MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Mar 15, 2011

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...


Readers, it seems not a week goes by but we are reminded yet again of the fragility of life.  Our human existence is nothing if not impermanent and unpredictable, as today's frightening headlines from Japan make clear.

At times like this, I recall the immortal words of Doris Martin as played by Doris Day in Season 2 of the The Doris Day Show as she seeks to comfort young April, played by Meredith Baxter, who -- if I recall correctly -- has just broken up with her boyfriend.  (This was a TV pilot never picked up, a spin-off of The Doris Day Show entitled Young Love.)  To paraphrase Doris:  Everything changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but everything changes; change is a part of life.

Apropos of which, let us remember the words of Seventeenth Century British poet Robert Herrick who wrote:

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
    The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
    And nearer he's to setting.

Dear loyal MPB readers, yesterday, amid the ever-darkening news from abroad, I gathered, gathered, oh, how I gathered!
 




And really, when life looks darkest, isn't that what we should do: celebrate life and enjoy the time we have, amid a cloud of tulle and rose-print cotton sateen?



Friends, I will admit that there's more than a little Mister Rogers' Neighborhood to Male Pattern Boldness, except Mr. Rogers and Lady Elaine are the same person.   I do strive to create a safe and sunny place for all of you here, a harbor from life's intermittent gloom and despair.  And we have hand puppets.

Of course my ambitions lean more toward The Dinah Shore Show or Lawrence Welk but it's so hard to get suitable musical guests these days, plus Bobby Burgess is in retirement.


But let's get back to sewing, or rather gathering.  I finally got my rotary cutter into my rose-print fabric yesterday and started making Cathy's Comeback Dress.  I have it on the authority of none other than the State of Massachusetts Department of Correctional Services that my little lawbreaker is to be released this coming Friday and handed a one-way bus ticket out of state.

Here's the tentative plan and I can hardly contain my excitement:

Remember the wacky-but-true story about my getting two free tickets to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which will soon be opening on Broadway?  Well my idea is to go to the show with Cathy IN the rose print dress!  (Cathy in the dress, I mean, obviously.)  Doesn't that sound fantastic, in the literal sense of the word?  Now before you get your hopes up too high, please remember that this all depends on my actually finishing the dress by Saturday, along with the double-layered, four-tiered crinoline.   Cross your fingers!

But enough. We're running out of time and I have to get out of this bagel cafe and back to my sewing machines.  As you can see from the photo up top, it finally dawned on me that if the music blaring on the radio here was bothering me  I could supply my own -- and so I am!  Instead of Sugar, Sugar and Love is Blue I'm listening to the song stylings of Hal Kemp and his Orchestra.  So soothing!

In closing, one quick question: the bodice -- should I make it in the black sateen I have in my stash or the same rose-print fabric as the skirt?  Michael says too much rose print starts looking like upholstery.

Thoughts?

46 comments:

  1. Michael is right... you would look like a slipper chair done by the prince of chintz.... If I were Michael attending with Cathy in all rosebuds, I would ask for a different seat. Black sateen is the WAY TO GO.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Jotham -- plus it matches the gloves!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going with Jotham on this one. Too much floral print is never a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Peter...I love you more each day..and am wondering if my parents have not told me something. Were we separated at birth perhaps?

    The good news from my life is that I was able to Skype with my brother last night for over an hour (and had my parents on the phone to hear it all). He is just 7 miles from the epicenter of if all and unscathed due to living up high.

    Yes black sateen without a doubt. I LOVE this fabric. OMG....LOVE!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the idea of all rose print, but I think Mr. Michael is right. Perhaps he should be Cathy's official co-stylist?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not a fan of the faux-separates look, so I'd say rose for the bodice, but maybe with some black trim and belt to tone things down. But that's just me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another vote for the rose print bodice. If the solid sateen was a dark rose (something picked up from the print), I'd say go for it.... but the black is too jarring for me.

    YMMV, of course :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you get the dress done in time, you may need to drop some delicate hints to Cathy to let her know that she may need to make an appt to get her chest waxed before she debuts the dress...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree with Tanit-Isis, rose bodice with black trim, perhaps a belt also.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, yes...I take it back. they are right. The rose print is so fresh and light...it needs something equally fresh and light, but something to offset you looking like a couch. How about pulling some of the green into the bodice and a dark pink belt or green belt. Stick with the colors within the rose print fabric but switch it up a bit.

    I can hear Doris singing now.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plUwmfOhxeE

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, Peter. The thought of Cathy attending Priscilla in the comeback dress just made me gasp out loud with delight. Sorely needed after reading this morning's newspaper. And I thank you for it.

    I vote for the rose bodice, with that wide black belt, and dark gloves. Yes, it is a lot of rose print. But who doesn't need springtime and joyfulness right now?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Black bodice with black sateen rose-print lined stole?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Peter , I generaly lurk for your enjoyable writing style and not so much the technical sewing aspects of your blog( although I do sew a bit) Just had to comment that your inclusion of that Herrick poem just inspired me to spend a pleasant hour googleing and re-reading some of Andrew Marvell and John Donne's carpe diem-esque poetry. Haven't done that in awhile.
    "No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee"

    ReplyDelete
  14. The skirt AND bodice in the same rose print is a little too casual, more an afternoon dress. The bodice would look nice in a different fabric but I'm afraid that black sateen is too much. Something in the same color palette that appear in the rose print, possibly a little darker. A darker rose or the same green as the leaves. I love the idea of a wrap! Please post pics of Cathy's entrance--so jealous! I'm sure she'll steal the spotlight! I have to agree, though, that after all that time away, and showing so much skin, she may need to spend a little "girl time" in the spa.

    ReplyDelete
  15. No black bodice, please! I'd vote for the rose print, but if you absolutely must have a plain bodice, make it match the rose of the print...no black anywhere, including the gloves...white gloves, perhaps.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It will be a matinee after all, I'm afraid...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the giggle today. I know we all could use it. :) I watched "Moon Over Miami" this weekend and was totally thinking of you.

    White gloves are a MUST if you're going to a matinee. I'm with Tanit-Isis on the rose print bodice. Couch, smouch!

    SO glad to hear that Cathy's finally getting out of the hooskow. That crazy chick's been away too long.

    And of COURSE pictures on the day of show are required. I need to see that marquee!

    ReplyDelete
  18. i love the black - black plus light pink = my favourite color combination, and one that i think I think is very of the period.

    Cathy is not "pretty pretty" - she's edgy edgy :)

    ~lissa of the muslinettes

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nope, go for the total rose effect. It will be splendid! Boy, I'm enjoying the reprieve MPB is from all the news. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How about a hunter green if you are not going to go full-floral? I notice that there is no black in the print. (I'm personally on a remove-black-from-my-wardrobe kick) However, if do use black, how about black edging or lace at the hemline?

    ReplyDelete
  21. you make me laugh--a blessing these days.

    I would vote for a solid color bodice, but not black. It's too stark. How about either a green or something in the red/pink family, to pick up one of the colors in the print?

    You could keep your beloved black gloves and use a black belt. If you must.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love the black belt accent and think that would break up the rose well, but I love the black gloves too. Black sateen it up!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like the rose print better than the black. If you want to have less of the floral I would choose a pink sateen bodice. However, I think the rose print would be better.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I prefer the floral bodice with black accessories. It looks less choppy and more fluid. If you want to make a solid color bodice, I would suggest something softer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Before I saw your last photo I was leaning towards going all Roses with Kathy's return dress. After seeing that last photo though I have to say go with Michael's suggestion. A black bodice would look great! Hope you have time to finish before your show. Good luck!
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm for a solid pink or green bodice, with white gloves. The print would be better than the black sateen too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The skirt could be taken for an ottoman, so why not a couch? That pattern telegraphs "girlish". White gloves!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh the Priscilla plan is excellent! Get to work, quick!!
    I hate the black sateen, too much contrast, not spring-y enough. If you must go solid, I second the pink or green idea. But I don't think it's possible to have too many roses, aren't they the whole point?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Okay. I've been lurking for a bit, but now I must comment. Fantastic post MPB! I so appreciate the humor and wit of your posts, and today's is wonderfully thoughtful and made me feel warm inside. Yes! Let's enjoy our time today - it's all we have. My fingers are crossed that you'll finish the dress by Saturday. The black looks elegant, but the floral looks more springtime. I prefer black under all conditions. Happy sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  30. lissa of the muslinettesMarch 15, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    am i the only person who reads anon 2:43's comment as really mean? anon, were you trying to be nasty, or is there humour under there that was lost in translation?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lately I have been saying no no pink and black (punk princess!) But this works. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lissa, not to worry! Cathy has thick skin -- also available in microfiber and ultrasuede. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. For a matinee, I'm leaning toward all rose print, with white gloves (do you have them?). The black says After 6 to me. I do like the stole idea, but will you have time after taking Cathy to the spa for that industrial waxing?

    As to Anon 2:43's comments - well I laughed so I hope they were just light-hearted jabs. And microfiber and ultrasuede? Hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I vote for a rose-print bodice, with a pink belt and shoes. Totally demure, and not a hint of jailbird!

    ReplyDelete
  35. lissa of the muslinettesMarch 15, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    i'm glad to hear :) i'm just a soft-edged sensitive girl. when i see anon comments that are a bit edgy, i get my back up.

    then again, i'm also a teacher dealing with lots of grading at the moment, so my back tends to get up quite easily right now... even more than my damn negroni muslin is riding up my bf's back!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Another "no" on the black. I was thinking when I first saw the t-shirt & skirt photos above it that it would look great with a contrasting *white* bodice. Do keep the black contrast belt & gloves, though.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh no please no! Not full on rose print! Too...too....ordinary! Black is much more elegant, & really, with a nice little jacket or shawl you can take the dress in either direction - evening elegance or matinee chic.

    Definitely another vote for black.

    ReplyDelete
  38. On further thought....a contrasting bodice in the right white or green would be a lovely matinee option too.

    Just please please don't overdo the lovely rose print...too much of a good thing is simply not enough of a better thing, which is less of the good thing. You know?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love the rose print, but I agree that there can be too much of a good thing. The black would be elegant, and I love the stole idea.

    I love the whole Cathy at Priscilla idea-- such a lovely idea and as someone earlier noted, such a needed break from the bleakness of the news.

    ReplyDelete
  40. No no no to all roses are even a solid that matches! So what if it is a matinee! Since when has Kathy been conformist? As someone else commented, edgy is more like it.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I go for a contrast but something softer than black. White, or (sage) green with the black belt and gloves?

    Cathy will need the gloves- I imagine that sewing mailbags and picking okum (if that's how you spell it) has impaired the poor dear's manicure.
    Besides, if you gather rosebuds you do encounter thorns.

    Thanks for cheering my day. I can hardly wait for the pics from the matinee session!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I too (like Tanit- Isis) am not a fan of black on top with lighter on the bottom. I go for all rose print with block colour belt.
    I hope you enjoy Pricilla... what a great Australian creation!! I can't wait to hear about it. Hope Cathy gets her dress in time.
    Sofie

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Peter!
    I think I prefer the overall rosebud look, it seems more spring- appropriate. I too am gathering a 50's skirt, though i may have overdone it on the gathers. The information on your pattern piece (10 dollars for this?) has inspired an appointment with the unpicker. Drat.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love the contrast of the black. My choice 100%.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Guys -- big news! It sounds like we're going to the OPENING on Sunday night. This may require a wardrobe re-think...

    At the very least a black (or darker) bodice, no?

    ReplyDelete
  46. How'z about a black bodice with small fabric rose buds peeking out along a curved center seam and a few opening and full opened fabric roses resting gently between and atop the bossoms???

    Oh, and at the risk of getting political, Peter Lappin in 2012!

    Testosterone (who else?)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails