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Apr 8, 2010

Global Warming, Political Upheaval, and Cher

OK, so it was nearly 90 degrees here yesterday, the international news just goes from bad to worse, and don't even get me started on the national news...

But I have more pressing things to think about.  Barring Armageddon, I still have to finish my yellow dress, don't I?  Check this out: 

This is the last pic of my 1941 outfit before the big "reveal" because, let's face it, you have to keep 'em wanting more.  (Gosh, what an assumption; perhaps you're really wanting less!  No, I won't even entertain the possibility.)

Yesterday's Salvation Army find was a full nylon acetate slip with a B. Altman's label in a 36" chest, and a purple faux snakeskin clutch.  It really does make me wonder if there isn't a force greater than me determined to pull this outfit together.

Question: must I belt the blouse?  To my eye it looks perfectly nice without one, but it is called for in the pattern.  Can you tell I'm not too keen on making the belt?

Aside from that, all that's left to do is to hem the skirt.  If you know me, you know that hemming ranks just behind root canal on my "dread" list -- and my last root canal was in 1972 but this skirt must be hemmed today, meaning hemming has pulled ahead.  I'm not sure how I'll accomplish this -- blind hem?  whipstitch?  -- but rest assured the skirt will be shorter -- and chic-er -- the next time you see it.

But enough about me.  Can we talk about Cher?

If you take your fashion seriously, you simply must watch this video through to the end.  Not to give it all away, but it's a Bob Mackie-esque trip through fashion history from Eve through...Cher.  And I thought Cathy was a clothes horse!

Stay cool everybody -- or warm, as your local climate requires.

Have a great day!


  1. Peter - your posts are so lively and entertaining. Thank you for that fantastic link - Cher has so many faces.

    Your yellow number is looking hot - I await the reveal...


  2. If it was me, it would be hand hemmed because I hate the look of machine hems. But that's me. I do topstitched hems on things like jeans and pajama pants, but hem almost everything else by hand. Not that I'm suggesting you do that, 'cause it's time consuming, but IMHO, the finished garment just looks better with hand hemming.

    I guess it goes back to my mom having a cow when a friend of ours helped my sister make some wool skirts and committed an unpardonable sin in my mother's eyes--they topstitched the hems. According to my baby boomer mom, it looks 'cheap' and 'tacky'. I'm afraid that stuck with me...

  3. I agree on the idea to hand hem; it is rather in keeping with time era of the garment. Lace tape sewn to the hem edge and then slipstitched to the garment.

  4. IMHO, I think the belt will add a nice finishing touch to the outfit . . . I'm just sayin'. Too bad you're not a fan of hemming/hand sewing; I find it to be rather relaxing, sorta puts me in a zen-like state. I do use the machine to hem my knit dresses, using a double needle . . . how cool is that look!

  5. How can you not like hemming? Holy cow, that is the saddest thing I've ever heard. I love hemming. Strange, no? I just like the routine motions. :)

  6. The sad truth is that I do not know how to hand stitch beyond a button. How do you get the stitches to be evenly spaced?

  7. Lynne W RatherBeSewingApril 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Practice, my luv. You have topstitching down pat, and I'm confident you'll be a quick study with handstitching, too.

    Belt? YES. Perhaps you'll luck out at Salvation Army if you cannot bring yourself to make the belt. Love it so far!

  8. I'm with you on the hand hemming-just not my favorite thing but if you just settle down with the idea and relax and focus you'll get your stitches even and I agree with the comment above-lace hem tape for sure. Now on to the Cher thing-that video is a costume designer's dream! (or nightmare depending on the designer's energy level) plus such an awesome song.
    I'll be trying to keep warm today as we are expecting snow (yes-snow-again) here in Chicago. You might want to turn on the AC and make yourself a nice glass of iced tea for your hemming.

  9. I space the stitches with my finger. One stitch per finger-width. Don't worry too much about perfectly even spacing. Remember it's supposed to be invisible (or barely visible) from the right side.

    Don't pull the thread too tight as you stitch. Better too loose than too tight.

  10. Hemming is also my least favorite thing to do, along with cutting— yuck. But, that being said I do think you might want to try hand stitching the hem. At least try it and see how it goes, maybe you will love it. Or you can go back to the machine if hand hemming makes you want to gouge your eyes out.

    I also agree with making the belt. Although, here is a compromise: if you hand stitch the hem, maybe you can find a belt at the Salvation Army, or in a dumpster, or wherever your crazy sources are ;) If you machine stitch the hem, I say make the belt.

  11. I'm going to vote for breaking all the rules by buying a belt and machine stitching the hem. I just can't see spending the time on something you don't love and besides, you know that Cathy's only going to wear it once for the photo shoot. My trick is to make the hem at least 2 inches deep and stitch it twice to make it look like twin needle stitching. (I hate twin needles... actually they hate me so I just stitch about 1/4 inch away from the first stitching)

    I have to tell you I felt so "Peter" last night! I'm making a jacket out of my dining room curtains and it's coming along great.

    Off to look at the Cher video now... I just love her!

  12. I remember making belts with buckles in the 50's. It seems like every dress pattern then called for them. Not fun. Do they still make those belt buckle kits with belting to cover, too? I'm surprised they do, because patterns now never seem to call for them...thankfully!

  13. oh hell, I've got to say it: What Would Cher Do?

  14. Didn't Cher always say "remove two layers!" I'd say that leaves you closer to done than you thought :)

  15. I think a belt would add a nice finishing touch - now if you can only find a very slender purple belt at a thrift store (to match the fetching shoes...uncomfortable, but oh so attractive!)!
    Hemming, ugh - I also hate it, as well as cutting. I say machine hem, Cathy won't mind...

  16. I'm with you on the hemming! I dread it too. I'd rather put in a zipper.

    Can't wait to see the finished dress on Cathy!

  17. I think it looks fantastic without the belt. You don't have to if you don't want to :)

  18. ;) I could show you how to hem, Peter... I've just discovered that my camera has a video feature... Next week I'll be doing lots and lots of hemming because I'm sandwiching and quilting two quilts this weekend, and the back side of the binding is attached with hemstitching. So I have to hem a full sized quilt and a crib sized quilt next week.

  19. The video was terrific! Thanks for sharing it. Do the belt.

  20. FAB!! Thanks for the Cher video! What always amazed me about his costumes were both the technical brilliance and the amount of hand beading required. He must of had a huge team working to create them!


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