Monday, March 19, 2012

Sew Lingerie

It's been a while since my last blog, forgive me. My world has been jumbled over the last few months, moving to a new city, starting a new job, and having the workspace aka the basement of my current home go under serious construction. Luckily I can tell you that those days are coming to an end and the completion date is near. As far as acclimating to my new lifestyle, it's all a process, a process that has taught me that I severely need to practice patience and meditation....but more to come on that topic. =) 

Thrifting in Spokane, WA (the new city where I reside) has been an adventure, my neighborhood is surrounded with treasure shops and with every visit there is always something new to comment on. My lust for vintage, guilty passion of finding something one of kind, the act of shopping for it, revamping,  and giving it a new home is something I am constantly anticipating for on my days off. 

Stegosaurus & human skeleton made of scrap metal outside of Area 58.
At my first visit to this eclectic little shop called Area 58 on Monroe I found a plethora of goodies that sent me in a predicament of "Okay Caetlyn, do you really need all of these books? You need to put something back." Hate it when that happens. I did find myself getting lost in the little corner that lodged vintage textiles, how to sew books, painting, arts and crafts supplies, and other domesticated subjects in book form. I found this awesome book Sew Lingerie it's easy here's how by Kerstin Martensson, printed in October 1969. From my consumer, designer, and crafting stance I have always wanted to make my own lingerie. Lingerie to me is a very personal, feminine expression of one self, similar to a costume I would say. Enacting the sexual persona one has of them self and expressing that through mediums of lace, silk, nylon, and satin, I find it very beautiful, theatrical in a sense. 
Sew Lingerie cover
Author Kerstin Martensson (right) and one of her successors. Love the bouffants.
Seems like we all could learn a lot from this woman.

Chapter 8: Nylon Novelties, showcases a number of obsolete nylon accessories that are no longer needed for this day and age. Luckily the book includes patterns for each of these expired doo-dads so that the option of recreating these fabled wonders is still on the table.  Maybe even an opportunity to bring them back! I tried taking close up shots of the pattern names and the illustrations accompanying them. I like how the lines are so simple yet detailed enough to really convey the spirit of the 60's domestic housewife. 

The hair-do saver frightens me and I'm sure doesn't respond well
to those who are claustrophobic. Maybe if you live in a windy climate or
drive a motorcycle or convertible. I don't picture many women as seeing

 this is an accessory must-have.

No woman should ever need a makeup cape for her daily beauty regimen. Unless she's performing in a circus or is a contestant in a beauty pageant. This is just another one of those fuddy-duddy gadgets that I don't view as necessary. At least this serves a purpose as a protective shield for your garments.
Hosiery Savers: accessory used to wash or put on nylons.
Hosiery Saver pattern. If you know anyone or seen anyone use one of these in REAL LIFE I would love to hear about it. I have only learned of this accessory's existence from this book.

Roller Bag: the beauty about this is that bags are multi-purpose. I do rock hot rollers for those special occasions, although I must confess I haven't been in a situation where a roller bag would come in handy,
but if I didn't have a case for my hot rollers, I'm sure that a roller bag would be my hero. 

Elegant nightgown. Rockable if made with the right textiles.
Someday I will try to re-invent something similar with a modern twist.
Beautiful nonetheless.

I love the little floral appliqué's on these undergarments. Very dainty and cute.

This scarf was then called a Smoke Ring. Sounds French chic, but now with the alarming information
that cigarettes are bad for your health, it is now referred to as a Figure 8 Scarf. 

I'm not saying that wind scarfs are a thing of the past, but I do think that they are highly functional
towards keeping one's hair in tact, as well as serving as a protective device of the ears. Very elegant, chic, and Thelma and Louise. Comes in handy after a wine night with the girls and a pair of dark sunglasses. 
This little book has been very insightful as far as how to make your own lingerie at home using simple sewing techniques, and a low standard of sewing equipment. Awesome for me since I'm still saving for my dream Janome machine, and my sewing equipment is very standard at this point in time. The content and design of the lingerie as you can imagine isn't exactly sultry, but classic, tasteful, and exhibits fine lines. There are lots of pictures and detailed instructions for those wanting to recreate the looks offered, but with some of the sewing terminology used I would say that these directions are written for the experienced sewer. Hope you enjoyed this little blurp as much as I did sharing with you this vintage treasure.


  1. Caetlyn! This is Jilly - I cannot wait until I live in Coeur d'Alene so we can go thrifting together. Love and Miss you!

    1. yay! thanks for reading my blog jilly! you know i would love to have a thrifting buddy. anytime lady. been thinking about chu girl.