Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Apr 12, 2010

Monday Morning Coffee Klatsch and GOALS

Good morning, friends, and Happy Monday!

I think I can best sum up the "week that was" in one word:  yellow.  I learned a lot about this color last week and if I still don't quite love it, I have certainly learned to respect it.  I also learned, when in doubt, throw a little faux tiger skin over it -- works like a charm!

I don't know about you, but there's something about sewing from my stash (as I did with the yellow sheet dress and the faux tiger skin remnant) that feels super-satisfying.  Unfortunately, being me, no sooner do I use up one old bed sheet than another one comes along to replace it.  I seem to magnetize them, LOL.

Some of you noticed this lively number peeking out of a photo I posted last week.  It's now ready for its close-up:

Wise readers, tell me: Why don't they make sheets like this anymore?  Have we lost our sense of floral optimism or merely matured out of psychedelia?  Speaking of which, the same goes for the Official MPB Sewing Machine.

Where are the Genies of today?

And then there's this Salvation Army find -- just a scarf, not a sheet, but isn't this pattern and color combination wild?

If I'm not mistaken, the famous hair-growing Chrissy doll of the Seventies had a dress in this pattern, didn't she?  Somebody, do a Google search!

But let's get back to the week that was.   A brief summary:

1. I completed the you-know-what-color 1941 dress, Simplicity 3873 and Cathy flew back from L.A. to model it for me.  Little did I guess our photo shoot would be a trip back in time AND back to L.A.!

You'll be happy to learn that Cathy's lip line has returned to normal with a little help from Huggies Baby Wipes.

2. There is no #2, unless you count an Amazon impulse purchase -- a used copy of MGM starlet Marsha Hunt's book, "The Way We Wore," about Forties film fashion.  I blame reader Toby for this by mentioning it in a comment she made yesterday about Cathy's grandmother, Beatrice Lane.  I read about it and it sounded like a must-have.  (A surprise awaits Toby when she gets the bill!)

Now on to the week ahead:

1.  Remember how I once said that if the same goal keeps appearing week after week without getting tackled it's time to re-assess its importance to you?  Well, I still haven't thinned out my fabric remnant stash -- 1/2 yard of this, 3/4 yard of that: leftovers from projects I've already completed in patterns and colors I'm not ready to revisit.   How do you deal with this, peeps?  Do you just dump it all?

2.  It's time to pick my next project.  I am embarrassed to admit how many unused patterns I have around the house.  Remember the clown pattern?  The 70s teen track suitThe Doris Day Teacher's Pet ensemble?  So many options!

3. As usual, I leave room for serendipity.  If I know anything about myself it's that I enjoy an element of surprise.

Now how about you, lovely sewers, sewists and seamstresses?

I know so many of you are quietly and productively stitching away and I'd love to mention a few projects you've generously shared with me.

I don't know how many of you are modern art fans, but if you haven't seen reader Welmoed's Mondrian dress, you MUST.  What makes this dress all the more amazing is that she didn't have the original YSL pattern, she recreated it!  I am in awe.  Now I'd like to see something in a Jackson Pollock.

Reader Angel is applying the finishing touches to this lovely jacket.  Can you guess what is is made out of?  Give up?  Curtains!

Angel, that jacket fits beautifully and I'm glad you decided to cut the rings off first.

Finally, if reader Laura gets any more productive I'm going to have to sneak over to her house and mess up her thread tension.  Not even Shirley Temple had clothes like these!  So well done!

Readers, I love seeing and hearing about what you're up; it truly inspires me and -- I hope -- others too.  There's so much fabric in the world just waiting to be sewn into lovely garments.  It's heartbreaking, when you think about it.

So, what's on your plate this week?

Is Spring more inspiration or distraction?

And for your viewing pleasure...


  1. 1) Make a quilt. Peter, my advice is to do some strip quilting. It's easy if you remember that your seam allowance has to be 1/4 inch or a bit less. Try something like this: Blue Winter. It's an easy, basic quilt pattern that uses lots and lots of scraps in your mentioned qualities. In fact, I emailed you pictures of the quilt top I made this past week from it.

    And as for my last week's goals... I did everything except for sandwich the quilts. I'm doing that tomorrow morning.

    This week, my goal is to sandwich, quilt, and bind both quilts that I have the tops done for. And then I'd like to make Simplicity 2459 views A and B. I have a spring green knit that's been hanging around so long that it's dusty (will have to wash it!) and a coordinating 2 yard piece of cotton print for the jumper....

  2. Hi Peter! Happy Monday! This week I'm starting my June Pin Dot Dress:

    I have to trace & grade the vintage pattern, cut it out, and get sewing! I'm really excited about this project. It's a definite date dress. :) and Mr. Friday promised to take me out when it is finished.

    (Oops! Had to put in the correct link...duh!)

  3. This is probably sacreligious... but I usually toss my remnants in the garbage or give them to goodwill depending on the size. If I think I can squeeze a blouse out of it or if it would make cool pocket lining, I'll keep it. Otherwise: bye-bye. There's way too many unused fabrics in the stash to worry about remnants.

  4. Hey Peter!
    Beautiful work on the yellow dress. I am always impressed by your attention to detail, in the process. Your finished garments always look terrific because you are commited to doing things the right way. It's hard to make new sewers understand how important that is to the finished product. You are doing a great job leading by example.
    Well, on to fabric scraps-when I have a big bag/box full, I always offer it up to fellow artists. They in turn, use it in their collage work, or for their volunteer work with after school programs or senior programs. Or, you can just call a neighborhood group, or the Boys and Girls club. They are usually thrilled to have all the scrappy goodies.
    and, on a lighter note-I still have my Chrissy doll! I made her some fab clothes when I was learning to sew as a youngster( honed my design skills on her and Barbie's outfits...). My favorite had to have been a chocolate brown velvet jumpsuit, with a matching hooded cape. Never had the nerve to make an outfit like that for myself, though!

  5. Love the Chrissy video. I wasn't ever into dolls as a girl, except this one. I think because she had red hair like me (and that cool growing thing, of course). Wasn't that Betwitched's Tabitha near the end?

  6. I think it would be about time to make a jumpsuit for Cathy! I just finished one and we all know you love those so it seems to me that you cousin does need one, too. She would be the missing fourth Angel of this Charlie guy ;-)

  7. I completed my goals: conquered twin needle stitching and finished my very first Burda.

    New goals: continue my pattern/fabric giveaway, actually mail all the items next weekend, finish my scissors bag and start crackin' on Simplicity 2552.

  8. Love the yellow dress and am DROOLING over Angels curtain jacket – how fab!

    I have a friend who takes all of my sewing scraps and makes them into quilts. They're whimsical and fun, and I feel good that those scraps are being put to good use. I'm really glad that SHE wants to quilt with them b/c after making three quilts of my own, I'm kind of done with them.

    I made 1 denim shirt, two workout shirts and 2 pair of ripstop cotton workout pants last week – all very simple and easy to sew (no pix of the workout gear – they're just not cool enough to post on le blog). Productive last week, tho!

    Currently, I'm working on Vogue 1165 ( and am loving how it's coming together. I like that it's got pleating in front so that I won't have to wear a cami with it to hide the bra.

  9. Peter, remember when I rubbed off my jeans to make a pattern to use to create two new pairs? Well, they fit perfectly! One trick I recommend is to draw a chalk like down the back leg from waist to toe. Then fold the jeans along that line and trace half. Mark that center line on the new pattern. Then you can turn the pants over to trace the other half of the pants leg. Since the backs are bigger than the front, it's difficult to cover it completely without it slipping. I only had a few hours to sew this weekend, but I'll finish both pairs this week -- San Antonio Sue

  10. Goodness! So many things to comment on in this post! But I'll keep it simple:

    FABULOUS yellow suit. Just fabulous. Makes me green with envy.

    My sister HAD those slightly psychedelic sheets. Knowing my mother, they're still tucked away you've got me thinking about finding them and making a caftan! LOL

  11. Love these Monday morning check-ins! After this, I'm off to see Cathy's photoshoot in the yellow dress. Can't wait. :)

    For 1/2yd and larger remnants, I hang on to them for potential baby clothes projects. All of our friends are suddenly popping out babies, so these remnants tend to come in handy for little clothes. And I must admit, there are a few remnants I'm selfishly hanging on to for our kids, if we ever have any. Heh.

  12. Take up quilting, you would take to it, I bet, easily enough. Then you would have a memorial to your accomplishments :)

    I had Chrissy and Velvet, but cannot remember the clothes, at all. You may be right, a mod print like the sheet.

  13. Only could make a sheet look so good.

    I love yellow. It's so bright and cheery. Really lifts one's spirits.

  14. i have only just started following your blog and you truly do inspire me you some guy !!!!!
    good luck on your next project whatever it may be!!!! and I'll keep watching this space!!!!

  15. Stash?! That is becoming an incendiary word around here. Too much fabric and too much reality pressing on my time means I'm swimming with ideas and fewer finished projects than I'd like.

    Like some other posters I hang on to interesting remainders and if it works for interfacing - that'll stay too. I donate the rest to charity and purge from time to time when I'm aware my taste has changed too much to revisit a certain place in time, or I cease to see the magic in something I've been hanging on to.

    Didn't care for Chrissy, that hair thing napped me out...

    This week's plate is occupied with (another!) strapless dress to be made in an Amy Butler cotton: mustard yellow, pale blue - very mod and fun. After finishing a summer weight flannel suit I discovered the strapless dress pattern would be great as a real summer dress. The foundation totally eliminated the need for a bra - woo hoo! Now all I need is the right batiste for the lining, oh darn, I heard the stash expand...

  16. A bit of a sore spot, this one - I'm trying to finish a dress to wear to a wedding on Saturday, during a very busy week. Colette Pattern's Ceylon, to be exact, which is above my beginner pattern threshold (proven last night when I put the back bodice in upside down). Better get back to it...

  17. Psst Tilly. On more complicated patterns, I cheat. You should, too. Pin labels to each set of pattern pieces on either the top or bottom and keep it consistent. That way you always know exactly what piece it is and what way to sew it in!

  18. I'll confess to being one who doesn't really save scraps. I only keep them if they are large enough to make into at least a blouse - otherwise they build up as clutter and make me crazy!

    I'm planning to work on a 1950s sundress pattern this week, if I ever get the pattern traced (I hate tracing, so I put it off!)

  19. I put scraps in plastic bags that I hang in my sewing corner in case I might need them. I hate throwing away fabric. Right now I have 3 plastic bags that might be dealt with.
    I love the Yellow Outfit photo stream, you are realy inspiring Peter.
    Today I set up to finish my Chanel Jacket (one sleeve is missing) after more than a month hiatus.

  20. I haven't even finished reading your post but Noooooooooo, you don't dump those fabric oddments!!!!!!

    You ask your loyal readers who can make use of them, you run a competition and give them to the winner, you donate them back to the op shop but you NEVER throw them away unless they're tiny little useless bits!!!

    There's always someone who uses lots of little bits of fabric. I'm currently making some dolls that use up little fashion fabric swatches that I get from a creative re-use centre, everything from fleecy to knit and cotton. (I'll be giving away the pattern for free when they're done).

  21. I fear there's a lack of consensus about what one should do with fabric scraps! LOL

  22. Yak, that commercial makes me understand now why my mother let my hair grow so long as a child!
    Worst comes to worst you can always recycle fabric (check with your recycling center on how-to). I have one Marlo's Corner shirt pattern that takes two 1/2 yds of different fabrics but I don't want a million of them. My other way of using them up is to make them into facings or the undersides of collars. Makes me smile when I put on my clothes to see a little crazy going on inside it.
    My goal for the week is to make three antebellum mini-hats, a juliet veil and an antebellum wedding veil because my grades depend on it!

  23. You should arrange a 'stash swap' party. Maybe something that will never be used in your stash will inspire greatness in another person.

  24. what to do with scraps? I used to keep all of them and so did my mum.

    Recently I had a trip down memory lane sorting all of them out into tiny bits only good for patching a rip or making into Barbie doll bikinis and those that might be big enough to make something.

    My long suffering family soon got really tired of hearing me say things like “Oh, that fabulous green cotton dress I wore to a disco in sixth grade” (flowery cotton dress and disco- go figure!), and “awful brown scratchy wool thing my mum loved” and “isn’t that pick brocade from my mums “going away” dress gorgeous” ( I wish I had that 1950’s dress pattern).

    Most of the small pieces from that purge went to a church friend. All my scraps from subsequent sewing efforts go to her too.

    She sews them into patchwork pot holders (padded mats for pulling hot things out of the oven), handbags, or bags up a bunch of them and puts $2 on them. She sells all of this at fairs. The proceeds go to a school in Zimbabwe.

    So this makes me feel triply good- I get rid of clutter, she has fun sewing and selling, and the kids in Zimbabwe get new pencils and books.

    Perhaps that quadruply good- people also get fabulous pot holders made of all sorts of fabrics with interesting histories. One day I’ll be at someones house and a cake will come out of an oven with my dress on it..

  25. I know a bit late for Monday check-in, but I have been busy all day. *groan* I did complete the bodice muslin of my shirtwaist dress last week, so this week my main goal is to finish the muslin of the skirt and check the fit of the complete dress. I have a very full week, so not much sewing will happen unfortunately.

    As far as scraps, I can't help too much. My piles only get larger, not smaller.

    Track suit, track suit, track suit!! Peter, please make the track suit :)

  26. O.M.G. Peter - the Crissy doll. You just brought back 70s memories galore (I was born in 72 so I was right in the target demographic for the Crissy doll.) My doll was tortured beyond all belief. I remember the sound her head used to make when "lengthening" her hair like it was yesterday. Disturbing, I know. I had another doll whose hair you could color - can't remember exactly how that all worked but I'm sure a google search could turn it up.

    Oh well, back to the V8048 tuxedo vest and bow tie for Jim. 12 days til the gala! Thanks for the diversion!

  27. Peter, I thought of another 70s era toy that you might appreciate. Fashion Plates!!! Are you familiar with this?

  28. I was away for business and missed out on your blog posts. Enjoyed the Crissy doll ads. Looking at today's ads for males, you should think they would have invented a Ken doll that have penises that grow and grow. May be it's no use for Barbie because she got turned off completely and Mattel did it physically (sorry, Ken, no go). Darn, she does need plastic surgery, literally, that is.

  29. I am so happy - I'm not the only one to stash up on bed sheets! I have been trying to keep it a secret but now I'm willing to let the world know. I also nagger my friends into giving me their curtains...

  30. Okay, so number one, I think I love you. I just found your blog and I may have to stay up and read EVERYTHING!

    Number two. I am fairly certain my mother made me and my brother those track suits when we were kids. His was grey with a van patch sewn on the jacket. My brother was ALL ABOUT the van back then. The 70s "if this van's a rockin', don't come a knockin'" kind of vans. He was in elementary school. My track suit. Would you believe it was yellow? I'm pretty sure it was. Mine also had a patch on the jacket, but I can't remember what it was. Mommy Dearest also stitched some ribbon up the sides. I am certain mine was a rainbow ribbon. Awesome.

    Your new devo-tay,
    Meg xo


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails