Aug 6, 2010
Readers, I apologize. In my quest for ever-larger readership, I have succumbed to the temptation of using provocative blog entry titles to draw those who may be finding us here via adult-oriented key word entries in random online search engines.
Don't be thrown off by titles like I Lived in Sin, or Temptations of Burlesque Girls. It's still the same old blog and you'll more than likely be reading about my latest shirt.
While my readership is largely free-loving, bra-burning, commando-going, libidinous types, I do have a few buttoned-up, bespectacled librarians who may find such ideas offensive albeit somewhat titillating. Rest assured there is absolutely nothing SEXY SEXY SEXY about today's entry.
If I sound unusually punchy it's because I am writing this at 3:30 am EST, having been flapped awake by my dog Willy. If you don't know what flapped awake means, you don't share your bed with chihuahuas. You know how dogs flap their heads -- sort of a "shake it out" ritual, sometimes to rouse themselves, or to shake off water after a bath? Well Willy's ears are so big, that when he flaps his head in the middle of the night it wakes me up. It's like sleeping with Dumbo.
Friends: good news! There has been sewing here in Apartment 12D!
I decided to make myself a short-sleeve summer shirt yesterday out of some fabric left over from a caftan top project I made for Michael last winter. Maybe you recall the fabric.
It's nothing fancy, and I really should have been able to complete it in one day (It's the same pattern I used for my last shirt) but I hit some speed bumps.
You see how this vintage shirt pattern includes more than one type of shirt? Well I am making shirt A but I cut the sleeves for shirt C (a knit).
There's a difference!
I'm sewing the sleeve on and I'm thinking, OK, something is wrong here: the cap is too high and there's not enough sleeve width. When I figured out what I'd done I nearly trashed the project entirely. (The fabric is so loosely woven, so shifty and gauze-like, that it's extremely difficult to rip seams. I managed, somehow.)
I then had to cut two new sleeves, only -- you guessed it! -- I didn't have enough fabric left. So I took the two old sleeves I'd cut and combined them into one new sleeve which I stitched together, and then I cut one new short sleeve out of my remaining fabric. Drama, right?
So right now, this is where things stand.
I'll have this finished today for sure.
Oh, and before I forget: There's a new sewing book in my life!
It's "The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction" and I heard about it through a loyal reader (and fellow blogger) "Mainely Dad."
You don't know Mainely Dad? Oh, you should. He's a handsome white-bearded gay man with two adult children and two partners (TWO TWO TWO) who lives on the coast of Maine. It seems Mainely Dad hadn't sewn in years and decided -- just like that -- to tackle a men's wool toggle coat project from one of those impossible-to-understand Japanese sewing pattern books. Sure, why not?
Readers, LOOK at this work!
This is the coat in the book:
These are some photos of his project:
Have you ever in your friggin' life?
I know many of you will suspect that I am spotlighting Mainely Dad solely because he lives in a geographically desireable locale and obviously has plenty of extra space in that adorable white-picket-fenced-house-with-a bay-view for guests. NOT true. Anyway, first I have to visit my fans in Naples, then Australia, and then someplace in Scandinavia I've never heard of but am happy to visit free-of-charge. You've all been so generous to open your doors to me!
Please visit Mainely Dad's blog and follow his amazing, somewhat annoyingly perfect coat project. And while you're there pump him for info about that two partner thing and get back to me.
Oh yes, the Bishop book! I bought it for a penny on Amazon. That's right: $ 0.01. Plus $3.99 shipping. And it looks like such fun -- dated fun: the best kind. Here's just a taste (click photo to enlarge):
Do you have the appropriate hairdo for your body type? Any chub-debs out there?
This is "a blouse for young ladies," otherwise known as a rectangle with two seams but whatever, it's a beginner's project.
An entire chapter on pressing! It's worth the price just for that.
Seriously though, this is a very well-regarded book and old Edna Bishop's quite a stickler for perfection, or so I've heard. Do any of you own it?
I feel like I'm rambling. That's what happens when I write before sunrise on too little sleep. Maybe I'll make some coffee and just forget going back to bed. Your comments will come pouring in immediately no doubt so that should keep me occupied for a while.
Oh -- the circus fabric! I hand-washed it and took out the hems, which gave me easily another five inches top and bottom and maybe two inches right and left, so I may be able to turn this into something more interesting than a tote bag.
Actually, this project from the Bishop Method book, which she calls an "overvest or barbecue apron" looks kind of neat. I'd barbecue in that, if I barbecued, wouldn't you? I think it would look snappy on Cathy with some black spandex bell-bottom jazz pants.
OK, enough stream of consciousness for one dawn.
Do you subscribe to a particular sewing method and if so, does it happen to have your last name in the title? That doesn't count!
Do you own dogs and do they flap you awake?
Is it really winter in Melbourne?
Should MPB be on Facebook? Please advise.