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Apr 26, 2010

The Return of Monday Nagging w/ GOALS

Happy Monday, everybody!  Did another week really go by?  Hard to believe but my calendar tells me yes.

So let's get to it:

If I learned anything last week, it's that the slip ain't goin' down without a fight.  Who knew this sometimes-silk, more-often-nylon-acetate garment had such a following?  Somebody on Seventh Avenue needs to wake up and pump these babies out again.

A brief summation of last week:

1.  I finished the purple 1937 Hollywood dress and entered it into the Pattern Review vintage sewing contest.  It's out of my hands.

2.  I bought a few new patterns -- please, no lectures.   I told you about this one:

Here's the latest:

The more I look at vintage Forties dresses, the more I realize there were like five popular styles.  These are two of them.  There is something about late-Thirties, early-Forties fashion I love and I can't quite put my finger on it.  Is it all those Barbara Stanwyck movies I watched as a kid?

Seriously, I think it's the simple, pared-down modesty of them (and I'm not talking body-coverage modesty).  They don't demand contorting the body -- a cinched-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life waistline or bullet bras.  They honor the human form rather than exaggerating it (well, yes, those shoulder pads...).  A future blog entry perhaps.

3.  I received the most wonderful gift from my friend amazing Grace.  It's three yards of a gorgeous Liberty of London print she has in her stash and I just love it.  I plan to make Michael a shirt out of it as the colors fit his palette perfectly.

Thank you again, Grace!

4.  I was a little troubled by how many of you are slicing your digits with rotary cutters and stitching buttonholes through the living room carpeting.  I'm trying not to lose any sleep over your chilling comments last Wednesday but I must suffer from overidentification or something. Remember: do not operate sewing machine while under the influence of anything more potent than your Mother-in-Law.

And now for the week to come:

1.  I want to sew the Liberty of London shirt for Michael I mentioned above.  This is the most expensive fabric I have ever sewn with -- well, expensive for Grace anyway-- and I will try to stay calm as I work with it.

2.  I still haven't sewn myself a pair of pants and I'm wondering if I ever intend to.  I'll be washing fabric today so maybe I'll prep something that could turn into trousers.  I may need a little help from the mice in the attic.

3.  I'm trying to get some clarity around where I want to go next with my sewing, if anywhere.  I mean, eventually Cathy is going to move on, and then where will I be?  I think I may need to start shopping for a muse.  What's Ann-Margret up to these days....?

But enough about me and my problems, how about you and yours?

Now I heard a lot of bellyaching over my decision last week not to nag you and, ever-sensitive to your needs, I have decided to re-ignite the flame of my inner nagster.  So....

Karin: Are you making your daughter a dress or not? uglycute: What are you sewing this week exactly? Kerry: Have you recovered and did you wear the "impractical spring green dress" yet?  Pics please.  AuntieAllyn: Did you finish the African print dress? Melanie: Have you started on your son's mushroom-print boxers?  Mae:  Did you decide between Vogue1182 and 1183?  The train's leaving the station, girl!  Maggie: Did you recover enough to start sewing?  Elle: Are you even OLD enough to be a MOB?  mom2five: So, the pants....?

OK, that's it for now, I'm exhausted.

Look, peeps, we can always find an excuse not to sew.  But frankly, if you've got a pulse, you can press that pedal.  And if you don't have a pulse, your stash up for grabs?


OK, time to re-thread my serger!  (Ugh.)

What's on your plate this week?

(Remember: if it's perishable, refrigerate.)


  1. That Liberty is fantastic. It will make such a nice shirt - can't wait to see.

    Meanwhile I'm off to print out "if you've got a pulse, you can press that pedal", so I can stick it to my machine. I love a good motivational quote (though I am not quite sure if that's the carrot or the stick?).

  2. Oh my gosh, I am in major fabric lust over that Liberty. It will make a fantastic shirt for Michael. Will look forward to seeing it.

    And - I adore the Hollywood pattern. Any fabric ideas? The 40s are definitely my favourite era of frocks at the moment.

  3. Recovered - yes, although it took until Sunday for my appetite to return; when I first sewed the dress I accidentally made the bust darts too deep and tall so it fit way too tight. Now it is almost acceptable due the unanticipated weight loss. But I suspect that my return to eating will render it slightly too small again by the coming weekend.

    have not worn it yet, but we are trying to plan a short visit to London and Paris in the middle of May to visit some family, so maybe then I will get to wear it.

    Which leads me to a new dilemma - what do fashionable thirty-somethings in London and Paris wear? I have never been to Europe and I want to carefully plan my wardrobe for the trip without looking like "The Ugly American."

    Advice? I want to pack light (we're only going for probably 5 days) and have a few pieces that work together, a mix and match wardrobe that is appropriate for the weather, for sightseeing, dining out, etc.

  4. I need to finish an apron for a May Breakfast I'm working at. Since it is on May 1st, I'm also hoping to enter it in the contest as well.
    Good luck to you!
    After that, it is on to my 50s bathing suit.
    I think I came across that peasant-style pattern on Ebay as well. Love it.

  5. Wow, I've never seen anything liberty xcept dainty florals!

    I have a red cotton print dress mostly cut out that i need to get moving on - that's my goal, progress!

  6. Kerry: the shoes are the biggest giveaway, the normal tennis shoe sticks out here in London. But it's a major city so any style goes.

    Good luck in the contest Peter!

  7. You were so right when you told me the train is leaving the station! We are preparing to move into one (large)room while we have the rest of the house renovated, starting with removal of all the floor tiles. We'd move out during the renovation if we didn't have 2 dogs and 2 cats! I'm spending a lot of time sorting through stuff and packing it away/giving it away. With limited time for sewing, I decided against changing the thread in my serger. It's threaded with grey, so I cut out this beautiful grey,pink/green Japanese cotton from Tessuti
    I'm making my TNT Simplicity 2648 because the fabric is too good to use on a new pattern without making a muslin first.

  8. Okay, for this week... I plan to make at least one more vintage dress for the contest. I have the fabric all ready and everything for three more. I just have to put the last one on Little Bits (after she wakes up) to check for length. All my eligible patterns are 60s, and they wore 'em short back then.

    I also have a pair of overall shorts and a sunny day outfit all cut out and ready to sew together. Peter, you'd be proud of me---the overall shorts are from a piece of vintage fabric I picked up at a yard sale a few years ago for $0.25!

  9. I'm in the throes of 'fear of sheer'. I've got a blouse cut out of printed chiffon and I'm just..avoiding it.

  10. Yes, I have somewhat recovered. Thanks, Peter! I did get a couple pieces of my shirtwaist dress cut out and marked, so I made some progress on that front.

    I leave for a visit to Texas on Wednesday, but I will have a pattern and fabric packed in my suitcase. I will be sewing a shirt for my sister while I am there. So, by next Monday I *hopefully* will have that done, otherwise it will have to wait until Christmas :)

    I still vote for the track suit, Peter! Are we allowed to nag you too?? ;)

  11. And Kerry: When I was there I lived in my linen skirts. They are lightweight and travel well. Like Rachel said, stay away from sneakers, but try to bring some kind comfortable shoes, you will be doing a lot of walking :)

  12. Thanks to Maggie and Rachel. I actually do not wear sneakers for anything other than execise - I find them uncomfortable! I wear Dansko clogs for everyday wear, and they are good for walking.

    I've also heard it's best to avoid heavily logo-d items. When my college roommate did a semester abroad in Spain, they advised everyone to leave logo items at home. (Not that I have a wardrobe that is heavy on designer logos).

  13. Helloooo! Whose blog is this? LOL

    Kerry, why don't you buy shoes when you're there, then you'll be sure to blend right in. I've heard 6-inch heels are all the rage.

    Now let's get back to sewing, could we? ;)

  14. My partner in crime Nikki and I will be finishing up costumes for our Arabian Nights version of Comedy of Errors. Tonight I have to cut out the insane yardage for Algerian suit pants. They are going to look fantastic!

  15. My goals for this week... finish the pants. :) One pair just needs a waist band and hem, the other pair needs a bit more (like, everything). I did nearly finish my husbands shirt last week, it still needs buttons but the fit is great so I'm happy. I'd like to also make a dress this week. I just need to decide on a pattern.

    Great news! My serger is back. Apparently bringing parts to your repair man that you Think will fix it makes him work faster. He will have to order another another part still but it's not necessary to make it run so I was able to bring it home.

    OH, more wonderful news!!! I visited an estate sale on Saturday and found the most wonderful fabric! I bought three silk saris, each over five yards for $2.00 a piece, one cut silk sari, about 2 1/2 yards for $1.00 and a 3 yard silk Asian print for $1.00. I'm not sure what they will be yet but they feel wonderful.

    Can't wait to see that shirt made from your Liberty piece. Have a great week!

  16. The upper thread tension on my 1983 Bernina is acting up, so I'll be taking her to the shop. I feel like my right arm is gone!!!!!

  17. oh, I forgot, I have to hem curtains this week. I'm trying to block it out because I would rather do almost anything else. blahh!

  18. Ooh, that Liberty is gorgeous. I'm not a fan of the classic florals (gasp, I know) and it seems hard to find the other patterns here. That shirt will be beautiful.

    I'm spending my sewing time this week (and the next few!) on the little one's spring wardrobe - I unpacked last year's warm weather clothes and nearly all her dresses are all tunic length now. Or shorter. Sigh.

  19. Ooooh, Liberty fabric is so loverly! Beware, you could pick up an insatiable taste for finer fabrics when you cut into it!! As for me, yes, thanks for asking, the African print shift is done, and I made a long-sleeved version of the same pattern out of some floral print cotton jacquard I had in my stash. I'm feeling a bit "at sea" right now as I haven't figured out "what's next" on the sewing agenda . . . must ponder that issue this evening.

  20. Peter - just got back from Target and they have a tie with that Liberty of London fabric:

  21. Actually, it may not be the exact same fabric, but very similar...

  22. Hi! Recent new reader, first time commenter.

    I've never been into Liberty prints before, but that one is gorgeous! Can't wait to see the shirt.

    Hmmm, what's on my plate this week? Sewing up some red linen that's been in my stash for two years, making it into a skirt (Simplicity 5914).

  23. Pictures of Kathy give me such glee. How rude of you to catch her in her unmentionables, though!

    OMG, have you seen my blog lately? No, probably not, b/c I haven't posted jack! I cannot get this crazy a** dress to fit. So I gave up yesterday. I cut out a new one, made a muslin of the bodice, and it was too tight. ARGH!

    You should totally try a pair of pants! (I guess jumper bottoms don't count as pants?)

  24. Love the Liberty print! Can't wait to see Michael's new shirt.

    My goal this week is to finish altering a RTW skirt for my aunt (grandmom to the bride, wedding in 3+ weeks) and move from obsessive-muslin stage to actually sewing stage on my dress, from a 2005 Burda. Waiting for a vintage pattern from eBay, to make a 1947 bolero to go with the '05 Burda dress ... vintage mashup!

  25. Want that Liberty print!

    And, yes, Peter, I am 2 years and a couple months older than you, so that makes me, *ahem*, 50, and old enough to be a MOB. I just don't want to look that way. ;)

    So, mission accomplished. MOB dress cut out and awaiting arrival of the lining and silk organza I ordered to underline it. In the meantime, I'm GOING.TO.CUT.OUT a rehearsal dinner dress. It seems that one cannot wear a formal bright green full skirted silk shantung MOB dress to Every wedding party. If I'm really ambitious, I'll get to the bridesmaid's luncheon dress too.

    Lucky for me, dear hubby is out of the country until Saturday, so I won't actually have to, you know, cook and stuff.

  26. I just found your blog and I love it! Something the slip vs. lining conversation never addressed: the need for armpit "dress shields." Or is that too gross? It's not just a matter of cleaning frequency; the perspiration can actually interact with the dye chemicals in the fabric despite antiperspirant. I speak from tragic experience. I would be interested to hear what you and your readers think.

  27. Grrrr-OSS!! Let's save that for another day, Trapunto, shall we? Welcome to our wacky little world.

    You kids are a hoot-and-a-half.

    If this fabric is for sale at Target I want my money back...I mean, Grace's money. You can send it to me and I'll be sure she gets it.

    Rachel, the term "jack" is vulgar. That kind of language will affect your final grade.

  28. Ah yes, now I remember what I wanted to sew next . . . Vogue 1181, the Ralph Rucci caftan (looks like the only Ralph Rucci pattern that I could ever see myself making; while I adore his fabulous details, those are not the kind of details that I could see myself doing on a garment). I picked up some cream-colored Vera Wang satin from Fabric Mart for $2/yard . . . since this caftan takes almost six yards of fabric, I didn't want to use anything that was too pricey). I'm heading to Key West on Saturday, and this could be just the thing to wear for cocktails on the hotel's veranda.

  29. Finished my "jeans." I am on FIRE with finishing my goals, although I don't loooooove these pants. This week's goal is making a chiffon top. Gulp. I, too, have a bit of fear of sheers, but will overcome it if only to avoid not making my goal as set forth here.

  30. The slip versus lining debate should be had, yes it definitely should. As someone that's big on skirts and dresses, I think if I sew myself a few very good slips in nice fabric and neutral colours I'll be set and not have to line unless it's absolutely necessary.

    This week I'm finishing up two costumes for my nieces, Claire (9) and Evelyn (5). We're attending a 'Fairy and Princess' party on Sunday and I am making their costumes. So far so good schedule-wise, only a little left, though the hand finishing will add some time.

    Then I think I'll skip making myself a costume last-minute and use the fabric I bought on sale for something summery.

    Sarah, long time reader, first time commenter.

  31. I love that Liberty print, it almost has an art deco feel to it. It will make a lovely shirt for Michael. My sewing this week will consist of wardrobe staples. I need basic pants and skirts in neutrals. I was surprised to learn that I no longer have a plain old black pencil skirt or simple black pants. That must be rectified this week.

  32. Rebecca (UglyCuteDesigns)April 27, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    That Liberty shirt will be rad! I have 2 UFOs that need finishing. A Rooibos dress that is turning out rather crappy, and a Simp. jacket. I'm actually starting to quilt too. I've spent most of my time starting my blog (and switching it from wordpress to blogger) and have a backlog of garments to post.

    Thanks for nagging!

  33. Okay, so the Liberty is making me green with jealousy. I'll get over it. If there is enough left over, make him matching boxers.

    In fact, that's my next project. Boxers for the husband's birthday in two weeks. Pray for me.

  34. "If this fabric is for sale at Target I want my money back...I mean, Grace's money."

    Target isn't selling clothing/anything made from actual Liberty fabrics - they are selling licensed Liberty prints, printed on cheap mostly synthetic fabric. There's no comparison between real Liberty and what's in Target. Not that Target stuff isn't fun to look at and/or wear for a season. But it's not real Liberty all the way. :-)

  35. On my plate this week: 5 yards of difficult loosely woven silk and five yards of silk underlining. Hopefully it will be a lovely Vogue dress (#8956, from 1956) by May 8, but since I had a major sewing malfunction Sunday afternoon its fate is uncertain. I am recutting my pieces where possible and I have rush ordered more fabric. I'm basically starting over, this time WITHOUT getting adventurous with the fusibles and the iron.

    I will power through and finish it, because I refuse to let this project defeat me, but now I'm afraid that my frustration will taint the dress and haunt me every time I wear it. This should be a fun fancy party dress, not a reminder of my utter incompetence and idiocy!

    Does anyone know how to perform an excorcism on a dress?

  36. My problem of the week and probably the next couple of weeks is that I don't know what kind of style of clothes I like. I'm a novice seamstress and I've been looking at several patterns (ebay, burdastyle, vintage ones, recent ones,...). The thing is: I don't know what kind of style I like or what kind of style suits my body type. I thought I knew, then I checked my wardrobe and decided that it's pretty much the wardrobe of a schizophrenic. So, before buying, downloading and printing any patterns, I need to figure out what I actually do like.

    In the mean while I will finish that half slip of mine. Cause, you know, half slips are pretty neutral.

    Oh and my blog decided to die on me, which is also kind of a problem, so I have to nag in your comments. :P


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