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May 17, 2010

Monday Catch Up + GOALS!

Readers, I feel like we're at the point in our relationship when I can show you what I look like first thing in the morning, mouth full of breakfast to boot.  You've seen the parrot video so we're practically married.

That's me with Simplicity 4227, my 1953 dress and jacket pattern, in front of four yards of polyester brocade that will be sliced and diced within hours.  I know, that orange doesn't exactly flatter my naturally rosy glow, but a little Physicians Formula Le Velvet Pancake should take care of that.  For Cathy, I mean.

I know you're all wondering which of the 12 grotesques won last week's Uglerly pattern competition.  My natural sense of drama forbids me from revealing the winner just yet, but I will give you this hint: "Rita Hayworth gave good face."  If you DO figure it out, please keep it to yourself for now, as excruciating as that may sound.  You can leave a comment saying, "I know."

All right, let's move on.  Here's a summary of last week:

1) I have a new "meh" outfit: cotton twill jeans with puckered pockets, and a matching twill jacket with transplanted sleeves.  Less said, the better.

2) I came to the realization -- thanks to your invaluable insights -- that I am borderline bored with sewing for myself.  That said, there's a Pattern Review Sewing for Men contest just begun and I will enter something.  Lord knows what Trena is going to whip up; whatever it is you just know it's going to be flawlessly lined.

3) Having recently revisited fashion's dark side, I decided to take on something truly distant and exotic.  LOOK what I bought yesterday!

It's a vintage McCalls pattern from -- get this -- 1929!  I'm particularly taken with version A, the green print with the bow on the left shoulder.  I paid a bit more than usual (nothing ridiculous, don't worry), but these things come along rarely.   I'm stoked.

Now for the week to come:

1) I want to get started -- and maybe even finished -- on my 1953 dress pattern.  The fabric frays like nobody's business and, uncut, has already littered the rug with what looks like the remnants of a New Year's Eve party.

2) The shuttle race (where the bobbin case sits) of my Singer 15-91 has developed a louder-than-usual clackety-clack that's annoying.  I've de-linted and oiled and I'm wondering what else I might do.  It's working, but loud.  Any suggestions? 

3) I'm ashamed to admit I never did clean up my sewing area last week.  Let's add that to the list.

But enough about my clatter and clutter, how about yours?

makingtime: How's that fantastic red dress coming along and have you lost your mind hemming pants for a friend?  Maggie: We want the FULL story of your younger sister's 80's prom dress redux on your blog Stitch-n-ThymeCupcake Goddess: Is your sewing mojo back?  We miss you!  Laura: What DO you do with all those quilts?  Mom2five: How big IS your stash anyway?

I'm not going to abuse you today, kids -- I'm too happy.  I found the long-forgotten remnants of a bag of Guatemalan coffee beans in the back of the freezer when I had resigned myself to having TEA this morning.  Oh, happy day!

Remember, if you're sewing, make sure you're fully caffeinated; it helps.  And don't forget to smile!

So, what-cha sewing this week?


  1. I'm very excited about the 1920's pattern! Forget everything else and get to work on it! You do know the secret of 20's fashion don't you? Actually, I think I'll do my own post on that one--maybe Friday.

    As for your 15-91--did you take apart the whole shuttle race or clean it intact? The manual shows how to dismantle it for thorough cleaning. It's not hard to do. You already know, of course, to check for any stray threads wrapped around anything.

  2. I am FINALLY cutting out my vintage curtains today, to make my new-retro summer dress. Needs to be done by Friday....
    By the way-LOVED the parrot video! More like that, please! We need a big smile on some of the more tedious sewing days...

  3. OH I love that new pattern! That should definitely be your next project.

    As for my stash... it's not really that big, I'm just trying to break this stash habit that I have. I've given away boxes of fabric to get it down to a reasonable level and I really need to keep it that way.

  4. Peter, you may have bent the race hook. Can you compare it to another one and try to bend it back to the right position? (I did this with my Bernina, and a new race was $65.00. It shouldn't be that bad on your Singer. -- For me, I've spent three weekends clearing my sewing room of quilt scraps. 14 bags gone. Now back to my unfinished jeans and a knit blouse I cut out last weekend. -- San Antonio Sue.

  5. Slow and steady! Thanks for calling it fabulous. I have to say, I like it in person, but all the pictures feel rather "meh" to me. Hopefully, I'll get a good one when it's finished.

    Finished the pants hem. Friend happy.

    I have some awesome red knit fabric with gold sparkles that I've had for years upon years and never sewn with because every time I take it out of it's bag, the room is covered in "remnants of a New Year's Eve party". Maybe I should send it to you. But you hate knits, right?

    Try setting a timer for 15 minutes and cleaning up whatever you can before it goes off. I bet you'd be amazed. And happier to work in a cleaner space. :) My sewing space is a mess right now, too. I should take my own advice.

  6. I know! :D

    I'm looking forward to a) being done with my hand drafting class (for Interior Design, not sewing, but oddly enough, still at FIT...) and b) coming back from visiting my hugely-pregnant-with-twins sister.

    then I can get back to religiously hitting the gym AND doing sewing projects - YAY!!! (heaven knows, I'm not going to start looking for a job or anything crazy like that...)

  7. Thank you for the Parrot Video (I am new to you). It was a much needed giggle today.

    This week is hemming a 40s dress and a jacket to match a 50s dress for me.

    20s style is really going to suit Cathy - and those people who told her to get some boobs are going to have to go back on their words!

  8. Peter, you've made me so jealous. I was so stupid and sold all my 1920's and 1930's patterns (all size 40 grrrr) two years ago to fund a 3 month trip to Paris. You make me think that was a bad decision.
    I'm finally done with the most ridiculous creation...a chicken you bite the head off of and now I can get back to my "real" sewing. I'm going to do Grosgrain's Frock by Friday.

  9. Stella, you went to Paris, how was that a bad idea?

  10. Okay, my goals this week, now that school is out until summer school, are:
    1. get my etsy clothes and patterns online, so lots of photos and measuring and uploading, ugh and meh
    2. dig out the Elna from the closet and get her cleaned and oiled and ready to work
    3. was a bunch of cotton scraps I've been collecting from the thrift store this spring. I've got stacks and stacks so it's a big project.

  11. Whoops sorry, I was catching up from the weekend and didn't realise that the Parrot was only recent, I thought it was an older post since I hadn't yet seen it. Doh! Tired I guess!

  12. My classes are online so more papers due today, ugh and ugh. There was a fabric collapse last night but no earthquake - a sure sign things are WAY outa hand over here! I just re-organized two months ago and don't understand how this could happen. Actually, I do understand.

    Topic change: Peter - that 20's pattern is to die. It's such a perfect look for Cathy and I can't wait to see her in it!

  13. I am knee-deep in doing a bunch of home dec projects that I've been putting off for years! I'll be so happy to have them done and to enjoy my house that much more. Home dec is not my favorite, too many straight lines and yards of fabric to wrestle. This past weekend I struggled to straighten the grain on some canvas for curtains, I ended up making a bean bag chair with it instead. On to new curtains and a roman shade!

  14. I give them away. I'm starting a new one tomorrow for my sister's new baby. She could give birth at any time. It'll be my tenth quilt, and the funny thing is that I don't own any. One of these days, I'll make one to keep. As for last week, I didn't get to quilting the quilt, but I made two pairs of overall shorts, one shirt and capris, one short set, and 1 1/2 pairs of pajamas. (I still have to sew the side seams and hem of the shirt and do the buttons and put the waistband and hems on the shorts)

    For this week, I need to finish the big quilt, the short pajama set, and do Evie's birthday presents. I'm making her what she calls an "elpitant" out of socks, and some clothes for her new dolly. (My grandmother bought her a very pretty Effanbee.) I look forward to her torturing my brother by making him dress and undress said dolly! I'll be making undies, a dress, and sleepwear for the doll. THe worst part of doll clothes is the tiny scale, but on the bright side they're fairly fast projects.

    I think that's enough for a week. But, well, if I get some more time, I'll make another shorts set for Evie!

  15. The 20s pattern is an amazing find! Can't wait to see it made up.

    You're in no danger from me for the men's contest! The only men's things I've made are two pairs of boxer shorts. Hardly exciting enough to enter in a contest (especially as they have the odious "saggy butt" panel in the back, per the wearer's preference). Noises have been made about wanting a shirt, but eff that--I am not making a men's shirt!!! The sleeve plackets alone are enough to stop me.

  16. Working on various little home dec projects (gag me!!), so my house should be looking nicer next week. I'm hoping to squeeze in a little cotton dress, too.

  17. I have a bunch of those 1929 patterns that I got for a song, the only one I've started was a pair of pajamas! Forget the 5 gorgeous dresses.
    I've got an interview so I need to actually put a final hook and eye on a skirt I made in January (it takes me forever to finish anything).
    After that I'm working on View 1 of:
    for my graduation on Sunday. It will be in that sari fabric that every Joann's carries.
    I miraculously finished my Senior Banquet dress last Friday, yay!

  18. Will do, Peter! It is on my list of things to do tonight. I just have to scan in the 1988 original photo of my older sister (and write the post), so I hope to have it up in the morning.

    As for my shirtwaist dress from last week, that got put aside for the prom dress. Hopefully I will find time for it this week.

  19. Hah! Finished the short pajamas set. Now if I can just get that full size quilt quilted....

    I found a fantastic pattern for winter last week, too. My brother doesn't agree to its awesomeness, but he's a guy! I mean, no man understand the urge to dress your baby girl in ruffle butt footies pajamas!

    Laura (who will be making several sets!)

  20. Nice pattern acquisition. I'm actually working on a production of the Jazz Singer right now so I'm surrounded by 1920s styles. So very unflattering for the curvy gals, but Cathy definitely has the silhouette for it. This week I get to cut and sew 9 identical sequined chorus girl dresses - aren't you jealous?

    But for personal sewing, I hope to finish a little jacket that I got mostly finished over the weekend, but then last night my sewing machine went on strike, so we'll see about that. It's currently white stretch denim, but I plan to do something about it's whiteness too - I'm just not really a white stretch denim kind of gal.

  21. P.S. I think Cathy would look smashing in a turban like this one:

  22. Peter! I'm done! The MOB dress! Yes, I will be presentable at my daughter's wedding. I don't normally do this, but shameless plug here:

    And I've entered it in the PR formalwear contest (it's my first contest), oddly excited about it.

    This week seems anti-climatic, but I'm making purses for all the bridemaids, and my mother, so I better get cracking on those.

  23. I know! (I loved the clue..., but boy are we getting old?) What am I sewing? The same pencil skirt that I have been working on for 3 weeks because I have decided I will not stop until I finally have a lined skirt that fits perfectly for the first time. I figure it doesn't matter how long it takes, after I do it once, the next one will be easier (theoretically, anyway!). Thanks for putting a smile on my face today!

  24. This is my first participation in the Monday goals (gasp!), but I've got such a happy tune in my head from your parrot video and decided to join in the fun.

    My wedding is July 3rd and I'm making my wedding dress. My last sewing class was 10 years ago in home ec (high school), and I have yet to sew anything but squares successfully. However, I've been making my dress (out of a white duvet cover found at goodwill for $15 - brand new in the package--oh yeah, I'm good!) over the past few weeks (going slowly and taking days off to fret), and so far it looks great. All I have left is the zipper, build a bra into the top, and probably add boning to the midriff. Then I might embellish in some way. Hmm...Did I mention I dyed my dress teal? Yes, I'm very nontraditional.

    Anyhoo, so here are my goals for this week:

    1. Sew the zipper in my dress (my first invisible zipper ever!)

    2. Clean up my sewing area (aka dining room and living room)

    3. Figure out and attach a built-in bra. My dress is a halter and backless, so I'm going to have to get really creative for "the girls". (Please pray for me!)

    Thanks for your wonderful articles!



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