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Mar 22, 2010

Monday Week in Review and Goals

Good morning, everyone!

Spring has arrived at last, and with it all the new life and energy the season brings.  Let's harness some of that life force as we proceed with our sewing projects.

For me, last week flew by like a Ralph Lauren sheet in the wind.  And speaking of...  Did anyone ever look as lovely in old linens as the little lass pictured above?  I don't know how she does it, but my cousin Cathy really knows how to work used bedding.

Now on to the week in review:

1.  We all know by now I settled my debts with Cathy by whipping up the above McCall's Joan Collins outfit. I even got her two pairs of shoes.  She has nothing to complain about for the next month, I daresay.

2. Yesterday I was reminded of this popular entry I wrote mid-week when Michael insisted on wearing his seersucker pajama bottoms outside as pants (groan).

If there was ever a garment that screamed sleepwear it's this one (not to mention that even white underwear shows through).   Outraged, I re-read my article and was reminded that once we give our little projects away, they truly are out of our hands.  We can roll our eyes and mutter under our breath (and should!) but we really must let it go.

Who knew finishing seams would prove to be such a rich topic?   To be honest, I'm glad I don't live with a few you; you'd probably make me undress and inspect my overcasting.

3.  Today I hope to receive the 29 vintage patterns I purchased last week on eBay (in one lot, of course).  I should have more to say about these tomorrow.

4.  I forgot to share these two vintage flat sheets I picked up at the Salvation Army last week.  A muted floral:

And a mustard-yellow solid:

 Who knows what they'll become?

And now for the week to come:

1.  I think it's time to sew myself some pants.  I'm not sure what style or what fabric, but I'm feeling the urge.

2.  I'm embarrassed to admit I'm not sure what else.  I'm a little worn out from the weekend and I need to think through where I go from here.   I welcome your suggestions and guidance, as always.

But enough about me!

Have you seen Bishojo Mandy's recently completed ruffled shirt?  She claims it's slightly too big and honestly, I'm secretly hoping it's Cathy's size because my cousin would love it.   Beautiful.

Somebody's getting the job done!

How about the rest of you?

Debi: How are those 1941 trousers coming along?  We want to see them before 2041.  Moxie Tonic: Have you managed to get any pictures taken yet?  If not, how about an etching?  Ripple: Will we get to see your silk shell top and its matching....bedroom curtain?  (I couldn't make this stuff up, folks.)  Jenny: Are you recovered?  If so, did you cut the Easter dress?  Kyle: How's your back feeling?  Better, I hope.  Amber: How did your "Saturday night" dress turn out?

Honestly, I don't know what to do with some of you.  I can nag, cajole, and plead, but I can't sew for you.  YOU have to get the job done whether you're fighting the flu or merely in traction.  Priorities, priorities.

Now that Spring is here, where are we, peeps?  What are you working on and what's still in the planning stages?

What's the project you're MOST excited about?

Tell us about it!


  1. First thing, while I'm thinking about it, are you aware that there are a couple of vintage Vogue patterns (late 70's, I believe) that were designed to be made out of sheets?! They're a couple of long, lovely casual lounging dresses . . . I've got them at home (out of town right now), but I'll note the pattern numbers in a future comment so that you can possibly track them down. Cathy would love them.

    My sewing plan for the week is to hopefully finish up a vintage 80's Vogue Ralph Lauren dress. It's cut out and marked, shouldn't be too difficult to sew, but my sewing time is going to be a bit limited this week as I'm heading to Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Thursday to check out the big quilt festival. Haven't been to the event for several years and it's now "under new management" and I'm curious to see what it's like.

  2. I finally finished my Vogue summer dress! I even took pictures and posted my first PR review. Woohoo! I also got as far as I wanted this past weekend with my new project, even with all the beautiful weather we had.

    Current Exciting Project: A vintage 40's Butterick shirt-dress pattern that is super cute, even though the thought of all those buttons makes me a little nauseous. I am still in the early muslin stage of the bodice, as I am sure there will be fit issues. This week I expect to tweak the muslin, decide on fabric and get it cut. I would love to get the bodice sewn by the end of the week, but I am trying to be reasonable with my goals :)

  3. I still haven't sewn buttons on a blouse that was finished almost a month ago....

    it might be too warm now to even wear the blouse.

    ...hanging my head in shame....

  4. I couldn't get much actual sewing done this weekend until I got my fabric stash under control, plus it was SO beautiful and I had to go outside. I made one skirt and got halfway through two baby dresses, but made little progress on my mini-wardrobe contest project. BUT I have the day off today and will be muslin-ing maternity modifications of the Colette Patterns Parfait dress AND the Sencha blouse (the former for the wardrobe, the latter for an online facings class at PatternReview).

  5. What a fun way to start the week - with a smile :) The ruffled blouse (guest shot) and the Dynasty dress are beautiful! Last week I started and finished a nightgown - and also took apart the unworkable sleeves on the demon-robe. This week I plan to finish that monster before it finishes me!

  6. The project I am most looking forward to at the moment is finishing a cute nightshirt out of my man's old Patagonia shirt. The fabric is brushed cotton, so it is amazingly soft AND (drumroll) I am going to use my brand new sewing machine to sew it! I have been in the habit of stealing my mother's machine but alas, it is time for the little girl to spread her wings. Found a Kenmore 385 for $50 20 minutes away from me. Words cannot describe how excited I am! Granted, it will probably have nothing on the Husqvarna (that is as old as me) I grew up using, but hey, a machine is a machine!

  7. It took me most of the week to finish the embroidery. Unlucky for me, I accidentally broke the top tension adjuster on my sewing machine last week. Luckily for me, it still sews, even though it's too tight, which is why I was fiddling with it in the first place. Also lucky for me, someone had broken down a 1222 for parts, so I bought a new top tensioner. It hasn't arrived yet, though.

    So my goal for last week is unmet, though my fingertips are starting to heal from all the embroidery. I have wide fingers, so thimbles don't fit so when I do embroidery and hand sewing, I end up with lots of needle pricks and such in my fingers.

    This week, I plan to install the new tension mechanism, finish last week's project, and after I measure my niece tonight, start making her Easter dress-- a 2002 Vogue 7593, views B and D. (The pictured one is larger than I'm using... Evie's a 2 or a 3.) I expect it should go together fairly fast as the dress is fairly basic. I've actually studied the instructions on this one and decided that they're dumb and I'm going my own way for the most part. I mean, why bother to french seam the skirt if you haven't done anything similar to the bodice? And why should I set the sleeves in the hard way when it works so much easier to do them flat and end up with the same look?

    (Deleted the last one 'cause I screwed up the linkage...)

  8. I spent my entire Sunday tracing the Colette Rooibos dress and making two muslins of the top. I'm buying real fabric for it tonight and hope to have it all sewn up by next weekend. There, now I've put it in writing so I have to do it. Thanks for the motivation!

  9. I'm putting it here in writing that this week I WILL finish the spring jacket I'm working on AND make my second muslin for my 50s "background dress." I need your nagging- um, I mean motivation - to make it happen, Peter!

  10. I hope to make some headway on my first real jacket that I'm making for my birthday this week and PR's mini-wardrobe contest. It's #106 from Feb 2008 Burda. I'm trying to figure out this whole notched-collar business whilst running after my son and proofreading my husband's dissertation. I know, priorities, right? I will dive in and stop procrastinating.

  11. On Saturday morning, the mail man brought me a package of awesome pink and turquoise fabric from FabricTales -- all the way from Japan and it only took two days! I'm also working on Vogue 1099 by Badgley Mischka -- ultra-wide trousers in black poly/rayon. This stuff is like butter and VERY black. The pockets are a bit over-designed and took a lot longer than the very simple fly front, which turned out lovely if I do say so myself (complete with bright green zipper that only I can see!) Tonight I should be mostly finished and then it's on to cutting out the Japanese pink fabric. Maybe by tonight I will have fixed on what pattern I'll use.

  12. The floral bedsheet above is so pretty and just screams spring. Good luck with the pants this week. :)

    The dress actually came together and with time to spare! There are a few things I'd like to tweak for the next (short) version, but overall, I'm quite pleased with it. And yeah, I still can't believe I put together a floor length gown for a gala in under two weeks. !!! Here are pics:

  13. So excited about that floral bedsheet! And today, I'm committing 100% to have my perfect spring dress finished by the weekend. It will happen, or else.

  14. I love that yellow sheet! I can't wait to see what you do with that!

    I finished my muslin for a new top and have washed and ironed fabric to make it for real now. A new job is on the horizon so I just got back from Ross buying pants that I now need to give a new hem too for they are all much to short. I think putting a new hem on the pants and cutting out my shirt will be all I can figure to get done this week.

  15. There is a vintage sheet covered in a lacey green fern print in the wash as I type. Don't know what it will be but it'll come to while ironing I'm sure. I am coveting that funky yellow you've got there and can't wait to see what you come up with. What about a shirt paired with washed linen trousers in dove grey?

  16. The Rooibos dress is finished and up on my blog now. And now I just need warm enough weather to wear it! I was sick all weekend, though, and got nothing... NOTHING else done that I wanted to. That moves those extras to this week. Cut out flower girl dresses, make a pencil skirt for me or a knit dress (can't decide between those 2 right now). The thing I'm MOST excited about... I've decided on the pattern for my mother of the bride dress, and the fabric. Waiting for Buttericks to be 99cents at Hancocks April 1, but in the meantime will order the fabric. Scary but exciting. (Which pretty much sums up the whole "I can't believe my daughter is getting married, she's just a baby" thing.)

  17. I've recovered and made up for last week by cutting and sewing my Easter dress. Thanks for asking. :-) I'm about to work on that blog post right now... I really like that floral sheet. So beautiful for spring. Something for Cathy? Or will you rock the flowers again? I'm not sure what I'll be sewing next. I get to rummage through patterns and some fabrics tonight and let the creative juices flow...

  18. Thanks for checking in! I did get some photos taken, but it's back to the drawing board on one of the projects (that I thought was finished). All well, sewing. It's a journey...

    Loved the Dynasty dress slide show! All those wonderful shots of the city: I was ready to book a flight. And slipping Ruth Gordon in there was fabulous! Had me LMAO!

    So Peter, confess. Do you ever sleep? How do you manage to get so much sewing accomplished?!?!

  19. Lord have mercy - taken out of context "Cathy really knows how to work used bedding" sounds so wrong!

    Love those sheets. I wish my complexion and mustard yellow played nice together.

    Me this week: Working on top number 1 for my mini wardrobe. Thinking ahead to coordinating mini wardrobe number 2 (linen!)

    Although - speaking of pants, I have a pair of cotton navy sateen all cut out that I really should whip up.

  20. Tell Cathy that she looks oh-so-fabulous!

  21. Love the Dynasty dress and Cathy looks divine!
    Can't wait to see what you dream up to make out of the floral bedsheet.
    I still have my grey wool jacket on the sewing table. It's the end of summer here and I was trying to get ahead and finish my jacket before I get caught out with cold days and no jacket!

  22. My new tension mechanism arrived today and I've installed it! It's so nice to be able to adjust the tension again!

  23. ah, no excuses...I haven't touched the trousers this last week! EEK. But will get them done BEFORE next Monday....

    Can't wait to see your new patterns!!!

  24. Well, it's Thursday, but I just posted pictures of Simplicity 2599, sewing room curtain edition, over on my blog:

    Thanks for the motivation! And now about those other goals...


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