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Jun 28, 2010

Merman Monday + GOALS!

Good morning, sewers from all my favorite continents! 

We have a very special guest at MPB this morning -- Miss Ethel Merman!  Ethel's a big fan of Male Pattern Boldness and I told her she could come and watch this morning as long as she didn't break anything.

I hope everyone is feeling bright and chipper and ready to stitch today; I know I am.  There's so much to do.  My little McCall's Twenties frock is still hanging on its body form unsewn.  I seem to be experiencing a mild case of chiffon-itis -- it can creep up on you when you least expect it, apparently. 

But I am excited to see how it turns out: based on your comments Cathy will look like either Louise Brooks or Estelle Getty, may she rest in peace.  Of course I'm hoping for the latter since it won't be long before Cathy is sharing a condominium with three septuagenarians herself.

With no further delay, a brief review of the past week:

1. I bought fabric for my Twenties dress.  And then againAnd then again.   And then a little bit more.  Let's just leave it at that. 

2. I drafted a decent top, Lesson 4 in my pattern drafting book.   Next up is Lesson 5 - Overblouse (otherwise known as a shirt).  This lesson gets us into sleeves and collars, so should be quite a thrill ride.  I discussed some of my shoulder and back issues with Michael, who teaches the Alexander Technique, and he assured me that, rather than fuss with alterations to my sloper, I could have him teach me how to improve my posture quite easily.  After nearly eight years don't you think he might have addressed that already?   Better late than never!

3. Even more exciting than my posture, however: savvy sewist and blogger extraordinaire Mikhaela has given birth to a lovely baby girl!  It seemed like she was pregnant for about three years, but the results are so worth it.  Please visit Mikhaela at Polka Dot Overload and see lovely Cartoonist Baby "Z."  (Here's hoping that "Z" stands for Zoe and not Zsa Zsa.)

But enough about Mikhaela, what will I be giving birth to this week?

1. Must. Finish. Twenties. Dress.

2. More Pattern Drafting  (I'm trying to use different sheets to keep it interesting for you.)

3. Friends, how's this for lazy: I think I'm going to turn my self-drafted pants into shorts after all.  I never did get around to making myself shorts last week and that stretchy faille, or whatever strange fabric it was I made the pants out of, has a maddening tendency to twist below my knee in that ugly way that puts the inseam 180 degrees west.  Not pretty and not easily tamed. 

4. I have two weeks before my Fire Island trip and two complete resort wardrobes to create.  And that's just for the dogs.  Seriously, it's time to make my first Cath-kini!

And what of you?  Did you create any new life this past week? (Keep it clean please.)

Mom2five: How's the shirt coming along?  LauraD: Is your sewing machine out of the shop yet?  Toby: Congratulations on your navy skirt -- and the chicken tractor -- but don't get complacent.  Ruth: Any quilt updates to provide?  Sewforward: When do we get to see the "Shorts! Shorts! Shorts!"?  Melanie Jade: Are you almost done with the wedding gown?  Is the groom wearing anything?  Shona (In the Heyday): How is that Hawaiian dress is coming along?  Can't wait to see it!

I'm actually very happy with your progress, folks, or maybe it's just the coffee kicking in or Mikhaela's new baby;  I am experiencing one of those rare moments of peace.  Life is good and sewing makes it better.

Have a great day everybody and don't forget to say hi to Ethel on your way out; it means a lot to her still.

And what's on your sew-genda this week?


  1. Ah Ethel... I'm afraid that no number of musicals or films will replace what pops into my mind whenever I hear her name:

    War is hell indeed. ;)

    I haven't finished my projects, as mission 4H has overtaken me. I tried to resist, but I couldn't allow my daughter's 4H leader to help her embellish her shirt for fashion review. She started talking about ric rac and yoyos, and I had to step in!

  2. I made a twirl skirt on the weekend and want to sew a polka dot blouse to match. I'm also hoping to make a sundress.

    Hello, Ethel! Lovely to see you! You picked a happenin' place to visit. :)

  3. Hey Ethel, what did you think of Micheal's frayed cutoff's yesterday? Should Peter put some of that strawberry bias tape around the edges, just to clean them up? It could be another Fire Island project?

  4. Happy Monday Peter, Hello Ethel, hope you're enjoying your visit.

    My shirt making went well, thanks for asking. I was able to make three shirts and a vest-type thingie. I felt so productive that I'm going to try again to make a shirt a day this week too!

  5. Morning, Peter and Ethel (are you sharing your lung capacity around, Ethel?) - Peter, I did not get complacent. I made a new blouse out of a 1957 'outfitter' pattern I got. I'm so tickled with it, I'm going to make another one before I tackle the 'button up the ankle' slacks from the same pattern.

  6. Good morning, I finally cut out and started sewing the baby quilt pieces. Also got to try out my new pinking shears as well which was neat.
    I do like the final choice of fabric for the 20s dress - I was going to suggest a grey contrasting yoke but the pink you chose is perfect.

  7. June gloom is here on the western edge of the States (a.k.a California) and I am sewing, sewing and sewing shorts! And, a Wearable Art garment for the Pattern Review Contest. Hope I make the deadline - ugh! its Wednesday.

  8. Yes it is! And if you live anywhere near Mableton, GA (it's a long drive out there for me) and have a machine that needs work take it to Kirby Sew and Vac. They're really, really good. And I learned that 3 in 1 oil is not a good thing to oil your machine with. Which is why it locked up. And he fixed my tension issues, too!

    So since I got it back Friday, I've made a sailor dress, complete with matching hat and panties and a jumper dress with matching onesie for my brand new niece, and a pair of pajamas for my nephew. This week, (today and tomorrow hopefully) I'm making a sundress and a romper for the new baby and hopefully cutting out a layette for her.

    I've posted pictures of this weekend's work over on my LJ, and I'll probably be reviewing them later this week.

  9. Good (late) morning, world! Last week I wrote a conference paper proposal, slashed and stitched thrifted curtains for my new workroom and launched a blog. Peter, you and your readers inspire me!

  10. I'm excited to see how your chiffon dress turns out. I'm working on vacation clothing this week too! I will hopefully get a pair of shorts made. I already made a nautical cardi/vest, a skirt and and a beach coverup for my trip to Maui. Good luck with your vacation attire.

  11. Can't wait to see your twenties dress! I was about to finish one of the new Vogue patterns for the spring (the Michael Kors one with the bow) but I tried to make it with a stretch linen but didn't go over so well, so I'm going for a sure thing and going to wonder into making the sencha blouse from Colette.

  12. Sew-genda! Love. It.

    Anyway, finished my denim skirt, but not thrilled... it's actually too big, and too something else. I wore it anyway. Almost finished a mod knit top, but will in the next 30 minutes.

    This week, a dress for a 4th of July party. The fabric is in the dryer as I type, and I'm hoping I won't look like my mom's floral couch. It's a BIG print.

  13. Baby Z is very cute, I hope that my soon to arrive progeny is just as cute! With that said, all my sewing these days centres around items for them. I started quilting the 2nd quilt that I am making for this baby (lucky thing..!). I found that sewing too quickly (oh the eagerness to finish is sometimes too much), my walking foot just wasn't coping and I ended up with thread from the top gathering on the underside. So, after I picked it all out, and did it properly, it is going much better. Should get most of the major quilting done on it by this weekend.

  14. Well, Peter (and Ethel), I am on to week two of my own sewing blog and currently welcoming some lovely new knits to the stash (Michael Miller knits - so pretty!). My goals for the week are to tame the fabric inventory, complete the precut projects, visit Mary Jo's cloth store (Happy Birthday to me!) and Ikea, and cut in to some of those lovely new knits.

  15. Pencil Skirt. I started it yesterday actually. Palmer/Pletsch style: pin fitting, pulling, drawing on it cutting it, more pin fitting, add more tissue, cut off more tissue, rinse repeat. Now its time for the fabric!

    I actually came home and worked on it. Before I ate, even. I am usually so wiped out after work that I can do little more than work out, eat and blog surf.

    So I lay the squarely on you, Mr. Fancy Pants and your infectious happiness and inspirational blog!

    (Oh - I also blame my sudden need for polka dot fabric on you, too.)

  16. Ooops, typo...grrr...I lay the blame. Where did the blame go?
    my bad.

  17. I have done NOTHING on the hawaiian dress and it doesn't look likely that I will this week, despite having the perfect event to wear it too on Sunday. Instead I have trousers that need buttons and a lot of sorting out so that I can take stuff to sell. Sigh!

  18. Peter - I discovered MPB via Elaine. I just started sewing again after a decades long hiatus and your blog is my first stop. Taking a class here in Chicago - I am attempting Vogue 8621. So far I have sewn the muslin, half backwards and cut some of the buttonholes before they were bound! All fixed now - and I am proud of 3 of the 4 buttonholes.

  19. Anyone else think Ethel looks like Mrs. G?


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