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Nov 4, 2010

Decaffeinating


Good morning, goths, punks and other disaffected subcultures who may or may not hang out in shopping malls and scare the rest of us.  Yesterday's comments reminded me that I have a much more diverse readership than I'd ever imagined.  How you found me I'll never know but welcome just the same.  Especially you poor unloved Emos.

Readers, I have not been feeling quite up to snuff these last few days.  Perhaps I am experiencing caffeine and sugar withdrawal as I've quit both cold turkey since Monday.  (I am so over chamomile tea, I could cry.)

I thought I would sleep better without the caffeine but now I'm thinking the real cause of my poor sleep is sharing my bed with two chihuahuas, one of which (Willy) cannot decide whether he wants to sleep under the covers or over the covers and punctuates each move with a loud ear flap.  Something has to change.

But enough about me and my bedroom problems.

McCall's 2242 has arrived and I have officially started my One Pattern Wardrobe project, though due to compromised health, without my usual high energy.





There's nothing remarkable about this pattern at all, but it was issued at the time the major pattern companies changed their sizing (What used to be 16 was now a 14, etc.), and there are reminders everywhere to pay attention before cutting.

Does anybody know why they did this?  (They'd done it once before in the late Fifties.)



To my surprise, with the exception of the shorts, the pattern was uncut.  Imagine buying this pattern and only making the shorts!

I cut my red and black houndstooth, which will become the tunic top and short pants combo.



The houndstooth is actually printed on the cotton twill and it's an eensy bit off grain, but so be it.  No going back now.  I can't figure out whether to topstitch in red thread or black and I actually brought this question to my Facebook page (Yes, Male Pattern Boldness is on Facebook!  See right column of blog) yesterday with exciting results.

Of course there was no consensus but is there ever?  What do you think?  The weird thing about houndstooth is that the plaid creates an optical illusion: whichever color of the two you're focusing on looks like the background, with the checks in the other color.   And vice versa.  Do you know what I mean?

I also started testing interfacings on the black and white double knit.  The only one that worked -- that stayed on when I stretched the fabric -- was the loosely woven weft weight.  The tightly woven interfacing pulled off, which makes sense.



I may go to the store and pick up a knit interfacing, which is really what this fabric calls for.  (It's just for the collar and facings.)  Interfacing should have similar properties to (as?) your fashion fabric.



And that's it, friends.  It's pouring here and very dreary, which means the dogs probably won't go out.  But, aha!  We have the trusty dog treadmill!

This video is a mere 45 seconds long and as you'll see, the dogs have made quite a bit of progress over the last month, especially little white Willy, the inveterate ear flapper.  And the song will really take you back.



I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in its original release -- twice.  I recently tried watching it on DVD and it was as tedious as I'd remembered it.  It really should be used solely for punishment.  If your child has been bad I recommend a few hours of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the opening credits alone last ten minutes), followed by Doctor Dolittle, and perhaps a few hours of Julie Andrews in Darling Lili or Star!  (Any overproduced late Sixties muscial will do.) Your child will never give you problems again, promise. 

Stay dry everyone and if you're drinking coffee, well, I don't want to hear about it.

The most excruciating children's film ever made (which I also saw in its original release):


Happy Thursday, everybody!

47 comments:

  1. What? CCBB and DD were two of my fav movies as a kid. Hmrf.

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  2. Good luck with the no-caffeine/no-sugar. I have good luck with decaf Earl Grey tea, but I haven't tried to quit the sugar (especially not three days after Hallowe'en).

    How about topstitch one row of each colour? :D

    You have no idea how many over-produced 60s musicals I washed on video as a child... over and over and over again...

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  3. I know what you mean about camomile tea, I can only stomach it with some honey added. My favourite herbal tea is Lemon Myrtle (www.neradatea.com.au) but don't know if it's available in the US. You can get decaffeinated tea too.

    My dog is 17 years old and she can't jump up on the bed anymore, so you just have to wait a few years :-)

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  4. Are you kidding!? I STILL love Dr. Doolittle! Rex Harrison is the man. "Every calf starts to moo when they see Dooooooolittle. Even the few who used to mooooo little!" C'mon! :)

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  5. This is NOT a good video to watch at work. Everyone was asking me why I was crying. LOVE the doggies on a treadmill. How ever did you get them to get on in the first place?
    And as for no caffeine - being South African, I swear by Rooibos tea. No caffeine and high in anti-oxidants, so very good fo you!

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  6. I LOVE THAT TREADMILL VIDEO. I think I could watch it all day and not get bored. Do you think the cats would like one?

    Also, I was super into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as a kid. Now I see that I was probably punishing my parents with my repeated viewings.

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  7. It's kind of steam punk when you think about it...

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  8. I remember CCBB as one of the most terrifying films of all time. Absolutely not a movie for children.

    Sorry to hear about your withdrawl.

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  9. omigoodness! That video is adorable. if I put my basset hound on a treadmill, she'd just laydown and eventually slide off the end.

    I don't know why, but this made me think of the Anthropolige catalog I got in the mail yesterday. Anyone see it? There's a giant fluffy cat modeling a dog sweater? And a llama with necklaces? and a sheep with boots? My husband was totally like "What is that catalog trying to SELL??" it' cracked me up.

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  10. Peter, be patient with yourself on the caffeine and sugar changes. My husband did that some years ago. This is a man you couldn't talk to until around 10:00 am. He had terrible headaches for several days, and felt like he was just dragging around. His doctor told him he had been using the caffeine and sugar for energy, and now he would have to let his body find it's own. About 6 weeks later, at around 6:00 in the morning, he sat up in bed and started talking to me. I was totally shocked? "Who is this person in my husband's body?" After that, he's fine!

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  11. Oh my goodness that treadmill video is adorable!

    Sorry about the lack of caffeine and sugar in your life, it's tough getting rid of those but you will feel better when they're gone from your system. It took me about three weeks before I quit wanting it... if I remember correctly it was the end of the first week that was the worst. It got easier after that. Snacking on nuts was helpful.

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  12. After losing close to 75 lbs (only 50 more to go) - I have to tell you, that I can give up sugar, but not caffeine - I must have a Dt. Pepsi (or Dt coke) every day.

    And not liking CCBB or DD - shame on you! They were (and still are) 2 of my favorite movies!

    And my children love them too!

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  13. I had to quit caffeine for 3 months last winter re: health issue and there was a very real possibility I would not be allowed to have it anymore. I learned a few things. 1. While I have no issues asking the barista for a nonfat, dry, extra hot, double shot cappuccino, I am strangely mortified to add the word "decaf". 2. Going off caffeine, even if you only drink one a day, is like heroin withdrawal (ok, in truth I've never been in heroin withdrawal, but I'm pretty sure they're equally bad). 3. Living caffeine-free, unless medically dictated, is just sad. I went back on my morning coffee (with joy!) so fast it was whiplash-inducing. Everyone was all "why not stay off, you've broken the addiction, you're free." And I was like, "free of the joy of real coffee maybe". And I haven't looked back since.

    Not meaning to kill your resolve. Or buzz...

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  14. I still love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I had a big crush on Dick Van Dycke when I was little... I went to see it onstage a few years back, with the flying car taking off and hovering over the audience; it was great! Haven't seen Doctor Doolittle since I was about 6 though, but Rex Harrison is indeed the man!

    Don't the chihuahuas get bored on the treadmill (I know I do) and shouldn't they have a little doggie video to watch while they exercise? Good luck with the coffee ban... You're a stronger person than I am!

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  15. I'm still smiling at the doggies - the duet music is perfect, too.

    Since no one's addressed your query, yet, I will: sizing was changed with the, ahem, gradual upsizing of the female body. Those who were a size 12 could now magically (with no treadmill involved) be a size 10!

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  16. Sorry you're not feeling very well, Peter. No dogs in the bed here, but a crabby, pushy tom cat who yowls and has been known to sink nails into tender places. He's locked out now, even if he tries to kick the door down once in a while. The puppies need a bed of their own. Trying to sleep with critters or kids in the bed is not sleeping.

    Good luck with the caffeine&sugar ban. That's guaranteed to make you feel awful for a few days. How about a spa day, good music, fresh flowers, and turning on more lights to make up for the rainy weather?
    Heather

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  17. Not like CCBB? I still know all the words! And I will quit sugar and caffeine NEVER. They are the only vices I have left, and I treasure them. I am old enough to remember the great size realignment in patterns. They did this in RTW too, but never announced it. We call it vanity sizing. Just compare a size 12 in a vintage jacket from the 70's to a size 12 now and you'll see what I mean.

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  18. Stevia powder is a good sugar substitute, I use it in tea. Caffeine withdrawal can give you headaches. Do it gradually, if you can. But I feel your pain, I am in the fourth day of a migraine because I ate the wrong baked goods or maybe it is because I have no diet soda or frappacino in the house. My source of caffeine.

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  19. Good for you, cutting out the coffee and sugar! I quit both 3 months ago. Still off caffeine but keep stealing the kids' Halloween candy.

    Looking forward to seeing that houndstooth tunic. And I learned something here about vanity sizing and choosing interfacing (which is something I think about far too little).

    Agree CCBB is scary and tedious. Must disagree about Dr. Doolittle. Love the tight plaid pants and puffy shirts in that one. Add "Oliver!" and "Scrooge!" to the list of musical must-sees. Wonder why they didn't keep mining the Dickens possibilities - why is there no "Copperfield!" or "Pip!"?

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  20. I never got on caffeine (family religious background) but man, sugar. I love it. I have at various times managed to go off sugar for periods of time up to a month but I always crawl back into its sweaty embrace.

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  21. The Good Earth Original herbal tea is a nice strong cinnamon flavor, which is also very sweet without sugar somehow. Nice for when you want an herbal with backbone. I also like the red zinger by Celestial Seasonings, I like the sour taste of the hibiscus in it.

    Sticking to my coffee and tea though, self-treating my ADHD...

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  22. Okay, I'm a little late for the topstitching issue, but oh well. I would suggest neither black or red, but an off black like charcoal. It will not pull out either the black or the red, yet will still be acceptably colored.

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  23. Ooohh! Kicking caffiene cold turkey is bad for your head. Do you have a permanent headache now? Too late now, but easing off might have been better. Good for you, regardless. And the ear flapping? We have three cats, so I'm familiar with sleeping with a "group", and frankly, you may just have to ask them to sleep elsewhere for the time being. Tough, but your sleep is more important. Now what's the solution for someone else's snoring...and it ain't the cats...;-)

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  24. OMG I LOVE your dog videos! I'm not sure whether I should feel sorry for them or envy them. (:

    p.s. I share in your ear flapping misery.

    Kelly

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  25. I have always wondered why Peter, do you trim your pattern pieces so before you pin them? Iron yes, but is there a specific reason you cut on the black lines before you use them rather than just generally around them before laying them out?
    Knit interfacing is now my go-to interfacing for more than just knits. It can add plenty of body without being stiff especially in collars. For the collar itself knit, for the stand Pellon.

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  26. Here is my my recollection of watching CCBB:

    HEY, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on! (bored bored bored bored) Yay, a catchy song! (bored bored bored bored bored) spooky guy! (bored bored bored bored bored) candy whistles! (bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored) Doll on a music box! (bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored) Hey, the car is flying! (bored bored bored bored bored) Aw, it's time to go to bed.

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  27. I've watched the treadmill video three times and giggled the whole way through. Too cute. I've given up caffeine at certain points, but always come back. I can do without alcohol, sweets, but not caffeine. And I think the recent research is that it's good for the ole brain, keeps the synapses firing (or that's my rationale, and I'm sticking to it). I think the pups need a bed of their own so you aren't flapped out of a sound slumber.
    As to CCBB, the awful Baron and Baroness are good for a laugh, especially when they sing "Chu-chi Face" You know Ian Fleming wrote the novel it's based on, and Roald Dahl the screenplay.

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  28. Dre, aren't you supposed to cut the pattern pieces to the seam allowance (the black line) of the paper pattern? Please don't tell me I've been doing it wrong for last 16 months!

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  29. Oh the ear flapping! I know just what you mean. The dogs don't take up much room though and I irritate her more than she does me. When I shift about trying to get comfortable, I hear this massive sigh. She sometimes gives up and goes down the hall to my daughter.

    Good Earth herbal teas have tons of flavor but no caffeine. My favorite is red zinger and my dh loves apple cinnamon. Once the headaches from the caffeine withdrawal go away, you are home free. I'm not brave enough to go cold turkey, but have cut down to one or two coffees or colas. (used to drink staggering amounts)

    Ann v

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  30. But you always CUT out the pattern first. I whack the general area, pin and then cut on the black lines. Just wondering if it afforded you additional precision or if was just a thing.

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  31. I guess I like the idea of my rotary cutter cutting only through the fabric. It never occurred to me to do otherwise. I think I'm going to have to ask this question on the blog.

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  32. Roiboos tea is the way forward. I can't drink caffeine (a terrible state of affairs for a Portuguese, I do adore expressos), so I am now having cups and cups of roiboss with a dash of soy milk (I do live in England though). I also drink decaf but it is hard to get decent tasting one.

    Good luck :)

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  33. I always just rough cut out new pattern pieces, then cut on the lines with the fabric. Too much like extra work the other way. I drink black tea for my caffeine. Lots of it, including iced in the evenings. I run hot and cold on sugar. I've been on a sugar binge for 3 days, and now I've quit cold turkey, because there's too much in my system. I'll probably want sugar again around Thanksgiving, in time for pumpkin pie.

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  34. Hmmm, I have always cut out the pattern on the lines first (in 30+ years of sewing). I don't like cutting paper with my fabric scissors. That's what the junk scissors are for, IMO. Of course, there is no reason to assume that I am doing it the right way. It is is just my habit.

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  35. I don't believe in decaffeinating. I did it once, for a month, and I swore I would never do it again.

    I liked Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, except for the Candy Man, who scared the $*%&$# out of me. I am still afraid of him and therefore have not watched the movie in years.

    And I loved Dr. Dolittle. Though mostly, I remember the book and the record which I had.

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  36. DON'T use your rotary cutter or your shears to cut through the pattern paper - after a few patterns, their bluntness will drive you NUTS! Sorry to shout but I am still irritated at myself for having to go a long way for new blades. I knew it about scissors, so why didn't I know it about blades?

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  37. Totally agree that cutting only fabric with the blade is the way to go. But if I want to tissue fit (instead of making a muslin or before a muslin for expensive fabric) I cut the paper pattern leaving big and rough seam allowances where I need alterations.
    Each to his/her own with sewing routines and solutions to the pets in bed problems. Would a cute turban tucked round Willy's ears keep them from flapping? Or would ear plugs tucked in Peter's ears keep him happily dreaming of the next sewing project regardless of Willy's antics?

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  38. Just caught up reading a bajillion comments! Ear flapping! I had to pipe up - Good Earth tea must have SOME caffeine, because they sell a decaf version! I have both kinds - the decaf is more watery, not as strong.

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  39. Coffee, while fun to drink, is not a fun habit to kick. Keep at it and good luck. I've cut back drastically after surgery. I could not have coffee the day of the surgery and for a couple days afterwards. The resulting headache convinced me to quit. But I'm doing it slowly, slowly.
    We have two frenchies and a pug who used to sleep with us. The pug could not make up her mind about being under the covers or on top of the bed. We have a big bed so I thought that the dogs did not make much difference even if they moved around a lot. We've trained them to sleep in a create at night and my sleep and really improved.

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  40. Life without coffee! Horror!!! I'd rather make the dogs sleep in their own bed.

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  41. The "new sizing" in the 1970's was an acknowledgement women no longer wore the firm foundation garments of bygone days; so patterns were made slightly larger in the bust, waist and hip areas. A few other subtle changes in ease allowance were also made. The "size" numbers were lowered to accomplish what we now call "vanity sizing." I found the "new sizing" worked nicely with little alteration for my young, thin, athletic body.

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  42. Anonymous,

    You may have "inside" information about the pattern sizing but since I was an adult and was sewing quite a bit..(OH, why did I give away my DVF original Vogue wrap dress patterns???)I remember what they told us (the ladies club public hehehehe) at the time. They said it was because they wanted the pattern sizes to be more like RTW sizes. ;-) I wore the same RTW size before and after the pattern change and don't remember any vanity sizing in RTW but there could have been? There certainly were no size "0's" then. ;-) Also, I remember my Japanese SIL had to send to Japan to get her patterns because there were not sizes small enough for her. I do remember that?? She could fiddle with American patterns but preferred Japanese because she didn't have to alter AND she could read in Japanese. ;-) She was/is teeny tiny.

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  43. Honestly, I would topstitch the red/white houndstooth with white and use an extra long stitch. It's more "period" to do contrast. Well, if that's the look you're going for... Love your fabrics!! Have fun!

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  44. OMG, I just realized it's red and black, nevermind....
    well, in that case, I'd go with black and then it will cross populate with the black and white. Shutting up now.... ;)

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  45. Loved the Doctor Doolittle clip as it was filmed where my parents' second home was, St Lucia BWI that fiberglass snail shell sat on the beach disintegrating for years

    Sarah C

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