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Mar 29, 2010

Oh, what a beautiful (Monday) mornin'

"There's a bright golden haze on the skyline, there's a bright golden haze on the skyline..." 

Happy Monday, everybody!  Hope you've had your morning coffee and are feeling chipper and cubicle-ready.

What a week it's been, huh?  I'm not talking about health care legislation or nuclear disarmament, I mean all that frenzied fabric shopping!  You'll have to wait till tomorrow to hear about yesterday's shopping adventures with the notorious Johanna, but rest assured we unearthed some treasures -- and re-buried them.

Another week gone by in a flash.  Where does the time go?  Am I the only person who can't remember what happened without referring back to his blog?

OK, now I recall:

1) Although I'd talked about making pants, I never got around to it.  Instead, I made the infamous sheet-of-shame shirt above.  I want to thank the dozens of you who sent in stain-removal tips.  Some were original and some were no doubt lifted piecemeal from "Heloise's Helpful Hints" but they were appreciated nonetheless!  I think I may just have to burn the shirt to be totally safe.  Oh, well.

2)  Some wonderful new patterns entered my life.  I haven't received the Do-Re-Mi number yet, but I did get my 80's evening gown, as well as these treasures:

I am particularly excited about the 1941 women's suit above, which I think should look smashing with this hat.  The pajamas are cool too, especially the blue striped ones.

3) I did a LOT of vicarious fabric shopping.  You already know about Friday's lunch with the Bloggettes, but I'd also been shopping two days earlier with an old elementary school friend I reconnected with via Facebook (I forgot to tell you about her; forgive me, dear readers) as well as yesterday's expedition with the Whirling Dervish of Queens, Johanna.

Now on to the week to come:

1) I want to buy fabric for the 1941 ensemble pictured above.  I've been in a 40s mood lately; who knows why.  I think a nice conservative rayon would work and fit the period, PLUS there's a rayon sale at one of my fabric dives in midtown.

2) I still want to make pants.  I've heard wonderful things about David Coffin's pants-making book, and I may bite the proverbial bullet and buy myself a copy.  Do you know it?

3) It's time to streamline my stash.  I'm one of those people who save every last fabric scrap from their sewing projects thinking, "Oh, I'll use this to practice on..." but this stuff accumulates FAST.  It's time to fill a bag and take it to the thrift store. 

Now.....what's been going on in your world?

LOOK what Amber recently finished!

She combined two patterns to make it; it's a long story -- visit her blog for details.  I think it's fab and Cathy -- whose purple passion knows no bounds -- is over the moon about it.

In no particular order:

Phoebe: the Colette dress you muslined: we need an update!  Gertie: Isn't it time you brought that "background dress" into the foreground?  Saintpudalia: How are the Badgley Mischka trousers coming along? Cupcake Goddess: Did you finish the spring dress yet?  Jenny: Have you decided on your next project?  Keep us posted!

I know you're expecting a dressing down from me, friends, but I am actually very proud of all of you, deadbeats included.  Sometimes even with the best of intentions we do get sidetracked by coastal flooding, earthquakes, and nuclear meltdowns -- as we should.  We can't sew well if we're worried about our very survival. 

That's when we need to turn on our favorite Easy Listening station, put our feet up, and drink a piping hot cup of something delicious -- the more chemicals, the better:

Have a great day everyone!


  1. Well, first off, it's my birthday (thank you SO much!) Second, I did not finish the Badgley Mischka pants. I mean, I almost did -- got past the pockets and zipper and sewed up the side seams -- and just flat didn't like them. They're too WIDE. Don't get me wrong: I LOVE wide pants but these are over the top, so I set them aside in disgust. These things happen. To get over it, I made a pair of grey linen drawstring pants from Hot Patterns but only after changing the zipper application and redoing that ridiculous crotch curve. I even underlined them with silk organza and am wearing them as we speak. All is right with the world!

  2. Wow, those drawstring pants sound ritzy. Congratulations and thanks for the update!

  3. i have (just) finished my red gabardine butterick 1960s coat dress and finished everything but the zipper and hems on the fabulous and retro-looking Vogue 8615 in a gorgeous blue wool crepe. next: finish my vogue couturier design nina ricci dress in white gabardine...

  4. Sounds great, puu! I would LOVE to see that Nina Ricci dress.

    Happy Birthday, saintpudalia, btw!

  5. I've done NO sewing for 3 weeks now. Hope to this weekend. Denim is waiting for jeans and jackets. In my defense, this is morel mushroom season and I've been in the woods the last two weekends! I'm planning to get out one more time, and then back to sewing! -- San Antonio Sue

  6. Ooo, girl!
    Peter to Gertie: [[[snap!]]]

  7. I'm not finished with my dress!!!! Can you even believe it? I hate myself for it! Hate. I feel hideously wretched about it. Hideously. My birthday is this coming Sunday and so, it had better be done, or else.

    I'm planning to make pants for my sweetheart next. Any special tips? I've never made pants for anyone but myself and they didn't even turn out well.

  8. ooohhh! I am all excited about the 1941 dress and the hat..the hat...the hat! It will look great!!!

  9. I have some great hats, indeed...

    Sunni, if you're making pants, I recommend having an RTW pair of pants to compare them to as you work. It will help a lot: especially when you do the front fly. Good luck!

  10. Peter, I am so hopeful after I read your Monday posts — a fresh new week awaits!

    My muslin on my shirtwaist dress is coming along, but slower than molasses :) I need to make adjustments and then try the fit again. Sigh. Although I did pick out my fabric for the dress. I also decided that my niece needs a new dress for her birthday/Easter, so I am going to try to do that before Sunday. Don't put it past me to take a "Fast & Easy" children's pattern and make it "Drawn Out & Painful" :)

  11. I actually finished sewing together Simplicity 2629 except for the buttons and buttonholes. And it needs ironed before I can do that, but I've had babies around all weekend, and I refuse to use irons around crawling babies and toddlers. I'm in fear of a curious little one grabbing for the hot iron!

    Anyway, I've temporarily put that one on hold in favor of Evie's Easter dress. (Vogue 7593 from 2002, Views B and D.) I need to finish it before Sunday. I'm working on cutting it out now, and I should be able to fit it for length tomorrow. (I'm just basting the skirt on tonight because the lengthen or shorten line is at the top of the skirt.I don't bother with muslins for kids' clothes because I make 'em out of cotton, and if anything they tend to run a little big.) I swear, what will take longest is making the piping! And, well, that isn't exactly a difficult task. I mean, the pinafore is more difficult, but I need to do the dress before I worry about the pinafore. If I have the dress the correct length, the pinafore will be easier, since it needs to be a couple inches shorter than the dress.

    I'll send pictures of both of 'em once they're completely finished, Peter. :)

  12. I hope your rayon shopping goes well. That suit will be beautiful! I made a quick little knit top this week and started a dress, but my goals for next week are pretty non-existent since I'm taking a ROAD TRIP to Scotland (from Germany) with my kids and my dad. I'm only making one fabric shopping stop - at Linton Tweeds.

  13. Checking in much later than usual... last week, I did finish the straight skirt, but that's about it. I've ordered the extra fabric needed to make 2 flower girl dresses, and hope to have these at least cut out by the end of the week. Also, 5 yards of silk shantung have been ordered for my MOB dress. I can't WAIT to get my hands on that, but wait I must. My sewing week has been drastically shortened as I had to take an unexpected trip, and won't be home until tomorrow.

    I LOVE Amber's dress in both style and color. Fabulous! And can't wait to see what you pick out for the 1941 suit.

  14. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WMarch 29, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    I did a bit of unexpected 'retro' sewing - going way, way Medieval days. It began like this: I sent my 17-year old son out for a quick gallon of milk; he came home almost 2 hours later with 3 patterns and 4 yards of muslin (and the milk, bless his heart).

    Said he'd outgrown his blacksmithing shirt and decided to make his own this time. Style? Think swashbuckle - Simplicity 3519, view B.

    It features mostly miles of gathers (not my favorite thing to do...should have tried harder to find the gathering foot)and not exactly a beginner pattern for him. It was a team effort..and fun.

    He cut it out around midnight Friday and was wearing it Sunday. I love it when that happens and a project comes together so QUICKLY! (Well, not in PLT - Peter Lappin Time - but for the rest of us.)

    He patiently gathered and pinned, then we sewed...and THEN we noticed the 'back' was 8" shorter than the front.

    We - okay, I - had mistakenly pinned a sleeve to where the back was supposed to go...and the back to where the sleeve was intended. (In my defense, the pattern pieces were almost identical.) Not an excuse, I know. The sad thing is we even marked the back piece, then pinned it to the wrong place anyway. Blame it on 2 a.m. - much too late for me to function.

    So rip out I did...and he re-gathered and re-pinned.

    It was all worth it - he is smashing in it! - and he has the pride and satisfaction we all relate to, knowing it was from his own hand.

    See for a 5-year-old photo of Evan as a pipsqueak in his old shirt.

  15. Ahh, was thinking about your sheet of shame yesterday, as I changed our dark navy sheets. They're dark navy because when we got married, my husband was playing a lot of Ultimate. And he was still young so he was "laying out" a lot of the time (diving through the air to get the disk before it hits the ground). He often had scabs on bendy areas like knees and elbows that crack their scabs when they bend. This leaks blood in little spots onto the sheets. More or less in the middle. So, we have navy sheets, and yours might bear innocent fun-loving sports stains.

  16. Amber's dress is stunning and when I'm done here I will visit her blog and tell her so. The 40's suit is very nice and very Cathy, I think. What colour are you thinking? I made one a half dresses since last Monday and I have a LOT of sewing planned for the Easter weekend.

  17. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK-lahoma, where the wind goes sailing down the plains! (I've always wanted the little surrey with the fringe...on the toooop.)

    You are just so wonderfully cheerful! Love the vintage pajamas.

  18. The more chemicals the better - LOL!!!!

    My system is still trying purge chemicals I indulged in in the 70's and 80's.

    I also have a reoccurring 40's thing. But I have yet to even trace off one of my patterns. I scared I'll hurt all that history or something.

    And honestly, I would never eat if I lived where you do. All my food money would go towards fabric. It would be sad. A true death by sewing tale: "Woman starves to death but leaves behind a fabulous fabric stash."

  19. My Colette Rooibos dress turned out really cute, but can I just say how annoying it is that the modeled dress AND the technical line drawing are so incredibly misleading? In the photos and line drawing, it is very clearly a straight, slim skirt, and in actuality it is a big full A-line skirt. I mean, it's still cute, but just not at all what I expected (I only muslined the bodice). Why can't they just be honest about these things? Grrrrr.

  20. Hmmm, do I know this elementary school friend? Are there photos?
    I'm still slaving away at pirate clothes for the school play. Hook's coat is giving me nightmares. As a matter of fact, I bought the red velvet and the trim at P&S Fabrics. Too bad I didn't bump into you and Johanna there!

  21. OMG -- that actually does bring back memories! A friend and I used to drink the French Vanilla cafe and toast to "Jean Luc!" That makes me want to run out and buy some but I know that the sugar content will be the death of me.

  22. I recently found your blog through Sew a Beginner (but I don't remember how I found *her* blog), and I just have to say: I don't remember where my time goes unless I refer back to my blog, either. Truth!

  23. Can you see me blushing all the way over here in LA? :) Thanks for the shoutout - you rock! I'm still recovering from the week of crazy it took to get it done, but did manage to sew up a simple jersey dress in time for Easter lunch. Go me!

    I know you're way excited about the suit, but I'm really diggin' the pj pattern. They look comfy and are pretty stylish. Are you thinking something for you or Michael with that one?

  24. Amber, good to know you're still alive and kicking!


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