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Feb 22, 2010

Monday morning check-in and GOALS

You know what Mondays mean at MPB --We're going for the goals!

Before we start, how did you do with the goals you set last week?  Did you accomplish what you'd set out to?

Like I've said before, it's better to set a more realistic goal and actually achieve it than to be overly ambitious and feel disappointed when (if) it doesn't come together.  There's something motivating about finishing what you've planned -- and something discouraging about not.  And this applies to everything, not just sewing.

This last week was a busy one for me sewing-wise and goodness, the week ahead looks full as well.

A recap:

1) On Monday I went fabric shopping in the Garment District with a group of my fellow Pattern Review members and picked up some black polyester fleece and some rose-colored stretch knit.  I had a wonderful time but, frankly, I'm not really one for shopping in groups.  I feel like I'm on a class trip and just want to drive home in a yellow bus.

2) Some exciting new (to me) patterns came into my life.  This is a vintage Seventies Butterick mens shirt pattern, with princess seams on front and back!

This wonderful mens robe pattern is a gift from reader Paulette.  Aside from it's fabulous Fifties swagger, it's actually part of the "I Love Lucy" pattern series!  Now I just need to work on my congas. 

Many thanks to reader Lynn for sending me this fantastic McCall's mens tunic pattern.  I love that mid-Sixties Dr. Zhivago palette and I know I'm going to be a dead ringer for Omar Sharif when I wrap the red scarf around my waist which -- eerie coincidence -- I do anyway!

Finally, I'd like to thank Mary for sending me this mouth-watering mens pants pattern. Do you believe this is from 1979?  Thirty-one years!   To me it looks totally up-to-date.

3) I made my mother a fleece jacket.   You can read about that one yourself.

4) Last week's highlight for me was my khaki vintage Butterick jumpsuit, which set off such a flurry of passionate responses I felt like Janet Jackson post-Superbowl.  There's just something about a man in a jumpsuit that pushes people's buttons.  And changes their oil, apparently.

As full as last week was, brace yourself for the week to come!  Here's (some of) what we have in store:

1) Most of you should already know that this is makeover week at Male Pattern Boldness.  Thanks to my selfless identical cousin Cathy, we're all participating in Cousin Cathy's Makeover Challenge.  If you haven't signed up, there's still time to do so.  Entries must be in by this coming Friday, February 26, so put it on the list.

Participation requires only two photographs: one Before, and one After, emailed to me at  If you want to do more, go for it!   This shouldn't be something that keeps you from feeding the kids.  If you have to skip a meal however....

Cathy's coming over here later today for my initial wardrobe assessment and I've been frantically vacuuming and straightening up in anticipation.  This week we'll be sorting the good from the bad, from underwear to shoes; shopping for the perfect accessories; and basically giving me the look I've always wanted.  Thankfully, I trust Cathy's taste.  She is a fashion model, after all.

2.  I would like to get started (and even finished) one of the above patterns I received last week.  I haven't made pants in months and I'm kinda' keen on that Stretch and Sew number.  Do you think they'd work in vinyl python?  JUST kidding! (?)

3) Being the kind of person I am, it's always a good idea to leave room for the unexpected.  So, I'm going to do just that.  I never know when some new fabric, or a surprise pattern in the mail, or old movie will inspire me to try something completely unplanned.  Will it happen this week?  Let's see!

SO many readers shared their goals with me last week!  I'd hate to put all of you on the spot, and I think the uncertainty of not knowing whether you'll be called out or not is enough to keep you ALL on your toes!  So here goes:

Sue: How's it going with the Burdastyle pattern you downloaded?  Brightfeather: Did you put that niece of yours away and get back to your quilt?  Toby: Talk to us about leather!  AuntieAllyn: How's that Donna Karan jacket coming along? Mikhaela: Pin-up Girl Bra -- ring a bell?  Tilly: The Sencha blouse?  Did you finish it?  K.Line: Bras, bras. Whassup with the bras?   Elle: Did you finish the vintage knit dress?

Of course I'm proud of all of you whether you completed your goals or not.  Just showing up is half the battle and life has a way of tossing us a distracting surprise or two, goodness knows.

So what's going on in your world?  Any projects on the drawing board?


  1. How exactly do you manage to get people to just randomly send you patterns anyway? Begging? Hypnotism? Sheerly by dint of your awesome magnetic personality?

    Seriously, no one has ever randomly sent me a pattern in my life. Clearly I am doing something very very wrong.

    (I also think goals are deeply suspect and therefore best not made... lest we be forced to actually be organized and do things with some sort of plan or something. I am rather amazed at the concept, actually.)

  2. I totally forgot to add:

    OMG. "The I Love Lucy Collection".

    There are just no words for the awesome amazingness of that statement.

  3. Goals? What goals? HAHAHAHA!

    Actually, my sewing was completely derailed last week by the aftermath of that last storm - did you know that ice sheets falling off your roof can destroy all kinds of things? planters....metal awnings...luckily no delivery men. So, that was fun.

    This week's sewing goals are last week's:

    1. clear out some unfinished projects
    2. get to that fitting shell!
    3. keep destashing patterns and fabric

    I've gotten a good start on #3, now I just have to get back to actually sewing!

  4. Ah, leather.....well, being the 'belt and suspenders' person that I am, I decided to do a trial run in wool felt. And at the moment, because I don't always have 16" zippers under the bed in a box, I'm sort of stuck in the middle of it, with the front in two pieces, the magnetic fasteners in, the pockets in the lining and all in pieces until I get the zipper for the front. But do not despair - I will get this completed and then, it's on to the leather!!

  5. First, yep, I finished the vintage knit dress, AND wrote my first review over at pattern review (that was actually kind of hard, technically speaking).

    This week, finish my first Colette Pattern... the Sencha blouse. Get started on a spring dress, because somewhere soon, it WILL be warm. And in the spirit of your makeover challenge, clean out my closet a bit. Have a great week!

  6. My Dale Evans jacket is nearly complete. Still need the snaps on front and cuffs, concha buttons, and hem. But I got a long way: cuffs (the elbow length type), set the sleeves, created and put on the collar, and got the lining in. It will be finished next weekend, in time for the UFO challenge on PR. I'll send photos. Went thrift shopping and found boots. The boots and my gold cowboy hat will set it off! Can't wait! -- San Antonio Sue

  7. Thanks for the inquiry! I got rather ill this week (baby-kicking-related insomnia) and had to get some actual sleep, so I did NOT meet all my goals. I DID muslin the vintage 70s maternity dress pattern, but I'm still pondering what alterations I need to do on it next (and deciding whether I'm brave enough to tackle it in silk, which might be too slippery for my current skill set). I'm also almost finished (probably a half-hour left to go) on my Burda Style maternity top wearable muslin, and I was able to successfully fix the horrid gapey neckline. I did learn to apply clear elastic, which I can't remember if I mentioned as a goal...

    So, goals for this week: The Pin-Up Girls bra I'm hoping to finish testing. Same with the Burda magazine top muslin--maybe I'll even make the long-sleeved striped version now that I know what I'm doing. And I hope to either make my actual vintage 70s dress, or muslin a more flattering pattern if I so decide.

    Also, I plan to finally learn twin-needle knit hems today. We shall see.

  8. P.S. Love the jumpsuit! But you are right about the hem looking a bit skimpy--there must be some way to fix that, though! Can you maybe ... face the pants hem? Fold down what you hemmed up?

  9. Fully agree to set realistic goals. But I've learned the frustration too when setting goals that seemed very realistic at the time I made them, completely jeopardized by other things in life. So now I'm just trying to enjoy the sewing time I can find, and make no firm goals, certainly not by week! I'm admiring though for what you achieve by setting your goals and publishing them. I enjoy reading your blog.

  10. LOVE the jumpsuit (with added length), LOVE the "I Love Lucy Robe" and SO cannot wait to see what you do with that tunic shirt! The trim will be fabulous, I'm sure.

    As for this week, I'm working on the "Go Anywhere Shirt Dress" from "Weekend Sewing" in nice cotton lawn. I'd love to wear it on Friday when I head up to Puyallup, WA for the Sewing Expo. That event ALWAYS inspires me to sew, sew, sew!

  11. in the spirit of realistic goals, this week i am to undertake a small piece of a red gabardine butterick 1952 coat dress and bring it to completion by saturday: 1) press all lining seams and assemble lining 2) insert lining 3) attach upper collar 4) tailor collar and lapels 5) hem 6) bask in the glory of a finished project..

  12. Thanks for asking! I got 2/3 of the strips sewn together, and after Evie goes home tonight, I intend to sew together the rest and do the ironing so I can cut them apart tomorrow. From there, it's sewn into actual blocks, then rows, and then the middle of the quilt. All it needs then to be a completed quilt top is the borders. Because my quilting group has switched locations, I'm not exactly sure how we're going to sandwich this one--we no longer have the large tables. And I just about need three to do a full size quilt. Maybe we'll end up crawling around on the floor! Since I've not managed to get my lists done the past two weeks, I've cut down. I want this quilt top finished this week!

    I mean, I still have the list--I've gathered the fabric and chosen the designs for my next two quilts. I have lists of patterns to buy on the sale next week. I need to make Evie a few outfits, and some for my friend's new niece... And then there's the fact that I have a list of projects for *my* new niece. I'm putting off the christening gown until after I make a dress for Evie with a fancy pinafore so that I can play with batiste a bit. It's cheap batiste, but the weight and stuff should be the same, and I can experiment with technique on it. :) I'm getting my hands on a couple of sundress patterns to make for the new baby, plus a sailor dress and a ruffly concoction. And the layettes, too. If I can just get the motivation to get started now....

  13. Love the jumpsuit! My goal for this week is to figure out how to fi the back of my first sheath dress and cut out fabric for the Macaron dress.

  14. My goal this week is to finish the simplicity blouse I started last month. The going has been slow (chiffon, french seams, and a MAJOR reworking of cuffs that just weren't working)

    All it needs are buttonholes and the button sewn on, and then it's done!

    After that, I have decide on what's next - another blouse from the stash of fabrics I bought during x-mas in Mississippi, or something potentially easy, potentially hard - a new cover for the butterfly chair...I have the old cover to use as reinforcement, and I have the new fabric. It's just a matter of plotting it all out.

    Also, I need to get started on the surprise happy birthday bunting for my sister, so that it will be done in May when I go to visit her (I'm a long term planner...)

  15. My goals for the week are:

    1. Make two pair of pants for Cathy's Challenge
    2. Make two tops for Cathy's Challenge
    3. Put away (neatly!) the box of fabric that I purshased last week... leaving it in my ironing board is not acceptable!
    4. Find a dress pattern for two funky bright knit pieces that I love but now don't know what to do with. I could really use Cathy's help with this, hint hint!
    5. Draft a pattern for a shirt that I have in my head but don't have a pattern for.

  16. Ughhhh, Goal #6 pay closer attention to spell-check and not click post so fast. That would be purchased on Goal #3.

  17. Thanks to Cathy's Makeover Challenge my entire week now revolves around redrafting a 1973 Simplicity dress pattern to fit Samantha, who is my fiance Andy's identical cousin (or something like that). She demanded a dress to participate in the challenge, and after a weekend spent shopping for fabric and notions and careful selection of an age appropriate pattern (she looked like a skank/MILF in her other dress) I think we have a winner. But the work involves a lot of drafting, since Samantha is not the same size as the pattern. This was my first opportunity to put my new pattern drafting skills to the test after I finished my class, and so far it has been challenging, but I think I can get the dress done by Friday. Oh, did I mention Samantha chose a houndstooth plaid fabric and a pattern that has both a center front and a center back seam (and princess seaming)? Can you say Plaid Matching Nightmare? I have never sewn with any sort of a plaid for this exact reason - I don't want to mess around with matching plaids. But Samantha insisted on plaid, and then told me it would be a good opportunity for me to practice some new skills.

    This, of course, means no sewing for me, this week, and very little time spent working on my data analysis for my thesis research. I blame you and Cathy for this.

  18. Fabulous blog! I have been lurking, but to make myself more motivated I thought I would leave my first comment and goals as well :) So, this post was exactly what I needed today!

    Last weekend was busy, with no sewing — Boo! So, this week I plan to kick some vintage pattern booty ;) I have my "wearable" (that will be determined soon) muslin of my dress that I need to finish before cutting into my nice fabric. Then by Sunday, I would like to get my shears into that beautiful silk (yikes!) and have all the pieces cut. Also, I would like to stop changing my mind on which project I will do next. So I would like to decide which two projects will occupy my sewing table next. With fabric choices. There, it's out there now. ;)

  19. 1-3 = achievable goals
    4 = unlikely this week but maybe at some point in the future!
    1) finish my first (wearable) corset. it's almost done and is surprisingly comfortable
    2) get the sencha blouse to fit properly. I've got a weird bottom heavy shape and I'm using crisp fabric for the (second) muslin; it's becoming far more complicated than it need be.
    3) post something! I've got blogger's block!
    4) if I could just get my finger out I'd send on pics of a 'look' upgrade. Realistically, this isn't going to happen but it's the thought that counts, apparently, and this week I was inspired by Suddenly Last Summer!

    Peter, I think it's great you do goal posts! The all-in-one was a fun look, am surprised at how much I like princess seams on menswear. Long live Cathy!

  20. Yes I finished the Sencha blouse! I just couldn't stand the pressure of letting you down ;). You can check out my pics here:

  21. The tunic pattern looks like so much fun! I might be biased because I love that look! I can not wait to see what you do with that!
    I just had to tell you how your posts always make me smile and what great energy you have! It's nice to see people doing something they enjoy!

  22. Peter - I did finish my first Burdastyle dress and love it so see many more in my future. That was my Melissa with Borders (wish I could think of descriptive and intersting names!)
    I also finished a cute little race day dress (with ruffles) that was sitting on a back burner. I have photos so will post that today (hopefully).
    As I hope to get some time off work this week, I have everything ready to sew 3 dresses (I am on a dress kick at the moment - thinking it might be my thang) and have booked into a sewing class for Saturday that I hope to resolve some fitting issues I am forseeing with one of these patterns and to answer questions on lining another of these dresses.
    OK, enough italics and blather - looking forward to your makeover (and Wow! who knew there was an I love Lucy pattern collection!)

  23. Patterns I have. Goals? Not so much...

  24. Oh, I finished the first bra. It looked like a bra, it walked like a bra, it talked like a bra - but it didn't fit!? I know my bra size and I measured mega-carefully. It's tough at first with bras(say the handmade lingerie experts) - there is no room for iffy fit. And you know I'm no advanced seamstress. But I decided I need a 3 piece cup rather than a 2 (the kind I made). The extra piece acts like an expansion dart and gives more fabric at the top (IMO). I didn't have a pattern so I used a pin method (largely made up) to make pieces out of one of the well-fitting bras in regular rotation in my wardrobe. But what do I know of this? So far it's working but it's early on (cups completed). Can't wait to see how I managed the delicate art of the seam allowance :-) I'll keep you posted on my next effort. Thanks for asking!

  25. Dahling, I just posted my review of the FINISHED Donna Karan jacket! I do love Donna's garments, but her patterns definitely drive me to drink!!! I need to refresh myself with a simple brainless quick garment next . . . I think I'm going to cut out a Jalie criss-cross top tonight and sew it up tomorrow.

  26. I have quite a few Stretch and Sew patterns from the 70's and 80's and you're right; they don't have that 80's feel to them. They look very modern!

    Goals? Hmmm. Use my time more wisely so I can finish a quilt I need to bind so I can work on a linen tunic for my daughter (from Ottobre magazine). I'm embarrassed to admit that lately I've been spending an obscene amount of time staring into the black hole that is Facebook. Facebook is evil.

  27. These goal posts are just the thing to give me a kick in the pants. My Dad always says it's not a goal until it's written down anyhow. So for me, I need to make about 550 yoyos in the next 11 days for a quilt I'm making with my Mom (who's doing the other 550 out of the 1500 we need), and I need to fit McCalls 5752. I'm a bit nervous because I'm trying some new things fittingwise, but at some point you have to have the courage to cut into your fabric, right?

    I love the tunic. I think that style is perfect for you!


  28. A weekend Vegas getaway derailed my sewing a bit and unfortunately, a new health/fitness program starting this week + 3!! sewing classes is making this week a bit nutty for sewing on my own. I have a bunch of stuff I'd like to work on (including whipping up baby blankets for two adorable little twin girls that were just born a few weeks ago), but we'll see how much I can fit in here and there. One sewing highlight will be starting an intro to pattern drafting class tonight. :)

    I think the 1979 pattern looks like a good one for this week. And really, when are vinyl python pants NOT in?

  29. I'm a day late on this, but I did accomplish half of one goal and did twice as much on the other one, so I'm ahead. Not only selected a cute vintage blouse pattern for my busty mannequin, but I sewed the darn thing too. I practiced my free-motion quilting for part of an hour out of the goal of two.

    This week, I'd like to (1) cut out a jacket for myself, (2) get the background of a wall hanging sewn together, and (3) continue practicing my stippling. Unfortunately, I have to blow a good part of the day tomorrow taking my Toyota to the shop for maintenance. Ugh, there won't be anybody there in cute jumpsuits either, They all wear boring knit shirts.


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