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Jun 16, 2011

Back to sewing!



Friends, thank you so much for your amusing and candid responses to yesterday's post about things you'll skimp on and things you won't.  I know more about you than I probably should (and vice versa), but what are blogs for if not unburdening ourselves to strangers and who doesn't like to talk about shopping?  It's a like a cross-country bus trip, but with better conversation and cleaner bathrooms.

Today I am committed to returning to sewing.  As you can see up top, my Featherweight is threaded, I've inserted a brand new #9 needle, and I'm all set to get started on my summer shirt, made with a lightweight, somewhat sheer lavender cotton (lawn?).  I haven't sewn much in the last few weeks and I'm eager to begin.



I've also rethreaded my Brother 1034D serger with light-colored thread; not sure I'll serge anything on this shirt but just in case...



Exciting news: Claire Schaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide arrived the other day and it is an amazing resource -- so much more than I'd expected.  I'll certainly be writing more about it later on, but for less than $7 with shipping, it's a tremendous bargain.  Apropos of areas where we like to skimp, buying an older edition of a sewing book is usually a great idea.  Who cares if the photos are all from the Hatey Eighties?  In a few years, it's all going to look super cool again, trust me.









I wasn't expecting this book to be quite this large and heavy -- we're in doorstop territory.  I would love to spend a week alone with it with no distractions, and I may have my opportunity soon as my mother is being released from rehab early next week and I'll probably be spending the week with her.  I was thinking of bringing sewing supplies up -- and still am -- but I don't think I'm going to follow through; too much stuff.

Finally, readers, I watched another old (if you consider the Eighties old; I don't) movie, Pretty in Pink.  I don't know what I was expecting, but I was disappointed by what was essentially an ABC Afterschool Special about a poor high school girl falling for a rich high school boy; the same tired Cinderella story we've seen a million times.  Why is it that the girl is always poor and the boy is always rich and never the other way around?

And when did actors stop studying diction?  Big-screen mumbling is a pet peeve of mine.



There are a few cute performances and the period outfits are fun, but I think I'll skip Sixteen Candles.  Next on deck: Sex and the Single Girl, which I have a sinking feeling I'm going to hate.  The one essential ingredient of a Doris Day Sixties sex comedy is Doris Day.  As much as I like Natalie Wood...

Readers, that's all for today.  I am going to sew and I will report on my progress tomorrow.  I hope you're sewing or saving or something fun.

Pretty in Pink -- pretty awful?

Have a great day, everybody!

41 comments:

  1. Sixteen Candles is one of my all-time favorites! Hilarious, somewhat raunchy, and quite amusing in a mindless, I just want to laugh sort of way.

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  2. Is it too late to interject that I only buy Q-Tip brand cotton swabs???

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  3. I just watched Benny And Joon from 1993. The big thing I noticed was the fashions seemed to be influenced by a great fabric surplus. No skrimping on cloth!

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  4. I pretty much hate all 80s teen era movies (I grew up in the 80s and 90s so you can imagine this did not endear me to people). The exceptions are: The Breakfast Club, Heathers and Better Off Dead. Heathers is actually a wonderful example of 80s fashion, in the same way Clueless is the perfect 90s teen fashion movie so I can recommend both.

    As far as the diction, I think it happened sometime in the late 70s with the move towards a more naturalistic style of filming, but I was an infant at the time. Someone older would probably know more.

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  5. Forgot to add that Heathers is also extremely dark humor and somewhat offensive so if your benchmark is Doris Day, you might well be better off downloading images off the internet.

    As a seamstress, I was horrified by the way Molly Ringwald butchered that prom dress. Please, someone tell me I'm not the only one!

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  6. Pretty in Pink is a movie that I watched over and over during my teen years. So I love it anyway. But recently re-watched it and I looked for some info about it. The original idea the director John Hughes had for the ending was that the girl would end up with the poor boy Duckie(weren't you really hopping this would happen?). BTW, I love Jon Cryer's character in this movie.But for some reason they changed the grand finale. So, he made other movie, this time with a poor boy and a rich girl, and of course a poor boy to complete the triangle. Guess what was the end? It is called Some Kind of Wonderful.

    I have to say I prefer the 80's teen movies, they are way much better then the ones from the 2000's, don't you think? They are more emotional and deep (? - sorry, as a non English speaker, sometimes I can't find the right words) especially the Huges' movies - see Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the Breakfast Club and compare them to American Pie...

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  7. This has nothing to do with the post, but did you see this article in today's New York Times? I thought of you.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/fashion/restaurant-shirts-for-summer.html?ref=fashion

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  8. I don't want to bias you,but I tried to read Sex and the Single Girl once, and it was... can you believe it - boring!

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  9. Peter, I love Pretty in Pink! It's quintessentially 80s! Give it a little credit - I mean its totally a budget film, but its still good. To each his own, I guess.

    I hope your mother is doing alright! Best wishes on that front!

    Its good to see the sewing machines out again!

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  10. Peter, when you go to stay with your Mom you could try sewing a garment by hand, if you cut out a shirt beforehand and fuse all the interfacing, you could then hand sew. Nice and quiet, so as not to disturb your Mom while she is resting.

    lazysubculturalgirl-you are not alone in your opinion about the dress that Molly Ringwald's character butchered in Sixteen Candles. I have always thought that dress is beyond hideous, what were they thinking? I also agree with you about The Heathers, best teen 80's movie ever.

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  11. The thing I've always hated most about Pretty in Pink is how she takes that FANTASTIC 60's party dress and turns it into a pink garbage bag. SERIOUSLY. That couldn't have been acceptable, even for the 80's. lazysubculturalgirl you are def not alone in your disdain for fashion atrocity!

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  12. Pretty in Pink-meh. I like John Hughes more boisterous movies-Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller.. the only poor boy/rich girl movie I can think of is A Place in the Sun. Who better than Monty Clift to be the poor boy?

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  13. Peter,

    You are wrong about that always the girl is poor and the boy is rich... another, and better, teen-comedy of the 80's, "Some kind of wonderful" with Eric Stolz, Mary Stuart Matherson, Lea Thompson (the beauty of that time) is different. Have a look!

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  14. Sex and the Single Girl is AWFULL - but everyone should see it once! I think this is the movie that lit a fire under Gloria Steinem. You will need to watch The Women as a palette cleanser after!

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  15. 16 candles is a classic!!! You HAVE to watch it!!!!

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  16. Pretty in Pink was absolute crap, but don't write off 16 Candles, it's an absolute classic (though I was 16 when I saw it, so may be a bit biased)

    And yeah, that dress was dreck, even by 80's standards

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  17. Rich girl, poor boy: The Last Picture Show (1971) based on Larry McMurty book set in 1950s. Great 50s wardrobe. There's another film later with everybody 20 or so years older. I forget the name.

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  18. Peter, I don't think we can be friends if you hate "Pretty in Pink" so much! I'm crushed.

    I utterly LIVED for/thru/with that movie when I was in high school in the '80s, & still, whenever I randomly come across it on TV, I'm transfixed. I love Molly's funky outfits (ok, not the prom dress, nobody really likes what she did w/cutting up the 2 dresses, but props for the DIY concept). I love Annie Potts' wacky everything. I love Ducky's banter. And hell, that was me in high school - 'if you send signals you don't want to fit in...' It's all about the social/class drama & the fashion, less about the romance, imo.

    "16 Candles" is more of a comedic farce. But that & "Breakfast Club" all fit together in a nice little trilogy that shows a certain evolution of '80s teen characters & style. Watch them all!

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  19. I think you have to have been a teenager in the 80's. I wasn't.

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  20. I see so many sewing blogs where women will take something they found at Goodwill or a thrift store, hack it up, and make some completely adorable/perfect outfit. First of all, there is nothing as nice as their "before" garments lurking in my local Goodwill. And I harbor an intense, yet persistent fear that if I were to attempt such a refashion, I would somehow (horror of horrors) end up with that awful pink prom dress that Molly Ringwald makes. Yuck!

    What has always stumped me about Pretty in Pink is Andrew McCarthy. I mean, really? That's what she's after? Duckie is so much cuter. Andrew McCarthy's allure apparently escapes me (even in his more recent work... I get nothing). He seems so weak and whiny. But I was never really into Molly Ringwald either. But I did like 16 Candles.

    It's not really a teen movie, but I love She's Having a Baby.

    It is hard to beat Ferris Bueller though... He's a righteous dude!

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  21. Pretty in Pink - uck! It was bad back then, and I'm sure even worse now. Although, if I had to watch a movie from that era, The Breakfast Club (also starring Molly What's-her-name) was reasonable.

    As for sewing, my new Brother 1034D arrived last week, and I've been too busy to try it out yet - does that stink, or what?? Maybe tonight, hopefully tonight!

    Can't wait to see your progress on that shirt. The fabric could be lawn, it could also be batiste.

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  22. Can't Buy me Love with Patrick Dempsy was a poor boy/rich girl story (I think) I'm not totally sure about this, but it seems implied to me.

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  23. You have to watch 16 Candles! "Hey, sexy girlfriend!" I love it and I most definitely was not a teenager then.

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  24. I agree with you about Pretty in Pink, but go ahead and watch Sixteen Candles.

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  25. Sixteen Candles is much better than PiP. As teen movies go.

    Kristin in SF

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  26. I loved PiP in the 80s. My only issues with it were same as most above:
    1) The dress was much better in the original
    2) What did she see in Andrew Blinky McCarthy?
    3) She should have fallen for Ducky the clever stalker boy

    I watched it again lately and was less entertained, but still think Annie Potts is awesome.

    Sixteen Candles still makes me laugh, but I have serious issues with the date rape of Jake's drunk girlfriend. He hands her over with the Rolls Royce and says she's so drunk she won't know the difference she'll let you do anything. Ha ha. Seriously, how did I not see that in high school? Once it was pointed out it sort of spoiled the mood.

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  27. Peter and friends -- Do you all know the 1954 movie, Hobson's Choice? I just discovered it and now it's an all-time favorite. The quintessential story of a poor man chosen by a better-off woman. Nineteenth century England. Charles Laughton is unforgettable, as are Brenda DeBanzie and John Mills. Interesting period clothes too. Funny, wonderful, sad and true -- like life. You must watch!

    Judy

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  28. Judy, that's my next film -- I already have it out! I saw it as a kid on TV, and remember enjoying it a lot.

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  29. Peter -- What a coincidence! It should be interesting to see what more you get from it this time.

    Judy

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  30. But Pretty in Pink has a very young and very delicious James Spader, one of my all time favorite actors. *swoon*

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  31. I have that edition of Claire Schaeffer's Fabric Guide! :) Bought it at a library book sale years ago for a couple bucks--best $2 I ever spent. :) I refer to it constantly and it's always on my list of "must buy books" when new sewers ask me what I'd recommend.

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  32. Pretty in Pink, as my sister and I agreed last week after watching 16 Candles, is for sure the worst John Hughes movie. It has OK bits...for sure Andrew McCarthy is a dream and Jon Cryer lip-synching Otis Redding is amazing but egads, overall it stinks. However Annie Potts costumes are pretty jazzy. Plus, the final dress is HORRIBLE. Molly herself (on the Martha Stewart show, no less) admitted that she thought it was the fugliest thing ever.
    OK, so I really said nothing about sewing in that whole comment. Oops.

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  33. Please don't pass up Sixteen Candles because of PiP. It's like passing up Goodfellas because of The Godfather III. (Bad comparison, I know.) When I was in college, PiP played at our local .99 theater for weeks on end and my roommate and I couldn't resist sneaking in just to laugh at Andrew McCarthy's acting. We were masochists, what can I say?

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  34. "I think you have to have been a teenager in the 80's. I wasn't."

    Aren't you the same age as me? If yes, then you were a teenager for 2 years in the 80s, just not when PiP came out. Pffft. ;-) Personally, I never liked Molly Ringwald in anything. I already had her red hair and wanted to be Demi Moore.

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  35. It's the other way around in "Overboard" with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Love that movie!

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  36. "Hatey Eighties" ???? and dissing Pretty in Pink...gotta say Peter you're skating on thin ice ;) lol

    And yes...i agree with those who say that the prom dress was butchered and that she should have taken up with Duckie rather than Blain "Blain? That sounds like an appliance"....

    *sigh* i'm clearly STILL living in the eighties LOL and in awe of John Hughes.

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  37. Yeah, Pretty in Pink was bad, but I still get a laugh out of Sixteen Candles. And what about the absolute 80s cliche movie of all time, Desperately Seeking Susan? BTW, I turned 30 in 1984 :0, so I grew up on 70s fare. Play Misty for Me, anyone?

    Best to your mom. My mother had a hip replacement earlier this year and she's feeling a 1000 percent better.

    Valerie from PNW, whose google account is acting funky

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  38. I love your old sewing machine! I have one I inherited from my grandmother, but I'm afraid to touch it. You make me want to try. It looks like you're having so much fun.

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  39. Oh, mumbling in movies, I HATE it with a passion! I couldn't watch more than a few glimpses of what I could only call Mumbleback Mountain, and trying to watch Benjamin Button on an aeroplane was a complete dead loss. Mumbling is NOT ACTING, PEOPLE!
    Sorry for shouting in your comments Peter but you struck a nerve there, haha!
    I do love those 80s movies but Andrew McCarthy never did it for me.
    I think I have Featherweight envy but I just bought two books about decluttering....

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  40. I loved the 80s and John Hughes is probably my favorite filmmaker. :) I was older than the characters in the films, but probably the same age as the actors. And although I was already out of high school when most of the movies came out, I could still remember it and relate to those characters.

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