty, pretty Advertisements

For today I thought you might enjoy some lovely ads from an April 1928 edition of Fashion Service magazine. These ads in particular just tickled my fancy and they were to cool not to share with you all.

For starters...
Who wouldn't want to sell lingerie in a 'dignified, pleasant way'?

Also, I would like the ensemble in the photo,  please.
 Below, the "greatest invention ever known for the housewife". Forget about the vacuum cleaner, invented and in homes starting at about 20 years before this wonder hemstitcher came about. But who cares! Look at those hems, ladies!

Oh for the days when sewing machine attachments cost only $1.

Where do I sign up?!
 Cotton, for your protection. Seriously though, have you ever sewn something and then had it shrink on you? it made me cry.
Don't end up headed for an asylum like her. Pre-wash, for the love of all that's holy!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Do any of you have any sewing plans?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Granny knows best...

Does anyone else have a Grandmother who sews? I come from a long line of talented seamstresses (something I strive to live up to) and my Grandmother in particular is the family expert when it comes to sewing. She is a well educated woman and has her Master's degree in Sewing Machine Science. Yes, that is a thing, and yes, it is awesome.

I came across this advertisement today and it made me think of how Grandma knows best, especially when it comes to sewing. I thought you might like it too...

From Simplicity Fashion Forecast for May, 1936

Friday, July 13, 2012

Scintillating Spadea

Among vintage sewing pattern collectors there are certain patterns by certain companies that are much more sought after than others. Many people collect patterns only from a certain year, a certain company, or a certain designer. Many of you may be familiar with this; as most of you know, I collect lingerie patterns in general from any era, but hunt religiously for the fable-worthy s-series by Simplicity of the 1930's.

My newest acquisition. I paid an arm and a leg for it.

I also snap up any McCall's Fashion First patterns, though I'm still not sure why, they just tickle me pink for some reason.

And others collect Spadea patterns. I am lucky to have a Spadea catalog in my collection, which I turned into a e-book last year. I have yet to acquire any Spadea patterns myself because they usually sell for way over my limit, but for years I have been hoping to add Spadea 705 D designed by Ceil Chapman to my collection.

No luck so far but recently another pattern that I have always admired came to my attention again.

A very talented colleague of mine recently released a pattern based on another Spadea pattern design by Jo Copeland. Diane, of La Prairie Lady, drastically improved upon the design by adding optional necklines and a skirt with or without flounces.

Repro Inspired Fabulous Vintage Dress Pattern with Flounces 1950s No 3

I know there are several people out there who have been wanting to get their hands on this dress design for a long time. Imagine how cool it is to find it in a PDF!

For those of you who don't know already, there is a massive encyclopedia online for vintage patterns (Vintage Patterns Wiki) and it grows every day. You can choose to "follow" a particular pattern and you get an email as soon as someone lists it for sale and links to the site. This is how I have found several of my best finds. Its also fun to be the first to add a new pattern to the Wiki.

How about you? Do you have a sewing pattern 'white whale'? Is there a particular pattern that you lust for, or a particular pattern company that you prefer?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

And the winner is...

It looks like we have a winner to announce, don't we?! Thank you all again for following A Few Threads Loose and participating in the giveaway. I always love to read your comments!

The first winner of two free digital patterns from Mrs. Depew Vintage is Nina, who said that she would choose the Bathing Beauties Pattern, and the 1930's French bra pattern.

The second winner of two free patterns is Megan, who chose the 1930s bell sleeve blouse (#1126) and the 50s inspired 1 piece bathing suit (#1001).
(Nina and Megan, you can email me at and I'll send you your patterns)

To everyone else, thanks so much for participating and have a great rest of the weekend. I'm off to sew an apron!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I love you all so much...want some free patterns?

Hello all. To my U.S. readers, happy fourth of July! I'm really excited today to see that A Few Threads Loose has gotten up to 400 followers through Google! I never thought when I set out to chronicle my sewing adventures that I would meet so many great people and find so much encouragement and support. You're all awesome!

To say thank you, how about we have a giveaway?

I usually offer one of my newest patterns as the giveaway prize, but since this isn't about me, the winners will get to choose any 2 digital patterns from Mrs. Depew Vintage.

Winners, you say? Yes my dears, there will be two of you. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post with which two patterns you would like to win.

For extra entries you can do the usual stuff like mentioning the giveaway on your blog or facebook, following on facebook, bloglovin' or other if you don't yet, etc. Just be sure to leave me a comment for the extra entry.

I'll announce the winners this Saturday the 7th.
Good luck and thank you so much for reading my blog!