Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Bateau-Neck Blouse

I have a tripod! I finally got around to getting one and it has made taking blog photos so much easier. If you blog and you want your photos to come out a bit better, I highly recommend getting one.
So I used the tripod recently to take pictures of my latest sewing project, a bateau neck blouse using the pdf pattern I recently released.

Here's the finished product:

 I wanted to use this beautiful vintage grosgrain ribbon that my mother gave me but there wasn't very much left of it. Hence, only three ruffles instead of four.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bomb Girls

If you're not watching Bomb Girls yet, you should be.

The Canadian show is a beautifully put together drama about the women who bravely worked in one of several munitions factories to help the war effort during World War II.

Women heard the call in every country involved in World War II and rose above social restraints and convention to take the places of men who had gone on to fight.

Women diligently working in a Russian munitions factory.
In some countries, joining the work force was required, as in the UK's Land army. In other cases, it was voluntary, and many women caught hell from various detractors who thought it was more important to defend a woman's role as home-maker than it was to win a war against a violent aggressor.

Bomb girls does an amazing job of depicting not only the war effort, the stress these women were under to keep their men well armed, the worries they shared over sweethearts in harm's way, and gives a very good idea of what it was like to live and work during a war, with the rumor of possible invasion looming over their heads. (And the clothes aren't half bad either.)

But more importantly, what Bomb Girls does is shows how much many women welcomed the chance to work, how they valued their sudden independence, and how willing they were to hang on like hell to that independence after the men came home.
The poster above is a great illustration of the sudden power given to women to contribute to their countries as valued citizens.

This topic is particularly dear to my heart because my great grandmother, Ora, worked in a bomb factory herself during the war. Her middle finger was somehow smashed between two bombs. It healed straight and she was never able to bend it, but she still somehow managed to play the piano, straight finger and all. I remember my dad telling me that he thought it was so funny when he was little, she would make a fist, and her middle finger would still stick straight out. How I wish I could have met her.

Thank you to all the women who worked harder than we can imagine to fight the war in any way they could, and who paved the way for women to have the social and financial freedoms that many of us take for granted today.

You can watch bomb girls online here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Knitting Patterns, a Scallop ruler, and it sold for WHAT?

Hello all, please forgive this week's radio silence. I've been fighting with this old shoulder injury and it makes sitting at the computer and typing somewhat uncomfortable. I'm feeling ok today though so let's get to it!

This morning's mail brought a much anticipated 1933 knitting book full of bathing suits and beach fashions. I'm updating them, cleaning them up and posting the patterns a couple at a time to my etsy shop. Here are the two that I had so much fun coloring today:

1933 Bathing Suit Knitting Pattern
1933 Surplice Blouse Knitting Pattern
Hurrah Photoshop... helping me while away the hours until my sweetie comes home from a long trip to the States!

In other news, I have a great image of a most indispensable tool and decided to scan it in and help you create your own, should you want one. This scallop ruler is so handy for adding scalloped edges to your sewing projects, and for re-drafting the scallops on a pattern that you've adjusted the size of.

To make your own, you can just print it out on thick paper and cut, or print it on regular paper and paste it to thick construction paper.
Get the free Scallop Ruler PDF.

This could come in awful handy if you have the Mrs. Depew Vintage Bias Tap Pantie Pattern and plan on sizing it up or down.

In other sewing news, I thought you might be interested in how much this lovely Simplicity 1441 sewing pattern sold for a couple of days ago. Can you guess?

Yeah... did you see that coming? Phew!
Stay tuned for more this week including two new sewing projects I've completed, updates on the Sewing Studio Redecorating effort, and hopefully the release of a new sewing pattern, if I can bear to be at the computer for long enough!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pattern of the Day and a Giveaway Winner

Today's pattern of the day is really, really, REALLY gorgeous. Seriously, it's worth all $165, pawn your jewelry or rob a bank in stilettos and Ronald Regan mask to get your hands on this baby, gorgeous.
(By the way, don't Google 'sexy bank robber', it's mostly porn and mug shots)

Butterick 9635 is available on etsy here. This pattern reminds me a bit of a more flirty, youthful version of the stunning and seductive Charles James gown from 1951.

But enough about things I can't afford right now. What I can afford is to announce this week's French Corselet Pattern Giveaway winner!

And the winner (as chosen by random.org) is Annabelle! Annabelle always leaves the most insightful comments here at A Few Threads Loose and also has her own blog Annabellebumps which is well worth checking out!
Congrats, Annabelle! I'll be emailing you your pattern shortly!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Modes et Travaux

From my collection.

Most of you have probably seen this beautiful copy of Modes et Travaux here on A Few Threads Loose before.

From my collection.

The covers of these magazines starting with the 1920's going through the 1950's are so beautiful, I just had to share a few more of them.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eye Candy - 1939

Today for your viewing pleasure, I have some clips from DuBarry Fashion Prevue, Feb. 1939.

I just love how colorful everything in the booklet is. It's very bright and optimistic in a world that was on the brink of disaster.

I have some old Star Twist thread spools with their cute little labels in beautiful pastel colors. And in case you weren't aware of it, you've been tilting your chin the wrong way your whole life!

 The whole booklet pdf is available for purchase here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Guilty Vintage Pleasure

My favorite old time singer drives my husband up a wall, but guess what? He's out of town, so I have Yma Sumac cranked up as high as it will go.

A genuine Incan Princess (seriously, Kate Middleton, eat your heart out) Yma had a five octave range and her voice could go from vibrating your floor boards to cracking your windows in one breath.

Oh, God, the dress!

And Boy! Did she know how to dress! I swoon at the thought of her closet in the 50's.

Yes, those white pockets ARE all full of shoes.

For your listening pleasure, here are my two favorite songs.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Sewing News this week...

There's a lot of great stuff going on in the sewing world this week and in a bit we'll do a recap of some great blog post you might want to check out, but first, the Corselet is here!

This is by far the most ambitious multi-size pattern drafting attempt I've ever made, and it's finally done! (Though I may have sacrificed the better half of my eyesight in accomplishing it.

The corselet is a corset without boning. It's main purpose is to reduce unsightly bulges under clothing from bra or pantie lines, and to cinch the waist into a smooth line. it's the best way to get that hourglass 1950's curvy silhouette without the embarrassing underwear lines. Not mention, it's rather sexy!
This corselet can either be closed in front with a zipper or hook and eye tape. (boning can be added if you need more support).

The really cool thing is, you can pair it with your favorite bra pattern and with a little tweaking here and there, you could make one of these.... Sigh.

And as usual, with the release of a new pattern comes the giveaway to win your own copy.
To enter this time, you can just leave a comment telling me the newest thing you've learned how to do in your sewing adventures. I'll announce the winner next Monday, the 23rd.

In other news, Va-Voom Vintage is celebrating 1000 blog followers (congrats, Brittany!) with an entire WEEK of giveaways so go check that out!
(kicking it off with some goodies from yours truly :)

Sew Vera Venus recently posted the most stunning velvet dress for you to ogle over, and she's also currently offering a free pattern pdf for an adorable capelet.

Photo from Sew Vera Venus
 And How About Orange just posted a great roundup of some new sewing tutorials.

Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pattern Envy

I regularly troll ebay for great patterns and recently I found a doozy.

Hollywood 1667 may be the most ideal apron pattern I have ever seen. But of course, I was outbid.
But can you guess how much this darling pattern sold for? Can you?

So of course I can make a pattern for this, it's very simple... if only I didn't have 8 PROJECTS GOING ALL AT ONCE. I think I need to finish a few things first.

But on the note of lovely vintage patterns selling for quite a bit, I was bidding (what I considered to be) quite high on this lovely hat pattern a couple of days ago and lost it too.

Have you ever seen a more stunning cloche?

Can you guess what this perfection sold for?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Updates and Giveaway Winners

It's that time again time for me to announce the winner of the new pattern giveaway.
The winner was selected by the random number generator at random.org:

And the winner is Khristie B, who wins her choice of either the new Halter Top Blouse PDF pattern

Or the new Wrap Blouse PDF pattern.

Congratulations to Khristie, you can email me at afewthreadsloose@gmail.com to get your pattern.

Also new in vintage PDF patterns is the Multisize Bateau Neck Blouse Pattern.

It's an easy project made from only two pattern pieces and can be made with little time and effort.

And as promised, and mentioned yesterday, I'm half way done with the corselet pattern. Here's a sneak peak:

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sewing with Vintage French Patterns

I have lately been working on drafting beautiful corset/ corselet and garter belt patterns from an old French diagram and it's been an interesting experience.

The measurements are given in centimeters, which I prefer because it makes drafting that much more exact. The only problem is, the pattern was simply noted as being a size 44. A size 44 in 1940's France could mean any number of things and I immediately set out to research exactly what kind of size I was dealing with.

I could find almost nothing and resorted to digging up my French pattern stash (very girl should have one). I have yet to use any of my vintage French patterns yet, as they require some skill and patience, which I'm gaining, and lots of translating of text, which I love doing but seldom have the time for.

I dove into researching the differences between a size 44 by one company and a size 44 by another. All of that is below if you're looking to learn the same thing some time, some day. But first, lets just ooh and aaaaah over some pretty patterns, shall we?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking for a little color!

As much as I love my new sewing studio, I can't help but feel that it's just TOO white.

I have decided to decorate the hell out of it much in the same manner as these beautiful sewing rooms:

Photo from Allsorts.

Image from AllPeopleQuilt

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Two New Patterns!

With the holidays over I'm back at digitizing my favorite sewing patterns for your enjoyment and I have just finished a new one!

This fantastic little halter top pattern really reminds me of Marylin Monroe and her carefree and playful fashion sense.

The whole thing has me dreaming of warm weather, grabbing my man and sneaking away to a beach somewhere WAY south of here and never coming back :)

But, alas, it's still winter for half the world so there are other options. I finished this multi-sized wrap blouse pattern before Christmas but didn't have much time to make a to do about it.
And of course you know what new patterns mean... A GIVEAWAY! The winner will get their choice of one of these new sewing patterns.

To enter, leave a comment to win telling me which pattern in my shop is your favorite. It can be a paper or pdf pattern. Please make sure that I have a way to get a hold of you if you win.

For an extra entry, you can do any or all of the following if you like:
1. Like A Few Threads Loose on Facebook.

2. Like Mrs. Depew Vintage on Facebook.

3. Mention this giveaway on your blog.

I'll announce the winner next Sunday, January 8th. Good luck!