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Jun 1, 2012

Reflections on My Third Year of Sewing



Readers, my annual reflection posts are my way of looking back at the previous year, seeing what I've accomplished, and trying to make sense of it all. 

They occur at this time of year because it was this very week, three short(ish) years ago, that I purchased my first sewing machine (a much more successful purchase than my last sewing machine, but more about that later) -- an event which would change the direction of my life, though all I'd originally intended was to shorten a pair of jeans.  Imagine if I'd just spent the twelve bucks to have them hemmed at the dry cleaners.  You wouldn't be reading this blog today and Lord knows what I wouldn't be doing.  Sewing, for starters!

So what was my third year of sewing all about?  Friends, you tell me; it all seems a bit random, frankly.  If I've learned anything about myself in my first half century, it's that my life is just not ever going to follow a straight course; I've zigged and zagged more times than a vintage Kenmore 158.1040!



I sewed a lot this year, and like anyone who sews constantly, I've had both successes and not-such-successes.

As in past years, I made shirts.





But this year I also made boxers, with many of you sewing along with me.





I also made more pants.  These were the not-such-successes.  With the exception of my recent denim jeans, I don't wear them.  Too loud...



Too boring...



 Just right!



And then there was Cathy, whose year started out with a bang and (pardon the vulgarity) seems to have ended with one too.









Other highlights of my third year of sewing include MPB Day...



My (endless) BurdaStyle sew-along (Remember the tale of Leah and Pia?)...



...and a well-documented decluttering project so thorough that the only thing that surpassed it was the recluttering. 

What was I thinking?

Friends, I'm exhausted just thinking about the last year and the next one looks even worse better: the SIL dress, more maternity photo shoots, boned bathing suits, Pinterest posts, Vogue articles....

I think I need to take a nap or have a glass of wine.  Or both.



Oh, before I forget: whatever became of the scratched 'n rusty Elna Lotus? Well $66 worth of return postage later (which the seller paid for) it is in my possession once again!  She (the seller) gave me an incomplete address, so the Elna flew all the way to British Columbia only to be returned to NYC.  The (pissed and exhausted) seller now says I should keep it, but adds:  I have seen several of these machines in ruffer [sic] condition and in some cases not working and they sell around what I was asking.  Just my luck I get someone as anal as you that purchased it.

Like I always say, Caveat Venditor!

Now what?

In closing, I hope you've enjoyed this look back on my third year of sewing.  And I thank YOU so much for allowing me to share my ongoing sewing adventures with you.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

42 comments:

  1. Bon voyage for your upcoming fourth year of sewing. Personally I lose track of how long I've been sewing for - may be my age - or maybe it's your anal retention that keeps a record? Wow us!

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  2. Looking back on my sewing time, I see a zig-zagged, slightly schizoid, inspiration filled, never finished, never started, series of projects. My sewing closet stuffed with leftovers and yardage purchased for projects that never got started is testimate to that! And letssee... I started learning to sew at three--how old am I again?

    I think all of us suffer from too-much-to-do-itus. We get inspired, buy the materials, and then promptly get busy and forget all about it. Right now, I'm working on summer wardrobes for the girls. So far, I've finished swimsuits and two outfits apiece. After I finish wrapping presents, I'm going to start on outfit #3...

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  3. I can't believe, and am disappointed, that someone from my home province (BC) was so rude!! anal! for wanting a machine to be in reasonable shape!!

    I have a BC vendor of sewing machines that I'm fond of, but he only sells FWs. I know there is another who frequently has vintage machines, and I will avoid him/her in future!

    Congratulations on your third year of sewing and inspiring those us who sew for men... and maybe their preggers cousins too!

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  4. Just OUR luck that we get someone as anal retentive as you. Lucky us!

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    1. I am a lot of things, but anal retentive is not one of them! (You should see the state of my living room, kitchen, bathroom....)

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  5. Peter, congrats on hanging in there with sewing and keeping us all entertained. Keep it coming!

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  6. And what about all your articles in all the famous sewing magazines? Congratulations Peter!!!

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  7. Three years! Thank you for this very entertaining blog Peter and thank you to Cathy for modeling that very first dress. I can't wait until she gets her figure back and models some bubble bottomed bathing suits.
    Re The machine and the rude vendor Maybe give it to charity and make a point of letting the vendor know what happened to it, turning the whole episode into something good.

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  8. Congrations on your third year of sewing! May you have many more. I love your blog--always something interesting, another point of view, or explosive laughter on my part! And that's saying something!

    Thanks again Peter. So glad you became a sewist!

    Carla

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  9. It's the rare Elna Boomerang, not the Lotus.

    Your sewing adventures are delightful and inspiring. The MPB blog is my most favourite in all the world!

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  10. You have made the world a better place by sewing!

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  11. LOL - that Lotus is fated to be yours I guess. Maybe you could trade it as a parts machine. The design is cool - what about giving it to the blogger that decorates with sewing machines?

    Cheers on a fabulous 3rd year!

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  12. Congratulations on your third year of sewing, you have made me laugh while I admire your craftsmanship. Thank you for writing such a fun sewing blog, I can't wait to see what year four will bring.

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  13. Many happy returns, Peter!

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  14. Happy Anniversary, Peter! Congrats on three years of sewing! I found your blog perhaps just over a year ago and oh how much you have inspired me in that short time. I look forward to following your further adventures. I may not always comment, but I always read. Your blog is a must-read for me.

    My own return to sewing would look something like a package of unraveled rick-rack. Bratling is right, we all have “too-much-to-do-itus,” but your inspiration has kept me from giving up completely.

    As for that nasty vendor, harrrrrrumph! How to Win Friends and Influence People. We won’t be giving her any of our hard-earned money any time soon. Perhaps the machine can be cleaned up and put to good use or resold. You know how we all love a happy ending.

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  15. Congrats!

    I don't think leopard print pants are something one can or shoulder squander with regular use. They are to be saved for very, very special occasions!

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  16. Enjoy! I started year 5 of my sewing adventure this year and it does just get better and better!

    BTW - I think those leopard jeans rock!

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  17. Excellent progress for three years - much more than I've ever made on the sewing front, and I've been at it since 1976.

    By the way, when someone calls you anal-retentive, you DO know what to say, don't you? You smile ever-so-sweetly and say:

    "Sorry I've been holding you back."

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  18. Can you cut and paste the comment to the "rate this seller" that ebay asks you to fill out? At least future buyers will have a clue to ask some good questions. Then could Rain help?

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  19. Not so "ruff" if you get to keep the machine I guess! She says 'anal-rententive" like it's a bad thing!

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  20. How dare you want something that works?!

    I've really enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to more.

    If only we could get a certain cooking blog to start up again...

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  21. Congrats! It does seem you are a little exhausted of sewing recently, an perhaps you need to make something that really excites you again :)

    The comment to give the machine to charity is a good idea, but perhaps you could sell the machine as spare parts (as someone might buy it hoping it will work?) and donate the money to charity?

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  22. Congratulations on 3 fabulous years of sewing and wishing you many more sewing adventures. Thanks for a fabulous sewing resource that's educational, friendly, funny and entertaining...and thank you for Cathy; she's an integral part of your blog.

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  23. Peter, A day without a new MPB post has become like a day without sunshine. . . thank you for all the fun, and I do hope you get to celebrate your Diamond Jubilee of sewing! Cheers!

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  24. Congratulations on the blogging milestone! I'm glad you didn't blow that $12 at the drycleaners or we'd have missed our daily dose of Peter! Looking forward to a fourth year - remember you can always switch from zig-zag to serpentine stitch if necessary!

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  25. Many happy returns and may your needles grow ever sharper! I hope Cathy has sent you an appropriate congratulations card.

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  26. You are a rock star!! Happy sewingversary!

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  27. I forgot you had a Playpal doll. Love her!

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    1. I've tried, but she doesn't love back.

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  28. I have really enjoyed your blog this past year. I love your sew alongs, and I liked all your de-cluttering posts. I'm looking forward to following your sewing adventures in the year to come.

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  29. Thanks for the blog, Peter. I look forward to your posts. I know how much time a blog like yours takes, and I hope you know how much it's appreciated.

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  30. Love your blog and your vogue articles . Also your "philosophy" musings. The commemters are a thoughtful and intelligent group,too, what a delight! Sewing for fiftyyears ..started in 4-h. And cathy rocks-what a delightful,mercurial creature! teresa from the sticks

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  31. Congratulations, Peter on three years and counting! I enjoy your blog and commenters very much, an interesting community of sewing practitioners and an urban viewpoint too. Like Anonymous above, I live in a rural area where fashion runs to clean jeans and t shirts with no holes showing, a couture wasteland except for a few of us individualists who sew, and wear fitted clothes occasionally. I've been sewing all my long life (I'll turn 64 this summer) and enjoy learning more. You've inspired me to make more linings, and to plan some projects with more tailored details. Thank you!

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  32. Thank you Peter, for three years of inspiring us and letting us follow along on your sewing adventures!

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  33. LOL, Peter, I always enjoy your posts. Your vintage sears zig zagger reminds me of a tiny sears machine I had in the 80's to bring back and forth to work (I worked nights as an RN and had some dead time) I'm with you on your love for machines though. I have too many.

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  34. You are a treasure! I truly have enjoyed reading your blog, when I stumbled on it from pattern review. Keep up all the witty writing and fun projects!!

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  35. Love your. Blog and your sewing projects. You keep me from taking sewing too seriously...like making myself sew those stashed fabrics before I buy some more fabric, or making something utilitarian rather than fun. You are so much fun to read.

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  36. When I have time throughout the day I like to browse your blog. My favorite things are your flea market finds, information and magazine reviews. Sometimes, I just skim through all the info and stop where I read something interesting.

    Congratulations! Many more years of fun sewing. I am not really a sewer in the true sense, I am a cut apart, and add something new. Kind of cheating really I don't need a pattern because I buy the body of the article and re-arrange it. Love all the tips as well.

    Josette

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  37. congratulations on the three year mark! But pace yourself. I have been sewing for over 50 years and there are still days when I enjoy the heck out of it!! Nothing better than turning out a new garment or project!

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  38. I always enjoy your blog and mis/adventure anecdotes. Even my husband, who doesn't give a rat's rip about sewing, thinks your stories are humorous when I read them to him. ;)
    Continued happiness in your next year.

    boocat

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