Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Apr 13, 2010

Tuesday True Confessions

 I am VERY excited to share my latest pattern purchase with you, dear readers:

Can't you see Cathy in this lovely late-Forties frock, long gathered sleeves covering her somewhat hairy upper arms?

Actually, I'm excited about this pattern for four reasons:

1. I think it's the perfect match for this vintage-inspired cotton sateen fabric I've had in my stash since last fall, somewhat reminiscent of coffin lining.

2. It will be make an ideal entry for Pattern Review's upcoming vintage pattern contest (which begins on April 15).

3.  While I paid $12.95 for it -- a lot for me -- it's currently selling elsewhere for $58, so it's sort of like I made $45 in the transaction.

4.  It's from the Forties, my new favorite fashion decade -- 1948 to be exact.  And speaking of 48 (gulp), guess who has a birthday coming up next week (April 21)!

Now isn't it funny how a man who thinks nothing of posing in 4-inch purple pumps in a daffodil-yellow skirt, hairy legs and all, feels a wee bit sensitive about his age?  This, when I'm only a ten-minute cab ride from some of the world's most renown plastic surgeons!

In the spirit of something an old therapist used to say to me, "Your secrets are your sickness,"  I invite you, open-minded readers, to lay one of yours on us, right here, right now.

It could be something as simple as, "I haven't changed my needle since 2005," to the more unsettling, "I routinely cut coupons with my Gingher shears."

It needn't be sewing related, though of course that's a good place to start since I know you're not all finishing your raw edges.

If it makes the exercise easier, please feel free to preface your statement with, "so I have this friend who..."  (spilled Hawaiian Punch on her mother's quilting project in 1983 and blamed it on her brother).

Of course, if it's something that could land you in jail, please post anonymously.

Let the healing begin!


  1. Well, in the interests of my sewing health...I never make a toile/muslin AND I lost the cover for my sewing machine a week after I bought it, so now when it's not being used, it's just sitting there, gathering dust in its nooks and crannies.

  2. I can't hem. no matter how much pressing and pinning and triple checking I do I always end up with an uneven hem. Pants, skirts, tops, you name it. All woefully slanty as though I'm standing on a very slight incline, or have just been caught in a high wind.

  3. Funny but the girl on the left with the hat on looks a bit like Cathy. (Or does she look a bit male? *shame on me*) Can't wait to see this dress on dear Cousin Cathy. :-)

  4. You know how in the sewing process, you're supposed to spend lots of time with the iron? I never have. I've never pressed a seam, a pattern, or anything like that. Occasionally, and very rarely, mind, I've pressed the finished product. But I've never, ever, pressed a work in progress.

  5. I admit it. When the kids make brownies, I grab a few, put them in a baggie and hide them in my sewing cabinet! Then, when I have to rip something again, I can fortify myself!

    Is Cathy available as a fashion consultant? How would she deal with Aunt Bea? What patterns would she suggest? What fabrics?

  6. I don't change my needles either. Unless I'm sewing silk, lycra or denim. Then I use the needles perscribed. When I'm done, I put the old needle back in. I think it gives me good luck....

    I LOVE gloves. I'm waiting on them to make a comeback.....

  7. You've fallen into the trap of true vintage and now you'll never be free!
    My sewing secret is that if I have to stop in the middle of a seam, I don't rip it out and start over I'll just start back a little further and keep on going. I also hate muslins but I'm warming up to them.

  8. Sewing confession: I do not regularly pre-wash/pre-shrink my fabric. The horror!!

    Also, if you are trying to tell us that you're about to be 48 I may have to call you a liar. No way you're a day over 30 ;o)

  9. I don't make muslins. Ever. No matter how expensive the fabric.

    I also don't alter paper pattern pieces--I just sew it up and hope for the best. I'm an alter-as-you-go kind of gal.

  10. OMG, the pure crimson shame of it all. You folks are even worse than I thought. Keep it coming! LOL

  11. "somewhat reminiscent of coffin lining"

    That's hilarious--coffee spewing out the nose hilarious!

    I'll be honest (no attributing it to a friend), I've never ever had any sewing machine I've ever owned serviced. I recently had to have my serger serviced because the knives locked up from lack of lubrication (a testament to my machine neglect), but that doesn't count in my mind. It was an emergency situation.

    I like the 40's, too. I was born during that decade. If I squinch my eyes and concentrate, I can almost remember 1948. :o

  12. I'm with sownbrooklyn. On both scores.

    1. The only fabric I've ever pre-washed was a really smelly vintage one (and I don't mind that musty vintage smell, but this one reeked...). If it shrinks, I figure it'll stretch again in the wearing.

    2. I still can't quite believe those dashing young preppie pics of you in the 80s. I was expecting you to be about 5 at the time, yet there you were, already a young man! Who needs plastic surgery when someone's already hogging the fountain of youth!

  13. true sewing congessions? well I hate to say it but I hardly have any (haha) I pre-wash all of my fabric, I love my iron (almost more than my sewing machine), I rip out mistakes, I cover my machine.....Oh wait! I may be an anal retentive virgo but even I have a true confession for you:
    I do all of my markings with whatever is handy, pencil, ink pen yep even a sharpie marker-Dude! I can never find the damn chalk!

  14. I once felted and shrunk out of site a piece of bably alpaca cashmere I paid $80 per yard ($400) for! -- anonymous

  15. First of all that dress will be a smash on Cathy! I am thinking a huge red hat to go with it.

    And I honestly had you pegged for about 10 years younger. Happy Birthday!

    I am trying to think of a sewing secret. i never change my needle unless they break (because I always sew over pins but I am trying to break that habit) or I know I am working with a fussy material. I have sewn my entire life and studied it in college and I just bought a ham and have yet to buy a sleeveboard. That isn't really juicy though.

    My secret is I am lonely, desperately lonely for sewing friends who can come over and help me fit the back of my dress and share techniques and have a glass of wine and some cookies.

  16. What a hoot - I am still giggling at the coffin lining. Anyway, my confession is easy ... I wore an unhemmed skirt out (to my dressmaking class) this evening. There were possibly also untrimmed theads hanging off the ends of the side seams. It wouldn't have been so bad if the initial edges hadn't been cut so as to look like a shark mauled them.

    I do hope Cathy forgives you for divulging her hirsuteness. With that nylon stocking over the lens its impossible to tell.

  17. Nice score with that pattern!

    As for my confession: I ostensibly have been buying kid clothing patterns for the past several months for potential projects for my friend's kids. However, the reality is that I'm buying them just as much, if not moreso, for our potential future children. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the 394738947 little girl dress patterns if I never have a daughter, but does that stop me from buying them? Nope. :P

  18. This post was hilarious!

    I have a sewing secret, or should I say lack-of-sewing secret. At my previous employment, I was bragging that this would be the year I make an awesome outfit for our formal end of year function. Well... The morning of the function I totally killed what would have been said outfit and was left with nothing to wear - OY!

    I grabbed a piece of black cotton lycra from my stash, hand-stitched it onto my bra, wrapped it around me in some kind of random draping, and pinned it closed with a brooch.

    The compliments rolled the entire night on my dress I had "sewn" myself. Little did they know... :-D

  19. My No1 is sin buying vintage patterns, not necessarily with the view to sew them up but just to posess them! Or I make them up never for them to be worn, not sure which is more heinous?

  20. Gorgeous pattern, I too was recognizing your cousin in the drawing. Must have been destined to become your pattern.

  21. I take money left over from the grocery budget and put it into my secret sewing money stash to use for sewing conventions or patterns/fabric I just can't live without. No one has ever gone hungry so it can't be that bad, right?

  22. Okay, here's another. I don't preshrink things, either. My quilting teacher swears that flannel shrinks horribly and thus if used as quilt backing must be preshrunk. I don't do it. I've never had shrinkage problems and I think it quilts easier if it's never been washed.

    And another... A common problem with old Pfaff 1222s and 1222Es is that the top tension sometimes slips giving you varying stitch lengths. The way to fix this is a spot of superglue between the spring and the little plastic joint. I put the glue in the wrong place and while trying to make the tension move, broke the top tension assembly on my sewing machine. I was lucky, though. :) Someone had broken down a 1222 for parts and I bought a new one off ebay!

  23. I do the same as "mom2five" --stash the extra grocery money into my sewing money envelope. Hey, my mother did it too--that's where I learned it.

    I prewash and iron and be oh, so meticulous about some things but to hell with muslins. Like Amanda I sew up the pattern. I glance over it first but rarely change a thing. A dress I made over the weekend looked a bit big in the waist so I threw it flat on the cutting table, drew in a curve on each side, sewed on the line and it's done.

  24. I've owned my fancy Bernina for 5 years or so and just recently took it in to be serviced for the first time...does that count? Or how about this: I have fabric I've been hoarding for 30 years, oh yes. Someday, I'm sure I'll do something fabulous with it.

    love the "coffin lining" fabric!

  25. I serge all raw edges with a wanton disregard of whether such serging is period correct. I also have problems finishing projects, they are never good enough so I rip them apart and sew them up again with ideas of things that I can make better. One dress has been ripped apart 3 times so far.........yikes!

    I would also like someone to sew and fit with.

  26. Gosh!
    I must be posessed...
    Basting has become my new best friend!

  27. On Easter Sunday I had to finish my niece's dress and cook dinner, so I brought my sewing machine to the dining room table. When I went to move the machine aside to hand-sew something, I put the mother of all scratches on my table. Scratch may not be the word, it is a gouge.

    I have been putting place mats over it since, so my husband hasn't noticed.

    And, I rarely change my needle. And sew over pins :)

  28. Jeez Louise is all I can say.

    In the old days most of you would have been deported to Australia, but I believe a number of you may be living there already.

  29. Haha, awesome post!
    I have never serviced my machine.. and I've had it for 7 years. I just can't bear for us to be apart so long! (I will, soon! I swear)
    I also rarely make a muslin. I consider it, but I only have so much sewing time available and my impatience often takes over.
    And sometimes, I don't match my serger thread to my project. Brown is almost black, isn't it? Since I've started blogging, my bad behavior has improved since I only want to share lovely matching-thread projects with the world...

  30. Oh and great pattern! and happy early birthday too :)

  31. My big secret is that I don't have any tattoos.

  32. Not sure that I have anything new to add to the mix. I've never done a muslin . . . I've been sewing for over 40 years, and don't intend to start doing them now. I hand-stitch my zippers into my dresses; I can do them by hand as quickly as I could machine-sew them, but I'm really thinking I need to master the invisible zipper (which I wouldn't do by hand). I enjoy hand-sewing and ironing, and I make my own scented water to spray onto my garments as I iron them (I've aso been known to make my own scented spray starch, but it tends to get moldy if you don't use it up within a couple of weeks).

    Love the new pattern!!! Not so sure about the fabric, though . . . but I'm sure you'll make it work!

  33. I'm reading a lot of these comments thinking 'yeah, I do that, and that, and that...' - didn't realise I should have been ashamed of myself the whole time..! I once made a dress for a friend's girlfriend and didn't realise until halfway through that I'd made it two sizes smaller than she'd asked for. I pressed on regardless. When it didn't fit I said she must have given me the wrong size even though I knew I was careless with cutting... I still feel guilty about that and now I'd confess but at the time it was easier to brazen it out! Stashing food money for sewing just makes sense.

  34. My big secret? Besides the fact that I probably have more sewing machines than finished projects right now? Hmmm...

    I see we are fellow Taureans...I go up another digit next week as well!

    Btw if you haven't visited this website already you might want to have a look:
    Feed the vintage frenzy! I've only scratched the surface myself but am enjoying PARIS FROCKS AT HOME (1930).

  35. My biggest secret is that sewing gives me WAYYYY more pleasure than sex! I agree about a big red hat for Cathy, but I would still like to see the yellow dress with those stunning purple shoes.

  36. I have another one. Yeah, I'm just full of confessions today of sewing sins!

    When my niece was born, we hunted up the antique christening dress. It was made in 1912 from the underskirt of my great-grandmother's wedding dress. I researched how to clean it to get it bright white again and did it. While I was ironing it, I found something that made me smile--Great-Grandma had left in the gathering/basting stitches into the skirt of the slip.

    Why it made me smile so much is because I do it, too! Nine times out of ten, I forget to remove gathering stitches. Either that or by the time I'm done with the sewing I'm fed up enough that I just leave it. It made me feel connected to a woman that I don't remember because I was too little when she died.

    So that's my last sewing sin.... unless you count sewing over pins.

  37. OK, I didn't even know you were supposed to remove the gathering stitches.

  38. I have no sewing confessions. I finish every seam. I hand-embroider buttonholes. I trace all patterns rather than cutting tissue, in case someone else might want to use it one day. I line almost every garment. I relish welt pockets. Oh, wait, there was something.... Weren't there some children here a while back? There they are, playing naked in traffic after dark. Again.

  39. I don't love to change thread colors on my serger so when it had some performance issues, it went into the shop (for way too long) and I used this as an excuse to get another serger so that i could keep one threaded in light thread and one in dark thread. There, I said it. I do not feel good about the extravagance but every time I need to use a different color, I am secretly delighted to avoid the thread change. Bad, I know.
    Happy Birthday to you, Peter!

  40. Found you via another blog. Happy Birthday!

    Now for my confession...

    I had been so long without making buttonholes that when I sat down to make them on my old(er) Janome I forgot to pull down the little stop thing for the automatic buttonhole maker. I panicked and went crying to my hubby about how the world was ending.

    Within the week I had a new, even nicer Brother. When I opened it and read about the buttonhole foot I miraculously remembered the pull down thingy.

    Have I confessed to him?
    Well, that will only happen when I learn to only buy fabric for one project at a time....who am I kidding?

    AND I'll deny it if you tell!

  41. Happy birthday to you (I'm new here, but you gave me a tip on wonder tape for my Mardi Gras dress zipper at patternreview), and my secret seems to be more naughty, thus I hesitate to share....I sew in my underwear. If I'm making a shirt and I have to try it on, I just stay in the bra to finish things up. If I'm making pants I just stay in the panties till I'm done - so much faster trying them on that way. Of course, I have to remember to close the blinds when it gets dark...which I always, seriously, I don't flash anybody. (Hope I haven't ruined it for your neighbors by suggesting something.) But probably nobody mentioned that yet because it's such commonplace behavior.

  42. Even though I've bought at least 30 vintage patterns so far this year, I haven't touched my sewing machine since last November.

    Horrifying! However the patterns I found at an antique show last weekend are so awesome (and even my size, sorta!) that I might finally sew something again this week.

  43. Uh, not so much a confession of a sin, as a confession of my own stupidity... I was setting popper-snaps on a top last weekend, and I thought that they looked like they might come off. So I bit down on them to force them on tighter. And chipped two teeth.

  44. I'm with Sister - I sew wearing underoos so I can fit the pants quicker, but I don't see that as shameful. :) My confession is I'll wash my fabric with other garments. I had to rewash one piece of black and white herringbone two times because the first time I washed it with a red shirt that bled onto the fabric. opps

  45. I don't know which is funnier: the "coffin lining" remark, or Claudine's perfect sewing AND parenting. ;-)

  46. I haven't understood ANY of the instructions I've read about bagging a lining. I just can't grasp the concept. I get a headache trying to visualize it. The mind boggles and keep on boggling.


  47. I also sew in my underwear- too much effort to take my clothes on and off as I adjust the fit of the garment I'm making. Also, most of my bedsheet muslins become the lining for the finished project.. actual lining fabrics? I've never used them. I buy matching lining for the fashion fabric sometimes, but end up getting lazy and using the muslin, which is already mostly sewn together.


  48. Oh my - where to begin with my secrets....
    I have such a large fabric stash that I have boxes packed up and put into the attic so the hubby doesn't know how much I have. My sewing room and closet in said room is full also.
    I would spend my last dime on fabric than pay a bill - fabric of every kind is my weakness...
    I have a tattoo on my thigh of a sewing machine that has a head and tail of dragon with "Born to Sew" below it....
    I have my very first pattern I bought when I was learning to sew - 42 years ago....
    Something I will never forgive myself for, is when I last moved 2 years ago - I cleaned out my fabric stash and got rid of some double knit fabric that I am still wishing I had. I will never let the hubby talk me into "thinning" any stash again....
    I truly could start a fabric store with all the fabric, buttons and notions I have saved over the years. I truly do use them - but for every one I use - I probably buy 2 more....

  49. I have never changed the needles in my overlocker since I bought it about six years ago. Doesn't matter if I'm overlocking the thickest denim or the finest satin, yet I do try to vaguely correspond my ordinary machine's needles to match my project, wierd. Thanks for the opportunity toconfess, I didn't realise I needed to but I feel better now anyhow. Oh, and sometimes I sew after a few too many glasses of wine!

  50. I don't line anything. My mother has a fetish for undergarments and has blessed me with enough slips, camisoles, girdles and underthings to start my own Victoria Secrets. I can't ever see a reason to do all the extra work to line, when I can wear the pretty lavender silk full slip with the embroidery...


Related Posts with Thumbnails