Monday, May 30, 2011

New Pattern PDF and Another Giveaway.

I've just finished spending the entire day taking my favorite bra pattern from the 1940's ( a jewel from my collection provided by my fantastic mother) into a pdf. The pattern was unprinted and to get a visible outline I copied it by hand, scanned it, and added notations to the perforations on the pattern. And oh, the Photo-shopping... when we move back to the sates the first thing I'm going to do (after getting a burger at Denny's, of course) is to enroll myself in a Photoshop course, because learning by winging it makes for slow going.
So here it is:

12 hours of drafting and now it's available as a pdf in my shop.
And to alleviate my computer related headache, I'm going to give away one free copy of the pattern above to one lucky follower because giveaways make me happy.

How to win (you can do one or all):
1. Comment and tell me what your favorite piece of lingerie is, either one you have, or one you want.
2. Become a follower of this blog, (and leave a comment telling me you have).
3. Like A Few Threads Loose on Facebook (and leave a comment telling me you have).

Good Luck! I'll announce the winner next Monday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pattern finds.

So every morning, cup of tea in hand, I troll etsy for any newly listed patterns I might want. Sometimes I find things that I already have, that I know other pattern collectors might be happy to snap up too.
Hence, today's feature, patterns you want:

Vintage 1946 Simplicity 1822 Sewing Pattern Women's Slip and Panties Size 40 Bust 40, available at the always reasonably priced Midvale Cottage. A steal at $14. I payed much more for my copy.

And if you'd like to own one of every McCall's Fashion First's pattern as I do (though hopefully acquired at less $$$$) then you must see McCall's 9567:

This one is available at what I would call still reasonable for the pattern, but more than I like to spend when I've just bought plane tickets.  $42 at momandpopcultureshop.

Or you could spend $9 for pure adorableness:

This one is available at Junee Moon Vintage.

That's all for today.
Please forgive the shortage of posts lately. Between having a ton of classes to substitute lately, and my shoulder still being messed up from the broken arm of 2010, typing up a post is harder to do than it used to be. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things soon.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Knit for Defense

For today's normal, non- giveaway related post, I thought I'd share my most recent acquisition, a fantastic 1941 Knit for Defense booklet.

The inside front cover sums up what it's about best:

"The National Defense Program isn't all tanks, airplanes, and battleships. It's people, too- you and I and 130,000,000 others. North, South, East, and West women are taking up behind- the- scene tasks of an Unlimited National Emergency. You too, can play a leading role in the greatest defense program of all history by anticipating the needs of our boys in training.
Whether he is in the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force, he will appreciate the warmth and comfort of sweater and woolen accessories knitted especially for him. With that in mind we have included in this book garments specifically designed for men of action and patterned after regulation specifications."

This book is full of really great knitting patterns, which I've added to my etsy shop as a PDF.
But mostly, this book has 1940's military eye candy:

Crew Neck Pullover

Round or Turtle Neck pullover
Sleeveless V-Neck Pullover

Plain gloves, Scarf, and Neck Protector
Aren't these gents just dreamy?
If you'd like to know more about the knitting for defense, or knitting for Victory movements, there's a great article here.

And we have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! The lucky winner is Alice of Alice's Closet whose comment # was chosen by a random number generator:

She has a super cute sewing blog that you might like to check out.
Congrats, Alice, and thanks for reading A Few Threads Loose! Just leave a comment here on this post with the pattern you want, and how I can email it to you, or email me at
The prize? Alice get's to choose any one pdf pattern from my etsy shop that she likes.
I have some super cute pdf patterns on there, but by far, my favorite is the beach bra pattern.

Either that or the flight cap pattern which is my other best seller. I think it's because my husband was gracious enough to model it for me.

Lord, but he's good looking!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Today I sew for me.

Recently I've been doing a lot of custom sewing work which I have really enjoyed. Today I went to a Burda sewing meetup hosted by a friend and became so inspired, that between projects for others, I'm sewing something for myself today.

In a few minutes I'll be starting to make the halter top from Simplicity 2993:

And I'll be making it with some of the lovely silk that I picked up on the Island of Madeira.

Mike has my camera with him in the UK right now, but when he get's back next week, there will be pictures.
But enough of blogging. My glass of wine and I have a pattern to tackle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Um, huh?

Why is this pattern $125?
Any ideas? Cause I'm coming up short.

I just thought I'd ask.

Update: I asked the seller as a professional curiosity why the price was as listed, and their response was the same that I would have used to justify the price of any of my patterns: ie. taking into consideration the era, pattern company, pattern style, and it's rarity.
Hmmm... Just. Hmmm.
Except I just found about a dozen similar patterns on etsy from near to the same era for between $10 and $45.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Baby Dress

There has been a bevy of babies born here in our small military community this spring so for a while I was pretty busy with baby clothes and accessories. A fellow blogger and friend asked me what kind of baby things I had made and so I thought that might be a good idea for a post.
I give you Olivia's dress:

I made the dress in a few hours with some lovely cotton print from my local over-priced Norwegian craft store. For the pattern I used vintage Simplicity 4507.

The pattern had some lovely features including a scallop shaped sleeve and tiny, tiny little pin tucks.

And to finish my seams I used some super soft vintage rayon seam tape that I had stashed away. No rough edges on this baby's skin.

I really loved sewing this dress, and I loved how much the baby's mother loved the dress, but best of all, I REALLY loved how many jaws dropped at the shower when they all asked where I bought it and I said I made it.
Isn't that just the best part of making anything by hand?

And don't forget to check out the pattern pdf giveaway. It end this Saturday!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Boredom leads to giveaways...

I'm bored. My husband left at 3:00 this morning to catch a ferry to Denmark as the first leg of a two day motorcycle trip to the UK. So naturally I'll be anxious and incapable of concentrating until I get the phone call tomorrow that he's safe at his hotel.
So I'm doing a nice little giveaway to get my mind off of things.
I'll be giving away one free pattern PDF of your choice from my etsy shop to one lucky winner.
I'm a huge fan of pdf's because sometimes you just don't want to wait for the mail, you want to sew it NOW!
I especially like patterns that are short and sweet. I'm an instant gratification kind of girl, and I don't want to use up all of my printer ink on 60 pages, which is why I chose to make these into PDFs for my shop.

Many of you are already familiar with the beach bra pattern. I love sewing this one and I recently discovered it looks great with a nice vintage pair of overalls.

Then there's the flight cap pattern you might have seen as well. I was lucky enough to get my husband to model it for me, after receiving a nice lecture from him on how to wear it at the proper angle.

And my newest pattern that I just finished is a 1940's mitt or fingerless glove pattern. This one is super cute and I'm trying to figure out just how to incorporate it onto my every-day wardrobe. The pattern suggests lace but I can't stop thinking black suede... we'll see.

To enter the giveaway, you don't have to go through the usual hoops of checking out my shop (unless you want to, that is).
All you need to do is become a follower (if you're not already) and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite thing is to sew.
You can also leave a comment to let me know if you became a follower for an extra entry.
For a third entry, you can like A Few Threads Loose on Facebook

What's my favorite thing to sew? I love sewing bras. I don't know why, but I can't seem to resist a vintage bra pattern.

Good luck! I'll announce the winner on Saturday the 14th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bad Anna

I'm bad, I know, I'm sorry. It's been a while since my last post. I'm swamped with custom sewing projects and keeping house. Who knew working from home could keep you so busy?!

I realized today that I've been three years today since I first started sewing. I got my machine as a graduation from college gift. I know, that's a bit counter productive but it's what I wanted, and the family all pitched in to get me a wonderful machine that I never could have afforded on my own.
I made my very first garment shortly after my dress form arrived in the mail. I had a lovely piece of vintage printed cotton, and I just started draping it on the form to make a really simple sihouete. I threw in some gathers, a couple of darts to fit it to my waist, and added my first zipper, and an invisible one, to boot. That was that.
And here's how it turned out:

 I was able to line the patterns up almost exactly at the sides, not quite perfectly at the zipper though. The fabric also had a lovely border at the bottom that needed no hemming or seam finishing, top or bottom.
This was of course back in Illinois. I haven't worn it since we moved to Norway, given that it's cold here nearly year round.

Damn, I haven't had a tan like that since we moved either. I need to visit home just to get some sun!
So that's my throw back to the past. As far as first projects go, I was pretty darn proud of myself, and still am, I think. My mother said something wonderful to me the other day. She told me that she and I were now equals in sewing skill. I was flummoxed. My mother, who has sewn since she was a little girl, who has restored antique gowns hand needling lace herself, made beautiful wedding gowns from scratch, and who has the answer to EVERY sewing question, considered my skill equal to hers. It was an amazing compliment.
I love my Mommy.