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Jan 30, 2011

Last Sunday before Sew-Along stream of consciousness


Friends, have you ever seen the original version of The Thomas Crown Affair from 1968?  I bought a used copy of the DVD at the flea market yesterday, having heard about what a stylish movie it is, and it is indeed quite glamorous.  Faye Dunaway is fetching in styles familiar to any fan of vintage Sixties Vogue Paris Originals.

Lovers of taupe nail polish, this is the movie for you.


Otherwise it is something of a snoozefest, though not unwatchable, especially if you're a Steven McQueen or Michel Legrand fan (The Windmills of my Mind won the Oscar for Best Song that year). I read that the Persol sunglasses McQueen sports in the film were auctioned off recently for something like $60,000, which is a lot of money for a pair of sunglasses even today.

Anyway...

Other fun flea market finds include three yards of this vintage cotton fabric for $2.



I was originally attracted to it because it had a very distinct right and wrong side and I thought it would be perfect to use for my Sew-Along Negroni muslin.



It was a little stiff originally but after laundering and ironing it has softened up a lot. Does it look too much like something you'd pull out of a Dixie cup dispenser?  Should I save it for something better?

I also found some wonderful old patterns for just $1 each.  I picked up three but I may go back for more today.  A vendor had an entire boxful of largely Seventies patterns that had likely belonged to the costume designer for Eight is Enough.  

Have you ever in your life?  The last time I saw this kind of foreshortening was in a Mannerist painting.  And just think what a shirt in that vintage-airplane-and-hot-air-balloon pattern would cost today -- if you could find it.





Words fail me.



And then there's this.



If there was ever a Junior pattern that tacitly acknowledged the reality of teen pregnancy, I think this is it.  You'll be relieved to know that this pattern includes matching "bikini pants."







I know more than a few of my readers were dressing this way back then, and probably well into the Eighties.  At first I thought that girl was holding a yarmulke, but on closer inspection I think it's a 45 rpm record, no doubt Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves or Paper Roses.

Speaking of Marie Osmond, did you know she has her own Marie-branded Janome sewing machine?  Apparently she's been sewing her whole life, quilting in particular.  Who knew?


I have a soft spot in my heart for Marie Osmond I won't lie.  Any Marie fans out there?

Oh, before I forget! -- If you have a few minutes: remember that video I posted yesterday of an Eighties-era commercial for the Nevele hotel in the Catskills?  Well if you really want to laugh -- or cry -- read some of the feedback left by some of the Nevele's last guests on Trip Advisor (12 pages of them). 

The titles of the reviews are a bit of a giveaway, from "Pathetic and Disgusting," "The Worst," and "Remember the Shining?" to the more nuanced, "No!!!!!!!!"  Honestly, I nearly peed my pants reading them, so go now just to be safe.

Friends, it's time to get moving -- much planning in the works.

There is still time to join our Sew-Along Flickr group if you haven't already and I am delighted to see that you're getting to know one another there.  Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if some real and lasting relationships came out of all this or at least a hook-up or two, given the amount of activity under some of the discussion topics.  Fortunately I'm a very laissez-faire moderator.

Does everybody have their fabric and pattern(s) at the ready?  Hope so!

NOTE: You have only one more day (January 31) to get the 20% discount on the Negroni pattern offered at the Colette website if you're just joining us.  More details here.

Happy Sunday, everybody!

36 comments:

  1. I'm definitely a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. OK, mostly rock and roll (though Donny was NOT). Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves - one of my childhood favs, as was Cher herself. Yes, I wore smock tops when I was about 12. And those shoes you zoomed in on.

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  2. Oh, you make me laugh so much. Unfortunately my mother is a veteran of smock dresses, still to this day she's proud of wearing them even if it is a shapeless sack.

    I forgot to mention about the Nevele Grande is it made the Today Show a while ago when I woman sued the hotel for bed bugs bites. Couldn't find the today show clip but it made USA today.

    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/hotels/2006-03-08-bedbugs-catskills_x.htm

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  3. Blogspot and Wordpress weren't playing nicely earlier so I thought I'd try again.

    I'm curious to know if you've purchased your fashion fabric for the sew-along. Will you be using contrasting thread for demonstration purposes?

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  4. Those Junior patterns? JUST what I need for my temporary--please say it's temporary--please menopot "O" "figure" (where IS the crying happy face...). All the current patterns look just right for an "X" figure--oh where, oh wear has my 23" waist gone?? (another crying happy face, please).
    TROUBLE is--that style on this 50's gal (both year and age) makes me LOOK preggers... PLEASE!!
    Your blog is a hoot, Peter!! Do wish I could go flee marketing, too ;)
    Greetings,
    Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

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  5. I still love the original Thomas Crown Affair--I'm a huge Dunaway fan. As for the smocks, well, they keep making returns as "baby-doll" or empress-line designs (Austen anyone?). And unless you are stick straight, you're going to look preggers. And juvenile. Great combination!

    BTW--I like your vintage cotton print. Should od well as a muslin.

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  6. Have you seen the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair with Renee Russo and Pierce Bronson? It isn't the 'snooze' the first one was, but just as stylish.

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  7. Think the flea market cotton should be a real shirt, not a muslin.

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  8. You need a plaid as a muslin, so you can show the masses how to match 'em up. ;-)

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  9. The cuffs on Simplicity 5656 are the sort of design detail that you want to have to balance out a big, round butt!

    I admit that I also have that pattern, and yearn to use it!

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  10. Isn't the Cupcake Goddess making something very similar over at her Sew-Along?

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  11. The 'Mannerist' guys seem to be posing for a '70s version of Holbein's 'The Ambassadors'!
    Even though I'm not 'sewing along', I will be following your blog with the fervor of the animals in 'The Incredible journey'!!

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  12. Yes, yes, yes...plaid muslin!! I need help! Although I do like the Dixie Cup fabric.

    Can I tell you I love you one more time. You make me laugh every day.

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  13. I like the later Thomas Crown too, I'm afraid simply because I think Rene Russo is so much sexier than Faye Dunaway..
    But I like the muslin fabric. Can't you make a real shirt out of it?? Surely you've made enough shirts by now that you wouldn't need more than minor adjustments?

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  14. Well, my camera is broken, but I still plan to sew along. Pictures will have to come later. Hopefully I will be able to convince my husband to let me post one of him in the muslin made from the purple flowered bedsheet I bought at goodwill this week! EEK! those seventies patterns. Reminders of my sewing beginnings....and a pair of hot pants my mother brought me back from England. Fashion disasters for me.....

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  15. I love the first Thomas Crown Affair and the main reason is the costumes designs by Theodora Van Runkle who also designed Bonnie and Clyde.
    Yes I wore smock dresses when a teenager in the early 70s even, in France we named them Baby Doll.

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  16. That junior pattern is horrifying. I didn't want to look like that even when I was pregnant (and married...and a respectable 27-34 year old). Maybe that one was squirreled away at one of those special homes for unwed mothers.

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  17. Oooh, I like Ms Faye's ivory jacket with the brown edging. Very nice! ;)

    How do you always have the luck with finding the wonderful $1 patterns? Almost any time I find patterns at a flea market or whatever they're not worth purchasing. Sigh.

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  18. Wendy, this is the first time I have ever found $1 patterns, which is why I snatched some up, even if I just use them for giveaways. For some reason patterns just don't show up much.

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  19. Love the flares. My husband wore a really cool pair like those in the 70's with a big cuff.

    Love Marie. My husband's family are LDS, and they said that she loves to sew, and has made some pretty impressive stuff. You could at one time buy her fabric collection for quilting on one of the home shopping channels.

    I mainly buy vintage childrens' patterns. I love to watch old movies, not necessarily for the story, but the decor, fashion and furniture.

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  20. Faye is so fly, even back then. Check out Bonnie and Clyde or Chinatown. She has a way of working an outfit and she can style a hat like nobody's business.

    Yep, I have always been a Marie Osmond fan. The Osmond's show came out right after the Jackson Five's. Kind of a second cousin version, but I just dug her hair and humor.

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  21. I love, love, love that movie! I recently watched it again with the bf and it was an effort to make him sit through the whole thing. Oh well, guess I'll be watching it by myself from now on.

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  22. Dan, I hate to nitpick, but what exactly do you love about it? I'm serious. I mean, it had its moments...

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  23. Anyone who read Tigerbeat in the 70's knew that Marie sewed.... She made a lot of her own clothes with her mother's help according to the interviews.

    All my friends and I wore those smock tops and none of us were pregnant. It was high fashion at that time!

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  24. I made myself that very Simplicity smock top and pants outfit back in the day, and it was stylin'. I did it in navy gingham check and navy solid (the pants were solid), and I wore it with navy and white platform shoes. I remember hemming that big circular hem took for freakin' ever! I had both those 45s you mentioned too, LOL.

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  25. I used that smock pattern for my eighth grade sewing class. It's the funniest feeling to see it again. I loved it. Yes it was high fashion in the mid 70's.

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  26. I wore the smocks when I was twelve too! In Australia! Looks like it was a world wide trend. I loved Cher and 'Gypsies tramps and Thieves'. I think we've got a collective consciousness thing going here.
    Re the fabric it just screams 'make Cathy a fifties sundress'. Remember your coz was the one who started all this...

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  27. I remember a pair of hot pants that my mother made me. Believe me, they didn't look hot on me. My friend's mother made her a pair and it was obvious who the better sewer was.

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  28. OMG I think I made that Simplicity smock in 1973. Out of a scrap of checked seersucker and some plain calico left over from making tie-dyed curtains. It would be the summer before I made the tabard tunic out of purple crushed velvet, but after the winter of the hooded kaftan made from burgundy upholstery weight jumbo cord. Thank heaven my friends did not own cameras and were still living in the sixties. It means they don't remember any of these clothes now they are hitting their own sixties!

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  29. I recall making and wearing a smock top just like that pattern. Mine was yellow and had smiley faces - no lie. And I had white shoes just like those shown. I loved those shoes.

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  30. I love mid to late seventies' patterns. You got all sorts of styles, as if the designers were in a wildly experimental mood. The pattern drawings are so distinctive, with unnaturally long legs and trim upper torsos. The dresses tended toward width at the bottom, a triangular shape with the apex at the top. This was just opposite of styles in the mid and late eighties of course. The fashion drawings emphasized the lines in a way that photos do not. I hope to "listen in " on the shirtmaking process. Good luck to all.

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  31. Peter, I guess I just ride along on visual style, cool tone and double entendres.

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  32. Don't use the vintage fabric for a muslin! It's too good! (Send it to me instead...)

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  33. The night before last, my husband and I watched "The Blob" starring a young Steven McQueen. You could tell from the first scene that he would be a great actor. I remember seeing that movie in the theater.

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  34. What flea market do you go to? The one in Chelsea? I love the fabric. You should definitely make it into something you can wear...or at least save some for a groovy pocket square.

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  35. oh, and those are some of the longest inseams I've seen in a while!

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  36. Yes, Suzanne, the one in Chelsea. It's great fun!

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