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Aug 4, 2013

Trip Highlights + Prepping for the Week Ahead

It is good to be back, readers!

I spent the last three days driving around the suburban subdivisions of Macungie, Pennsylvania -- perhaps you've been there -- where Michael's parents are staying temporarily until they move permanently to another Pennsylvania suburb.

Wednesday night our speedy Beiber bus dropped us off at the Bieber Bus Terminal (formerly the Charcoal Drive-In), where we were picked up by Michael's younger sister Sara, who's visiting from LA.

Sara was delighted to receive the Prada knock-off bag I found last month.  Isn't it cute on her?

Our photo shoot took place in the lush landscaped parking lot of the Staybridge Suites Hotel (Motel?), conveniently located only 15 miles from downtown Allentown.  (Nice beds but the coffee sucks.)

You may notice that I'm holding the Filson bag I ragged on last Wednesday and I feel I must amend my original opinion: for traveling, this bag is pretty good.  When it's full-ish, the bottom no longer sags like an overweight cat belly.  It's roomy and sturdy and ideal for loading into and out of a car trunk.  It's just a lousy day bag.

You may also have noticed that I have reclaimed my recently completed striped shirt -- actually Michael and I have decided to share it.

I also wore my patchwork madras shirt (having added buttons to the collar).   Did anybody notice that glamorous blogger Sarah Gunn used the exact same fabric for a dress last week?  Great minds, right?

There is much more to tell, friends, but the less said about me in the suburbs the better.  Suffice it to say it's good to be back in the city; I'm much more regular here, in every way.

I did something really stupid this morning: I machine-laundered five yards of the muslin I'd purchased last week for draping.  Is there any reason to launder muslin if you're only going to drape with it?

It dried SO wrinkly.  QUESTION: Why does some cotton fabric dry so smooth and other cotton dry like mummy bandages?

It took me an hour to iron it flat and it still needs work.

I also laundered the other fabrics I purchased last week.  I forgot to tell you about the two yards of navy cotton twill I bought to make pants.  My jeans are wearing out and I thought this blue twill -- which has the texture of Dickie's work pants -- would be a nice alternative to denim. 

Readers, that's all for today.  I have lots of sewing planned for the week ahead as well as considerable preparation for MPB Day; I can't believe it's next Saturday.  Should I spring for a mani-pedi and a spray tan?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Ah.....Pennsylvania. I grew up there but have never been to Macungie. I'll put it on my bucket list......

  2. AS soon as I saw the first picture I had to comment - the Charcoal Diner is right down the street from where I grew up! Technically Allentown (even though it's the village of "Dorneyville"), but my parents house is in the neighborhood across from Dorney Park. Let me tell you - a lot has changed in the area since my family moved there more than 20 years ago. I was just home visiting back in July and honestly, I wouldn't mind moving back some day.

    What a small world!

  3. Ugh, freakin wrinkly muslin. If anyone comes up with a good laundering solution let me know!

  4. My vote is for BOTH the mani-pedi and the spray tan, and if you have time, maybe some highlights to your 'do. In something neon.
    Wish I could go! Have fun!!!

  5. Wrinkle releaser! I make my own (recipes abound on Pinterest) and it works better than the Downey stuff. A few squirts and some smoothing out and you should be fine. Plus the fabric will hold the yummy smell for a long time.

  6. Looks like you guys had a great time! Now you're all rested up for MPB Day! ;)

  7. I have taken to washing all fabrics in a pillow case. The reduced agitation saves the fabric fraying at the edges and they come out a heck of a lot less wrinkled. Also, I don't have a dryer so, all fabrics are either line or hanger dried. A good shake, gravity and wind do a lot of work as well.

  8. You make the suburbs seem so fabulous!

  9. Muslin used for pattern drafting doesn't need to be washed and I like it unwashed because the sizing gives it nice stiffness. Sometimes I do iron it if it comes off the bolt wrinkled.

  10. There IS a good reason for prewashing any fabric: to get the horrible smelling chemicals out of your house and the air you breathe. Now all you need is a mangle or a steam press...and a nice big house in the suburbs to store it in!

  11. The mani-pedi and tan would be great...but I'd be inclinded to save my money for MORE fabric!!!

  12. Sharing is nice. A good solution. You look great in the striped shirt and it's good to know Sara likes the Prada bag. Yes she does look cute wearing it.

  13. OMG... Peter, you were 10 minutes from my house!!! I live in Upper Macungie. Gosh, I wish I had known you were coming... I have a huge pile of patterns that I bought for $1.75 at the thrift shop that I know I'm not going to use (I bought them thinking they were a bundle of kids' clothes patterns; they were tightly wrapped together so I couldn't see what was inside...but it turned out to be a mixed bag... there were only a few I actually wanted.) Anyway, I now have a shopping bag full of patterns I'll never use, but don't have the heart to throw away. And I don't have the time or energy to e-Bay them. Every time I see the bag I think of you; I'm sure you'd find something in there you'd like, and for $1.75, really, it would still be a bargain for me, considering I got 3 or 4 patterns out of it. I'd be happy to give the rest to you.

    But it seemed kind of stalker-ish to ask you how to send you the patterns. Now I realize I was just being silly by worrying that I'd come across as stalker-ish. I should know by now that you get gifts from people from time to time and that it wouldn't be at all weird.

    Anyway, if you come to the area again, I'd love to meet you in person! We could go shopping for fabrics at the "Mood" of Allentown: the ever-glamorous 'Joann's Fabrics and Crafts' (LOL). Gosh, I wish we had a unique fabric store around here. Hmmmm.... maybe we do... I should check.

    Anyway, if you'd like the patterns, just drop me an email at MisadventuresinMotherhood (at) gmail (dot) com. I'd be happy to send them to you!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to our little corner of the world!

    Smiles, Jenn

    1. Jenn, thanks so much for the offer. I wish you were coming to MPB Day -- you could share the patterns with a whole gang. I fear if I bring a whole bag of patterns into the house there'd be hell to pay! ;)

  14. I'm with you on no suburban living, though my city is tiny compared to NYC. But cities have a vibe no matter the size.
    Calico/muslin creases so much because the threads from which it is woven have very little twist in them. Lack of twist = lack of tension resisting the creases.
    Unless you cannot bear the smell, it is best not to prewash as the dressing helps make the fabric easier to work with. If you really want or need to, press it while it is still damp from the washer, and hang it out to complete drying. But it will never be the same again :(


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