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Apr 3, 2011

MPB First-Ever Valerie Bertinelli Pattern GIVEAWAY!

Readers, do you remember the Seventies?  I do -- vividly -- and I just know Valerie Bertinelli wore a dress like the one pictured above on One Day at a Time.  Or am I thinking of Valerie Harper?

But more about today's vintage pattern giveaway in a moment.  First, I have to share with you a strange thing that happened to me yesterday.  So I'm sitting on my sofa stitching in the facings of my bolero jacket -- you know, a normal Saturday -- when I receive a phone call from Rain.  Remember, Rain, the guy who offered to tune up my Singer 15-91 sewing machine at some unspecified future time in exchange for some yet-to-be-determined quantity of sewing guidance?

Rain tells me he's in my area with a friend who has a car, and would I like him to pick up my 15-91 now so he could work on it?  Well, sure, I said.  I mean, why not, right?

So ten minutes later he rings my doorbell -- well him and his Akita -- and five minutes after that he's walking out the door with my treasured, albeit crumbly-wired, 15-91 sewing machine.

Readers, your honest opinion:

Will I ever see this sewing machine again?  I mean, who is Rain?  The whole thing sounds a little suspicious but being the trusting person I am, I figure let's see what happens.  It's not like it's my only sewing machine and I was certainly in no hurry to rewire it myself.  Maybe Rain is a person who badly needs a sewing machine and this is the only way he can think of to get his hands on one.

And speaking of vintage sewing machines, look what I made yesterday with my Pfaff 30: a belt for Cathy's new dress using the topstitching-new-fabric-atop-old-vinyl-belt method.  This machine not only managed this with no problem whatsoever, it even stitched through double layers of vinyl to secure the buckle!  (Don't try this with your Brother LS2125.)

But now back to our giveaway:

This charming pattern dates from 1973 and is in fine vintage condition.  It's a size 12 -- 34" bust and 26 1/2" waist.  I love the sweetheart neckline and the details on the sleeves.  It would be perfect for spring in a crepe, linen, or double knit.

I also love these shoes; sadly they don't come with the pattern.

MPB followers the world over are eligible to enter and all you have to do to participate is answer one simple question:

What do you think Rain intends to do with my sewing machine and will I ever see it again?

OK, that's two questions.

You have till Monday at midnight EST to enter and I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.  Be creative! (Winner will be chosen at random of course but still.)

Thank you again for all your wonderful comments on yesterday's Approval post.  It's wonderful to hear so many different perspectives and they enrich the blog tremendously.

Happy Sunday, everybody!

P.S. Michael announces his giveaway winner on his blog today.  Can you stand it?


  1. Rain will not only replace your wiring but clean, oil it and replace the grease. It will be returned to you with a high polish.

    Unknown to you that gloss will have been obtained using a good old fashioned spit polish in retaliation for casting aspersions on his intentions. The twitch of his lips as you caress your beautiful new old machine will tell the tale.

  2. Rain will bring your beloved Singer back in one week, all shiny and new-like, and you'll thank him and his car-driving friend warmly and offer them cups of tea and biscuits for their hard work.

    Once they're gone, you'll feel the blinding urge to turn the crank (as it were), and the cardboard Singer-painted shell falls off, revealing a Brother LS2125 and a note underneath: "HAHAHAHAHA..."

  3. Rain is actually a singer who's a big hit in Korea. He's just taken your Singer to get a bit of publicity. When he brings it back he's going to challenge you to a sing-off (similar to what he did with Colbert). You have been warned--start practicing your moves now!

  4. Rain will return your sewing machine in better condition than he took it. He doesn't need a sewing machine, he already has a Brother LS2125. He just needs one that will sew through several layers of denim to do the flat felling on a pantsuit for his identical twin cousin twice removed, Kris. What, you thought you were the only one with an identical twin cousin?

  5. I think if Rain already came over to your place and didn't rob or murder you - it will be fine! [I get equally semi-panicky when dealing with craigslisters or friends of friends] I think he'll fix everything up beautifully! :)

  6. Rain will work his sewing machine magic to bring your ailing beauty back to her full go-to glory. He will personally deliver your museum piece back to your door step in completion of his five star servicing goals. His expert repairs will be beyond your will his fee. His previous request for a “little sewing guidance” will morph into a series of private lessons to cover all of the sewing basics...topped up with your over-the-phone help on an as need basis....24/7!

  7. Rain intends to repair your machine and yes you will get it back. However it will be 2013 before it happens and having dispared of ever seeing it again you will have purchased another one! So your total cost will equal the price of a plane ticket to Paris.

    No need to enter me in the contest. In fact I have some vintage women's patterns that I acquired in lots off eBay. Would you like them?

  8. Beautiful pattern, and close enough to my size! I think Rain will bring it back to you, from your earlier description he sounds like a nice guy who just enjoys the mechanics of sewing and sewing machines.

  9. Rain has an intention to fix your machine, however he will suddenly have a lot to do which will prevent him from working on the machine, then it will slowly fade into the dark recesses in his mind. Expect it after about three years, possibly.

  10. Oh, me! I have such a soft spot for 70s dresses (and no, I didn't live through them the first time). And sweetheart necklines. And nifty sleeve details. And it's just my size!

    As to your machine, well, I'm sure Rain is just a good-hearted tinkerer... But then I'm pretty naive about such things and tend to assume others are as straightforward as I am. ;)

  11. I'm sure Rain is going to repair your machine... and then ask a ransom to give it back to you. Somethink awful like a picture with you or something like that ;)

  12. Yep, as a PP mentioned, Rain is a (scorching hot) Korean singer. What will celebratities do these days for publicity? :) He sounds like a good chap.

  13. I think you may never see Rain or your Singer again. You will only receive postcards of the two in various exotic destinations.
    I'm not usually a vintage pattern lover, but I love this 70's pattern! I think it would look great in linen sans sleeves.

  14. Rain saw your beautiful new dress for Cathy and has been inspired to repaint your 15-91 to match as a surprise. You will get it back in fine electrical shape and sweetly polished and oiled, with big red peonies all over it.

    Love the dress, hope to win!

  15. You will never see your Singer again - no wait - you will postcards from a club in Korea, where it will be used to make costumes for Rain the cabaret singer..moohoohaha

  16. I think you'll see the machine again and in good condition, but if that machine could talk...

  17. I had a dress like that in a floral rayon faille- it was my favorite! :)

    Rain suffers from of a form of serial altruism. This is an approval-seeking condition that people often develop in their adolescent years. Rain's condition causes him to promise to do difficult or unpleasant tasks for people in a misguided effort to make them like him. Rain is a very nice person, but he has a bit of a self-confidence issue. He doesn't realize that people will like him better if he doesn't make promises that he can't keep.

    Because Rain's condition is acute, he will promise to do things without considering that he may not have the expertise or the time to actually perform these "favors". After he has had time to consider the task, he realizes that he needs tools, education and skills training to complete them. As his list of backlogged promises has grown, Rain has become almost paralyzed with guilt, which is the eventual end-stage of this condition.

    In an effort to break this cycle of toxic behavior, Rain has bravely sought therapy- it takes a real man to face himself and examine his own shortcomings! Rain's therapist has suggested that he can "fix" himself only by owning up to the promises he has made. One by one, Rain is working through his list, and eventually he will complete every promise he has ever made, because he really does want to get better!

    You will see your beloved Singer again some day, but it may take a while, this is a process. Your machine repair is quite a way down a rather long list that started in 1983, with a promise to weed his grammy's yard. However, Rain is committed and has enrolled in a community college course on lamp repair- which he hopes will translate into rewiring skills for fixing your sewing machine, his uncle Lenny's toaster and replacing the outlets in his ex-girlfriend's bathroom.

    To sweeten the deal, his therapist has promised a pizza party for Rain and all of his friends once he has completed his list.

  18. Rain will fix your machine, use if a little to see if he wants to get one of his own, and then bring it back safe and sound.
    That dress is great!

  19. Google Rumpelstiltskin (if you don't already know the story) short, help offered, help taken for mysterious payment to be made in future- what/ when to be determined by help giver :)

    I'll bet when you get it back, you'll find such magic has been worked on it, that you'll even offer to sell your soul in eternal bondage to Rain


  20. Rain is the superhero of vintage sewing machines. His disguise day job is working at that clothing company that has all the sewing machines in the store window. His secret mission is to replace the really good machines with very worn out ones. Not only will you get a 15-91 back, it will be much better than before.

  21. Soon, perhaps on Tuesday you will receive a picture postcard of your Singer 15-91 next to the Statue of Liberty. It will be apparent it is having a lovely time. The next postcard will be at the Washington Monument. It is only beside the St Louis Gateway Arch that the Singer 15-91 looks slightly uncomfortable, the smell of the Mississippi might to much for it. After a year of travel it is returned to you safely and fixed, and you publish the postcards as a coffee table book "Sew Out of Here!" that revives the publishing industry. The profits go toward refurbishing more vintage machines and starting a sewing machine foster program for people not sure they can let sewing machines into their lives permanently.

  22. Rain will return it, i'm confident of that. Bad internet karma will hit him otherwise.
    I love that pattern. I have really been getting into 70s fashion lately - I don't know why it has such a bad reputation - 70s were lovely for clothes.

  23. This seems obvious-the machine is just an excuse to see you again! He couldn't wait for you to call-that could take years-so, he is taking yesterday's advice, and doing something he wouldn't normally do! (Yes, you better believe he is reading, and treasuring every word and photo on this blog).The machine, sadly, will be held hostage as further excuses to have contact with you. And, when you finally must break his heart, he will destroy the machine, by dropping it off the Empire State Building (and probably taking a few unlucky souls on the sidewalk with it). You have completely undervalued your charms, and your 15-91 is going to pay the ultimate price for it. On a happier note, that pattern is darling, so I am all in for it!

  24. Hello!

    I think the machine will be re-wired, cleaned up, and returned to you in spiffy condition. I just have questions as to how long it will take. Not only do I hope to win the fabulous pattern from you, but I hope that your machine is returned promptly and in excellent condition.

  25. Little did you know your machine has a very popular video blog that is huge in Brazil. When your lights go out she puts on fringe dresses and see through underwear and pole dances on the coffee table. Rain is a local fan, and a bit of a con artist. He saw you were in need of help and offered his services. However, they are now on the way to south America where they are going to sign a TV deal where Singer starts a career of singing, dancing, and racy photography. To bad this will all go down the drain when Rain gets her knocked up, and then took off with all her jewelry and money. Singer now lives in shack on the beach with 6 little Singers and her husband, a vacuum repair man.

  26. Lissa of the MuslinettesApril 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    I think Rain will return your fixed machine - i believe in informal economies - though there may be a little akita hair in there, the smell of which might drive you own doggies a little mental.

    you post yesterday was very meaningful to me, and you are an inspiration to many of us.

  27. I knew a girl named Rain in high school, she was such a hippy. You'd have to be with a name like Rain. I think your Rain is probably going to take your sewing machine to a beautiful meadow full of wildflowers, where he will make dandelion crowns for them both to wear. Then they'll snack on homemade granola.

  28. Here's hoping Rain is a trustworthy person. You probably have a good sense of character, so I wouldn't worry about it more than need be. :)

  29. I think Rain will return you machine in perfect working order, and you, feeling slightly guilty over not trusting him will offer to make him a pair of jeans!!

    I love the 70s dress. Unfortunately I remember the 70s very well as I was a teenager then!! Did a bit of sewing then, and would love to try this pattern.

  30. Rain enjoys fixing things more than using them. As a result he has an enormous stash of vintage sewing machines that he rescued and returned to working order- but he has never sewn on any of them. He began fixing other people's machines in order to try to curb his collection habit. He's asked you for sewing help in an attempt to kick-start his own sewing -- why own these machines if he doesn't use them?-- but his true vocation is to find homes for orphaned sewing machines. The end result will be that not only will you get your Singer back, but he will talk you into taking 3 more machines home with you. And he will want to check up on them to make sure you are treating them well.

  31. Rain will come back with your (fixed) machine very shortly, and very pissed off after reading the aspersions you cast on him on your blog. You agreed to teach him in return for his mending your machine, but now he's going to think your character is too bad to be a teacher......

  32. Wow, the scenario I have regarding Rain, the return of the machine and the "sewing lessons" is quite different than anyone else's on the comment board. I would go into detail but I'm pretty sure it would only be removed.

  33. I think he intends to reqwire your machine ansd you'll get it back maybe not yesterday but surely this week in the most pristine condition since it left the shop where it was first sold.
    I wasn't even born when that pattern was first issued, but it is totally pretty.

  34. I try to believe in the good in people. I believe Rain will return your sewing machine after he fixes it. Of course, if I'm wrong, and he's not so trustworthy, do you think you ought to be concerned that he knows where you live and had a chance to scope out your place? "Case the joint" as they say? Just food for thought...

  35. You see, that machine has special powers. In the wrong hands it can cause a lot of damage. It used to belong to young girl, Sunshine. She made the most beautiful clothes for her dolls and when she dressed them with their new wardrobe, they came to life. Once, she made a couch slip cover out of a soft floral. The couch immediately burst into bloom and Sunshine took naps with her poodle on the scented divan.

    Soon, word got out about the magic machine. A mean old miser named Storm knew he had to get his hands on it. He had amassed an army of My Buddies and Kid Sisters that he planned to use to destroy happiness everywhere. With a hand sewn, drab uniform, Storm could control the dolls to do his bidding.

    Sunshine had a habit of leaving the machine out in front of the window that looked into her backyard. Being a child, she left for school without a care in the world. Sadly, this made it all too attainable for Storm.

    The dolls Sunshine had outfitted knew they couldn't let Storm take it away. Mike and Cheryl were the stealthiest of the bunch and hitched a ride back to Storm's lair on his coat tails. In the dead of night they sneaked out and crumblied the wiring.

    Unfortunately, when this happened the magic disappeared. The dolls turned back into plastic, the couch smelled of must. Mike and Cheryl never returned to Sunshine.

    It has changed many hands since then, the story lost to most. But now you know.

    And Storm's nephew, Rain, has his hands on it...

  36. He is a good guy who will return your machine in great condition! He is probably at home right now having a good laugh at all these hypotheses about his intentions. Maybe he has even posted a comment or two under a different alias, just for the entertainment.

    That dress would be perfect for me, according to my stylist friend, so fingers crossed it lands my way!

  37. Let's face it - a Singer 15-91 isn't exactly a Bernie 117.. Unless Rain has some weird fetish, you'll see it returned. Besides.. what are the odds that someone in New York City would have a weird fetish for sewing machines?...

  38. Rain will clean and grease the machine then return it in 3 days with crumbly wires untouched. "Oh did you want it rewired?" The machine will be gone for a month. You will receive e-mailed photos of it from cities up and down the East Coast.
    The Singer is having a wonderful time and does notmiss you at all. Well, maybe a little. Now that it is pristine clean and wired Rain has lost interest in it and The Singer wants to come home.

  39. I've never met a dishonest person who owns an Akita. And someone who has a love for sewing machines? I predict your machine will be back in your hands good as new, with a couple of doggie slurps to boot.

  40. After Rain rewires your machine and prepares to test it, one of his acquaintances, a burly, outdoorsman named Thor will arrive and request that Rain sew up a rip in his tent.

    Thor's tent was ripped open by a ferocious bear after he ventured into an unauthorized area of Yellowstone, set up camp, and engaged in a fight with the bear in the middle of the night. A nasty leg injury was the result of the unfortunate incident, and assuredly, that bear will limp for the rest of his life!

    Rain will explain that he doesn't repair tents, but he'll offer to find the name of someone who will. While Rain tarries in another room rifling through thousands of business cards he keeps in a shoebox, Thor will become impatient.

    Thor will quietly sneak your machine out of Rain's abode and head quickly to a circus, where his girlfriend, Sally, works as a facilities manager.

    Sally, a former elephant trainer, has mended her fair share of circus tents over the course of 20 years! After Sally adeptly repairs Thor's tent, she'll remark that she's never had the pleasure of stitching on such a fine machine.

    While Sally is marveling over your 15-91 and Thor is examining the strong seam that closed the rip in his tent, an elephant, named Vickie, will spy Sally. Vickie will break free from her handler and bound toward Sally and Thor. (Sally raised and trained Vickie from the time she was an orphaned calf, so the sociable elephant remains closely bonded to her mother-figure.)

    Sensing a calamity, Thor will attempt to retrieve your machine. However, Vickie will unintentionally block Thor's path and back up too near the table holding your much-admired 15-91. No match for an elephant moving in reverse, the table will topple and send your machine crashing to the ground. Thor and Sally will cringe and expect to hear a crash, but instead they'll hear a muffled "plop."

    After Thor and Sally move the table aside, they'll discover that the machine has landed safely in a deep pile of fresh elephant excrement, which acted as a buoyant cushion. Thor will lift your coated machine out of the dung using only two of his immensely strong fingers and set it back on the table. Sally will hurriedly clean off your machine the best she can before Thor, heavily pounding the pavement with every step, rushes your machine back to Rain's.

    After Thor quietly arrives at Rain's, he'll set your machine back on the work table, and Rain will be none the wiser. Rain will return, hand the long-searched-for business card to Thor, and assure his brawny friend that a man named Azziz is the best tent repairman in the business.

    Thor will stuff the crumpled card in his pocket and mumble, "Thank you kindly." Rain will sniff the air, grimace, and think to himself that Thor is long overdue for a hot, sudsy shower!

    After Thor leaves (without your machine this time), Rain will remember that he was about to test your completely rewired and serviced machine. Your 15-91 will sew a perfect stitch, and Rain will smile contentedly.

    After handling your machine, Rain will suddenly become overpowered by a pungent, organic scent he can't quite place. Rain will trace the offensive odor first to his hands, and then to your machine! Rain will scoff and say aloud to himself, "And Peter thought that only his Featherweight case had an unbearable stench!"

  41. Why do you think that this generous person is out to rob or steal from you? They're doing you a favor and you're casting aspersions on their character. Whether said in jest or not, it obviously shows YOUR true character. Shame on you!

  42. I think Rain will return and ask for an introduction to your hot cousin Cathy. Sleaze-bag if you ask me.

  43. I think the Selfish Seamstress has got a hand in this. She's been very very quiet of late and is probably seething that you're sewing up a storm here in blogland, whilst her sewing machine disappeared in transit to Europe.

    She sent the seemingly kind hearted Rain over (he's a cousin twice removed to Selfish) to collect your beloved 15-91, under the pretext that he will rewire it (which he has). What you don't know is that at this very moment your 15-91 is on a Russian oligarch's private jet on it's way to the Russian Burda HQ, where Selfish is impatiently pacing the floor, waiting to get her hands on your precious sewing machine.

  44. Rain will dismantle the Singer and use the parts to complete his own project - a mechanical dog-walker for his Akita - he's seen Willy and Freddy on their "walking machine" and has been inspired by you to create his own (and he knows you have enough sewing machines to provide all the parts he needs!)

  45. Rain needs your Singer to create his audition collection for Project Runway season 9. He knows that wretched Gretchen won last time, so there's room for a male winner again. She was granola chic, he's going for retro chic. The Singer figures large in his plan. You'll get it back after Tim Gunn's final, "Make it work!" and Rain's collection is on the runway.

    I'm past the size 12, alas, not by much (14?). However, sizing was more generous back then. And yes, I remember the 70s. Give the patter to someone with a waist, but please pick me first!!

  46. Clearly, Rain will be using the machine to start construction of his line of Akita formalwear. Your only hope is outsourcing. Otherwise, you'll never see the machine again.

  47. Dear Peter,

    I can't tell you how much all your support means to me especially now as I start my new life which is wonderfully exciting and, a bit frightening as well!

    My dear cousin Peter, I have something I need to get off my corset (oh dear! a Freudian slip,
    I meant to say get off my chest - just too many things on my mind today today! Well never mind! Back to my confession that I am not too proud of. I got myself into a little trouble in jail. Don't start thinking trouble follows me - just a little streak of bad luck, that we all have it from time to time. I was found technically guilty but morally I certainly was not! Any upstanding citizen would have done the same thing if they were in my position! Lucky for them they were not! I developed a little gambling problem in jail. I know you are probably wondering how this happened in jail of all places. Well I hate to say it but there is an awful lot of stuff going on in these jails aside from paying back one’s dues to society. It all started innocently enough with a Friday night poker game. The stakes were low to start - "I'll raise you 2- make your beds" but eventually they got higher and higher and soon I was in over my head!
    I bet sewing 5- 1950's style Vogue dresses with boleros. (Personal clothes can be worn on visitor’s day.)

    Now, don't be shocked when I tell you this, but RAIN is my dear friend and has been for many years. (He has a good heart underneath it all.) He was my jail pen pale, wrote me every week. I confided in
    him about my gambling debt, worrying so how I was going to sew all those dresses without a sewing machine. Well, we came up with a win-win situation!! He would pick up your machine, repair it, and let me use it to sew the dresses, after which he would return it to you. So the good news is, you'll have your machine back running tip-top!!

    And I have more good news - life is exciting indeed! I have a job - a part time, temporary job selling, of all the most wonderful things in the world, the new Fragrances at Barney's. Oh those delightful scents for the olfactory nerves. Such good luck - surrounded by perfume all day long -and materials and dresses all night. Life is wonderful!!

    Your dear cousin,


  48. (This DOES sound like my cousin....)

  49. Rain's a good guy. I know he means well. I'm not overly confident about his skills when it comes to rewiring your machine. However, I have no doubt that he REALLY wants to learn to sew.

    So he will pay to have someone rewire your machine and then return it to you in exchange for the promised sewing lessons. He will then start a competing sewing blog called Rain Check. Not to worry though, it will all be good-natured, and you two will be friends forever.

    I LOVE that pattern! It's just my size, and Valerie Bertinelli was a fashion hero of mine back in the day.

  50. He's going to upcycle it by adding a groovy mod decal, and resell it on Etsy.

    Nah, I think he will fix it and give it back and you will be in blissful Singer heaven!

  51. Rain (better known as Bi in South Korea)took the machine back to Korea to show off to all his pals there. He will return it in tip-top condition after he has shown it off to all of his friends.

    And that pattern is beautiful.

  52. I think he'll do just as he promised. And then ask for help. For a BIG project. A project bigger and harder than he'd originally thought. He's swamped and confused and when he tells you, your eyes bug out in horror at what you've gotten into. Then you help him because you promised you would. ;)


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