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May 10, 2010

Monday "Nag-O-Rama" and GOALS!

Happy Monday and Post-Mother's-Day Recovery Week everybody!

First the good news:  Cathy and rival Svetlana have ironed out their differences and are planning a week's vacation together in Cancun!

Now the bad news: Cathy's purple dress did not win the Pattern Review vintage pattern challenge (I know, right?).   In fact, she came in fourth, or as I prefer to think of it, third among the losers.  So in a way she really did get the bronze...or maybe the brass.

Please visit the Pattern Review Contest Gallery and leave nice comments for all the winners and don't cry for me, Argentina.  It was an honor just to be nominated!

But enough graciousness.  Let's get to our Monday morning ritual, shall we?  First, though, I must share some flea market finds with you. 

Look at this lovely lobby card I picked up for just $1!  It's from "Lady in the Dark," one of my favorite glamour-centric -- albeit tedious -- old movies (click to supersize).

Here's another, "City Without Men" (can you imagine?) starring lovely Linda Darnell.  Don't you want that suit?

 And then there's these:

Every girl should have a pair of opera-length gloves in lilac (and if you can find some matching beads, even better) and now Cathy actually does! 

What does this have to do with sewing, you ask?  Well, if you've ever visited my Picasa New Fabric folder -- and I imagine you whiling away many an hour perusing my pics -- you may remember this:

Now, picture that fabric sewn up as this little circa 1953 dress-and-matching-jacket pictured on the right?  (Yes, I bought another pattern.)

Couldn't you just DIE?  But enough!

Here is my brief week in review:

1) I finished the 1948 rose dress and Cathy braved last week's heat and humidity (today it's 43 degrees!) to model it for me.  There was a bit of conflict over choice of belts, but you guys helped me through it.  Thanks again.

2)  I stitched up a little tank top for myself with some striped knit I'd purchased earlier in the week.  I think I've decided once and for all: knits are boring.

3) I found a Singer 66 in the trash and have decided to re-purpose it into a lovely pendant.  Note to self: don't wear while swimming.

And now...the week to come:

1) I need to clean up my sewing table area(s), something I haven't done in months.  Ever since I got my 15-91, I've been sewing with it on a small table in the living room where there's more light and where I always set up the ironing table and do my cutting.   You may have noticed from the gloves photo we have a new (to us) rug, so I really want to re-think where I sew and what works best for both me and everybody else who lives here.

Sadly I don't have a designated sewing room like reader Lynne, whose fabulous sewing space was actually featured in Studios Magazine and that's no joke.  Let's all be happy for Lynne, shall we?  (Try a little harder, kids, I'm not feeling the love.)   Congratulations, Lynne....I mean, er,  "Congratulations, Lynne!"

2) I have to choose my next project.  I have about five yards of cadet blue cotton twill I thought about making into a suit for myself, but every day it's either much too warm to wear a cotton twill suit or too cold.  Rest assured, I'll let you know as soon as I decide.  And hadn't I said something about shorts....?

3) I'm still working through my remnants stash -- not as quickly or as well as Lynne would, of course, but then again, I'm not featured in Studios Magazine, am I? 

I think that's it for now, peeps, since drinking more coffee doesn't really count as a goal -- yet.

And now on to you:

First, congratulations to Stacy, who successfully completed her red linen-blend skirt.  Why she's hugging that wine bottle so close is anybody's guess.  Looks delicious! 

Now how about all the rest of you Type A's?

Sophie Miriam: Tell us about the prom dress -- and the prom!  Daiyami: Did you make your half-circle skirt?  Kerry: Did you find the vintage machine of your dreams?  Jane W.: Did you photograph your Barcelona skirt?  What IS a Barcelona skirt, btw?  Lorenakitty: What are you making with your black and silver linen?  Jenny: Did you make your brown knit top?  Livebird: Vogue 8184 -- update us please.

I'd hassle you more but I'm tired after Mother's Day Sunday so consider yourself fortunate.  We had delicious lamb chops, in case you're wondering, and asparagus.

So let's get right to it.  Polish up your presser feet and start treadling!

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I really liked your knit tank. Not boring at all. Utilitarian, perhaps, but not boring.

    Happy tidying!

  2. Congratulations on 4th place, Peter (man, I feel like a stalker, I keep managing to post first or second, creepy!). The competition looked tough and you performed well! That paisley fabric is sending me into heart palpitations - my mother was recently telling me about how when my grandmother would sew dresses like the ones above (and like the patterns I recently bought), she would sew it in paisley patterns. Suffice to say, the thought of my dear great grandma in a suit like that makes me green with envy. Go for it, man, and you'd better put some white or gold trim on the jacket, a la the pattern picture.
    Coffee drinking is too a goal, you take that back.

  3. Just wanted to say I love your blog. You make me smile with each post. I laughed myself silly when I began to understand Cathy a little better. Gawd I love you both. Can I be a BFF?

  4. Wow, I got called out! I feel special! :P

    I am planning to post on my blog about the prom dress soon. (Right now I'm just waiting for my friend's date to post the pictures of her wearing her dress.) I do have a photo of the dress on my dress form, though: and a review on PR here:

  5. Well, I finished one quilt, half the other, one sock monkey, two toddler diaper covers, three toddler overall shorts, cut out one outfit, and finished the crisscross sundress and the go withs to make up two outfits for it. Quite a bit of sewing, now that I think about it.

    For this week, I need to finish the other quilt, the outfit I cut out, two more pairs of overall shorts for my nephew (one teddy bears and one tractors), and hopefully make Evie some new jammies. I'd like to make her yet another dress, too, but I think my goals for the week are lofty enough!

  6. I think the contest isn't over until the end of the day, so don't give up hope yet!

    Also, I only got one vote so don't feel so bad (and I didn't vote for myself!).

  7. Love the paisley!

    My dress is far from finished but does at least look like a dress at this point...

    I'm hemming pants for a friend. :)

  8. Lately I've been in a sewing frenzy! Yesterday I made two knit tops and a matching jacket. My mothers day gift was to be left alone to sew with no cooking/cleaning responsibilities, woohoo!

    Yesterday I wore the dress I made last week. It got great reviews from my family so I was happy. Later I changed into the skirt I also made last week (because I spilled my coffee down the front of my dress...dork! ) and although plain, it's a great basic and very comfortable... and it makes my legs look cute. What more can you ask for?

    My goals are to use up my stash so I can buy more fabric at the sewing convention at the end of the month. I also have a vacation planned in September and I want to dress nice and also bring back even more fabric. I'm offsetting all this fabric shopping by not doing any clothes shopping so if I want something new to wear then it's up to me to make it. (Shoes and underwear are not included in this shopping hiatus.)

  9. I wanted to vote for your purple dress but was turned away - something about not having been a member for more than three months... Hmph, petty rules... So I know it makes no difference now, but count yourself another vote dear!

  10. Sadly, I didn't even get close to my goal of hemming this past week, I have some darts and pleats that are misbehaving, so thankfully you didn't ask ;) But, I am determined that this will be the week for my shirtwaist dress! I am so annoyed at it. I just want it done, so I can move on to something else. And be less bitter :) Wish me luck!

    ps- Peter I voted for you!

  11. I haven't sewn a stitch in weeks. And this week, I have to. I, like you, do not have a designated sewing space and I, like you, need to sort of come up with a centered space. That will make me more eager to sew I think.

    So sorry about the purple dress. It really is the most stunning creation you've made so far. I love it so! So so so gorgeous!

  12. I am happy to report that I am now the proud owner of not one, but two vintage machines. One is a 1953 Universal Straight Stitch (it looks exactly like the Singer you rescued from the trash, except it was mounted in a wooden box/carry case and was in relatively good condition). The other is an early 1960s Viking Automatic ZigZag Class 21 machine. I have it up and running and it sews really well. I have only done some basic stitching with it to test it and get it up and running, but I am enjoying it thus far.

  13. You didn't come in first here but any handicapper will surely put you in the running for the future, your skills are going like gangbusters!

    Hmmm, black and silver linen oh yay! Almost done w/ the short version of V2481 in mod yellow/pale blue floral cotton (love this 'cause the foundation fits fab - I can do away with a bra!). I chose vintage McCall 7043 and selected the long column for the black linen and even will do a modified Jackie sillhouete for jacket/coverup w/ a modern feel - remember I sunburn even in airplanes.

    Some women have a collection of fragrances - I have a collection of sunscreen. Sexy.

  14. Gosh you are fab. Love your goals! I am busting the fix-it-up pile AND the fabric stash at the same time. Gotta make some room so that I can buy a new hoard in New York in June! I gonna get to some of these thrift stores you go to. You will know where I have been cos there will be NOTHING left! Nah ha ha!

  15. I just spend a few hours on Saturday cleaning up my "sewing space" (which in reality is a little corner of a very little appartment). Can't believe i managed to accumulate so much sewing stuff in so little time. I also discovered i'm clearly addicted to floral prints, i have TONS of it.
    Anyways, can we see your fabric stash and your sewing space Peter?

  16. Yup, I did. Wore it out to dinner with friends and got some compliments, so my ego was stroked. Still need to blog it, though. Tonight, I'm whipping up a quick knit top. You call them "boring." I call them "instant gratification!"

  17. Oh Cathy's got the brass all right. I voted for her/you. Sorry you didn't win. :-(

    I have no goals this week except to try to get my blog updates finished. It's going to be more than I bargained for but, like banging your head against the wall, will feel so good when it's DONE.

  18. Ooh! That collar is the BEST!

  19. Oh, I blush! Thank you for the shout-out. I'll just bask in your congratulations about last week's successful project, because this week's work-in-progress? Ugh. There's been swearing, crying,and throwing of innocent fabric. Grrrrr. Where'd I put that wine???

  20. Wow, you guys are really coming along -- with a few exceptions of course, but STILL. ;)

    Thank you all for your kind words of consolation. I knew I was the dark horse with that flat-chested model of mine...

  21. Thanks, Peter! That paisley is great!

    Half-circle skirt just needs to be hemmed, and I did a brocade A-line (also unhemmed) that *might* have gotten me close to a skirt sloper---will have to keep testing it out this coming week.

  22. You did a great job in the contest Peter. If you won this one, it would be boring the next time!

  23. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WMay 10, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Peter, dear, will it help to know that mine was not the most fabulous of the STUDIOS featured? Although I love my sewing space, a converted guest room in the middle of the North Texas 'burbs, it falls squarely in the middle of the pack. Some studios were almost unbelievable in their decor and location...ooh, la, la...a shell-pink painted space overlooking the Pacific surf in Hawaii (how can anyone get anything done with that view?), a gorgeous trompe l'oeil wonderland, a large room featuring a hand-mosaic fireplace, yada yada. To paraphrase L'Oreal: Don't hate me because my studio's beautiful (to me!). And I can't hold a candle to you in terms of stash-busting. Luv ya.

  24. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WMay 10, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    P.S. ...and drinking coffee is always my first goal of the day. :)

  25. Well, I almost didn't comment, but here ya go. Last week was no sew. This week will have to be all sew, and if the winds blow the right direction, I'll have that MOB dress finished! A lofty goal, but I gotta put it out there.

    And you have such a knack for choosing the vintage patterns!

  26. Just found your blog and it's too fabulous! Love it so much!

  27. I like that you have sewing goals for the week, I might try that too - rather than start things on a whim like I usually do!
    This week I might make a trench - I found some stone coloured stretch twill that I'd forgotten about. This is the perfect trench colour for me because it matches my fave handbag, but oh darn, I might need to buy new shoes!

  28. Better than I did, Peter. :D I mean, I am sewing for a toddler. Toddler patterns aren't exactly the most popular on PR... I got a grand total of three votes on my skewed polka dot dress and one vote on my embroidered, round yoke yellow dress.

    But hey, it was fun, and Evie needed some new dresses. I'm not finished making her dresses yet, either. Aside from the three I've made her, all her others are too tight ATM. And we *like* putting her in dresses... we must do it now before she learns how to object!

  29. Well, I was making the Vogue 8184 as preparation for a class, but the class was cancelled. So no Vogue 8184. I can't settle on any one project at the moment. It's getting so dark and gloomy down here in wintery Melbourne that I come home in the evenings and don't want to do much but cocoon on the couch. But your curt but polite prompting might be enough to get me back in the sewing studio...


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