This was a strange week for me: the purchase and arrival of my vintage Singer 15-91 sewing machineseemed to overshadow my sewing. But I did sew some. 1. Remember this very Eighties neon striped knit I bought last Monday?
I decided to return to my vintage McCall's mens underwear pattern from 1972 pictured above and to make a tank top. And here it is:
I probably won't wear this exact outfit till August in Provincetown, but isn't it nice to know it's ready today on the odd chance I get flown down to South Beach for a fashion shoot?
I have no idea why those stripes photographed so yellow since they're neon green, but you get the idea. (No, it's not in my new palette but I think I should be allowed some wiggle room for summer, don't you?)
I made the neck and armhole trim by cutting horizontal strips parallel to the stripes and I'm very happy with the result. I should mention that I stitched this entirely on my 15-91 straight stitch and it handled the knit beautifully -- even better than my Singer Spartan!
2. The other knit project I completed this week is my terrycloth short-sleeve shirt. I still have to finish hemming the sleeves and make those matching Bermuda shorts, however.
3. Just to keep you updated on my 15-91, he's doing beautifully. Johanna was over yesterday and tried him out. She brought me some metal polish and some sort of automobile wax to help me clean him but I'm not much of a restorer and I was secretly hoping Johanna would just do it herself. She didn't.
Just between you and me, Johanna secretly lusts after my Elna Grasshopper (the green machine in the foreground) -- not that she doesn't have one of her own, mind you, but mine has the carrying case and some cool accessories hers doesn't. I actually caught her trying to sneak the gunmetal case out under her shirt and it was so obvious and embarrassing. Like I wouldn't know who took it.
Johanna had never serged before (how sad!), so I let her try my Brother 1034D. I see a serger in this woman's life in the very near future; hopefully not mine.
4. I wrote two popular pieces last week I hope you haven't missed: The first is entitled "Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Vintage Sewing Machine" and I think anyone who has ever even remotely considered the purchase of an old machine would benefit from reading it. The second is "Sewing as Protest", which sparked a lively debate about why we sew and what we're expressing in the process. Of course, the conversation continues; that's one of the great things about a blog: a discussion can go on indefinitely.
And now on to the week to come!
1. I'd like to continue to work on my knits. I am enjoying experimenting with these stretchy fabrics and learning new techniques to control them better. I'd like to incorporate my serger more too.
2. I owe cousin Cathy a new dress for all her help last month -- something she reminded me of on her last call from Paris. I'm not sure what I'll make her, but a knit is a definite possibility.
3. I must, must, must clean up my sewing area(s). I was embarrassed yesterday when Johanna approached my sewing table and nearly tripped -- on a dust bunny. I haven't seen my Gingher shears for days. I sew better when there's a little more order in my space and I think better too!
But enough about me. How are all of YOU doing with your projects?
Somebody's been keeping up, I see...
Darci recently completed this beautiful shirtdress! I love that bold pattern and I hear it looks even better outside the ladies' washroom. Kidding aside, congratulations, Darci, on a job well done. I know you're inspiring others and hopefully embarrassing them for their sloth, too.
OK, it's time to name names and this time I'm not just going to pick from the earliest commenters, which never did seem fair: some up you are obviously getting up at the crack of dawn just to get the first word in.
Mikhaela: How's the new maternity dress in the floral silk twill coming along? We want pictures. Aurora: Now that the Olympics are over, how's the shirtdress progressing? Fourkid: Did you finish the purse? Sarah: Did you finish making the pattern for your daughter's skintight leggings and are you willing to share it with my cousin Cathy? Neighborhood.gal: Whassup with that purse you wanted to make?
PLEASE NOTE: Now that the weather is warming up we're going to be tempted to spend more time outside. This is to be resisted at all costs. We must stay inside, preferably in a damp basement, dark kitchen, or drafty sewing nook, and complete our projects. When those are done, then perhaps we can stick our little noses up against the window a bit before returning to our sewing machines.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!