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Dec 28, 2011

Featherweight Table Makeover -- and so much more!

Isn't this an amazing transformation, readers?  Wow!

Unfortunately, this Featherweight table is not the one Santa left for me in the street last weekend, but rather belongs to MPB reader Wayne of Florida, who restored it himself.  This pic shows the table before he applied polyurethane, but it looks fantastic to me as is (the blue tape is simply to keep the black enamel paint applied to the sides off the top).

You can see that Wayne's table was originally in similar condition to mine (pictured below) -- maybe worse.

I have received detailed advice on refinishing my table from a number of readers (Thanks, Sammi!), and the information has been very helpful.  It sounds like the old varnish will come off easily with just sandpaper (starting with a coarser grain and working down to finer ones), so I won't have to use a chemical stripper, which I was dreading.  I hope to get started on this today, but you know me: anything can happen.

Friends, this is the downside to all those amazing finds I tell you about: they usually need some TLC, which just becomes another chore.  I mean, if I hadn't found this table on Saturday, I certainly wouldn't be sanding veneers today.  And poor Patti Playpal still needs her thigh repaired -- sigh.

In other news....

I won this Twenties pattern on eBay this morning and if you happen to be the other bidder, my apologies.  

The seller listed the dress pattern as being from 1921 but there is no way it's from the early Twenties.  Here are some fashions from 1921.  Among the differences are higher waistlines, lower hems, and no cloche hats.

In contrast, here are some McCall's fashions from 1928, in very much the same Art Deco-inspired vein as the pattern I purchased (particularly the gray and white ensemble on the far right with multi-paneled skirt and scarf).

Do you agree with me?

Meanwhile, my used burgundy and black Allen Edmonds saddle shoes arrived yesterday and they're groovy and comfy and certainly worth the price.

Also an eBay win, I purchased them before I made my cherry leopard pants, but was thinking they might work well together.  Today, however, I'm not so sure.  It's a little much, don't you think?

Friends, that's about it.  We have a mystery houseplant Michael fished out of the trash months ago -- we do that kind of thing a lot here -- that has begun to bloom.  Can anybody identify this houseplant, which might be in the aloe family?  (Its leaves are similar to those of a snake plant, but fleshier.)

What is it about the week between Christmas and New Years that leaves me feeling a little disoriented?  I think the best thing to do is to head to the hardware store ASAP in search of sandpaper, don't you? 

In closing, are you the refinishing type, or are you more inclined to cover over blemishes with Contact Paper?  Frankly, I always thought I was more the latter, but people change, I guess.  I may even polish my Featherweight.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. That plant looks like a snake plant (or mother-in-law's tongue plant -- can you believe it!), but I've never seen one bloom. I agree about the shoes -- they don't "go" together. And a big WOW on the refinishing job, but please don't take it up as an avocation. I need your sewing mojo for inspiration. Thanks for the fun on what's been a hard day.

  2. I think the saddle shoes look great with the pants!

  3. The flowers look like some kind of Tobacco flower....are the leaves like a succulent? Because apart from the flower, it looks like an aloe plant. I'm thinking the shoes are a bit much with the pants, but what do I know, I'm from Nebraska....

    Not to sound too cheekie, but Michael has the sunniest smile. Every picture you post of him, makes me want to smile. Just had to let you know.

  4. Refinish the table-- it'll be beautiful.

    The early twenties photos look like my Grandmother's wedding photo, she was married in 1926.

    The cloches were around from 1920 on, so it's hard to tell. The fad ended around 1933.

    All of these styles would look great on Cathy, with her slim, straight figure-- the ideal figure for that time period.

  5. So have you decided on a method of fixing Patti? I've repaired lots of dolls, but not of the plastic variety! I'd be interested in how you do it!

  6. Mystery plant is a sanseveria (snake plant) - you've just got a variety with thick leaves and a nice healthy flower stalk!
    You've got some lovely eBay treasures. I suppose the shoes (and leopard pants) fall under some fashion rule about only wearing one statement piece at a time?
    I'm at loose ends too - my routine is muddled with my partner home for a week so I'm trying not to start any important projects requiring concentration!

  7. Definitely a snake plant. They bloom though not every year and sometimes the flowers have a sticky sap and smell sweet.

  8. I'm definitely one for the contact paper and/or tremclad, but recently I paid $25, sight unseen, for a china cabinet, intending to paint it, that turned out to be sold oak inside and out. I spent about 20 hours stripping and refinishing it. It's gorgeous! I hated having to do the work, but once I knew what I had I just couldn't bring myself to paint it. Yes, people change.

  9. That plants looks exactly like my snake plants & some of the offspring have thicker leaves than the mother plant. Mine bloomed last summer and looked like your blossom - they do not bloom often cause they are rather picky about the conditions & refuse to tell anyone what makes them happy. As for the shoes & pants...well I'd wear black boots or possibly carefully selected black heels though cute black ankle boots are really my first choice. With those statement pants solid feet & top would be my choices.

  10. I give the shoes with the pants a big thumbs up!

    I think you'll enjoy restoring the table; the sense of achievement will be pleasingly way out of proportion to the effort required.

    No idea about the plant, sorry.

  11. pattern definitely from the mid-late 20s, most likely 1927-29. that was the lowest point of the dropped waist silhouette, it starts rising again towards the natural waistline by 1930.


  12. The shoes are perfect with those pants! And I'm not a refinishing type.... that would probably be something I'd hand over to someone with skill in that department. Good luck to your refinishing adventure!

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  14. oops. sorry - distracting phone calls & cats &.....oh, let's just call it a senior moment. What I meant to say:

    "I may even polish my Featherweight"..... I heard that! :)

  15. I think the shoes go together and then don't go together. I know it doesn't make sense. Maybe it depends on what else you are wearing with it.I think a sold color would be better.

    What do I know? I don't like animal prints on anything.

  16. I love the shoes with the pants.
    Refinishing the table might be quite meditative and satisfying. It's not that big, is perfectly flat. What's the big deal? You'll love it when it's done.
    Interesting to discover that snake plants flower! Whaddaya know!

  17. I saw that pattern on ebay but I was not the other bidder :) Can't wait to see it all made up--it has fabulous lines!

  18. I know what you mean. I love finding these things, and I'm happy to clean them and fix them up, but it's TIME. And, as you say, it becomes another chore.

  19. HI Peter! First off, the shoes and the pants, YES! Perfection. Secondly, Congrats on Vogue (it's where I found you!) and lastly, if you had a church, I would go to it. Your talent and way of sharing it is amazing. Keep it up! Happy New Year!


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