Readers, I generally avoid writing about money-related topics. It can be considered tacky and -- particularly in a crappy economy -- insensitive, plus it's boring.
Of course, I share my fabric purchases with you, but you know most of what I sew with is either fished out of the dumpster, bought at a rock-bottom fabric dive, or stripped off my bed -- or someone's. Even Cathy's jewelry is from the flea market -- and we're talking slightly moldy Sarah Coventry, not vintage Miriam Haskell.
Then there are my pattern purchases, which, let's face it, tend to be made compulsively in the middle of the night when my mind is blurry. Speaking of which, here's a little something I picked up for $2.50 yesterday:
I simply couldn't resist this vintage early Sixties men's costume pattern, which had only just been listed on eBay as a "Buy it Now" (mine is a men's 36, not the size 10 pictured here).
Not only can I make a ringleader's outfit -- how cute is that, particularly in robin's egg blue? -- but I can also whip up a men's tailcoat (think, Top Hat)! Isn't it sad how many of the best men's clothing patterns are costumes? (There's a great Music Man pattern out there, Simplicity 9686, that makes an awesome men's Teens/Twenties-style suit, but I'm not spending $39 for it.) Seventy-Six Trombones!
Then there's this purchase I haven't told you about yet. I found this swimsuit pattern last week on Etsy and it arrived in yesterday's mail:
If you can get beyond the appalling pattern art, this is a fabulous vintage-style swimsuit pattern that just screams Esther Williams. I actually bought it because I want to learn how to do that horizontal gathering on the front bodice, which I think would look fantastic on a mermaid gown. But the suit itself is pretty awesome and who cares if summer's nearly over? There's always next year and hopefully Cathy will keep her figure.
The purchase I'm struggling with these days is computer-related. I blog from a four-and-a-half-year-old MacBook that has served me well, though I had to replace the hard drive two years ago when it died suddenly, and Apple replaced the battery for free last year when it started bulging out of the side of my computer. I've also had to replace the "e" key, which popped off during an intense cleaning of my keyboard. Otherwise, it's fine, and who cares if a piece of Scotch tape is keeping the right outer edge from cracking off?
As you know, I also do a lot of photography, and I realized when I was looking at Cathy's latest photo shoot on a 21.5 inch iMac at TekServe, a NYC Apple reseller, that I am missing a lot of detail on a 13-inch laptop screen.
The biggest problem with my laptop, however, isn't so much the size, as the ergonomics. For the past six months or so I have been experiencing intermittent neck stiffness related to the way I sit and type at my laptop. In order to type at a laptop, the screen must be lower than it should be for the health of your neck. Ideally the screen should be directly in front of you, but then you wouldn't be able to use the keyboard comfortably.
I've started using an external keyboard -- a quick $20 fix -- and propping my screen up on a box so that it's at eye level. That has helped a lot, though the set-up is a little unsightly.
I've been using a laptop for so long that I'm not sure I'd be happy writing from a stationary computer. I'll still have my laptop, of course, and I can still use it. But my writing and photography will all be done on the iMac. Of course, like most new computers today, the latest iMac will be four times faster and have a terabyte of storage -- nearly three times larger than what I have today.
I rarely move the laptop. I used to rest it on my lap in bed sometimes, only to experience an odd tingling in my groin area that couldn't be good for my long-term health.
Finally, I would probably have to part with one of my three sewing tables in the living room -- the other downside (the first one being the price). But do I really need three sewing tables anyway? I still haven't replaced the plug on my Pfaff 39, upon whose closed table sits my Brother 1034D serger. I've completed my last two sewing projects on my Singer Featherweight.
I know I can't really come out and ask you whether I should upgrade to an iMac or not -- you'll probably say, If you can afford it, get it (see how well I know you?). This is basically an extended journal entry.
Seriously, though, given the age of my laptop, don't you think it's a better idea to replace it before it conks out altogether? This way, if our Internet service goes out -- and it does from time to time -- I can still take the laptop with me to the local bagel shop/Wi-Fi hotspot.
I am on my computer for hours every day; it's the tool I rely on most.
I guess I only wish these were half as costly as they currently are (and I only buy refurbished Macs but we're still talking $1,000 plus), but what are you going to do? Spread out over years, it doesn't seem quite as much.
Thoughts, guidance.... donations of old hardware?
How big is your computer screen -- and how deep do Cathy's nasolabial folds appear on it?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!