Dresses | Mens | Mildly Insane Photo | Pants / Trousers | Shirts | Skirts


By on August 22, 2012

I found a bunch of these Simplicity books wedged in with the patterns. This one just tickled me pink! Denim is worn everyday out here even to church on Sundays. I’m guessing this catalog must be 70s. I cannot find a date on it. Here’s a few pages. Enjoy!

Can't you feel the love!
Don't you love his patchwork pants!! I want to see those at the next rodeo!
Love the red details on the right jacket. Who doesn't have trim that needs used up.
Evening gowns anyone?

Are you feeling the need to sew with denim yet? I am impressed with some of the details on some of these garments. Do you like to sew with denim?

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Mildly Insane Photo | Vintage Sewing

The Completed Fall Fancies Dress!

By on July 30, 2012

This post is all the behind-the-scenes details of my latest me-made project, which I recently featured in an outfit post ~ My Fall Fancies Dress.

I started this dress in February with an vintage Advance 9785 shirtwaist dress pattern I got off Etsy and some vintage thrifted cotton.  I think the Advance is late 1950s – early 1960s?  I’m not 100% sure, but I thought it was pretty anyway.

I had to tackle a few new skills with this pattern ~ doing to an FBA on a kimono sleeve bodice was just for starters.  The dart ended up looking funny, so I just moved it to where I thought it should go and thankfully it worked!

I also had to try my hand at my first on-the-bias project, as the bodice was bias cut, and to make the layout trickier, I had to pattern/stripe match as well!  This meant that it took me THREE hours just to cut out the bodice, and I wasted a fair amount of fabric which led me to the conclusion that, although pretty, bias cuts aren’t necessarily worth it.

Buttonholes and pleating were also two new skills to me ~ and I have to say I adore my Bernina 860!  It’s five step buttonhole program is the easiest, simplest way to do buttonholes and once I practised a few I just breezed through the three buttonholes on the dress’s bodice.  I never thought I would say this, but ~ I love stitching buttonholes!

The pleats were relatively simple, and I am positively ecstatic with how they look!  I think that they suit my figure far better than gathers, so I know I will be trying these again.

Of course, although I like the original pattern, I still made an alteration and took out the buttons/facing strip down the front of the skirt.  I think my reasoning for that was that the bodice buttonholes were scary enough without having to do more!  Plus, I find button-down skirts annoying.  They tend to pop open a lot on me for some reason.

I had trouble with the collar/neck facing and end up tacking and sewing that down in about a hundred different ways/places, as well as the collar being a pain to put on.  I had to re-apply it and rip it out at least three times, but even though the inside is a little messy, you can’t tell from the outside, which is good. I guess these things just take practise.

All these new challenges meant I did a lot of stop/start sewing; sometimes leaving the dress for weeks until I could summon up the courage and the time to pick it up again.

However, the thing that I am most proud of with this project is how perfectly my seams match!  The centre back seam and the shoulder seams are spot on and I love how the front facing has that lovely ‘bridge’ between the two front chevron-stripes.  Pattern matching is fiddley and time-consuming, but oh, so satisfying when it comes out right!

~ Project Details ~

Year:  Late 1950s – early 1960s
Pattern:  Advance 9785
Fabric:  About 6 yards/5.5 metres of thrifted cotton doona cover {$9.00} ~ this is one fabric eating pattern!
Notions:  Three buttons {$3.00}
Time to complete: I have no idea…
Make/Wear again? Definitely wear again!!  I am really happy with how it came out: I love the fit, the style and the fabric. However, I am not so sure that I’ll make the pattern up again.  I’m thinking that once was enough.  Although, I do love the skirt, so it does seem likely that I might use that part of the pattern again.
Total Cost:  $25.00 including the pattern



P.S. ~  For more posts, outfits, tutorials and more, please visit my blog Depict This!  I hope to see you there soon!!  ^ω ^


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Children | Mildly Insane Photo

Mind blown: Keepers Dolly Duds

By on June 19, 2012

This isn’t my page (I don’t work for her, we’re not sorority sisters, etc.) but I found it when I was looking for something else and it’s so awesome I have to share.  I sew for dolls only occasionally, and I’m sort of burned out on seeing stuff for 18-inch “toddler-type” dolls (short, chubby, bodies), but . . . this stuff is just “wow”!  Besides, I’m sure many of our retro seamstresses have children who have dolls, or have dolls themselves.

Flickr stream.

I recognize a lot of the 1940’s designs from real patterns.  She has things from a lot of different decades, too, not just the “pioneer” styles that seem to be most popular for dolls this size.


(I do have  a 1950’s-style dirndl skirt on the sewing table but it’s not fit to be posted yet.  Give me a few more days.  More if I decide I really, truly, cannot wear it without the perfect white sleeveless blouse.)

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Dresses | Mildly Insane Photo | Vintage Sewing

The Job Interview Dress

By on February 10, 2012

I’ve been a jobless, stay-at-home seamstress for the last several months. It’s really hard to get a job as an American here in Norway and my best options have been grocery clerk or waiting tables… not exactly easy to swallow when I’ve worked so hard for my (apparently useless) education.
I’ve been sewing this dress for good job interview juju. In other words, build it and they will come. Sew the dress and get the interview.

Well, as I was sewing in the armhole facing, I got a call for an interview. This is HUGE. For every 50 jobs I’ve applied for, I’ve heard back on 2. It’s weird being the immigrant, so to speak, in a country where they want to hire locals. Today was my interview, a scant 12 hours after I finished getting the hem in this little baby.

So this morning I threw the dress on, along with my lucky underwear and my lucky high heels and off I went. Well, first, I took photos.

Now, this isn’t the pose I struck for the interview, just so you know. That’s not how a girl should get a job. In the interview, I looked more like this:

You can read more about the dress, the interview and see pictures at my blog A Few Threads Loose.

Happy weekend everyone!

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Mildly Insane Photo

Year of the Mildly Insane Photo & BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook Giveaway

By on December 31, 2011

If I had a penny for every time a new poster said “I’ve been reading for ages but I’ve been so nervous about posting pictures!” I would have at least $1.37

It can be nerve wracking putting yourself out there, but there’s really no need to feel shy. It’s a proven fact that WeSewRetro fans are statistically the least likely people on earth to raise an eyebrow at someone gallivanting around town in beach pajamas and an enormous hat.

Sewing, wearing, and showing off your creations is supposed to be fun, not stressful, so to encourage us all to stop putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves, I’m declaring 2012 to be The Year of the Mildly Insane Photo.

What do I mean by Mildly Insane Photo?

  • Wearing full evening attire while driving a tractor.
  • Skipping down the street in lederhosen.
  • Surfing in pedal pushers.
  • Shooting a gun in a wiggle dress.
  • Doing karate in a sailor suit.
  • Vogue-ing in a tree with a paper bag on your head.
  • Wearing a poodle skirt while hand-feeding a wild grizzly bear.

Actually, no, please don’t do that last one. But improbable scenarios and throwing dress codes to the wind are the name of the game…

If you want to play along (I can hear BoPeep champing at the bit already ;)), just use the Mildly Insane Photo category when you create a post and I’ll start gathering the pics up into a Mildly Insane Photo Gallery. There may even be a prize involved…nudge nudge wink wink…

Of course this is all entirely optional. If you prefer doing what you’re doing, keep doing it! But if you’ve been itching for an excuse to get theatrical or have been stressing yourself about photoshoots, I’m giving you an excuse to stop agonizing and start being Mildly Insane instead.


And now, in completely unrelated but still awesome news….

Win the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook

BurdaStyle Sewing HandbookTo celebrate the new year, be it mildly insane or not, the beautiful people at BurdaStyle have a copy of the recently released  BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook for you to win. I know this book was certainly on my Christmas list, so if Santa didn’t come through for you this year here’s your chance to get your very own copy.

If you’ve been living under a sewing rock and have not yet heard about the handbook, let me fill you in. It features fifteen projects from five fully customizable sewing patterns and has comprehensive step-by-step instructions,  making it the go-to guide for sewing hobbyists and budding designers alike.

You can get a peek at the book in the video here

As always at WeSewRetro.com, this giveaway is open worldwide. I’m a huge fan of the global nature of the our little online sewing community and the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook embraces it too, with contributions from nearly 80 designers across 22 countries.

How to Enter:

To enter, leave me a comment below telling me about your new year’s resolutions.


The winner will be chosen at random on January 15th.


Ok, that’s it. Happy New Year, ladies & gents! 😀

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