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Nov 15, 2012

A Case of the "Now Whats?"



Friends, has this ever happened to you?  You finish a big project, you're a little spent, and you have no idea what's next.  Not to mention it's Diwali, the Indian "Festival of Lights" -- always a distraction when your sister-in-law is from Mumbai.

Mom and big brother Richard at Diwali party.

I have a few project ideas which I'll share, but first, here are the metallic leather shoes I bought for my harem girl outfit:



They were very, very close to what I'd originally envisioned, and low enough that I could walk in them despite my sprained ankle (which is much better, btw).  Speaking of shoes, Wednesday is "Family Day" at my local Salvation Army, which means most things are 50% off.  Yesterday I picked up these like-new black peep-toe pumps for three dollars, which is about 1/5 what you'd pay at my local Goodwill.



In other news, at the flea market last weekend I found some really great CDs, including the original cast album of the forgotten 1951 Broadway flop, Flahooley, which starred not only Barbara Cook in her Broadway debut, but also YMA SUMAC! I love the score -- by Sammy Fain ("Secret Love") and Yip Harburg ("We're Off to See the Wizard") which is completely obscure.





I've been slowly working my way through a collection of five Esther Williams DVDs from the library.  I think I've seen them all before, but they're fun, if a little repetitive.  Esther's wardrobes, primarily by Helen Rose and Irene, are sensational though, and of course the Technicolor is gorgeous.




And now about my next projects.  I could use a white long-sleeve shirt and I think I already have the fabric for that in my stash, so I may tackle that.  I could use another pair of boxers too, so that's also a possibility.  I have three yards of pink fleece for a housecoat for Michael's mother, which I'd like to have ready by Thanksgiving weekend.

I will admit that none of these sound particularly exciting to me at the moment, but hopefully I'll be able to work up the enthusiasm.  A harem girl outfit is a tough act to follow.

I've noticed a number of sewing bloggers already talking about holiday sewing, the very idea of which gives me agita, as it does many of you, I'm sure.  I mean, how many of the intended recipients will even appreciate a home-sewn gift?  OK, maybe they will.  Anyway, if it's fun and you have the time...

What's on deck for you, sewing-wise? 

Any Yma Sumac fans out there? 




PS -- If you'd like to see the original Cathy photo shoot from Fall 2009 that started it all -- with links to all her subsequent creations -- you can view it here.

26 comments:

  1. Maybe something you (or Cathy) can wear to a holiday event? So you're not sewing for someone who won't appreciate it (though Michael seems grateful enough, doesn't he?), but you're still getting into the holiday spirit. December is a perfectly glitzy month in New York. Embrace it!

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  2. hehe, I have those same black shoes.. only mine are apple green. They aren't the most comfortable.

    Love the look back at Cathy in the LBD! Will be looking forward to whatever you decide to do next.

    Also, I'm happy to give sewn gifts any time of year except for Christmas. Who needs the stress...

    Ame

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  3. Just to let you know, although you got no comments on the reference to the Patty Duke show originally, I got it! In looking through all the fabulous pictures, I must say I think Cathy's decision to stick to short hair is a good one, it suits her. Something about the jaw line..........
    Now, what about one of those fabulous fake fur coats or vests? That would be an adventure.
    Jeannie

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  4. I am in a "post making my wedding dress "Now What" sewing funk". I just ordered some (on sale) fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics that I am hoping will spark some holiday outfit magic... we'll see:)

    LOVED the harem girl outfit:)

    Jennelle

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  5. I know how you feel. But a pink fleece housecoat sounds like it has the potential to be a fun project. There's something flamingo-ish about it.

    My dad just gave me fabric that he bought in Ghana to make something for each of my siblings and I'm already stressed about it. I don't do well with holiday or other sewing deadlines.

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  6. Sewing a white shirt doesn't sound very interesting but the pink housecoat does. Is that an American term? We call it a robe.

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    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure it is antiquated term. The term became robe sometime in the 70's or 80's but they also became slouchier.

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  7. I'm also in the 'now what?' mood, because the Queen of Hearts gown took a lot out of me. I still have to post photos and blog about it. :) However, the children continue to grow and boy needs new pants, plus my younger daughter's birthday is coming up and I have a few clothing items to make for her, including a "pirate girl" outfit, complete with sailor-style button-front pants and a layered t-shirt. I also discovered that I need some more long-sleeved tops, so hopefully I'll be able to get started on those before the holiday gift sewing gets into swing.

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  8. I saw Yma Sumac LIVE, when I was in college,,,she toured colleges. The finale had a "Live Volcano"...heavily publicized...(it was three feet tall!)

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    1. Wow! Lucky you. I create the store music playlist for a SF fabric store, and added one Yma Sumac number. It makes me happy.

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    2. Avery, you control the world!

      Try throwing on a Lizbeth Scott song or two from her late 50s album, "Lizbeth". Camp, kitsch, and more!

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  9. I need a heavy white shirt, can't find any in catalogues. May have to make one...maybe white corduroy...or linen, or???

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  10. Peter, I find myself about to sew velvet for the first time! I consider myself an advanced sewist, but velvet has just never come up, until now. I'm making a little girl's dream dress. It's for a friend's daughter. Any tips??

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    1. Baste the seams before sewing, so they don't slip. If necessary, baste a single layer of tissue paper between the two layers.

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    2. Thanks, Bill! Is it difficult to remove the tissue paper after sewing?

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    3. No...the stitching acts like perforations. It IS difficult if you use a zigzag stitch...which I do use for stretch velvet. In that case I use a water soluble stabilizer between the layers...

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    4. Good to know. Thanks! It is not stretch velvet, so I should be okay.

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  11. Me Me! I grew up with Yma Sumac references emanating from my mother! She was a focus of some fascination in our family. Gone but not totally forgotten.

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  12. You're not alone. I always have a huge sewing "let down" after I'm done with a massive project. It takes me forever to get motivated to start on something. Post-pageant-sewing is the worst.

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  13. I have given family & close friends folk art felted wool animals which I've sewn using patterns from The Cheswick Company http://cheswickcompany.com/. ( I buy wool sweaters at thrift stores & wash them in hot water & dry them in the dryer to felt them). I enjoy making them & only give them to people that I'm sure will like them. We have a rule that all gifts must be handmade and/or secondhand. It's much more fun that way.

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  14. I'm stuck in a sewing slump. I have loads of things I want to make, but none of them really inspiring enough to shove me into action. I need a new black pencil skirt but I need to buy fabric ... I'm reading sewing blogs waiting for inspiration to strike.

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  15. I'm playing with, and practicing with various sewing feet (a sewing foot fetish - realized and acted upon).

    So many of us have that "box of attachments" which came with one machine or another, and yet, for all the hoo-ha, how often do you turn to those well crafted gems? Not enough here, so it's time to master, or at least become proficient, with all those different feet.

    That way, when the next project does come along, I'll have a larger bag of tricks by which to tackle it.

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  16. I found Yma Sumac just recently. while I was backstage working wardrobe for Cirque du Soleil "Quidam" -there's the coat-rack dance with music utterly different from the rest of the show. I turned to the performer I was dressing and said "WHO IS THIS??" Ah- Yma Sumac! love her!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7TwEIeyzUE

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  17. I am currently going through the same thing – I feel exhausted by my month-long sewing journey, and cannot seem to get into the sewing room to do anything worthwhile other than pull some fabric out, and rummage through potential patterns. Must . . . be . . . productive . . .

    And I just love Yma Sumac and her incredible voice! And those clothes are just too wonderful for words!

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  18. i made a very simple chiffon scarf for shipboard wear and it was such a success, will be making a few more for another trip as well as gifts for friends who loved it. also repurposing some linen pants, etc. can't wait to see what you do next. noticed the exotic vest in Diwali party pix. that was a fabulous creation.

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