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Jun 7, 2010

Monday Morning Re-boot & Goals!

Good morning, all!

I generally do not wear RTW skirts at home -- or anywhere else for that matter -- but I did think this little Salvation Army vintage denim number had some cute pocket and waistband details I wanted to share.  Half Carol Brady, half Braveheart.

Which brings us to pattern drafting.  The saga continues this week as I move on to Lesson 3: Pants!  I'm very excited.

But first a quickie review of last week, which had two clear themes:

1.  Skirts. I drafted a pencil skirt and and an A-line skirt from scratch, working from Dorothy Moore's Pattern Drafting & Dressmaking book.  I chose this book because it was there (at the flea market) and I was ready, not because I necessarily think it's the best.  There are lots of good pattern drafting books out there.  Perhaps there's one you recommend.

2. Harem Pants. I'm almost afraid to mention these as they very nearly precipitated an MPB reader rebellion; I was ready to double-bolt the door and hide under the mattress.  Seriously, I love to know you care and if you don't monitor my fashion foibles, who will?  I'd rather hear the truth from you rather than some stranger on the street threatening to report me to the NYFP (New York Fashion Police) -- or worse.

Now on to the week to come:

1. As previously mentioned, I'll be returning to pattern drafting.  It will be interesting to see how these pants turn out.  I'm not sure how applicable the palazzo variations will be to men's pants, but that's not really the point is it?

2.  I still have the striped cotton fabric I intended to make some kind of caftan shirt out of.  I'm not sure whether I'll use Simplicity 4788 or not.

3.  Cathy will be back in NYC shortly, so it's time to start thinking about her wants/needs.  There are all kinds of options -- Twenties, Fifties, Eighties?-- so it's just a question of deciding and then scheduling some Salvation Army accessory shopping.

That's it for me.  Now how about YOU?

Jenny: How's that torch dress for your jazz singer friend coming along?  tanitisis: An update on those Jalie jeans would be greatly appreciated.  Myra: Did you make those four (!) pair of pajama shorts?  Little cotton dresses: How is the neck-tie blouse?  Did you finish it?  Nikki: Did you decide whether you'll be entering something in the Pattern Review menswear contest?  Melanie Jade: So we have to wait three more weeks to see your painted wedding dress?  How can you be so cruel?

I sometimes ask myself if you wouldn't be getting more accomplished without the distractions of seeing me in pencil skirts and harem pants all the time.  Perhaps I'm doing you more harm than good.   And yet, what am I supposed to do -- stifle my own creativity for your sake?  Let's face it, there are more distracting blogs than mine; sometimes I can barely sleep at night seeing what people are stitching up.

In closing: Please limit your exposure to blogs, especially my own.  These blogs are not a realistic representation of life.  Real people do not sew all day and blog all night.  And please, try not to read blogs while driving.

Now then, let's do our ankle rolls and warm up our pedal feet -- we don't want to cramp.

What are you sewing this week?

For your sewing entertainment....


  1. I love the lyrics to the sewing machine song: "If I didn't having my sewing machine. a wicked life I'd lead". Ah-ha ... indeed!

    Have a good week - I'm looking forward to seeing the pants you draft. I'm off to try sewing my first collar.

  2. Now I'll have that song stuck in my head all day long! Not necessarily a bad thing...

    I'm participating in the Summer Essentials Sew-Along, so my goal for this week is to finish my first garment for that. It's a Simplicity 2614 top in a cotton print of poppies ("poppies" to be said here in a Wicked Witch of the West voice, duh).

    Good luck with your pattern drafting!


  3. But can you read blogs while using the sewing machine?

    Goal for the week: finish all three "Scottie dogs" for various presents. (Denyse Schmidt's free pattern), embroider the eyes, and decorate with ribbon.

    Two of them I MUST finish because I will be traveling to see the babies on Friday, but I'd really just like to finish the other one, too and be finished with them. Like of tedious sewing all the little seams and all the corners.

    Have fun drafting pants!

  4. I'm a total MPB slut now and I posted my goals for the week on my blog. I'm a copy cat in this regard, but no harem pants for me.

    I'm originally from Iowa, so I must say the Carol Brady skirt with the, er, tank, confuses me. You know what they call those tanks in less sophisticated parts of the land, right? I'm having trouble processing.

    About Cathy. I think she needs ruching. Have you done ruching?

  5. Well, Peter, I hope to finish my 2 Hot Patterns princess seamed summer shirts. They are cut out and ready to sew but I am still learning how to do notched collars. And I need to alter the sleeves to fit my biceps. Also I want to finish my 2 pairs of Vogue pants I am making for my summer vacation coming up.

  6. Sounds good so far, guys!

    Cherri, that's a very personal question. Let me check in with the cuz on that on.

  7. Peter, I personally think its great that you tried the "harem scarem" pants. I think sewing is about trying new looks for yourself and getting a feel for different fabrics and such through different styles. Don't limit your creativity due to us! It's fun to hear and squabble over what we love and what we don't! Very excited to see more of your pattern drafting too!

  8. Can I just say I adore your humor in each post?! Always brings a smile to my face when I read your latest! ;)

    This week I'm hoping to get to sewing at least one dress up. My sister has been visiting for the past 2 weeks, so fitting in sewing time has been tough (mostly because we're off having record hunting expeditions or gabbing about blogging or playing Beatles Rockband). I did break out the ol' machine last week and make myself a tote bag. But if the stars align, this week I'm making myself a floral dress. Pending that I decide I actually like the large scale floral after all... Having serious doubts about whether big flowers really are "me", or if I prefer smaller scale prints. ;)

    Cannot wait to read about the pants drafting--how fun!!! :D

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  9. It's been a busy day, and this is the first chance I've had to check your blog, Peter. Last week, I did nothing. I'm bad, I know. Evie's el=pi=tent was a big hit, though.

    This week, I'm going for sleepwear. I need to make my SIL's present which is a pair of comfy pajamas. I also need to get going on my sister's birthday present, because hers is next week. We're thinking of a dress. I want to finish Evie's nightgown, too, and the outfit for my new niece--Alina, and Jeron's jammies. After that, well, the Christening-Gown-Of-Doom needs to be made. Evie's nightgown only comes first because I'm experimenting with double needle pintucking!

  10. Strangely, I like the thought of palazzo pants on you. I can't explain it. But what shoes would you wear with? Flops? Women wear pointies with wide legs to elongate the line....

  11. Wow, I got a mention! I did indeed complete my first pair of Jalie jeans (in capri, ultra-low-rise guise) and they are fabulous other than not being made of a particularly nice fabric. I suspect I will be making many more as soon as I can justify spending the money on the REALLY nice stretch denim... I may also get suckered into making versions for my sister-in-law and various children... (me and my big mouth). As for this week... my actual goal is to spend less time sewing and more time looking after the ten million other things that I've been neglecting, but I'd really like to make a Danielle dress... or some jean jackets for my kids... or a shirt for my husband... or a vest... yeah. Not very focused right now.

    The Jalie jeans are reviewed on my blog (also PR and Burdastyle, with my same username. :)

  12. Whew . . . I've been on a sewing frenzy for the last couple of weeks, stitching up a vacation wardrobe! (See my three new reviews on Pattern Review . . . I'm cracking up laughing at one of the comments, where I think I'm being called a slut!). Anyway, before I leave town on Sunday morning, I think I'll whip up one last garment, something new to wear for work on my return . . . Vogue 1179, Donna Karan dress, out of a wavy dotted jersey knit.

    I'm very impressed that you're delving into pattern drafting! And as for the harem pants, they look better on you than I would have expected (but I still think that they're probably a fashion trend best left in the 1980s)!

  13. Well, I read blogs when I'm nursing, which is an activity not compatible with sewing, so no harm done ;)

    It's a relief to know you sew all day and blog all night! Us mere mortals with small amounts of spare time can feel less inferior now. ;)

    (I've been having trouble commenting now that you can't just type your name and url - my phone won't let me sign in with Typepad so I have to find a real computer!)

  14. OK, that's the second "slut" in one day -- enough!

    Can we please find a gentler term -- say, "fast girl"?


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