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May 3, 2010

Monday Morning Nag-athon + GOALS

Happy Monday, everybody!

I don't know about the weather where you are, but we had a HOT weekend (mid-eighties) and are heading into an equally hot week.  Makes you think beachwear!
So another week has come and gone.  Let's see what we have to show for it.

Remember how I complained last week about being buried under a pile of sewing books?  Happily, I still have a little room left for fashion books, and I picked up a beautiful one at the flea market yesterday, "Unseen Vogue."

It's a sumptuous coffee table book full of photos that for one reason or another didn't make it into the magazine.  Let's take a look (click to blow them up):

Chock full of inspiration.  Wow!

And speaking of glamour, I know you're all wondering how the rose dress is coming along:

It doesn't look like much on a hanger, peeps, and it still needs hemming as well as a belt, which I think I'm going to make myself.  But of all Cathy's outfits, I think this is my favorite.  If it ever cools down here, we'll do a photoshoot and you'll see why.

So books, dresses, what else have I been up to?

1.  I finally started paring down my fabric remnants stash!  I know you can relate when I say that even though I may have half a yard of Ralph Lauren floral bedsheet left, I don't want to look at that fabric again let alone sew with it.  Heck, I don't even want to clean with it!

2. I made Michael his Liberty of London dress shirt.  He's happy; I'm happy.

3.  I nearly finished the rose dress, which, you'll recall, is from a 1948 McCall's pattern.  I may actually do the hem by hand; I think it warrants the effort.

4.  What would a sewing week be without an impulse pattern purchase?  I picked this up on Etsy:

I'm guessing that it's from around 1942 or 1943.  If anyone can date it more accurately (#9540), please let me know.  It will be my first truly vintage Vogue.

And now, for the week to come:

1.  I want to complete that rose dress and get Cathy into it, hopefully in black -- yes black -- gloves.

2.  I realized in yesterday's heat that I could use a pair of short pants that doesn't look like something you'd wear to the gym.  Maybe I'll stitch myself up a pair.

3.  I want to continue to pare down my stash.  I may have too many sheets, do you believe it?

4.  I need to whip myself up some cloth sewing machine covers.  A few of my machines are sitting atop my sewing table collecting dust -- not a good thing.

And now -- how about you?

Kerry: Have you decided what you'll be wearing on your European tour?  Lisette: Did you finish the apron?  Makingtime: Update us on the red cotton print dress please.  Mae: Did you make Simplicity 2648 with the mismatched serger thread?  Laura: Did you make the "sunny day" outfit?  Toby: "fear of sheer" -- what is going on there?  Alyssa: Arabian Nights costumes -- how are they coming?  Stacy: Did you make your linen skirt?

Look, you're all adults.  What are you going to do when you're out on your own and I'm no longer around to nag you, huh?  I know it's an uncomfortable thought but it's reality, peeps.  What I recommend is that you start nagging others.  It's much more empowering to be the nagger than the naggee, and a little authority is always healthy -- helps build responsibility.

OK, folks, time to finish my coffee and figure out how to do a credible whipstitch.  Frankly, I'm frightened but I'm determined to "feel the fear and do it anyway."

Pedals in position?  Let's GO SEW!

What's on your sewing agenda this week, peeps?

Stay cool!


  1. Yes, I did! This last week was a productive week for sewing. I made two dresses, the sunny day outfit, and a pair of overall shorts for Evie. And I reviewed every single one of them.

    This week, my goals are to quilt and bind the two quilts, and more importantly, make a sock monkey for my nephew's upcoming birthday. He's apparently developed a fascination with them and I'm not about to pay $20 for a ready made one when I can whip one up for around $5 in an afternoon. Since we have to mail it, I have to get that done this week if I don't manage anything else.

    I've ordered a vintage slip pattern for Evie, because it will make the three vintage dresses I made for her look better. If I have spare time after I complete my goals, I'm delving back into my project list and making more Evie clothes. Her aunt on her Mommy's side was so taken by one of the sundresses I made that she wanted two of them sized to fit her girls! (I think I dissuaded her, though, when I told her that I didn't have patterns to fit and that she needed to buy them plus the fabric. Bad Laura!)

  2. My goal for this week is to finish the prom dress I'm sewing (not really negotiable, as prom is Friday! lol) and make progress on my pair of PJs for my brother.


  3. Hi! The roses look great! I did make some progress on the dress - yesterday! And knowing you might ask was helpful motivation :). I think I'm just afraid this won't come out as hoped, which always makes me avoid working on a project. I've been knitting instead. And cooking and cleaning and taking care of my kids. So, slow progress is the only kind there's going to be :). Hope to his week sew the major seams to try it on (which includes a zipper).

  4. [recent reader, delurking] I think I'm going to have to make a half-circle skirt just to feel like I've produced something useful, after seven failed tries at a more fitted skirt. Then I'll start looking for a good book to teach a novice sewist about fit.

  5. We're not going to fiance's idiot brother decided that he needs to travel that week and thus won't be around for us to visit him, so we are staying home. In lieu of spending a seriously amount of cash on plane tickets, I decided that the money would be better spent on an adapter and some new feet for my super high slant shank Kenmore sewing machine, as well as some more bike related items and maybe a "new" vintage machine. I have my eye on a local Craigslist ad for a 1953 Viking and a Universal..both appear to be in decent shape and the price is golden.

  6. Great progress on the rose dress - I'm sure that Cathy will look simply sublime in it! I'm going through major sewing withdrawal right now - no machine for the past week, no machine for the next two, eek! - and your projects are allowing me to survive. Huzzah, living vicariously through others! Though, I DID sew some curtains for my lover's mother, but sewing many many straight seams on rectangles is hardly exciting.

    I hear you on the weather, it hit 95 yesterday in the second-greatest New England city and has had me dreaming of sun dresses and large hats. Can't wait to see the photoshoot! Where's Cathy coming from this time?

  7. That Vogue pattern is lovely! CoPA doesn't have it, but it falls between some 1942 patterns they do have, so I would date it '42, definitely.

    I hear you on the destashing, I've been trying to dig out all those remnants from finished projects and get rid of them too. One box is already off to a quilting group that needs donations, another box is filling up.

  8. Now that she's here, I have pictures! Here is a front view of the sunny day outfit, and here is the back view.

  9. This week I need to finish up a pair of pants and a dress that I've cut out. I purchased two other new patterns last week and would like to get at least one of them made up.

    I made a dress over the weekend but can't decide if it's ugly or not. I think whenever you have to ask that question it's a bad sign but I'm trying to be hopeful.

  10. Don't make your own belt, it needs a big slash of solid color - red, or black..

  11. The Rose Dress looks great--I can't wait to see Cathy model it! I'm working on tracing new patterns for business casual tops (new tops for me!) this week. I also need to take a closer look at my pattern stash and see I realistically will sew.

    Rose in SV

  12. My goal is to photograph my barcelona skirt, which I just finished hemming yesterday.

    That book looks like heaven.

  13. According to BOF (Blueprints of Fashion) date chart, 1942 for the Vogue.
    I have no goals, I haven't touched the sewing machine in a week, but if I get to today, a 1960's wrap dress. I have the underlining cut out, put it to me to check the fit, need to cut the fashion fabric now.

  14. Just bought black and silver linen. The black is for a sun dress and the silver is for a cover up of some sort once I figure out the pattern - I burn like crazy so I need sleeves even in 110 degree weather...ughh! So my two current summer projects are on push so I can get these in the pipeline.

  15. Morning, Peter! We did have a crazy productive weekend on costumes. My partner-in-crime/costuming Nikki and I worked 2 8+ hour days sewing our little fingers to the bone and got major construction finished on everything, and finishing done on some more.

    Here are some pics of our work:

    I'm particularly proud of 1) those pants. They take almost 6 yards of fabric and so many pleats to finish and 2) the lengha choli Nikki made. It turned out so beautiful!

  16. Love the rose dress! Last week was very productive for me... started and finished the rehearsal dinner dress (pic on my blog), got all the pieces underlined for the MOB dress, and the bodice is finished. Just waiting for the bling to arrive that I ordered from Etsy.

    This week, I think I'll do a little work on the lining for the MOB, and work on the purse that I promised to make for my mom for the wedding. Leaving town Wed. to collect my baby boy from college, and see my future son in law graduate, so sewing time will actually be pretty limited.

  17. Will there be a bikini in Cathy's future?

  18. Wow, what accomplishments!

    Rachel, there WILL be a bathing suit in Cathy's future though probably more Esther Williams than Cindy Crawford.

    Elle, that rehearsal dinner dress is very elegant and fits great. I didn't even notice you matched the brick wall till you pointed it out!

    Alyssa, those costumes are fantastic. The Mountain Dew T-shirt could even pass for RTW!

    Myra and Sarah: thanks for helping me put a date on that pattern. I guessed right: all those decades of watching old movies on the Late, Late Show paid off!

    Marie-Christine -- You know, I tried a black velvet belt with the dress but Michael thought it was too severe. Maybe I'll re-visit it....

    Laura, I definitely think Evie needs some more toys. I hate to see a deprived child. LOL

    Everybody else: I'm taking notes, not to worry!

  19. "Fear of Sheer" - I have avoidance issues with certain fabrics. Charmeuse is one; sheer stuff like chiffon, etc. (but not like organdy)is another. The stuff slips around, even when I cut it out on something like the carpet and then there is 'the French seam' problem (I hate making French seams, especially for putting in sleeves). But I am determined to make a blouse out of some printed chiffon I have and except for throwing in the towel completely on sleeves (I'm making the thing sleeveless at this point - nothing like more avoidance - things are going jerkily along. I will, however, persevere.

  20. A productive week for you! My goal this week is to make a brown knit top to go with a belt that I bought to go with a dress (trying to get more than one outfit out of that belt!)

  21. You could use your scraps to patchwork covers for the machines! Economical!

  22. LOL! Oh, yes, she does.... between what we keep here and what she has at home, we could stock a small toy store!

    Seriously, though, on my list of projects (these doesn't have to be done until Christmas) I have a 30s adorable rag baby doll, a cushion for her doll's high chair, and bedding for her dolls cradle.

  23. Why yes I did, thank you for asking! Hemmed it this morning. Hoping to debut it tomorrow. :)

    "Feel the fear and do it anyway"--YES. This is how most great things are accomplished.

  24. This week's goal: To make Vogue 8184 for the third time, only this time to properly line and bone the bodice. Wish me luck!

  25. Hi peter, my goal for this week is to get back into the saddle so to speak after spending 10 hours making a dishearteningly ugly dress, which looked fab on the pattern.
    I am resolving to stop being lazy and start making mock ups in muslin or something first BEFORE I embark on the real thing. Too many bad fitting experiences, and i have such a lovely 40's pattern that i dont want to take any chances.

  26. Great job on the dress, I can't wait to see the finished result (with gloves!) on Cathy. As far as my week went, I leave for home tomorrow afternoon after visiting family in Texas, and even managed to finish a project while here. I mean completely done: hemmed, seams finished and pressed! Are you proud Peter? Even on vacation your Monday goals post was in the back of my mind :)

    This week I want to make some headway on my shirtwaist dress. Seriously. At least get the thing completely cut out. Actually, no I want to be ready to gem by next Monday! It's about time.

  27. Oops... hem. That's what I get for posting via my phone before bed :)

  28. Yesterday I posted some really cate and stylish gauchos that I made out of black embroidered linen.

    And I just completed a self-drafted A-line fitted skirt with a side zipper and ruffle at the hem. I am making a blouse to go with it. Hope to complete that this week and hopefully do the photo shoot and get it posted next week sometime. After that, I have two more skirts planned, two dresses and another blouse all for me.

  29. Well, I finished the skirt for the contest. Now I need to try on my bridesmaid dress and see if I need to do any alterations. Otherwise, I'm working on a pair of pants. I have to get this done in the next week or so because I'm moving and need to sell the machine.

  30. Here's the skirt on my blog:


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